So… Mylk you say?
Well, mylk is a white liquid like milk but made from nuts or plants rather than produced by an animal. Whether it be for health reasons, animal ethics and/or environmental concerns more and more people are making the switch to alternative milks. As there are many varieties available it can get very confusing! So, we’ve decided to do a breakdown of the top four most popular mylks to help you choose!
This plant-based mylk is made from soybeans and water (also preservatives to extend shelf life). But, because it comes from plants it is naturally free of cholesterol, lactose and low in saturated fat. Soy mylk is the most nutritionally balanced of the plant-based alternatives and closest to cow’s milk in terms of protein content.
Almond mylk is made from filtered water and ground almonds, however, often contains starches and thickeners to improve consistency and shelf life. Free of saturated fat and naturally lactose free, as long as it is unsweetened, this mylk is typically lower in calories compared to other mylks.
Oat mylk is higher in protein and fibre compared to other alternative mylks, however, it is also higher in carbohydrates and calories. Oats are rich in beta glucan which is one form of soluble dietary fibre that’s strongly linked to improving cholesterol levels and boosting heart health.
*A quick note on sustainability..
Oat mylk is also the most sustainable option on the menu! Compared to its closest alternatives, such as soy and almond-based mylks, growing oats is the most eco-friendly is the least taxing on our soils and ecosystems of the crops mentioned in this article. As an example, growing oats requires far less water input than growing almonds. Keep in mind that any alternative milk is generally more planet-friendly than dairy milk, which is the most unsustainable option there is. Of course, a milk or mylk brand’s methods & sustainability practices (whether absent or present) can have a huge impact on the product’s ecological footprint.
Rice mylk is made from milled rice and water. As with other mylks, it also contains additives for improved consistency and shelf life. This alternative is high in carbohydrates and low in protein, however, is naturally sweeter than other alternatives and great for people with lactose intolerance or allergies to milk, soy or nuts.
* When possible choose mylk that has been fortified with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 for added nutrition.
Whilst there are great alternative mylks available, some come with a lot of hidden extras that you may not be aware of unless you look at the ingredients. Below is a list of key things to look out for when buying alternative mylks:
- Added sweeteners and hidden sugars (sugar, rice syrup, corn syrup, brown sugar, raw sugar, cane sugar).
- Processed oils (sunflower oil, vegetable oil, canola oil).
- Numbers and artificial flavourings
If you aren’t sure where to start check out Good Better Bruce (Nutty Bruce) and Ulu Hye, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own mylk at home. You’ll be surprised how easy it is! Stay tuned for homemade mylk recipes coming up on the blog soon!