Don’t go crazy in the dairy section; we’ve got the answers you’re looking for.
Today, more than ever, there are a plethora of dairy-free options. It’s becoming easier to eliminate traditional dairy items from your diet, from milk to ice cream to cheese. There’s no need to be afraid of the dairy aisle at your local grocery store if you’re lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy, or simply choose to live a dairy-free lifestyle.
Almond and coconut milk are the most popular and widely available milk. Even coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have started offering these non-dairy nut milk to their customers. While the distinctions between almond and coconut milk may appear to be evident, there is more to it than that.
How They’re Made
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t pay much thought to how nut milk was created when I first started drinking them. Then I thought to myself, “WTF, how do they do this?” Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it appears.
Almond milk is created by roasting almonds in batches and then coarsely grinding them into a powdery consistency. The powdered almonds are then combined with purified water in a blender. Some vitamins are naturally present in almond milk, while others are added during the blending process.
The white flesh, or meat, of brown coconuts is used to make coconut milk. The flesh is grated and then cooked. After that, the flesh is stretched to create the final result. Because this method tends to produce thicker milk, the mixture is occasionally filtered twice to thin it out.
The good news about both kinds of milk is that the normal recipe has no artificial colors, flavors, or GMOs. Of course, there are flavored options, but that’s when the nutrition value comes into play.
Almond milk is low in calories, especially when consumed in its natural state. At only 30 calories per 8 oz. glass, Silk’s unsweetened original is a wise choice, but the regular original is still only 60 calories. Unsweetened flavored almond milk is a good substitute for coffee creamers, and it’s still low in calories at 30 calories per serving.
On the nutrient scale, coconut milk in its purest form has a lot of nutrients. It has a high-calorie content, with 552 calories per 8-ounce serving. But don’t be put off by this; many store-bought coconut milks has fewer than 100 calories per serving. Because they are strained, part of the fat is removed, lowering the calorie count.
Where nut milk fall short is protein. Since non-dairy products do not contain whey (milk protein), they are not a good source for your daily dose. Almond milk contains 1 gram of protein while coconut milk has none at all. Because of this, it’s important that you incorporate protein into your diet in other ways.
Aside from being a wonderful dairy substitute, almond and coconut milk have a long list of advantages. Almond milk is cholesterol-free, and the lipids in it are heart-healthy. Almond milk is also abundant in Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. In addition, fortified almond milk has 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk, and it is believed to aid in weight loss.
Coconut milk is good for gut health because it nourishes the intestinal lining. It also contains acid, which is helpful for energy, as well as electrolytes, which assist your body to replenish itself.
Now that you know the breakdown of these two “milks,” you no longer have to go nuts in the grocery store choosing between almond milk vs. coconut milk. Both are excellent dairy substitutes that provide several health advantages and nutrients. They will be beneficial additions to your diet.
Note: This article’s nutritional information is based on Silk products.
Source: Spoon University