There have been so many claims about how diary is unhealthy for human consumption. Many studies show that milk contains saturated fats that contribute to many heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and in some cases even Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to this, there is also the environmental impact of animal farming that the world is grappling with every second. Many people around the globe including parents have made the shift to vegan milk as a way to live a healthier life and reduce their carbon footprints. But how well do you know the so-called sustainable alternatives you are consuming? Is the milk in your fridge the best vegan milk? Let’s find out.
What are the alternatives to animal dairy?
We applaud you if you have have made the shift to vegan milk. But the journey to veganism can be a bit hard especially with all the misinformation out there. The milk aisle or Google are likely to show you the following vegan options:
- Soy milk
- Almond milk
- Rice milk
- Coconut milk
- Oats milk
- Cashew milk
- Hemp milk
- Hazelnut milk
- Pea milk
Out of these, the most commonly used are soy, almond, coconut, oats, and now hemp milk. The year 2019 saw a 29% increase in the demand of vegan milk in America. ‘Almond milk’ was one of the most searched topics online followed by coconut milk and oats milk. Interest in hemp milk has also been on the rise in the last few months.
Which is the best vegan milk for your health?
There is no denying the fact that almonds have a lot to offer. Almond milk is a good source of vitamin E, vitamin D, and calcium. It is also low in calories, making it a good alternative for people on the journey to weight-loss. Having said this, you need to understand that almond milk contains only 2% of nutrition found in almonds, so even though almond milk is healthy, you can not use it as a substitute for almonds.
Coconut milk is used in many cultures as a staple form of nutrition. Coconut milk contains anti-oxidants that are good for the hair and skin. The milk also contains lauric acid that builds up immunity. But coconut milk is quite high in fat and ranks low on proteins and vitamins. It’s consistency may also not sit well with all kinds of dishes.
Hemp Milk contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin. Hemp milk also helps fight against heart diseases and is useful in maintaining the optimal blood pressure. It is also a good source of protein. But some people find its taste tough to get used to.
Oat milk is known to lower blood cholesterol, strengthen immunity and fight anemia. The milk is also high in fiber, vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin B12. But high amounts of oats can lead to bloating and intestinal gas.
Soy milk is high in protein and low on saturated fats. Some studies suggest that the milk can help prevent cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Soy milk can also lower cholesterol. Although people often believe in the myth that soy milk causes breast cancer but studies show that a moderate intake of soy milk reduces the chances of breast cancer. It is still advisable to consult a doctor and get professional advice on the topic.
Which is the best vegan milk for the planet?
Almond milk has the highest environmental impact as it requires a lot of water to produce almonds. It can take a gallon of water to grow a single piece of almond. Oat milk too can consume a lot of energy to produce, but its water intake is six times less than almonds. So in that sense, it is a more sustainable option than almond milk. Soy milk also leaves a considerable carbon footprint on the planet as it requires a lot of land and needs pesticides to survive and grow. Moreover, soy production is one of the major causes of deforestation in the Amazon.
Coconut milk and hemp milk certainly make for more sustainable choices than most other alternatives. Coconut trees require little water to grow and help fight carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Hemp milk too is an eco-friendly option. It helps fight carbon dioxide in the environment and does not require harmful pesticides to grow. All parts of hemp have some utility, so this also accounts in less wastage.
Shop the Best Vegan Milk
Oatly Oats Milk
Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Milk
Califa Chocolate Almond Milk
Harvest Tempt Hemp Milk
Silk Soy Milk
Please Note: These tips are mere suggestions to help you lead a more sustainable lifestyle. We do not provide professional expertise in the field and by no means expect the reader to take the above opinions and tips as professional advice.