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Plant-based milk

HK BioTek Intern

What is plant-based milk? It is made from plants like almond, coconut or soybean etc, which usually use as the alternative to cow milk. Why is there an increasing trend for plant-based milk? This is because vegetarian or vegan diets became more popular in recent years. Also for those who are lactose intolerance, allergic to cow milk or as a vegan, require plant-based milk to obtain adequate nutrition. As we know that cow milk is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, there is an increased need for cow milk substitutes. Nevertheless, the nutrition value of plant-based milk varies a lot, generally does not contain cholesterol, having less calories, protein, fat, calcium and vitamin B12 than cow milk. Calcium is important in maintaining bone and teeth health while vitamin B12 deficiency might lead to anemia and cause damage to your nerves. As calcium is insoluble in water, fortification of calcium for plant-based milk must be needed in order to be a high-calcium drink. Before purchasing, you should look at the nutrition label clearly to check whether the plant-based milk is fortified with calcium or other vitamins and minerals, without food additives, preservatives as well as genetically modified ingredients.



Almond milk

  • Lowest in calories

  • Rich in monounsaturated fat, vitamin A and E

  • Not suitable for people who has almond allergy


Coconut milk

  • Low protein content

  • Similar saturated fat content as whole-fat milk

  • Not suitable for people who has coconut allergy


Oat milk

  • Contains beta-glucan, a soluble dietary fiber to help reducing bad cholesterol and risk of cardiovascular disease

  • Higher carbohydrates than other plant-based milk

  • Lower protein content than cow and soy milk; higher protein content than almond, coconut and rice milk

  • Not suitable for people who has oat allergy


Rice milk

  • Does not contain common allergens

  • Low protein content

  • High carbohydrates content

  • High GI index, not suitable for diabetes patient

  • Not suitable for people who has rice allergy


Soy milk

  • Similar protein content as cow milk and the highest among plant-based milk

  • Usually calcium-fortified

  • The only plant-based milk contains all the essential amino acids

  • Not suitable for people who has soy allergy


References

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