You’ve decided it’s time to lose some weight and get healthy. One of the easiest switches you can make is choosing plant-based milks over cow’s milk. Not only are plant milks naturally lower in calories, they’re also cholesterol-free, lactose-free and packed with nutrients.
The options seem endless these days, from almond milk to oat milk to cashew milk. How do you know which ones are the best for weight loss and your health?
We’ve done the research and narrowed it down to the top 7 best plant-based milks for weight loss to add to your diet for weight loss success. Keep reading to find your perfect non-dairy milk match. By making this one simple swap, you’ll be well on your way to shedding pounds and feeling your best.
Why Plant-Based Milk Is Great for Weight Loss
Best Plant-based milks for weight loss are a great choice if you’re trying to . Here are a few reasons why:
Low in Calories:
Compared to cow’s milk, most plant-based milks like almond milk or oat milk have fewer calories per cup. For example, a cup of almond milk has only 40-60 calories while whole cow’s milk has 146 calories. Choosing a lower calorie milk alternative is an easy way to cut calories from your diet.
High in Nutrients:
Plant-based milks are high in many of the same nutrients as cow’s milk like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and potassium. They contain little to no saturated fat or cholesterol. The healthy fats they do have, like omega-3 fatty acids, are good for your heart.
If you’re lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy, plant-based milks are a great option. They are naturally lactose-free since they contain no cow’s milk. You can enjoy them without unpleasant digestive issues like bloating, gas or diarrhea.
Plant-based milks work well as a substitute for cow’s milk in most recipes like in your coffee or tea, on your cereal, in smoothies, or for baking. You can easily swap them in for cow’s milk in a 1:1 ratio. Their mild flavor won’t change the taste of your favorite foods and drinks.
In summary, plant-based milks check all the boxes for a weight loss-friendly drink. Give almond, oat or soy milk a try – your waistline will thank you!
1: Almond Milk – The Lowest Calorie Option
Almond milk is the lowest in calories of all the plant-based milks, with just 60 calories per cup.
If you’re trying to lose weight, almond milk should be at the top of your list. With almost no saturated fat and loaded with bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D, almond milk is a smart swap for cow’s milk.
Almond milk is made from ground almonds and water, so it has a light, nutty flavor that works great in coffee, cereal, and smoothies. You can find almond milk in original, vanilla, and chocolate flavors. Go for the unsweetened version though, since the flavored kinds usually have extra sugar.
The healthy fats in almond milk will keep you feeling full, so you eat less overall. Studies show people who consume almonds and almond milk tend to weigh less. Almond milk also contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation in the body.
So if you’re looking to cut calories and lose pounds, raise a glass of almond milk. With all it has to offer nutritionally, almond milk deserves a spot in your fridge and your weight loss plan.
2: Soy Milk-Full of Protein to Keep You Full
Soy milk is a plant-based milk alternative packed with protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Soy Milk: Full of Protein to Keep You Full
Soy milk is made from ground soybeans and water. Unlike other plant milks, it provides a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids our bodies need. A one-cup serving contains about 7 grams of protein, which is more than most other plant milks. The protein in soy milk helps you feel full by slowing digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Some other benefits of soy milk include:
- Low in sugar with only about 1 gram per cup. Choose an unsweetened version to avoid extra calories.
- Fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Look for a brand with at least 30% of the Daily Value for these nutrients.
- Naturally cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat, and contains healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids.
- Environmentally sustainable crop that’s non-GMO and pesticide-free. Buy organic whenever possible.
The mild nutty flavor of soy milk works well in both sweet and savory applications. Use it as a substitute for cow’s milk in your coffee or cereal, make creamy soups and sauces, or blend into smoothies. The options are endless. Overall, soy milk is a nutritious, protein-packed choice for weight loss and health. Give this plant-based milk a try—your body and the planet will thank you!
3: Coconut Milk-Rich in McTs to Boost Metabolism
Coconut milk is a great plant-based milk for weight loss. It’s packed with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that helps boost your metabolism. MCTs are sent straight to your liver, where they’re converted into ketones for energy instead of being stored as fat.
Coconut milk contains lauric acid, an MCT that may help reduce abdominal fat and aid weight loss. In one study, obese women who consumed 30 mL of coconut milk for 12 weeks significantly decreased body mass index and waist circumference. The milk’s creaminess comes from the coconut cream and milk solids, giving it a rich, decadent texture similar to dairy milk. With 45 calories and 4.5 grams of fat per 1 cup serving, coconut milk packs a creamy punch without the extra calories.
Compared to other plant milks, coconut milk has a longer shelf life due to its natural preservatives. Look for unsweetened coconut milk with no added sugar for maximum weight loss benefits. The subtle natural sweetness of coconut milk is enough, no need for added sweeteners. You can use coconut milk in curries, smoothies, oatmeal or drink it straight from the carton.
For the most waist-whittling results, choose a coconut milk that only contains coconut and water. Avoid additives like guar gum or carrageenan which may cause inflammation. Shake or stir the milk before using, as the creamy solids tend to separate in the carton. Stock up on coconut milk and make it a staple in your weight loss routine. Your metabolism and waistline will thank you!
4: Oat Milk-High in Fiber to Control Appetite
Oat milk is a great plant-based milk for weight loss and controlling appetite.
Oat milk is high in fiber which helps you feel full and reduces cravings. A single cup contains 2 grams of fiber, which is 8% of your daily needs. The fiber in oat milk expands in your stomach, giving you a satisfied feeling that lasts for hours.
Compared to other milks, oat milk has the highest amount of fiber by far. For example, almond milk has just 1 gram per cup and rice milk has 0.5 grams. The extra fiber in oat milk means you’ll be less likely to snack between meals or overeat at dinner. For the best weight loss results, choose an unsweetened oat milk. Flavored and sweetened versions often have extra sugar and calories that you don’t need.
In addition to fiber, oat milk contains protein, healthy fats, and various vitamins and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and B vitamins. The combination of nutrients gives oat milk a creamy texture that’s similar to cow’s milk, without the excess calories.
Oat milk is versatile and works well as a one-to-one replacement for cow’s milk in most recipes like oatmeal, smoothies, coffee drinks, and baked goods. For weight loss, enjoy a cold glass of oat milk with your meal or use it in place of cow’s milk in your cereal. The extra bit of nutrition and fiber at breakfast will keep you feeling satisfied all morning.
Overall, oat milk deserves a spot in your weight loss meal plan. The high fiber content helps curb cravings and control your appetite so you eat less throughout the day. When choosing an oat milk, look for an unsweetened version with at least 2 to 3 grams of fiber per cup.
5: Cashew Milk-Best Plant-Based Milks For weight Loss
- A one-cup serving contains just 25 calories, 1 gram of fat, and no saturated fat. It’s cholesterol-free and contains 0 grams of sugar. The low calorie and carb count make it ideal for weight management and blood sugar control.
- Cashew milk provides protein to help keep you feeling full. One cup offers about 1 gram of plant-based protein from the ground cashews. The protein and healthy fats work together to satisfy your appetite and reduce cravings.
- It’s enriched with vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12. Cashew milk can be part of a balanced diet and provide essential nutrients for good health. However, since nut milks are naturally low in protein, you may need an extra source of protein in your diet.
- The rich, creamy texture of cashew milk makes it perfect as a substitute for cow’s milk in recipes, smoothies, granola, oatmeal, and coffee drinks. Its mild nutty flavor pairs well with both sweet and savory foods.
Cashew milk deserves a spot in your fridge if you’re looking for a low-calorie, nutritious milk alternative to aid weight loss and support your health. With its winning combination of nutrition, taste, and versatility, cashew milk can help you achieve your weight loss goals in a delicious way. Switching from cow’s milk to cashew milk is an easy lifestyle change that can make a big difference.
6: Hemp Milk-Healthiest Milk
Hemp milk is a nutritional powerhouse. Made from hulled hemp seeds, it’s packed with protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Compared to other non-dairy milks, hemp milk has the most protein with about 5-6 grams per cup. It’s a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids our bodies need. Hemp milk is also loaded with omega-3s, with about 1 gram per cup. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation in the body and lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.
Hemp milk contains several important minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium. Iron and zinc support a healthy immune system, while magnesium and potassium help maintain blood pressure and bone health.
Hemp milk has a creamy, nutty flavor and texture similar to skim or low-fat dairy milk. It works great as a substitute for cow’s milk in many foods and beverages like:
- Cereal and oatmeal
- Coffee and tea
- Pancakes and waffles
The best part is hemp milk is naturally lactose-free, cholesterol-free, and non-GMO. For the healthiest option, choose unsweetened hemp milk and shake or stir the carton before pouring. Hemp milk does tend to separate in storage, so mixing it well ensures you get all the nutritional benefits in each glass.
Overall, hemp milk deserves a spot in your refrigerator. It’s sustainable, environmentally-friendly and provides nutritional benefits for optimal health and wellness. Give hemp milk a try – your body and the planet will thank you!
7: Lactose-Free Milk
Lactose-free milk is a great option if you’re lactose intolerant or want to avoid dairy. Most plant-based milks like almond, soy and coconut milk are naturally lactose-free, but some brands now offer lactose-free versions of cow’s milk as well.
Lactose-Free Cow’s Milk
If you prefer the taste of cow’s milk but can’t handle the lactose, lactose-free cow’s milk is a good alternative. It’s real cow’s milk that’s been treated with lactase, an enzyme that breaks down the lactose into simple sugars your body can digest. Brands like Lactaid and Dairy Ease offer lactose-free milk, usually in skim, 2%, and whole milk varieties. Nutritionally, it’s similar to regular cow’s milk but may be slightly sweeter in taste.
While lactose-free cow’s milk is a good option for those avoiding lactose, many people choose plant-based milks for their nutritional benefits. Plant milks tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, and some are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. They can be part of a healthy diet for weight loss and improve your heart health.
In the end, the best lactose-free milk for you depends on your needs, tastes and preferences. Whether you choose lactose-free cow’s milk or a plant-based milk like almond or soy, you have dairy-free options that can provide nutrition and be part of a balanced diet. Try different varieties to find one you enjoy and can stick with for the long run.
So there you have it, some of the best plant-based milks for weight loss and health. While cow’s milk does have its benefits, plant milks can be better for your waistline and the planet. Whether you prefer nutty almond milk, creamy oat milk or naturally sweetened coconut milk, choosing a plant-based milk is an easy way to cut calories and boost nutrition.
Switching to a plant milk is one small change that can have a big impact on your health and help you achieve your weight loss goals. Give one of these milks a try – your body and the environment will thank you. Now grab your reusable cup and start pouring!