What to Look for in a Non-Dairy Beverage

March 11, 2019
Nutrition

In recent years, non-dairy “milks” have exploded in popularity. While many look similar to cow’s milk, they vary considerably in taste and nutrition. There are many reasons people choose to go dairy-free. Whether you have a dairy allergy, want to use fewer animal products, or simply prefer the taste, knowing what to look for on a label will ensure you don’t compromise your nutrition in the process.

𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐢𝐧 is a building nutrient that supports muscle and bone health. It also helps us feel fuller, making it a worthwhile nutrient to check on labels. While dairy milk provide about 9 grams per cup, most non-dairy drinks provide only 1 or 2 grams at most.  Soy is the exception to this rule. It’s the closest cousin to dairy, clocking in at a respectable 8 grams of protein per cup.

𝐒𝐮𝐠𝐚𝐫 content varies considerably between different products and brands. You’ll find it listed on labels in grams. Divide this by four to get the sugar content in teaspoons. For example, 8 grams of sugar is equivalent to 2 teaspoons.  When it comes to sugar, less is more. Choose unsweetened varieties and give added sugar a miss.

Finally, it’s worth considering 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐜𝐢𝐮𝐦. Not all non-dairy beverages are a good source and some contain none at all. Products with 30% of the daily value (DV) for calcium are comparable to cow’s milk.

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