Overwhelmed by the sheer number of milk alternatives available on the market? Browse our guide to the best non-dairy drinks, plus their pros and cons
Words Joy Montgomery
– Good for your heart health. With only 40 calories per serving, it’s great for those looking to increase healthy fats in their diet.
– Easy to make at home. While it might be the pricier alternative to cows milk, almond milk is super easy to make at home. All you need is a muslin cloth and food processor.
– Not safe for those with tree nut allergies. Almond milk is lactose and gluten-free, however it is not safe for those who suffer a tree nut allergy.
– Watered-down formulas. Although almonds are rich in nutrients and good fats, many commercial options only contain 1 or 2% almonds.
– Calcium-rich. It may surprise you to know that oat milk contains more calcium that one serving of regular cow’s milk.
– Full of oat power. Oats help lower cholesterol levels and are a low glycemic index food, which provides long lasting energy.
– Not good for coeliacs. Oat milks are not gluten free, so those with coeliacs disease should seek advice before drinking.
– Not always fortified. Not all oat milks are fortified with the vitamins found in regular cow’s milk, such as calcium.
– Rich in a range of vitamins. These include C, E, the B group, iron, selenium and magnesium.
– Creamy texture. It’s ideal for those wanting a richer flavour or a healthy alternative to use in puddings.
– Highest amount of saturated fat of any milk alternative. It is high in calories, even the reduced fat versions.
– Can solidify and separate. Its consistency can make it difficult to use without heating up.
– Long heralded as a wonder-bean. The isoflavone compounds it contains (which mimic the female hormone oestrogen) are said to lower cholesterol, reduce menopausal symptoms, help bone density and even help prevent risks of some cancers.
– Contains hidden sugar. Many commercial versions of soy milk contain high levels of added sugar – make sure you read the label before you buy!
– In their natural states are quite bitter. This means that, compared to other milk alternatives, it can sometimes be heavily processed making it a less natural alternative.
– Contains zero sugar. Unlike some of their sweetened sisters, hemp is a great addition to a healthy diet due to its lack of added sugar.
– Rich in omega-3. A serving of hemp milk provides 50% of or recommended daily intake of omega-3. This is essential for maintaining a healthy heart and reducing the risk of heart disease.
– Lower in protein. Compared to soy, hemp milk contains less protein.
– More expensive. Due to being less readily available on the mainstream market, hemp, compared to other milk alternatives, can be more difficult to find and higher in price.