REAL LIFE

Solving the dairy-free dilemma

What to do when cow's milk is a no-go.

Whether it’s because of lifestyle choices, dairy intolerances, weight concerns or taste preferences, more and more people are ditching dairy in favour of milk alternatives. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular choices.

First thing’s first: Cow’s milk is high in calcium and its protein and fat content keep your tummy full. It also contains many nutrients including riboflavin, vitamins A and B12, and zinc. It does however contain lactose which some people react adversely to.

Soy milk

Soy milk has long been the most popular dairy alternative due to it being the most nutritionally like cow’s milk, but lactose-free. Its high protein content is a plus, but be sure to choose calcium-fortified brands.

Almond milk

Low in saturated fat and rich in vitamin E, almond milk has a mild flavour. It contains less calcium and protein than cow’s milk and often contains added sweeteners. Check the label to find fortified products containing a boost of calcium or vitamin D.

Rice milk

Rice milk is the most hypoallergenic as it doesn’t contain soy or nuts. It’s also usually calcium fortified. Low in fat, it’s also low in protein and has a high natural sugar content. It’s a little watery, so not ideal for baking.

Coconut milk

A great alternative for cooking due to its thickness, coconut milk has a strong taste you either love or loathe. It has a high fat content, so use sparingly if you’re watching your weight. Coconut milk contains antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that are good for your immune system.

Related stories