D-Day for dairy? We investigate milk alternatives 🥛
According to a recent survey, nearly a quarter of Brits have swapped traditional dairy milk for rice, oat, almond and other plant-based alternatives - up 19% from last year.
Tiger nut is the latest one to claim to be better for gut health providing higher fibre, stabilising blood sugar and keeping us fuller for longer.
So are these modern day milks better for us - or just an overpriced fad? Medicinal chef Dale Pinnock explains the pros and cons.
TIGER NUT MILK
Tiger nuts aren't nuts nor do they derive from tigers, they're instead part of the tuber vegetable family and have more in common with an artichoke than a nut. They grow underground and their name comes from their stripy tiger-print-like coating. Tiger nuts have been around for thousands of years and is believed to have been cultivated by the ancient Egyptians.
PROS: "Contains some monounsaturated fatty acids (good fats) which may be good for heart health just like olive oil is known for in the Mediterranean. A source of vitamin E and also contains potassium."
CONS: "Low in protein as with many other plant-based milks."
It's made from soybeans and is a popular milk alternative for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.
PROS: It is rich in phytoestrogens that are potentially beneficial but hotly debated. Great in coffees as it has a lingering flavour.
CONS: High sugar content, not appropriate for those allergic to soy.
A plant milk manufactured from almonds with a creamy texture and nutty flavour.
PROS: A good source of vitamin E and zinc
CONS: "It is mainly water with a little percentage of nuts."
A type of plant milk derived from whole oat grains by soaking the plant material to extract its nutrients.
PROS: "It's naturally sweeter with a similar number of calories to cows' milk and rich in avenanthramides which are a group of antioxidants unique to oats as well as biotin."
CONS: "Has half the amount of protein and fat and up to double the number of carbohydrates as cows' milk."
It's made from milled rice and water.
PROS: "A very low calorie milk alternative. It is the least allergenic of the non-dairy milks, making it a safe option for those with allergies or intolerances to dairy, gluten, soy or nuts. It has a similar number of calories to cow's milk."
CONS: "It has very little nutritional value."
It is rich and creamy and has a sweet and strong nutty flavour.
PROS: "It's great for thickening smoothies, a creamer in coffee amazing in porridge as it makes it super creamy and decadent. It is very rich in calcium and vitamin E, also zinc."
CONS:"As with most nut-based milks, the nut pulp is strained from the milk. This means the fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals from the whole cashew are lost."
Hemp milk has a thin, watery texture and a sweet and nutty flavour.
PROS: Hemp milk is a great option for vegetarians and vegans because it is a source of high-quality protein and two essential fatty acids. It is low in calories and has a broad range of polyunsaturated fat acids, vitamin E.
CONS:"The quantity of fatty acids and protein is small and you would need a lot of hemp milk to get a decent amount."
A non-dairy milk made from peas - but not green peas. Instead, it's produced from yellow split peas.
PROS: "A new arrival to the fold and supposedly twice the calcium of cows' milk. Higher in protein than most plant milks except for soy and also a good source of calcium. Bonus nut free option like soy and tiger milk."
CONS: "It still contains very small amounts of fortified nutrients."