Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Nondairy Milk Alternatives

Leslie Beck does an interesting article, What you need to know about 'other' milk, on the Toronto Globe and Mail website.

She focuses on the nutritional aspects of soy, rice, and nut milks.

Soy beverages

Whether soy helps prevent heart disease or guards against cancer remains to be proven. But this popular milk alternative, made from whole soybeans or soy protein concentrate, is considered a nutritionally adequate alternative to cow's milk thanks to its protein content. A 250 ml serving of soy beverages supplies six to nine grams of protein, depending on the brand (250 ml of milk provides 8.5 grams of protein).

Choose a soy beverage with at least eight grams of protein per serving.

Many flavoured soy beverages have protein numbers at the lower end of the range since adding sugar -- evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, maltodextrin, et cetera -- dilutes the protein content.

More sugar also means more calories.

If instead you choose the chocolate-flavoured version, you'll consume 160 calories and 24 grams (six teaspoons) of sugar.

Soy beverages labelled "original" or "plain" aren't sugar-free; they contain five to 10 grams of sugar per 250 ml serving. Unsweetened soy beverages contain no added sugars.

Rice beverages

Fortified rice beverages have a slightly sweet taste and are largely a source of carbohydrates.

They're made from filtered water, brown rice and sunflower oil and are typically fortified with vitamins and minerals. Rice beverages are low in protein so they aren't a nutritional replacement for milk. If you use rice beverages as a substitute for dairy, be sure to get protein from a wide variety of other foods.

Almond beverages

Almonds are a good source of magnesium, vitamin E and monounsaturated fats -- all of which may benefit the heart.

But the actual amount of almonds used in almond-based beverages is small.

Don't expect to lower your blood cholesterol by drinking this milk alternative.

Most brands supply two grams of protein per serving, so be sure to get it from other foods.

There is also a short chart on the page that compares calories, protein, fat, and saturated fat for generic versions of these alternative "milks." She gives a source of "MANUFACTURERS AND CANADIAN NUTRIENT FILE, 2005." However, not only will these numbers vary from brand to brand, but most brands have several or even dozens of varieties of products, with deliberately different characteristics. Don't go by this chart, but be sure to check the nutrition labeling on individual products.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: