The Face Planter’s Guide to Alternative Milk

Us plant-based-dieters think that regular milk from a cow is too mainstream for our taste. (Not to mention against our diet). So we’ve dubbed ourselves connoisseurs of fine alternative milk products, and are going to help you choose your flavor of the month.

Soy Milk: What comes in a variety of different flavors and is a staple of a plant-based diet? Soy milk, of course! This is arguably the most stylish necessity of the perfect vegan diet. You can put it in smoothies, cereal, or even ask for it in your chai latte. Soy milk is made by grinding soy beans into water. It sounds gross, but you’re just going to have to trust us and down a glass of the frothy goodness that is a soy milk fruit smoothie, or a soy milk frappechino. Soy Milk also has more protein and fiber than regular milk. The biggest benefit of going soy, however, is the fact that it contains isoflavones, which are chemicals similar to the hormone estrogen. Isoflavones protect against a whole host of health problems: cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis and more.

Almond Milk: Soy milk beats almond milk in the protein category, but almond milk pulls ahead in the “I have more random unpronounceable vitamins than you do!”Almond milk: Omega fatty acids, manganese, vitamin E and selenium. Not to mention that a glass of almond milk can fulfill 30% of your daily calcium needs. In the taste category, however, almond milk (even vanilla flavored almond milk) falls short of soy. (Because, let’s face it, the first person who decided it would be a good idea to grind up almonds into an alternative milk product wasn’t exactly thinking about how it would taste). Now you may end up being an almond milk shipper, and if you like the nuttier taste and thicker concentration than soy, that’s your business.

Coconut Milk: Ah, the wild child of the alternative milk family. You mostly only see people on Survivor drinking this stuff straight from coconuts, but who says we can’t pretend we’re on a deserted island trying to win a million dollars? Anyways, this choice isn’t actually a great one, considering it’s high calorie count and fat content. It has about 50 grams of saturated fat, which is equivalent to five 5.5 oz bags of Lay’s potato chips. With that said, people who drink coconut milk face lower rates of cholesterol and heart disease. Why? We have no idea. There’s just one discrepancy after another with this crazy uncle, but if you’re going to whip up a Coconut Cappucino every once in awhile, who are we to judge?

Rice Milk: Rice milk is the hipster rebellious youngest child who doesn’t aspire to become like big brother soy milk. Soy milk’s audience is too mainstream for him. Rice milk doesn’t have the kind of protein that soy milk has, or the amount of calcium almond milk contains, but it is the perfect milk substitute for those folk who are allergic to soy and can’t stand almond milk. It’s low calorie and has a low fat content compared to regular milk, and doesn’t taste all that bad.

NOTE: Avoid the instant kind of ANY of these milks. Yeah, all caps instead of italics because this is serious, people. The instant packages and soy extracts have been known to contain cancer-causing chemicals. They also contain more sugar than the non-instant kinds. So do us a favor and get the kind in the carton. It’s worth making room for in your refrigerator.

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