Non-Dairy Milk Comparison: Compare Plant-Based Milks
We analyzed nine non-dairy milk alternatives to find the best non-dairy milk alternative for people following a plant-based diet.
Non-dairy milk alternatives available for comparison:
- Almond Milk
- Oat Milk
- Soy Milk
- Cashew Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Rice Milk
- Barley Milk
- Pea Milk
- Macadamia Milk
By carefully comparing all these plant milks, we’ve created 36 comparisons.
To read the comparison, use the dropdowns below to choose the milks you like to compare and click the button “Compare”.
At the end of each comparison, there are links to related pages, so you can easily continue your journey of finding the dairy alternative that’s working best for you.
How We Compared Non-Dairy Milks?
To create the comprehensive non-dairy milks comparison, we took macronutrients and micronutrients into account.
Each comparison contains the data in the tables so you can easily compare them.
As a word of caution, it is worth mentioning that there are many producers and brands of plant-based milks.
There are so many different products on the market, but you can also make homemade non-dairy milk.
That said, we’ve used the USDA data for non-fortified products whenever possible. In addition, every comparison contains information and links to USDA raw data, so you always know exactly which products have been compared.
For macronutrients and energy information, in our comparisons, you’ll be able to find out the following:
- Total Fat
Although there are three macronutrients, fat, carbs, and protein, we’ve gone beyond that and included fiber and sugars as well since they are an important part of a healthy plant-based diet.
Some non-dairy milk alternatives are naturally higher in sugars, even without added sugars, such as oat milk.
It would be best if you always tried to choose products without added sugars and high in dietary fiber, and plant-based milks are not an exception.
Consuming foods high in dietary fiber provides many health benefits.
It provides a sense of fullness, prevents constipation, helps regulate sugar levels, reduces insulin spikes, lowers total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and promotes heart health.
On the other hand, coconut milk is naturally high in fat but low in carbs.
Higher fat content isn’t a bad thing on its own.
However, it should be noted that 1 gram of carbs and protein contains 4 calories, while 1 gram of fats contains nine calories, which might be an essential characteristic for people who are trying to lose or get weight.
People on a plant-based diet often find protein content important when choosing the right product for their needs.
Vitamins and minerals are often called micronutrients because our body needs much smaller amounts than macronutrients.
There are many different vitamins and minerals, and we’ve covered important micronutrients for people on a plant-based diet:
- Vitamin B-12: It plays an important role in forming red blood cells, transporting oxygen to all body parts, and maintaining brain functions.
- Calcium: This essential mineral is crucial for maintaining optimum bone health. It plays a key role in nerve signaling, muscle function, and heart health.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium in the body. A deficiency could lead to osteoporosis, increased risk of fractures, heart diseases, and cancer.
- Iron: Iron is an important mineral involved in several body functions, including the supply of energy to the cells and the transport of oxygen to the tissues through the bloodstream, secretion of some hormones, and support the energy production.
- Magnesium: Healthy magnesium levels are important for sleep quality, nervous system function, glucose usage, and healthy blood pressure.
- Phosphorous: Similarly to calcium, phosphorus is an essential nutrient for keeping bones and teeth healthy, and teeth. It also plays a key role in energy production and the formation of DNA and RNA.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A, or retinol, is important for our immune system and eye health and acts as an antioxidant.
- Sodium: Salt is one of the electrolytes important for overall health, but since a modern diet is already high in sodium, you should probably try to reduce its intake rather than increase it.
As mentioned before, we’ve used USDA data for the primary, non-fortified versions of products without added sugar, but it’s completely fine to choose the fortified ones.
Most commonly, non-dairy milk products are fortified with vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D, which is usually good since these nutrients are tricky to get on a plant-based diet.
However, you should always check labels thoroughly to be sure how much of these micronutrients the product contains so you don’t end up with a particular micronutrient deficiency.
What They Are and How They Are Made
Although non-dairy milks are often produced in a similar way, each comparison starts with a section that discusses the basic information: what they are and how they are made.
This is an important thing for fully understanding one type of non-dairy product.
Some plant-based milks, such as almond or soy milk, are made simply by grounding or soaking the nuts and legumes. These milks are easily made at home.
On the other side, pea milk is complicated to make, and almost impossible to make at home.
Comparing Non-Dairy Milks for Weight Loss, Taste and Best Uses
After comparing micro and macronutrients, we’ve taken a look at other characteristics, such as their effect on weight loss, taste, and best uses.
Regarding weight loss, the “calories in – calories out” method is proven to work the best, so this section compares the energy (caloric) value of desired drinks. A dedicated team also discusses the taste and best uses of each milk.
Some plant milks better mimic the taste and structure of dairy milk, some are creamy and perfect for a curry, while some are an excellent option for making coffee.
Finding the right non-dairy milk might sound like an overwhelming task, especially when you’re just starting with a plant-based diet.
Having that in mind, we’ve compared the nine most popular dairy milk alternatives and published 36 plant-based milks comparisons to help you choose the right beverage.
We’re looking forward to your feedback on improving the comparisons further, so please feel free to use the feedback section at the end of every article to let us know if you like an article or not, whether it was helpful or not, and how we can further improve it.
If you prefer reading an in-depth article about each of these plant-based milks, you can use the links below:
- It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
- We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
- It's regularly updated.
Read more about our process and team.
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