What’s the difference? Comparing whole milk with plant milk

People avoid traditional cow’s milk for many reasons. Some people have ethical concerns about consuming animal products. Individuals may be lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy, while others simply don’t like the taste of cow’s milk. Though it might once have been difficult to find alternatives to cow’s milk at the grocery store, the growing number of people who avoid it has led to something of a boom in dairy alternatives. As a result, it’s now easy for consumers to find various alternatives to cow’s milk when shopping for groceries. According to the American Society for Nutrition, plant-based milk alternatives like oat milk and pea protein milk bear some interesting similarities and differences to traditional whole milk from cows.

• One cup of oat milk has nearly as many calories as one cup of whole milk, as the ASN notes that the former checks in at 130 calories compared to the 148 calories in one cup of whole milk. The online medical resource Healthline notes the difference in calories is more significant among other popular milk alternatives. For example, one cup of unsweetened almond milk contains just 40 calories, while unsweetened soy milk contains about 80 calories.

• Not surprisingly, the fat content in many milk alternatives is considerably lower than it is in whole milk. The ANS reports that most milk alternatives contain anywhere from 25 to 63 percent of the fat of cow’s milk. For example, one cup of unsweetened rice milk contains just 2 grams of fat compared to the 8 grams found in a single cup of whole milk.

• Most milk alternatives contain significantly less sugar than whole milk. Healthline notes that unsweetened almond milk actually contains zero grams of sugar compared to the 12 grams of sugar found in one cup of whole milk. However, the ANS notes that one cup of oat milk (17 grams) and one cup of hazelnut milk (13 grams) actually contain more sugar than one cup of whole milk.

• Only soybean, pea and flaxseed milk contain as much or more protein as whole milk. Whole milk contains 8 grams of protein, which is the same amount that’s found in pea milk and flaxseed milk. Soybean milk contains 9 grams of protein, while unsweetened almond milk contains 2 grams of protein and unsweetened rice milk contains zero grams of protein.

• One cup of coconut milk (15 micrograms) contains considerably less sodium than one cup of whole milk (105 micrograms).

People considering milk alternatives for purely nutritional purposes can conduct their own research to ensure they’re making the most informed decision possible.


Treehouse Milk, treehousemilk.com


Mountain Fresh Creamery

6615 Cleveland Hwy, Clermont, GA

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