Plant-based drinks – which one to choose?
Plant-based drinks are increasingly replacing traditional milk in our homes. Why have they become so popular? Who are they recommended for, and what benefits does their consumption bring? How can you incorporate them into your daily cooking? You will find out from today’s article.
In recent years, more and more people have been turning to plant-based drinks as an alternative to traditional milk. But why? Who are they intended for? And perhaps it’s worth trying them in the kitchen?
Plant-based drinks as an alternative to milk
Modern society is becoming more health-conscious and paying attention to the nutritional components in the products they consume. Additionally, the number of people with lactose intolerance and cow’s milk protein allergies is on the rise. Add to this those who are limiting or completely excluding animal-derived products from their diets. All of this has prompted manufacturers to find plant-based alternatives, including milk substitutes.
Plant-based beverages aren’t milk
It’s important to note that plant-based beverages cannot be called plant milk interchangeably. According to Annex VII, Part III, Point 5 of Regulation No. 1308/2013, any plant-based products serving as alternatives to dairy products (such as yogurt, cheese, cream, milk, etc.) cannot contain any terms referring to such products. Consequently, plant-based beverages commonly referred to as soy milk or almond milk are formally only beverages. Terms like “plant-based yogurt,” “plant-based cream,” or “cheese-like product” are also prohibited.
Who should consume plant-based drinks
Plant-based drinks are ideal for people with lactose intolerance, cow’s milk protein allergies, or vegans. They are also an excellent choice for individuals on a ketogenic diet. Those on this diet should avoid plant-based beverages rich in carbohydrates, such as rice milk, and instead opt for those with lower carbohydrate content, such as almond or coconut milk.
Benefits of consuming plant-based drinks
Lactose and cow’s milk protein-free
Plant-based drinks are perfect for individuals with intolerance or allergies to these components.
Rich in nutrients
Some plant-based drinks are rich in calcium, protein, or vitamins (mainly from the B group).
More environmentally friendly production
The production of plant-based beverages is often more environmentally friendly than animal milk.
Variety of flavors
Choosing plant-based milk substitutes encourages culinary experimentation.
Which plant-based drinks to choose?
Without added sugars
On store shelves, you can find plant-based drinks with and without added sugars. Try to read labels and choose those without added sugars. To add sweetness, you can always use sugar substitutes, which you can read more about here.
Enriched with vitamins and micronutrients
Individuals on vegetarian or vegan diets, especially due to the exclusion of many animal-derived products, may be at risk of nutrient deficiencies. Some plant-based beverage manufacturers choose to enrich their products with these nutrients, including vitamin B12, other B vitamins, vitamin D, or calcium. If you are on a plant-based diet, pay attention to labels and look for products enriched with these nutrients. Also, consider additional supplementation, but consult with a specialist doctor and/or dietitian before starting.
Tailored to your diet type
As mentioned earlier, not every plant-based beverage is suitable for individuals on a ketogenic diet. If you are on a keto diet, opt for almond or coconut milk. The others contain too many carbohydrates and should be avoided.
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