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Milk and vegetable drinks compared


Alternatives to cow's milk

Il Cow's milk is available with different fat percentages: whole milk, semi-skimmed (2 percent, 1 percent), skimmed (fat-free) and lactose-free milk. For people with different dietary or allergic needs, there are also alternatives to cow's milk on the market. I am vegetable drinks obtained from cereals or dried fruit. Among the most popular ones we find those based on almonds, oats, soy, rice and coconut.

Each type of milk has beneficial nutritional properties and contraindications, which vary depending on a person's diet, health status, nutritional needs or personal taste preferences. For example, some people may be intolerant to vaccine proteins and may need to choose a plant-based alternative. Those who need to increase their calorie and nutrient intake can opt for whole milk, which is a concentrated source of protein, fat and calories.

However, whole milk and coconut vegetable drink are high in fat and calories. Whole cow's milk contains more calories and saturated fat than any other milk except goat's milk.

To know more:
Vegetable drinks made from soy, rice, oats and almonds: why don't they say milk anymore?

Cow's milk: characteristics

Whole milk has the highest fat content of all types of milk. One cup contains approximately:

None of the natural components of milk are removed. Whole milk is rich in natural proteins, fats and calcium. While whole milk has 150 calories in a cup, 1% low-fat milk has 110 calories, and skim milk has 80 calories. Fat-free milk is significantly lower in calories than whole milk. However, removing fat reduces the amount of some nutrients in milk, including vitamins E and K.

Lactose-free milk is processed to remove lactose, a natural sugar found in dairy products. Lactose-free milk is also a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals.

Milk is among the foods richest in selenium.

Milk helps fight osteoporosis, which can now be diagnosed with a new osteoporosis test.

pros and cons

The pros of cow's milk

  • Whole milk can provide essential proteins, vitamins and minerals.
  • Lactose-free versions are available for people who have a lactose intolerance.

The cons of cow's milk

  • Whole milk is high in calories and fat.
  • Many people are lactose intolerant.
  • It involves ethical issues on modern dairy farming practices.

Vegetable almond drink

The almond vegetable drink is obtained from chopped almonds and filtered water. It may also contain starches and thickeners to improve its consistency and shelf life. It has a lower caloric intake than other milks, as long as it is not sweetened. It is also free of saturated fat and is naturally lactose free.

One cup of unsweetened almond drink has:

  • 30 to 60 calories
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates (sweetened varieties have more)
  • 3 grams of fat
  • 1 gram of protein

Although almonds are a good source of protein, the drink is not, especially for calcium. However, many brands spike the almond drink with calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D.

pros and cons

I pro

  • It's at low in calories.
  • It is typically fortified to be a good source of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
  • It is vegan and naturally lactose free.

Vegetable soy drink

The vegetable soy drink is obtained from soybeans and filtered water. Like other milk alternatives, it may contain thickeners to improve texture and shelf life.

One cup of unsweetened soy drink has:

  • about 80-100 calories
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates (sweetened varieties have more)
  • 4 grams of fat
  • 7 grams of protein

Since it is of plant origin, the soy drink is naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fats. It also does not contain lactose. Soybeans and soybean drink are a good source of protein, calcium (if fortified), and potassium.

pros and cons

I pro

  • It is a good source of potassium and can be fortified with vitamins A, B-12, and D, as well as calcium.
  • It contains as much protein as cow's milk, but has fewer calories than whole milk and about the same calories as skim milk.
  • Contains very little saturated fat.

The cons

  • Soy is a common allergen for both adults and children.

Vegetable rice drink

The vegetable rice drink is obtained from milled rice and water. Like other milk alternatives, it often contains additives to improve texture and stability. It is a good choice for people with lactose intolerance or allergies to milk, soy or nuts.

The rice drink contains the most carbohydrates per cup, providing approximately:

  • 120 calorie
  • 22 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fat
  • little protein (less than 1 gram)

While the rice drink may be fortified with calcium and vitamin D, it is not a natural source of either, just like soy and almond drinks. Rice has also been shown to have higher levels of inorganic arsenic.

pros and cons

I pro

  • It is the least allergenic of the milk alternatives.
  • It can be fortified to be a good source of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D.
  • It is naturally sweeter than other milk alternatives.

The cons

  • It is high in carbohydrates, so it is the least desirable choice for people with diabetes.
  • It is not a good source of protein.

Vegetable coconut drink

The coconut-based drink is obtained from filtered water and coconut cream, which is made from grated mature coconut meat. It is called “coconut milk drink” which differs as a more diluted product compared to the type of coconut milk used in cooking, which is usually sold in cans. Like other plant-based milk alternatives, it often contains thickeners and other added ingredients.

The coconut drink contains more fat than other milk alternatives. Each unsweetened cup contains:

  • about 50 calories
  • 2 grams of carbohydrates
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein

Coconut milk drink does not naturally contain calcium, vitamin A, or vitamin D. However, it can be fortified with these nutrients.

Banana milk is also among the most popular vegetable milks.

pros and cons

I pro

  • It is safe for most people with nut allergies.
  • It can be fortified for being a good source of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D.

The cons

  • It is not a good source of protein.
  • May contain carrageenan, which may cause digestive problems in some people.
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