What do you pour over your cereal in the morning? Meat and dairy production accounts for 14.5% of global carbon emissions. Switching your typical glass of milk for a plant-based alternative helps you do your part to protect the planet.
Fortunately, you don’t have to look any further than your grocery store to find mouthwatering varieties that don’t come from cows. Many of these options are lower in calories and higher in nutrient value. Here are six delicious plant-based milk alternatives to try with your morning meal or coffee.
1. Soy Milk
You might recognize soy milk as an early leader in the plant-based dairy alternatives world. This milk is responsible for turning many people on to these beverages’ benefits. For example, 25% of adults in Britain now prefer plant-based milk over the traditional version, and the number grows to 33% among the younger generation.
Some skeptics note that soy has high levels of phytoestrogens, and they worry about the effects. However, there is no link to cancer, and some studies suggest switching to this alternative may reduce your risk of developing the disease. One 2013 study indicated that combining soy with probiotics could reduce breast cancer risks in rats.
2. Almond Milk
Almond milk is a delicious alternative to additive-laden creamers when sweetening your morning coffee. At only 40 calories a serving, it won’t turn that latte into a weight loss nightmare.
However, you should read the label — some brands come laden with tons of excess sugar and additives. Seek unsweetened versions with few, if any, other ingredients.
3. Cashew Milk
Cashew milk is one of the lowest-calorie milk alternatives out there. At only 20 per serving, a splash of this in your coffee won’t turn your liquid breakfast into an extra notch on your belt loop.
Its subtle, nutty flavor makes it the ideal mixer, too. Why not try mixing it with cola? It gives you the illusion of drinking a root beer float, and the milk cuts the gas produced by the carbonation.
4. Oat Milk
Oat milk rings in at slightly higher on the calorie scale, but it provides substantial health benefits. This beverage is chock-full of fiber. Adding it to your oatmeal keeps you feeling full well after the lunch bell rings — even if you work through it.
Oat milk also comes free from the cholesterol and hormones found in dairy. Switching to this alternative could result in you beating the 3 p.m. slump. Experiment by substituting this option for a week and see if your energy levels improve.
5. Hemp Milk
Hemp milk is made from cannabis sativa plant seeds, but don’t worry. Drinking a glass of this rich and creamy plant-based alternative won’t make you high. It’s engineered to have extremely low traces of THC, the active ingredient that sends you on an outer space trip, no rocket necessary.
This plant-based milk alternative comes in relatively high in calories at 120 per serving — but it’s still less than traditional dairy. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids critical for brain and heart health.
6. Coconut Milk
If you want to feel like you’re having dessert for breakfast, try sweetening your cereal with coconut milk. This alternative has a slightly sugary taste, though the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTS) it contains might accelerate weight loss efforts, not hinder them.
One 2018 study suggests that the MCTs in coconut milk increase insulin sensitivity. This hormone regulates your blood sugar levels, and many Americans suffer from the opposite problem — insulin resistance. Switching from dairy to coconut could lower your chances of that condition developing into Type 2 diabetes.
What will you add to your cereal tomorrow morning? Try one of these delicious plant-based milk alternatives and improve your overall health.
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