5 Healthy Milk Alternatives in your Diet for Weight Loss
Milk, as we know, is a dairy product produced from cows. No doubt milk has many great advantages to offer but due to various reasons many people especially those on a diet for weight loss are avoiding milk and are now opting for milk substitutes. Here’s why:
1. For health benefits: Milk has saturated fats and can increase the cholesterol levels, which is why many people are saying no to the regular glass of milk.
2. For ethical reasons: People who follow a vegan diet avoid milk as they stay away from food derived from animal sources.
3. For allergies: Many people are lactose intolerant which makes them allergic to milk especially milk sugar lactose.
4. For the taste: Simple enough, some people just don’t like the taste of milk
Fortunately, a wide variety of non-dairy milk substitute are now available for such people. These milk substitutes are not actually “milk”, but are extracts from plant sources and come with different nutritional profiles, flavors, colors and textures. We’ve rounded up some of the milk substitutes that are now popularly emerging as healthy favorites which can you included in your diet for weight loss.
1. SOY MILK
Soy milk also referred to as soymilk or soya milk is commonly used instead of milk and the most advisable substitute while on a diet for weight loss. Soy milk is a complete protein and has about the same amount of protein as cow’s milk. It has little saturated fat and is cholesterol free. In addition it contains phytoestrogens and isoflavones which are associated with reduced risk for heart disease.
Soy milk contains little calcium because calcium is bound to the bean’s pulp, which is not digestible by humans.
DIY Recipe: Soak the soybeans in water overnight for a minimum of 12 hours. Drain the soybeans and remove the outer skins. Blend the soybeans with 3 cups of water until well blended and almost smooth.
2. ALMOND MILK
Almond milk has a sweet flavor and creamy texture that is similar to dairy milk but is less in protein than dairy milk and soy milk. Almond milk is rich in vitamin E, omega 3, fiber, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, and calcium. It is low in calories, sodium and saturated fat.
DIY Recipe: Soak almonds overnight and blend it with water. Strain to remove almond flesh in a strainer or cheesecloth.
3. COCONUT MILK
Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from the grated meat of a brown coconut. Coconut milk is the substitute with texture similar to that of cow milk. It is naturally soy- and gluten-free and therefore a good choice for those with multiple food allergies. Coconut milk is a rich source of potassium but low in proteins and calcium compared to dairy milk. Coconut milk is relatively high in saturated fat therefore should be used in moderation.
DIY Recipe: Remove the white meat from the shell and grind it in a blender with water till it makes a smooth paste. Strain it in a strainer or muslin cloth to remove granules.
4. RICE MILK
Rice milk is made from boiled rice, brown rice syrup and brown rice starch. It is the most hypoallergenic milk substitute as it is devoid of soy, gluten and nuts. It is high in carbohydrates and is calorie dense but low in proteins and calcium. Therefore rice milk is not an ideal alternative to dairy milk but can be used with a healthy balanced diet.
DIY Recipe: Take half a cup of cooked rice (brown rice over white or basmati rice) and blend it with 3 cups of warm water. Strain it to make a smooth liquid.
5. OATS MILK
Oat milk is an extremely healthy alternative. It is high in natural fiber and iron and low in fat, sugars and calories. Oats are best known for their high protein and fiber content and cholesterol reducing abilities.
DIY recipe: Take quick oats or rolled oats, soaked overnight or dry, blend it with water and strain to make oat milk.
Anyone looking to replace dairy milk with milk substitutes must choose an alternative similar in profile to dairy milk. These milk substitutes can also be used as a part of balanced diet to enhance the nutritional benefits and can also be included in the diet for weight loss by including in the recipes like desserts, smoothies and soups.