Logo (since 1999)
Food Articles, News & Features Section



Chef working

  You are here > 

HomeFood ArticlesDairy and Eggs >  Non Dairy Milks


Culinary Schools & Cooking Classes
From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training & Degrees -  Associates, Bachelors & Masters.  More than 1,000 schools & classes listed for all 50 States, Online and Worldwide


FREE Food & Beverage Publications
An extensive selection of free magazines and other publications for qualified Food, Beverage & Hospitality professionals



Non-Dairy Milk Substitutes


See also: Non-Dairy Milk & Cheese

EARTH TALK (September 2008)

Dear EarthTalk: There seems to be a large selection of soy and other non-dairy milks out there today, even right in the dairy sections of major supermarkets. Why should I opt for soymilk over cow’s milk and how do I get the calcium I would lose?
-- Barbara Conant, Tacoma, Washington

There is a lot of debate about whether or not cow’s milk is good—or appropriate—for people at all. On the plus side, it is a valuable source of protein, as well as calcium, necessary to help build bones and keep them strong. Some researchers believe that drinking cow’s milk reduces the risk of kidney stones, colon cancer and other health problems. But others counter that the saturated fats in cow’s milk are big contributors to America’s weight problems, let alone high cholesterol levels and artery blockage.

Famed pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, in the last edition of his best selling “Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care,” argued that cow’s milk was for baby cows not human children, suggesting that it may be a factor in childhood onset diabetes and in kids’ respiratory and ear problems. He encouraged mothers to give infants only human breast milk and to consider soy and rice milk products for older kids.

Chief among available alternatives to cow’s milk is soymilk, which has about the same amount of protein but much more fiber than cow’s milk. In striking contrast with cow’s milk, soymilk actually reduces the body’s cholesterol levels. It also contains isoflavones, natural plant hormones that act as antioxidants and have been linked to many human health benefits including the easing of menopause symptoms, protection against prostate problems, better bone health and even a reduction in heart disease and cancer risks.

Many people assume that soymilk has less calcium than cow’s milk, which is true—in its pure form, soymilk has only a sixth of the calcium of an equal amount of cow’s milk. But producers address this problem by simply fortifying soymilks with calcium to equal the amount in cow’s milk. And studies have shown that most people’s bodies absorb 75 percent more calcium from soymilk than from cow’s milk.

But while the health benefits of soymilk are substantial, it may not be for everyone. Dr. Joseph Mercola, who runs one of the most highly trafficked natural health websites, warns that soymilk can inhibit thyroid performance, so those with pre-existing thyroid issues might want to avoid it. Also, some researchers have shown that soymilk can inhibit the body’s absorption of protein and minerals in some cases.

Other tasty and healthy alternatives to cow’s milk include those made from rice, almonds, oats—and even hemp. According to the health and wellness website, almond milk is rich in magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium, and calcium and “may be one of the more nutritious milk alternatives on the market.” It is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. Rice milk, Sixwise reports, is mainly a source of carbohydrates, and should not be considered a nutritional replacement for cow’s milk, though it is “a useful replacement for milk for taste and cooking purposes.”

Hemp milk, which is made from the seeds of hemp plants but contains none of the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana, can be a good source of protein, calcium, omega fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals. Another good alternative is oat milk, which is high in fiber, free of cholesterol and lactose, and contains vitamin E, folic acid, and other healthy elements and minerals.

earth talk

CONTACTS: Dr. Joseph Mercola,; Sixwise,
GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at:, or e-mail: [email protected] . Read past columns at:




  Blue Cheese, Bleu Cheese   |   Feta Cheese   |   Soy Milk: What's In A Name?   |   Plastic Milk Bags   |   Manchego of La Mancha   |   Butter Bing, Butter Boom   |   Butter'em Up   |   Buttermilk: Culinary Nomenclature   |   Canada's Fine Cheeses   |   Carnation Evaporated Milk   |   Cheddar Cheese   |   Cheese - 'No Whey'   |   Cobblestone Red Cheese   |   Cream of the Crop   |   Curds & Whey, A Story   |   Eggs, Unscrambling the Egg   |   Milk, Varieties & Terms   |   Non Dairy Milks   |   Reduced Fat Cheese   |   Spanish Cheeses   |   Swiss Cheese   |   Wisconsin: America's Dairyland  

Go to Top of page

  Home   |   About & Contact Us   |   Chef James Bio   |   Website Bibliography   |   |   Food Links  

Please feel free to link to any pages of from your website. 
For permission to use any of this content please E-mail: [email protected] 
All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2017 James T. Ehler and unless otherwise noted.  All rights reserved.  You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.
 Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.
Please take the time to request permission.