Got Milk Allergies?

Aug. 172022

For those with a dairy allergy or who suffer from lactose intolerance, the growing dairy alternative section is a welcome sight. A category once dominated by soy and rice milk, now features flaxseed, oat, cashew, coconut, hazelnut, almond, pea, hemp, and likely more to come. You may be thinking that you didn’t know you can get milk from nuts and seeds, and indeed you can’t, which is why these products are technically non-dairy beverages (and why the dairy industry wants to maintain a narrow definition of “milk”).

What should we consider when choosing a non-dairy beverage? As with any packaged product, it’s essential to start with the nutrition facts panel and decide what’s best for you.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Only soymilk offers the same amount of protein as cow’s milk (8 grams/8-ounce serving). With the exception of hemp milk, other non-dairy alternatives offer about 1-gram protein/serving.
  • While only cow’s milk has naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, all non-dairy beverages are fortified to be excellent sources of calcium, B12, and vitamin D.
  • Unsweetened, non-dairy beverages are lower in carbohydrate than cow’s milk (except for rice milk).
  • How much sugar is in your non-dairy beverage? Read the nutrition facts panel carefully to ensure your drink of choice is low in added sugar, especially if it’s being served to children. Sugar-containing beverages are a significant source of added sugar and calories in children’s diets.



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