Milk is a popular drink in many households. For one reason or another, however (intolerance, allergy, dietary restriction, preference, etc.), many people cannot or will not drink the creamy beverage. Fortunately, for those of you who fall into one of these categories, there are alternatives to cow’s milk that look and taste as good, if not better.
In the list below, we discuss several alternatives to cow’s milk you may not have heard of yet, and we’re sure there’s at least one you’ll find so delicious, you won’t even miss the old standby:
5 Milk Alternatives For People Who Are Sensitive To Lactose
If you love milk but experience tummy troubles when you drink it, you may want to try a2 milk. This milk, produced by specific breeds of cows, only contains the a2 beta-casein protein and is believed to be healthier, safer, and less troublesome for people with milk intolerances. Traditional cow’s milk contains both the a1 and a2 beta-casein proteins.
While the jury is still out on whether a1 beta-casein is bad or not for you, some research suggests that consuming the protein may be linked to type 1 diabetes, heart disease, infant death, autism, and digestive issues. In terms of flavor, a2 milk tastes exactly the same as regular milk.
Soy milk is a dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk made from soybeans or soy protein isolate. It usually includes vegetable oils and/or thickeners to improve taste and consistency. This milk alternative can be sweetened or unsweetened.
Soy milk is creamy and mild in flavor, but tastes best in savory dishes, in coffee, or over cereal. From a nutritional standpoint, soy milk is like cow’s milk in its protein content but has just half the calories, fat, and carbs.
Nut milk can be made from a wide array of nuts and/or nut butter. Almonds, cashews, and macadamia nuts are three of the most common nuts used to make milk. While these kinds of milk are significantly lower in calories, carbs, and fats than cow's milk, they are mostly made of water, which also reduces the nutrient and fiber content nuts are known for.
Nut milk can be sweetened or unsweetened, and they are creamy in texture. They taste great in coffee and tea and work well as milk substitutes in recipes. If you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake, nut milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk.
If you have high cholesterol or diabetes, oat milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk. Made from mostly oats and water, this slightly sweet and mild milk substitute also contains additives such as oils, gums, and salt to enhance flavor.
The interesting thing about oat milk is that it has a high fiber content that helps lower blood sugar levels after eating. Furthermore, it also contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan that helps lower cholesterol.
Hemp milk is made from the Cannabis Sativa hemp plant. This is one of the same plants grown to produce marijuana products. While hemp milk contains a very small level of THC (the chemical that produces the “high” in marijuana products), it does not produce any mind-altering effects after consumption.
Hemp milk has a sweet, nutty flavor and is very thin in texture. It is a great alternative to skim milk. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you may find hemp milk a great choice since it contains more protein than other milk alternatives and is high in a couple of important amino acids the body needs.
If, for one reason or another, you cannot drink cow’s milk, try one of the alternatives listed above.