Why Some Plant-Based Milks Are More Nutritious Than Cow's Milk

Research has shown that plant-based milk alternatives undoubtedly leave a smaller carbon footprint than their dairy progenitors (via New York Times). This has been a huge motivation for the eco-minded to find a substitute to put in their cereal bowls and glasses, but some alternatives also have the added benefit of extra nutrition. There are plenty of options out there to choose from these days, including potato milk. Milk producers have long touted the nutritional benefits of drinking cow's milk. In some ways, dairy milk does have the lead on other alternatives, but there are some categories where they fall behind.

So, which milk is the most nutritious? According to The Dairy Alliance, in its natural state, dairy milk still seems to have the lead in terms of essential nutrients. Many plant milks come fortified with additional nutrients to help close that gap though. Any diet should be dependent on the needs of the person choosing it though, and for some non-dairy substitutes are going to have an edge. It all depends on what you're looking for from your milk (via To Taste).

Which milks have the best nutrition

According to To Taste, the main thing that all the plant milks have in common is that they are lower in calories and saturated fat than dairy milk. This means that they are a great way to cut out some calories and fats for those that are interested in doing so. According to Insider, coconut, cashew, and almond milk tend to be the lowest in overall calories. Dairy milk also tends to be higher in natural sugars than any of the alternatives.

Soy milk is the most similar to dairy milk in terms of nutrition. For those with lactose intolerance, or who are simply seeking to cut out dairy without sacrificing their nutrition, Soy milk is going to be their best bet. Soy milk was also found to come close in terms of protein content along with pea milk (via To Taste).

Anyone hoping to switch to a dairy alternative milk should make sure to check their preferred brand to ensure that they're buying a fortified product. This means that it should list the nutrients added to the milk substitute either on the label or in their ingredients.