There’s loads of reasons why you might want to stop drinking cow’s milk. It could be that you’re giving a vegan diet a go or perhaps the lactose in traditional milk leaves you feeling bloated. Whatever the reason, there’s no shortage of alternatives on the market these days, so you’re sure to find one to suit your lifestyle and tastes.
You’ve probably given soy milk a go, because it was one of the first milk alternatives to become widely available in the UK. If so, you’ll know it’s got quite a strong flavour! As the name suggests, it comes from soybeans and can reduce the risk of heart disease, so crack on if you don’t mind the taste.
When deciding if soy milk is for you, try both the sweetened and unsweetened versions. Soy is a great substitute milk for your latte and with a fraction of the calories, it might be worth a shot. Also, be aware that some people have allergies to soy, so approach with caution.
It’s safe to say that almond milk is something of a super star in the milk alternative world with many drinkers falling for its creamy texture. This makes it a good stand-in for cow’s milk, but with just a third of the calories – win-win.
While it’s a good source of vitamin E, it doesn’t have a lot of other vitamins and minerals naturally, so plump for fortified almond milk if you’re going to be drinking it regularly. Almond milk is usually ground almonds, water and some added sweetener – simple.
If you’re looking into milk alternatives because you have intolerances to dairy, gluten, nuts and soy, then rice milk is a good way to go. It’s the most hypoallergenic option, but is high in carbs and low in protein.
Many people find it a bit watery compared to cow’s milk, but if you suffer from allergies it will be your saviour. Just don’t try and bake with it – that cake will not turn out right!
A firm favourite with vegans, coconut milk feels a lot like whole milk in the mouth, due to its high fat content. You can pour it on your cornflakes and bake with it – yay – knowing that it’s dairy, soy and gluten-free.
Even though it’s chocked full of potassium, it doesn’t have as much calcium or protein as cow’s milk, so vegans need to look for these nutrients elsewhere. Do expect to be wooed by its nutty flavour though.
Somehow even the name of flax milk screams health at you and you wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that it’s good for you. This high-fibre milk alternative is great for everything from lowering blood pressure and preventing heart attacks to turning back the time on hardened blood vessels.
Like many things that are good for us, you can tell from the taste and the texture. Flax milk is quite thin and some varieties are heavily sweetened, so contain quite a lot of sugar. Find the right one and it could be worth it for the health benefits. Or not? It’s up to you.
They make milk alternatives out of just about anything these days, including hulled hemp seeds. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, it’s great for the brain and heart, but doesn’t have a lot of calcium in it naturally, so fortified versions are a good bet.
Hemp milk tends to be more expensive than some of the other options, but its distinctive flavour appeals to some people, so it’s a question of taste. It’s suitable for you if you are intolerant to soy, gluten or nuts, so it’s definitely worth a try.