A growing number of Americans are ditching dairy for “milks” made from almonds, cashews, coconut, flax, hazelnuts, hemp, oats, rice, soy, or other plants. But what looks like milk in your cup may look nothing like milk to your body. It’s important to check for protein, look for milks fortified with the amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12 in cow’s milk, and minimize added sugars. Skip coconut milks, which typically have 4 or 5 grams of saturated fat per cup. For more on which “milks” to sip and which to skip, check the Best Bites and Honorable Mentions in our chart below.
Best Bites (✔✔) and Honorable Mentions (✔) contain no monk fruit extract or sucralose, which we rate as “Caution.” (See chemicalcuisine.org.) They also contain no rice syrup or rice. (In November, Consumer Reports estimated that adults would reach the magazine’s arsenic limit with just ½ cup of rice milk a day—and no other rice. With so many other options, we denied Best Bites and Honorable Mentions to rice milks.) For more information about arsenic and rice, click on this link.
Best Bites (✔✔) and Honorable Mentions (✔) also have no more than 1 teaspoon of added sugars and 2 grams of saturated fat per cup. And they have at least 25% of a day’s vitamin D (◑) and 30% of a day’s calcium (◐). Best Bites also have at least 20% of a day’s vitamin B-12 and 7 grams of protein. Honorable Mentions have no more than 50 calories. Products are ranked from least to most added sugars, then calories, then most to least protein, calcium, and vitamins B-12 and D.
Other relevant links:
- Try one of these delicious and healthy soft cheeses. See: What to Eat: The Healthiest Soft Cheeses at Your Grocery Store
- Our guide to non-dairy milks. See: What to Eat: What to Sip and What to Skip in the Non-Dairy Aisle
- We’ve found the healthiest coffee creamers in your grocery store. See: What to Eat: The Healthiest Coffee Creamers You Can Buy