Almond ‘milk’? Hazelnut ‘milk’? Rice ‘milk’? Oat ‘milk’? It is common to find statements such as ‘Not to be used as infant formula’ or ‘Not suitable as a complete milk replacement for children under 5 years of age’ on the product labels (if you look hard enough!).

Do these seemingly ‘milk’ products contain real milk? Does the fact that they are at times displayed next to fresh milk suggest they are made from fresh milk?
The fact is these so-called ‘milk’ products do not contain any cow’s milk. Not a trace.
But how do they compare, nutritionally?

Generally, whole cow’s milk and rice ‘milk’ beverage are higher in calories as compared with ‘milk’ beverages made from nuts. Rice ‘milk’ beverages generally contain more carbohydrates than whole cow’s milk and similar ‘milk’ beverages made from nuts. As these alternative ‘milk’ beverages are from plant sources, whole cow’s milk is still the best source of fat and protein. 

These are general guidelines as nutritional value differs across brands and products due to factors such as product formulation, natural composition of ingredients, level of fortification and addition of sugar. Our individual dietary requirements differ, thus consumers are encouraged to read the nutrition information panel before making a FoodSavvy choice. 

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