Milk has remained a global staple and known to be nature’s most perfect food. However, when you switch to a special diet, it becomes necessary to evaluate the foods and find out whether you can still include them in your diet.
So, is milk plant-based? No, milk is clearly not plant based because it is obtained from animals. Though it is not animal flesh, it cannot be considered plant-based. Milk is not suitable for those who follow a plant-based diet.
Let us try to find out whether there is any substitute for milk that you can use when on a plant-based diet.
Top 3 Milk Substitutes For A Plant Based Diet
A plant-based diet focuses on foods that come directly from plants so advises avoiding milk from cows, buffaloes, goats and other animals.
However, you can find a wide variety of plant-based milk options like almond milk in the market, produced to give you the same nutritional benefits and taste as animal-sourced milk.
An excellent alternative to dairy milk, almond milk is one of the top choices for plant-based milk for its rich flavor and texture. It is a naturally dairy-free product made by grinding almonds. However, you should buy this milk with caution because a lot of commercially sold products contain flavorings, preservatives and thickeners to improve the shelf life, texture and flavor.
Almond milk is low in calories containing only 39 calories per cup but has 50% more calcium as compared to cow milk. Almonds being a rich source of vitamin E and antioxidants, this milk substitute is a great addition to any plant based diet. Most brands use a very less proportion of almonds so it is best to make your own almond milk at home.
One of the best plant-based protein sources, soy milk offers 7-12 grams per serving. You can find a number of brands selling soy milk at grocery stores and supermarkets though it is important to remember that not all of them are equal. Some of the products use whole soybeans while others are made out of processed soy protein isolate.
It is recommended that you check the product label for ingredients to choose the least processed variety to suit your plant-based diet. It is also fortified with other nutrients like vitamin B12 and calcium. Soy milk can be used like regular milk for drinking, cooking and baking.
A highly preferred milk substitutes these days, coconut milk is a plant-based milk made out of mature coconuts. It is a popular drink around the world and is known for its rich, sweet taste. It is a healthy food that not only substitutes dairy milk in most recipes but also contains unique nutrients.
Coconut milk is a great source of healthy fats along with manganese, folate, vitamin C, copper and other beneficial nutrients. Though the taste and texture of high-quality coconut milk resemble dairy milk, it is important to avoid commercially available products that can contain additives, flavors, preservatives and sugar. Make sure you always check the label of the product and select those that minimum additives.