Some years ago, people with allergies to cow protein or suffering from lactose intolerance only had the option of non-dairy drinks in specialized stores. Currently, we can find them in any supermarket, and we also have a variety of alternatives. Below, we describe and compare the main alternatives to milk drinks.
Soya contains isoflavones, a compound that helps to prevent the loss of bone mass. Soya drinks contain a 9 and 14% of soya bean according to the manufacturer. We can find it with no additives although most of them contain calcium compounds and vitamins for a complete nutritional drink. The soya drink without being enriched provides 3-mg/100 ml. of calcium, while if it is enriched provides 120-mg/100 ml. The same amount of calcium as cow’s milk.
The energy value and the content of saturated fat and protein are similar to the skimmed cow’s milk, and sugar content is lower, except for the flavoured soya drink.
Furthermore, it is not advisable an excessive and usual drinking for pregnant women, children or adolescents. Its composition in isoflavones, particularly genistein, is related to the development of hormonal changes that can affect the development of children, or even cause foetal malformation.
Oat contains a high amount of dietary fibre and vitamin B complex. Some studies show that a regular consumption of this cereal reduces cholesterol levels.
In general, oat drink contains only 14% of oats and 0.5 g of total fibre. This amount is negligible because experts recommend a daily intake of 25-30g total fibres.
On the other hand, it is ideal for low-calorie diets, as its energy value and sugar content are similar to cow’s milk, and it contains less fat than soya drink.
It includes approximately 5% of almond, and the rest is made up with water and additives. Manufacturers often add sugar to hide its bitter taste. People usually appreciate its high content of carbohydrates (all sugars most of them).
It is the most caloric alternative compared to the rest. Its energy value is similar to whole cow’s milk.
Its protein content is significantly lower than that of cow’s milk and soya drink. Consequently, it is ideal for people who must follow a low protein diet.
It is a good alternative for persons with allergies to nuts and soya beans. Its composition is low in fat while its energy value and sugar content are similar to the almond drink.
The rice drink is low in protein, perfect for restricted protein diets.
As in other non-dairy beverages, it is low in minerals and vitamins naturally. It is better to choose enriched products containing essential microelements, or even more than cow’s milk.
- Choose enriched drinks, especially calcium, as the primary source of this mineral is milk. You can consume at least 800 mg. per day.
- Avoid drinks with added sugar.
- If you do not have allergies, intolerance or any other reasons, do not remove milk from your daily diet. It is a natural source of vitamins and minerals.
- It is best to switch between the whole varieties of drinks. Within the variety, you can find nutritional perfection.
Diploma in infirmary