Milking It

Dairy alternatives have cropped up faster than you can say "vegan cupcake." But are they healthier?

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Dairy alternatives have cropped up faster than you can say "vegan cupcake." But are they healthier? Seattle nutritionist Stephanie Galling explains...

COW'S MILK

Calories per cup: 90 for skim.

Pro: The only option naturally rich in calcium and protein (8 grams).

Con: Contains saturated fat, unless it's skim.

SOY MILK

Calories: 100.

Pro: It contains the highest protein of nondairy milks.

Con: Contains phytic acid, which inhibits the body's absorption of certain minerals, like calcium and iron. Nonorganic varieties may be made from genetically modified soybeans.

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ALMOND MILK

Calories: 60 (sweetened).

Pro: Lowest-calorie milk option.

Con: Very little naturally occurring protein (1 gram). Not good for those with nut allergies.

RICE MILK

Calories: 120.

Pro: A pretty safe bet for anyone with food allergies (save for rice, of course).

Con: Low in natural protein (1 gram); high in carbs (24 grams). Added oils such as sunflower thicken consistency but up the calories.

OAT MILK

Calories: 130.

Pro: Naturally sweet; decent protein content (4 grams). Offers 2 grams of fiber—small, but more than other options.

Con: Most are processed with grain, so it's not good for the gluten-intolerant.

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