Milking It

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

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.

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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