This blog was published by our intern Kristen.
As someone with dairy state roots, I wonder if the term “milk” is being used too broadly, but let’s save that debate for another time and acknowledge that non-dairy milk continues to gain in popularity. It seems like you can make milk from almost anything—the most common being oats, almonds, coconuts—and in different flavors like vanilla and chocolate. Most people think that by using non-dairy milk they’re being healthier, but some brands use added sugars or GMOs that aren’t very good for you. GMOs are genetically modified organisms that may have negative effects on humans and the environment and are currently being researched (read more).
Click here for a recipe on how to make your own non-dairy milk or read on for GLIM’s tips on how to buy the best nut milk:
Buy unsweetened to reduce added sugar and artificial sweeteners in your diet
Check the label to see if the brand is verified non-GMO.
Look at how much protein is in each serving (to find out how much protein you should be eating click here)
Compare vitamin levels between brands
Don’t get “extra-creamy” or “barista versions” because they have more additives
I went to my local grocery store to look at what brands of milk they had because I wanted to see what the healthiest option is. I have ranked them below based on calories, fat, added sugar, and protein in terms of best to worst overall options for each of the 3 most popular types of non-dairy milk (please note that this post is not sponsored by any brand).
Planet Oat Oatmilk Original Unsweetened
Califia Farms Oat Milk
Oatly! Original Oat Milk (Low Fat)
Chobani Oat Plain Oat Milk
Silk Oat Yeah! Milk
Worst: Pacific Foods Oat Organic Original
Califia Farms Unsweetened Almondmilk
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almondmilk
SoDelicious Unsweetened Almondmilk Beverage
Silk Original Almondmilk
Worst: Almond Dream Original Unsweetened Almond Drink
Pacific Foods unsweetened coconut milk
So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk
Silk Unsweetened Coconut Milk
Pacific Foods original coconut milk
Silk Original Coconut Milk
So Delicious Original Coconut Milk
Worst: Coconut Dream Vanilla Coconut Drink
We recommend avoiding Almond Dream and Coconut Dream because they add carrageenan to their products. Carrageenan is added to products to thicken them, but it has been associated with stomach problems and has no nutritional value (learn more from Dr. Andrew Weill, a well-known integrative medicine doctor).
Here is the data we compiled:
If your non-dairy milk of choice has no added sugars, no GMOs, and a good amount of protein and vitamins it’s a good addition to your diet. However, if you like the taste of cow’s milk and your stomach isn’t upset by it, there’s no reason to switch to non-dairy options. Cows milk, depending on what specific type you drink, is a great source of calcium and protein and typically doesn’t have added sugar unless you get chocolate milk. Unfortunately, this means that chocolate milk isn’t the healthiest option, so try to limit drinking this because it has a lot of added sugar.
If you aren't sure how to best approach your diet for your health needs GLIM has you covered with an in-depth nutritional assessment. Book a free intro call to learn more about how GLIM can help you on your health journey and how simple changes like your milk choice can have a big impact.