Plant-based milks have been gaining popularity over the years, with more people turning to them as a healthy and sustainable alternative to dairy milk. They are naturally lactose-free, mostly low in saturated fat, and can be a good source of plant-based protein. Furthermore, producing plant-based milks require fewer resources, which can have a lower environmental impact compared to dairy milk.
There are various plant-based milks available, including soy, almond, oat, hemp, macadamia, rice, and coconut milk. However, it is essential to note that not all plant-based milks are nutrient-rich. Therefore, it is worth knowing the facts before deciding if your chosen plant milk is a like-for-like replacement.
Benefits of Plant-Based Milk
- Most plant-based milks are naturally low in saturated fat, which can be beneficial for heart health.
- They are naturally lactose-free, making them an excellent option for people who are lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies.
- Plant-based milks are suitable for people who follow a vegan diet as they are free from animal products.
- They can be nutrient-rich if they are fortified with vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin D, and B12.
- Producing plant-based milks require less land, water, and other resources compared to dairy milk, which offers a lower environmental impact.
Downsides of Plant-Based Milk
- Plant-based milks typically have lower protein content than dairy milk, which can be a concern for some people, especially those who rely on milk as a source of protein.
- Sugar, other sweeteners, and additives might be used to improve their taste and texture, which may be undesirable for some people.
- Some plant-based milks, such as coconut, rice, and oat milk, can be higher in kilojoules than reduced-fat dairy milk, which may be a consideration for those who are trying to manage their weight.
- Plant-based milks can be more expensive than dairy milk.
- Some people find that plant-based milks have a different taste or texture compared to dairy milk, which may be less desirable.
Best Plant-Based Milks if you’re on the Jenny Craig Plan:
Soy milk is an excellent alternative to dairy milk as it is made from whole soybeans or soy protein. It provides a range of nutrients and plant compounds that can be beneficial to your health.
Soy milk is an excellent way to get some plant-based protein, which is essential for your body to build and maintain muscle and other tissues. If you choose a brand with added calcium, you’ll be contributing to the health of your bones and teeth.
Soy milk also contains isoflavones, also known as phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that have been linked to several health benefits. They may help reduce the risk of heart disease, and they may offer some alleviation of menopausal symptoms in women, amongst other benefits.
Almond milk is also a great option as it offers potential nutritional benefits. It is naturally low in kilojoules, lactose-free, and low in saturated fat.
If you choose a brand with added calcium, it can also contribute to maintaining good bone health.
On the Jenny Craig menus, soy milk or almond milk can be used as an alternative to dairy milk. However, keep in mind the following:
- These milks are not naturally rich in calcium, so read the label to look for added calcium, ideally around 100mg of calcium per 100mL.
- Almond milk is lower in protein, so you’ll need to speak with your weight loss coach to balance this on your menu.
- Plant-based milks often have sugar added to enhance the flavour, look for no added sugar.
Overall, plant-based milks can be a healthy and sustainable alternative to dairy milk for many people, but it’s important to choose a variety that fits your nutritional needs and preferences.
Read labels to look for added calcium, choose options without added sugar and of course find the one that you enjoy the taste of.