Plant-Based Milk: A Nutritionist’s Guide

BY SALMA ED-DAOUI

Plant-based milk is becoming increasingly popular as a dairy alternative, particularly in Asian countries where lactose intolerance is prevalent. Non-dairy Milk differs in color, appearance, flavor, and texture, with oat milk being gluten-free, almond milk being rampant in vitamin E, rice milk being lower in fatten and calories, coconut milk containing a high content of saturated fat, and hemp Milk is emerging as an alternative. However, Non-dairy milk differs in its protein content, with soybean Milk containing a higher protein content. munition with calcium, B12, iodine, and other key nutrients is essential when choosing Non-dairy milk as a substitute for dairy.

Considerations for Children:


When it comes to children’s nutritional intake, plant-based milks offer both benefits and potential drawbacks. For children who are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies, Non-dairy milk can serve as an alternative. However, it’s essential to address the nutritional shortfall found in some Vegan milk. Protein is a key consideration, and soy milk can be a suitable alternative due to its comparable protein content. Complementation strategies can help enhance the bioavailability of protein in Vegan milk. Additionally, different plant-based milks provide specific nutrients, such as vitamin E in almond milk. Calcium availability, phytates, and their potential impact on absorption also require attention.

Decoding Labels:


Consumers should examine the labels of plant-based milk to make informed choices. Fortification with essential micronutrients, like calcium, B12, and B2, is crucial since these nutrients are inherently low or absent in Vegan milk. Checking the back of the pack ensures the inclusion of these important nutrients. Some companies also use front-of-pack nutrition models, like Nutri-Score or Nutri-Grade, to guide consumers toward healthier options. These models consider macronutrients and provide an easy-to-understand assessment of the product’s nutritional profile.

Environmental Impact:


The prevalence of lactose intolerance among Asians has contributed to the rise in plant-based milk consumption. Environmental concerns and animal welfare also drive the shift towards more sustainable and ethical choices. Dairy farming has a significantly higher environmental footprint than plant-based milk production. Factors such as feed requirements, methane emissions from cows, and land conversion for cattle farming contribute to dairy’s environmental impact. However, it’s important to note that different plant-based milk also has varying environmental footprints, with issues like deforestation in soy production and water usage in almond farming.

Conclusion:


As the demand for plant-based milk continues to grow, understanding its nutritional value, considering children’s needs, scrutinizing labels, and assessing its environmental impact becomes crucial for consumers. Plant-based milks offer diverse options, but fortification and balanced nutritional intake.

Read more:https://www.eco-business.com/podcasts/looking-past-the-label-the-nutritionists-guide-to-plant-based-milk/

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