Planning to ditch dairy and switch to a plant-based alternative? Trisha Ghoroi tells you about a recent study that might help you pick the best option
Lactose intolerance is a rising issue and to compensate for the lack of dairy, many plant-based milk substitutes have made an appearance in supermarkets. In fact, it is now a diet fad and people are drinking milk substitutes even when they don’t have to. They are not only considered better alternatives to cow’s milk, but they are compatible with vegan diets too.
However, are all kinds of plant-based milk equally healthy? What about their nutritional value? In a recent report, McGill University conducted a study to understand the nutritional values of the most popular plant-based milk — almond milk, soy milk, rice milk and coconut milk.
Almond milk was found to be rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, and so it is good for weight management and weight loss. However, it lacked a few nutrients that the body needs. Coconut milk, on the other hand, is low in protein as well as calories, and can aid in reducing the bad cholesterol levels in the blood. Rice milk has sparse nutrients and is high in carbohydrates, which can cause malnutrition, especially if given to infants.
The study found that soy milk is the closest to cow’s milk and is balanced with all the nutrients that the body needs. It is also considered to have anti-carcinogenic elements, which is why it scored so well. However, there are concerns over soy milk taste and the presence of anti-nutrients, which reduce nutrient intake.