Get the Skinny on Milk Alternatives

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WGNO) -- Plain old cow's milk is getting more and more competition in the dairy case, with options ranging from coconut milk to flax milk and more.


• non-dairy milk alternatives can be appealing to those looking for vegan alternatives, as well as those with lactose intolerance or milk protein allergies. many are also much lower in calories, compared to cow's milk
• taste, appearance, and texture vary widely; it comes down to personal preference for most people


Compare labels for:

• calories. calories can range from 25 to 170 calories per cup.
• protein. compared to 8 grams protein in cow`s milk, many non-milk alternatives fall short with just as little as zero to one gram of protein.
• calcium. look for products fortified with at least 30% dv for calcium
• vitamin d. look for products with at least 25% dv for vitamin d
• added sugar. some non-milk alternatives can be filled with added sugars, so look for milks labeled as unsweetened, or naturally sweetened with low-calorie stevia or monkfruit.


Molly's top picks on shelves:

Compare to one cup nonfat milk: 90 calories, 12 grams carbs, 12 grams sugar, 8 grams protein, 30% dv calcium, 25% dv vitamin d


Almond milk: Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla
• per cup: 40 calories, 1 gram carb, 0 sugar, 1 gram protein, 45% calcium, 25% vitamin D
• ingredients include filtered water, almonds, sea salt, carrageenan, sunflower lecithin...

Flax milk: Good Karma Flax Milk Protein + Unsweetened Vanilla
• per cup: 50 calories, 2 grams carb, 0 sugar, 5 grams protein
• ingredients include: flax milk, pea protein, tapioca starch, vanilla extract, sea salt, guar gum, xanthan gum

Cashew milk: Silk Cashew Milk Unsweetened
• per cup: 25 calories, 1 gram carbohydrate, 0 sugar, <1 gram protein
• ingredients include water, cashews, sea salt, locust bean gum, almond butter, gellan gum...

Coconut milk: Silk Coconut Unsweetened
• per cup: 45 calories, <1 gram carb, 0 sugar, 0 protein, 45% dv calcium, 25% dv vitamin d
• ingredients include coconut milk (water, coconut cream), carrageenan, yam flour

Soy milk: 365 Soy Milk Unsweetened
• per cup: 80 calories, 4 grams carbohydrate, <1 gram sugar, 7 grams protein
• ingredients include non-gmo soymilk, locus bean gum, sea salt, gellan gum