Many top-performing athletes in the world are switching to plant-based diets for improving their performance. Also, in countries like Canada, the national food guide has made significant changes by eliminating some animal-based food products like milk. Also, they are pushing towards the consumption of plant-based sources of protein. This shift is more evident in European countries as many grocery stores have a smaller section for dairy products. The purpose of this article is to break down the myths about plant-based milk; read ahead to know more about them.
The main reason plant-based milk is considered healthier than cow’s milk is that it has lower amounts of saturated fats. Having said that, non-dairy alternatives are generally low on nutrients. To give you a perspective, dairy milk contains calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Now, most plant-based dairy alternatives usually do not have vitamin D, vitamin B12, and calcium. Also, their calorie content is low because they have lower amounts of saturated fats. Hence, doctors and dieticians do not recommend giving plant-based milk to children.
Misconceptions About Plant-Based Milk
Plant-Based Milk Does Not Necessarily Lack Vitamin D And Calcium
In its raw form, most plant-based milk does not have vitamin D and calcium. Because of this, manufacturers fortify it with these nutrients. But remember that these are synthetic versions that are not easily absorbed by the body. So, it is recommended to get them from plant-based food like broccoli, leafy greens, almonds, beans, chia seeds, and walnuts.
They May Contain Added Sugar
Many manufacturers add sugar along with other ingredients to plant-based milk to make it taste better, but you can opt for unsweetened ones. They will be labeled “unsweetened”, and you can ensure this by checking the list of ingredients for 0g of added sugar. Another alternative is to make plant-based milk at home using fresh ingredients. It will taste better, and you can do away with sugar.
They Have Different Amounts Of Protein
The protein content of plant-based milk varies according to the nut, seed, or grain used for making it. For example, pea milk followed by soy milk has the highest amounts of protein. Hemp seed and oat milk have half the amount of protein.
Some varieties of plant-based milk like soy, oat, and rice have higher calories because of their carbohydrate content. In such cases, you can switch to using coconut or nut-based milk.
On a final note, before replacing dairy milk with plant-based milk, it is good to consider the recommendations of a dietician.