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Dairy Or Dairy-Free? The Substitute For Milk Breakdown

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Is dairy bad for you? Learn the differences between dairy versus dairy-free milk, and the truth about the healthiest substitute for milk.

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Substitute For Milk Breakdown

If the grocery store could nominate one aisle for the most impressive before and after transformation in the last decade, then it would surely be the dairy aisle.

And ironically a third of the products are not even dairy.

With heightened attention to gut health and food sensitivities, milk protein and the sugar lactose found in cow’s milk being a few of the more common culprits, dairy free milk options have expoloded on the shelves.

But how do you know if cow’s milk may be causing you problems?

If you routinely experience abdominal cramping, gas, bloating or diarrhea after consuming cow’s milk, then lactose intolerance is a very real possibility.

But the best way to determine if cow’s milk is the culprit is to eliminate ONLY lactose from the diet for approximately one month and assess the difference in your symptoms.

In my virtual fitness and nutrition program, the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, we eliminate dairy and gluten from the diet for 6 weeks in order to give your gut a rest from dietary elements that may be unknowingly contributing to your bloating and digestive issues.

To be clear, cow’s milk is one of the most nutrient dense milk options on the shelves today and is an excellent option for most people and remains the number one recommendation for children.

However, like anything we put into our mouths, it is important to be mindful of what we are consuming and why.

There are many excellent dairy free alternatives that may be a great addition to the milk you routinely keep in your fridge or may even be preferable for your gut.

With so many dairy free milk options available, however, one may wonder which is best and what the nutritional breakdown really looks like between them all.

For more healthy living tips be sure to check out:

    Substitute For Milk Breakdown

    Almond Milk

    Almond milk calories per serving: 30 Net Carbs: 0g Fat: 3g Protein: 1g

    Is NOT naturally high in calcium.

    Low carb. Low protein.

    Unsweetened almond milk is a good option if you have high cholesterol or diabetes.

    Good for baking.

    A couple of my favorite recipes with almond milk include these this pancake recipe,

    Substitute For Milk Breakdown

    Cashew milk

    The Healthiest Milk Breakdown

    Cashew milk calories per serving: 25 Net Carbs: 1g Fat: 2g Protein: 1g

    Is NOT naturally high in calcium.

    Low carb. Low protein.

    Cashew milk is a good option for those with high cholesterol or diabetes.

    Substitute For Milk Breakdown

    Coconut Milk

    The Healthiest Milk Breakdown

    Coconut milk calories per serving: 45 Net Carbs: 1g Fat: 5g Protein: 0g

    Is NOT naturally high in calcium.

    Low carb. Low Protein.

    Coconut milk fat may be ok for those with high cholesterol.

    Canned coconut milk can be whipped or used instead of heavy whipping cream for baking.

    Substitute For Milk Breakdown

    Cow’s Milk

    The Healthiest Milk Breakdown

    Cow’s milk calories per serving: 100 Net Carbs: 12g Fat: 3g Protein: 8g

    Is a GOOD natural source of calcium.

    High carb. High protein.

    Cow milk is a good choice for those who are tolerant of lactose and the primary recommended milk for children. Cows milk is also a good choice for those looking to boost protein consumption.

    Ideal for cooking.

    Substitute For Milk Breakdown

    Goat Milk

    The Healthiest Milk Breakdown

    Goat milk calories per serving: 140 Net Carbs: 10g Fat: 8g Protein: 8g

    Is a GOOD natural source of calcium.

    High carb. High protein.

    Goats milk is not a good choice for those with high cholesterol or diabetes.

    Substitute For Milk Breakdown

    Hemp Milk

    The Healthiest Milk Breakdown

    Hemp milk calories per serving: 60 Net Carbs: 0g Fat: 5g Protein: 2g

    Is NOT naturally high in calcium.

    Low carb. Low protein.

    Hemp milk is a good option for those with high cholesterol or diabetes.

    Substitute For Milk Breakdown

    Oat Milk

    The Healthiest Milk Breakdown

    Oat Milk Calories per serving: 120 Net Carbs: 16g Fat: 5g Protein: 2g

    Is NOT naturally high in calcium.

    High carb. Low protein.

    Oat milk is not ideal for those with high cholesterol or diabetes.

    Substitute For Milk Breakdown

    Rice Milk

    The Healthiest Milk Breakdown

    Rice milk calories per serving: 42 Net Carbs: 8g Fat: 0g Protein: 1g

    Is NOT naturally high in calcium.

    High carb. Low protein.

    Rice milk is not ideal for those with diabetes.

    Not ideal for baking.

    Substitute For Milk Breakdown

    Soy Milk

    The Healthiest Milk Breakdown

    Soy milk calories per serving: 90 Net Carbs: 5g Fat: 5g Protein: 9g

    Is NOT naturally high in calcium.

    Higher carb. Higher protein.

    A good option for those with high cholesterol and diabetes.

    Milk And Milk Alternative FAQs

    What is the best milk substitute heavy cream?

    The best milk substitute for heavy cream is coconut milk.

    What is the best milk substitute baking?

    The best milk substitute for baking is soy milk or almond milk which can replace dairy milk 1:1..

    What is the best milk substitute half and half?

    The best milk substitutes for half and half include oat milk creamers, almond milk creamers, coconut milk creamers, chashew milk creamers, or soy milk creamers.

    What is the best milk substitute pancakes?

    The best milk substitute for pancakes is soy milk or almond milk.

    What is the best milk substitute mashed potatoes?

    The best milk substitute for mashed potatoes is soy milk or almond milk.

    What is the best milk substitute buttermilk?

    The best substitute for making buttermilk is soy milk.

    What is the best sweetened condensed milk substitute?

    The best sweetened condensed milk substitute is full fat coconut milk.

    Which milks have the highest protein per serving?

    The highest protein milk includes cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and soy milk.

    Which are the best low-carb milk options?

    The best low carb milk includes almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk assuming there is no added sugar.

    Which milk has the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids?

    Hemp milk has the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids.

    So which milk is the healthiest?

    Truthfully, I do not believe there is one milk that is innately the healthiest.

    Almond milk that has been loaded with added sugars is not inherently preferable to a glass of cow’s milk that is high in protein and calcium (assuming no allergies, of course).

    At this time no one in our family has demonstrated a sensitivity to dairy, so we drink cow’s milk and especially appreciate the protein density of nonfat Greek yogurt.

    That being said we have learned to restrict dairy in our home and have expanded our milk consumption to routinely include other non-dairy alternatives.

    As always be careful to avoid milk that has a lot of added sugar and prioritize milk products, dairy and dairy-free, that are natural without any artificial ingredients or added sweeteners.

    I hope this helps you the next time you walk down the dairy aisle!

    For more healthy living tips be sure to check out:

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      The Healthiest Milk Breakdown

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      Transcript

      The best milk substitute for heavy cream in my experience is the canned coconut milk. We have made recipes with canned coconut milk. I am on this mission to create the perfect scone and I am working on making it my own. And I’m gonna actually attempt coconut milk. Welcome to the imperfectly empowered podcast with DIY healthy lifestyle blogger on a former empowering you to transform your life. One imperfect day at a time. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. I’m your host, Anna Fuller. If the grocery store could nominate one aisle over the last decade, for the most impressive before and after transformation, it would surely have to be the dairy aisle and ironically a third of the product. Are not even dairy with heightened attention to gut health and food, sensitivities milk protein in the sugar. Uh, lactose found in cows milk, being a few of the more common culprits of poor gut health and food sensitivities dairy free milk options have exploded. On the shelves. I mean, we are getting milk out of everything. Every seed you can possibly think of every other animal we can possibly think of. But how do you know if cows milk may be causing you problems? First of all, this poor cow, what if the cow done wrong? Well, first of all, it’s even figure out if you are actually having a sensitivity to cows milk. If you routinely experience abdominal current pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea after consuming dairy, which is cows milk, then lactose intolerance may be a very real possibility for you. The best way to determine if cows milk is the culprit is to eliminate only lactose only dairy. Don’t be eliminating everything all at one time for approximately one month and assess the difference in your symptoms. I did an interview all about gut health with a gut health expert, just simply search gut health, and you’ll be able to find it. And we dove deep into how to properly eliminate food from your diet and then reintroduce. because that is a key to being able to see if you’re actually reacting to that particular element in your diet. Definitely check that out again. Just search gut health. It will come up this interview. It was absolutely. Phenomenal. We also talked about food testing, stuff that most people you just don’t realize or understand about gut health. It was excellent. I highly recommend that you check that out in my fitness and nutrition program. The reason I even took this deep dive into dairy versus non-dairy. Is because it is important at times to be able to see if there are certain elements to your diet that are actually causing gut problems in my fitness nutrition program, the faster way to fat loss with Anna, we eliminate dairy and gluten from the diet for the initial six weeks in order to give. Your gut digestive rest from dietary elements that may be contributing to digestive issues and poor gut health. They need to be reintroduced very slowly back into the diet. And again, that episode on gut health is an excellent one, but it resulted in a lot of questions. When I started coaching clients. Well is dairy bad for you. If I shouldn’t be drinking dairy, how do I know? What is the best substitute for milk? There’s a million options. Like I said, we’re squeezing milk out of everything. So the first thing that I want to make clear when we talk about dairy or non-dairy the healthiest substitute from milk, et cetera, to be clear, cows milk is oo. One of the most nutrient dense milk options on the shelve. Today, and it is an excellent option for most people. And don’t miss this remains the number one recommendation for children for a number of reasons. Please don’t miss that. However, like anything that we put into our mouths, it is important to be mindful of what we are consuming and. There are many excellent dairy free alternatives. That may be a great addition to the milk you routinely keep in your fridge, or may even be preferable for your gut. However, with so many dairy free milk options available, and this is not a comprehensive breakdown, but it certainly will give you much more information than you probably had before you listened to. One may wonder, which is the healthiest substitute for milk. What is, you know, dairy versus non-dairy the nutritional breakdown, et cetera. So we are gonna chat the substitute for milk breakdown. Start with almond milk, almond milk calories per serving 30 grams net carbs, zero grams fat, one gram protein. It is not naturally high in calcium. This is where dairy would be preferable. It is hiring calcium, calcium enriched. It is low carb. It is also low in protein. Unsweetened almond milk is a good option. In my opinion, if you have high cholesterol or diabetes, almond milk is generally considered good for baking. It is a one to one substitute. I did add a couple recipes on the blog posts that include almond milk that I especially enjoy. Pancakes by the way, almond milk is a great substitute for dairy and pancakes. Also, my baked oatmeal recipes can all be used with almond milk. In fact, it’s quite good with a low calorie, vanilla almond milk, all natural. By the way, make sure you’re reading your labels. None of that artificial nonsense, not necessary. Cashew milk. Again, we’re squeezing milk out of everything. Cashew milk calories per serving 25 calories, one gram net carbs, two grams fat, one gram protein. It is not naturally high in calcium. Again, this is another nut based milk. It is low car. It is also low protein cashew milk, I would say is also a good option for those with high cholesterol or diabetes, coconut milk, coconut milk has approximately 45 calories per serving. One gram net carbs, one five grams fat and zero grams of protein. It is not naturally high in calcium. It is low carb. It is low protein. Coconut milk fat may be okay for those with high cholesterol, but be careful. There’s a lot of saturated fat people that cook with coconut oil. I always just caution you to be aware of the fat. If you have high LDL, for example, in your cholesterol, just watch those saturated fats be mindful of your risk factors and what you’re eating. Canned coconut milk can be whipped or used instead of heavy whipping cream for baking. We have personally done this multiple times. We have a delicious ice cream recipe that is dairy free. Using canned coconut milk, cows milk, dairy cows milk calories per serving 112 grams net carbs, three grams fat, eight grams protein. I do apologize. I did not note whether or not that’s 2% whole milk. I don’t looking at this. It looks more like that. To me looks more like 2%. I’m not sure, but the bottom line, it is a better source of calcium. It is higher car, but is also higher protein. Cow’s milk is a good choice for those who are tolerant. Lactose meaning it does not inherently create digestive upset for you. It is definitely the primary recommended milk for children. Again, assuming there’s not lactose intolerance and it is a good choice for those looking to boost protein consumption, certainly ideal for cooking. I share this with my clients who do my program. We do not live dairy free in our house. We have learned to restrict dairy to be Frank. That’s more because of the overall fat content, cheese being a big one. I love me some cheese. Mm. I love cheese. However, knowing the risk factors in my family, we have restricted how much cheese we don’t use as much cheese as we used to. Um, but in order to meet. My daily protein requirements. Again, in my fitness nutrition program, we track macronutrients. That is the building blocks, the nutrient building blocks for your body proteins fat carbs. I being a little bit more advanced in tracking macros when I’m really looking to cut. That means to define my muscles even more, which I don’t do all the time by the. I’m not always looking to cut. I live with a healthy body fat percentage, but if I want to cut a little bit more, then I start tracking again. And my carbs are slightly less than like what my fitness, nutrition clients, the baseline would be. And my protein is slightly higher and I shoot for one gram of protein per pound of body weight. It’s a lot of protein. That’s like 130 grams of protein. That’s a lot of protein, even when I’m not trying to cut. The fact is I pretty much have to drink dairy to hit my protein goals. The key is picking the right dairy and making sure that it is not laid in with sugar. This is where people get into trouble. For those of us who are not intolerant, I think this is where dairy ultimately ends up causing problems is that we are consuming dairy that has a bunch of extra stuff in. So be very, very careful again, when it comes to what you are putting into your body, be mindful, be mindful. Be a good student of what your body is telling you. Goats milk. I’ll be honest. I’ve never had goats milk. I could not even tell you what this tastes like. It weirds me out, which is strange, right? Because I’ll drink milk from a cow. Why wouldn’t I drink milk from a goat? I’ve never had goats milk though. I love goat cheese. So I guess I have had it. Goat milk calories per serving. 140 calories, 10 grams, net carbs, eight grams fat, eight grams protein. This one’s basically high across the board. It is a good natural source of calcium. It is high carb, high protein. I would suggest goats milk is not a good option for those with high cholesterol or diabetes. I should also add for cows milk. Be very careful if you have high cholesterol or diabetes as well, I would not be recommending 2% and whole milk for you, especially because the skim milk and one. I would recommend because it is decreasing the overall saturated fat content while still protecting the protein. So I’ve never had goats milk just as milk. I love goat cheese. So I don’t, I don’t know guys. How does goat milk taste? Does anyone drink it, please re reply in the comments? I would love to know how does goat milk taste? You have tried it all worried. You will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoyed. Want to achieve fat loss without spending hours in a gym or eliminating entire food groups from your diet. Well, now you can, in the virtual faster way to fat loss with Anna, my six week fitness nutrition program, you will learn how to pair effective 30 minute workouts with all natural evidence based nutritional strategies to leverage what you eat. And when you eat to reset your metabolism and burn fat fast, even that stubborn belly. I am a dual certified nurse practitioner, passionate about teaching sustainable strategies to promote fat loss and prevent disease. I have cheered on thousands of clients who have done just that with the faster weight program in my six week program, the average client currently sheds seven inches of body fat. 93% report, more energy and 89% state that their mental health has improved 100% of clients report. They feel this program is sustainable. Curious to try the program, but not sure if the strategies will work for you. Try the faster way strategies for free head to www.hammersandhugs.com and sign up for. Free seven day fat loss accelerator course today and start your own transformation story. Hemp milk. I will be completely transparent with you. I did not even know this was a thing. Like I said, we are squeezing milk out of everything. We consume hemp parts, hemp parts are a superfood. We add them to eggs casserole. Those are the main things that I add. Hemp parts to. They’re like little shelled seeds, if you will. But apparently we can make milk out of them who knew, I didn’t know, help milk calories per serving 60 calories, zero grams, net carbs, five grams fat, two grams of protein. Here is the lovely thing with hemp. Milk is hemp and hemp. Heart are very high on omega-3 fatty acids. So. Interestingly, even though this one’s a little bit higher in fat, it is the fat that our body likes it would help boost the protective cholesterol. This is not naturally high in calcium Milo carb. It is lepro. I also don’t know how this tastes. I have no idea what this tastes like. Hemp milk would actually be a good option for those with high cholesterol or diabetes. Let me know. Have you guys had hemp milk? How does this taste? I need some taste testers here. Give me some feedback. I’m not sure how that taste either. I’ve never had it. Oat milk O milk calories per serving 120 calories. By the way, these servings are eight ounces. I should point that out. 16 grams net carbs, five grams fat, two grams. Protein, this one’s also not naturally high in calcium. This one is higher carb. Again, this is made out of oats. So quite literally it’s made out of oats, which would be higher in calories as well as carbohydrates. Again, this one’s also lower proteins. This is not going to help you reach your protein goals. I would not say Oak milk is ideal. If you have high cholesterol or diabetes, I Oak milk does taste very. O milk’s kind of a treat in my opinion. I enjoy this just drinking at plain. It’s richer for sure. I think this one’s a little bit more dense than some of the other options like almond milk can be very thin O milk to me is just it’s richer in flavor. I enjoy an all natural vanilla O milk is very, very good. Also good in coffee. In my opinion, O milk is rice milk, rice milk calories per serving 40. Eight grams, net carbs, zero grams fat, one gram protein, not naturally high in calcium. Again, high carb, low protein. Again, I would say rice milk, not ideal for those with diabetes. The bottom line, you guys, if it’s high in, in carbs, which is again, sugar. If you’ve not listed my macronutrient. Podcast episode, listen to that. I break down the macronutrient so that you understand sort of how the body sees fat protein, as well as carbs. I would not say rice milk is ideal for those with diabetes, especially cuz there’s no protein, there’s no protein here. So again, if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna drink a bunch of carbs in your glass, I would like to see a little bit more protein personally. Or some other nutrient density like hemp milk at least has the omega three fatty acids, rice milk, not ideal for baking soy milk. This one’s one, many people are familiar with soy milk calories per serving 90. Five grams, net carbs, five grams fat, nine grams protein, not high in calcium, higher carb, also higher protein. I would argue that this one is actually a decent option for those with high cholesterol and diabetes, there have been some protective properties shown in soy. Again, just be mindful of what you’re consuming is the bottom line. But this one I would argue does actually have a little bit more nutrient density than some of the other ones, for example. So let’s talk about some of the most frequently asked questions about milk and milk. Alternatives. I have gotten many, many questions. And again, I am not a dairy free alternative expert. We do not have food sensitivities, at least not obvious ones in our family. So a lot of these have just been trial and error in my own personal experience. Uh, some of these I’ve researched over the last several years as clients would ask me these questions and not also share some of my own experiences. What is the best milk substitute for heavy cream? The best milk substitute for heavy cream in my experience is coconut milk. The canned coconut milk. We have made recipes with canned coconut milk. I actually have I’ll share in real time. I am like on this mission to create the perfect scone. I actually message some of my friends in great Britain. For those of you that didn’t know, I actually grew up in Scotland. A little known fact about me. I grew up in Scotland for the first several years of my life, um, until I was five. And so I still have some friends over there and I sent them a message and I said, okay, I want a traditional scone recipe. Send me what you got, send me what your family has. And I am working on making it my own, but based on the traditional, straight from. Straight from great Britain and I’m gonna actually attempt coconut milk because again, knowing our risk factors, heavy cream, not so good for those of us with predispositions to high cholesterol. So I’m curious to see if coconut milk tastes as amazing as I think it will. It certainly was incredible in our homemade ice cream recipes. So anyway, best milk substitute for heavy cream, I would say is the canned coconut milk. What is the best milk substitute baking. Generally speaking agreed upon the best milk substitute for baking is soy milk or almond milk, which can replace dairy one to one. I can’t say I’ve had much experience using soy milk. I have certainly used almond milk. It is very effective. I’ve not found it as effective in bread. For example, like bread recipes, but baking recipes like cake or my baked oatmeal almond milk has been great. What is the best milk substitute for half and half? There is 1,000,001. Dairy free creamers out there. Now a lot of people could weigh in on this. What is your favorite milk substitute for half and half? Meaning what is your favorite dairy free creamer? My clients have had tons of suggestions over the last couple years. The O milk creamers are really good, but there’s O milk almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, soy milk. Any of them make for relatively good creamers. I loved O milk. I had this O milk creamer that I thought. So good, but it was just me taste testing. In reality, I actually drank my coffee black. I will also say this in my experience. Please share with me if you have a good alternative for people that are dairy free. I have yet to find a really good dairy free. Creamer that whips well, or I should even say a dairy free milk that whips really well, canned coconut milk being the exception. But for example, I make myself, um, lattes the recipes on the blog, low carb cinnamon latte. It is absolutely delicious. I add a little tiny scoop of collagen powder to it. It’s nutrient dense. I love it, but I use half and half. I mean, it’s like the tiniest bit of half and half. You don’t need a lot to whip, but I have yet to find a dairy free. I actually tried multiple products to help out my clients and. I could not find anything that whipped well, so if you, other than like full on coconut milk, which is also relatively high end fat and very little protein, let me know if you know of something that whips well, for me, half and half is still the best option. I can’t find better one, but please drop it in the comments. What is the best milk substitute for making pancakes, uh, soy milk or almond milk. This is true of baking again. Almond milk has been my personal experience. Best milk substitute for mashed potatoes. Some of you might be laughing. These are so random, but Hey, these are real life questions that I’ve gotten. Real life questions, potatoes again, soy milk, almond milk, maybe O milk. Would O milk taste good. A mashed potatoes, soy milk, and almond milk. For sure. Maybe O milk. What is the best milk substitute to make buttermilk this one I had to look up. I have never tried this. It sounds like generally speaking, the recommendation here is soy milk. For buttermilk the best sweetened, condensed milk substitute in my experiences. Again, the like full fat coconut milk, the coconut milk in a can it’s so, so creamy, which milks have the highest protein per serving highest protein includes cows milk, goats, milk and soy milk. If you are really trying to reach those protein goals, those would be my recommendations. What are the best low carb milk options? The best low carb milk options would include almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk. Again, read your labels. This is making sure that there’s no added sugar. And then there’s hemp milk, which has the very unique element of having the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. This would be the only milk to this degree. I would say that has the healthiest fat. Hemp milk. So which milk is the healthiest, which milk is the healthiest. I have gotten this question multiple times at the end of the day, I address this a little bit, which milk is the healthiest. Truthfully, I do not believe there is a one size fits all milk option. Despite what fitness nutrition programs might allude to, despite what certain fad diets might allude to. I do think dairy is a very real issue for many people. Again, I am going to suggest, I think it is a lot of times the additives that come with dairy products, whether they be natural or not just the added sugar that we consume in so many dairy products, I think is as much the culprit for many people, not all for many people or we’re over consuming, dairy, especially high fat dairy. So I don’t feel that there’s anything inherently wrong with dairy milk, but understand what else you are consuming with it. And here’s the reality almond milk that has been loaded with added sugars. In my opinion, is not inherently preferable to a glass of all natural cows milk. That’s high in protein and calcium. Again, like I said, at this time known in our family has demonstrated a sensitivity to dairy. So we do drink cows milk and we especially appreciate the protein density of like a non-fat Greek yogurt, for example. Protein is the nutritional key to unlocking sustainable fat loss. You haven’t heard me say that yet. It is true. Lean protein is crucial and non-fat dairy products have been a huge, a huge element to us, or I should say low fat dairy to helping reach those protein goals and sustaining lean mean muscle and fat. That being said, we have learned to restrict dairy in our home, especially the low nutrient density dairy. We have expanded our milk consumption to routinely include other non-dairy alternatives as always be careful to avoid milk products of any type that have a lot of added sugar and prioritize products that are dairy or dairy free that are natural without any artificial ingredients or add. Sweeteners. I hope this helps you. The next time you walk down the dairy aisle and you are feeling really overwhelmed. Remember this flag, this, send this along, please add your comments below. Any other thoughts that you may have or love to hear them drop them in the comments. Thanks for listening to this episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. I would love to hear your. From today, head to your preferred podcasting platform and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think. Remember, you cannot be redefined only redeveloped one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.

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