Helllooooo!!! I am low-key lactose intolerant. I say low-key because I will eat my body weight in ice cream and slather myself with cheese… Don’t even get me started on chocolate. In saying that, I just can’t bring myself have full cream milk.
So it all started when I was in high school or college when I had terrible acne. Well, I thought it was fine. However, others thought otherwise. They suggested for me to reduce my dairy intake: milk, cheese, chocolate, ice cream and yogurt. Fast track 6 or so years, I have changed to soy milk and recently almond milk while also having minimal cheese, yogurt and chocolate treats. I often get asked which milk I prefer and why. So I thought, let’s do a post about it.
Disclaimer: This post today is done with research, and I have used this opportunity to compare and contrast the milk for my own benefit based on my own circumstances. It is strongly suggested that you consider all the necessary factors and consult with a dietitian, nutritionist or other healthcare professionals before changing your diet.
So let’s get on to the post:
Plant-based alternatives are great for vegetarians, vegans and for those who are lactose intolerant. Both soy and almond milk are plant-based alternatives for full cream milk. There are numerous options available that I am yet to try: oat milk, lactose-free milk, rice milk, hemp milk and so forth.
Soy milk is derived from soybeans. The milk itself is made so that the bean flavour is removed. There is a decrease in anti-nutrient content through heating and filtration of the soybeans.
Compared to full cream milk, in terms of the overall nutritional content, soy milk tends to have a lower protein, carbohydrate, and fat content with a lower caloric consumption per serve.
Soy/a is known to have a hormonal effect on the body. That is that there can be a change in the estrogen levels in women. Therefore, some women may have some side effects from soy milk. (Sources: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/soy/ and https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FS/FS42200.pdf )
Almond milk is from water and almonds. It is made by heating powdered almonds and water together at a high temperature and spinning to form a uniform solution. This uniform solution is almond milk. According to https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FS/FS41000.pdf, almond milk is tempered to remove or treat any milk microorganisms and provide an extended shelf-life. Another method of sterilising the milk is pasteurisation, just like full cream milk.
Compared to full cream milk, in terms of overall nutritional content, almond milk also tends to have a lower protein, carbohydrate, and fat content with a lower caloric consumption per serve, just like soy milk.
A side effect of almond milk could be an allergic reaction. (Sourced from https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FS/FS41000.pdf)
Researching these two plant-based milk alternatives has made me realise two things. First, I am increasing the risk of not having enough protein in my diet. I mean, I do eat meat, and I do have other protein sources, but I think I am missing out on an easy way to have protein. The second would be that I may need to look into other plant-based milk alternatives. I think that Soy milk is no longer an option, especially after I found out about the potential hormone side effect. However, almond milk is an ideal option for me at this stage. In saying that, I think that both alternatives have little to no nutritional value. Unless I find another plant-based milk alternative with higher protein content and a similar fat and carbohydrate content, I might make my way back to full cream milk.
To answer the burning questions:
I chose almond, and I have it due to my self-induced lactose intolerance. The natural nutty flavour added to my coffees is a nice benefit. Don’t worry it is more of a light aftertaste rather than an overpowering taste. I find that almond milk makes my coffees taste way better than soy milk. However, I can’t have it too hot of a drink with almond milk as I find it splits.
I hope this brought some insight into plant-based milk alternatives. Comment below which plant-based milk I should try next. I’m thinking oat milk.
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As always, thank you for being the Samosauce to my Garam Samosa!!!