Plant-based milk products are alternatives to dairy milk that mimic both its color and texture. There are many different types of plant-based milks, such as soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, hemp milk and cashew milk.

 

Plant-based milks satisfy a large market, including people with lactose intolerances or allergies, vegans, the environmentally conscious, and the health conscious.

 

Health Benefits 

 

There are many health benefits of using plant-milks as a dairy alternative. Plant-based milks are generally lower in calories, fat, and sugar than their dairy counterparts. They also do not contain cholesterol and contain healthy fats. In addition, their rich nutrient profiles rival dairy milk.

 

Popular plant-based milks and their nutrient profiles

**based on 1 cup serving, unsweetened**

 

Almond Milk – 30 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 1 gram protein

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Potassium

Coconut Milk – 45 calories, 4 grams fat, 0 grams protein

  • Vitamin A
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D

Soy Milk – 80 calories, 4 grams fat, 7 grams protein

  • Most similar nutritional profile to dairy milk
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B12

Oat Milk – 130 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 4 grams protein

  • B-vitamins
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Potassium

 

 

Plant-based milks are much more environmentally friendly than dairy milks. The carbon dioxide emissions and water usage are significantly lower in plant-based milk production than dairy milk production. For example, producing one liter of plant-based milk results in approximately 400 grams of carbon dioxide emissions, while producing one liter of dairy milk emits closer to 1,500 grams of carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, water use when making dairy milk is over double that of the production of almond milk, which demands the most water input of all plant-based milks.