Which Plant-based Milk is the Best?

In this blog post we are comparing plant-based milk types and how they hold up compared to a regular milk. We are going into detail and comparing nutritional facts and environmental impacts – it’s pretty interesting what we’ve found out.

Nutritional Comparison of Milks

%/cupCaloriesCarbsSugarProteinFat/Sat.Vit DCalciumPotassium
Cow’s Milk10013g13g8g2.5/1.5g25%30%370mg
Almond301g0g1g2.5/0g25%45%160mg
Coconut451g7g0g4/3.5g25%45%40mg
Oat Milk13024g5g4g2.5/0g25%35%95mg
Pea Milk700g0g8g4.5/0.5g30%45%450mg
Rice Milk12023g10g1g2.5/0g0%2%35mg
Soy Milk804g1g7g4/0.5g30%45%287mg

Extras:

  • Cow’s Milk – none
  • Almond – Vitamins A & E
  • Coconut – Vitamin A & B12
  • Oat Milk – high fiber, B vitamins, vitamin A, trace amounts of magnesium and phosphorus
  • Pea Milk – Vitamin A, DHA Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Rice Milk – can be enriched with B vitamins
  • Soy Milk – small amounts of Iron, 1 cup contains 50% daily needed B12

(source: https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/a-nutritional-comparison-of-dairy-and-plant-based-milk-varieties/)

Environmental Impact Milk Comparison:

Per liter

Carbon Emissions (kg)

Land Use (sq. meters)

Water Use (L)

Cow’s Milk

3.2 kg

9.0 sq. m

628 L

Almond Milk

0.7 kg

0.5 sq. m

371 L

Coconut Milk

0.42 kg

???

???

Oat Milk

0.9 kg

0.8 sq. m

48 L

Pea Milk

0.17 kg

???

7.5 L

Rice Milk

1.2 kg

0.3 sq. m

270 L

Soy Milk

1 kg

0.7 sq. m

28 L

So, as you can see from the 2 charts, I have laid out both the nutritional facts as well as the environmental impact from different types of milk alternatives. I researched for many hours to try and make sure that I had the best information, and in some cases (like in the case of Coconut and Pea milk) it was harder to find certain bits of information on the environmental impacts.

Based on the info we have here, the best choices are:

Nutritionally: 1st place is Pea Milk
2nd place is Soy Milk

Environmentally: 1st place is Pea Milk (info found was that pea milk takes very little land use in comparison to Oat and Soy, but I couldn’t find an exact number)


2nd place is a tie between Soy and Oat Milk


3rd place is likely Coconut Milk (exact land use info couldn’t be found but also stated that it’s quite low, as is water due to the fact that coconut grows in very tropical regions where they are mostly watered naturally by the rain)

Overall: 1st place is Pea Milk
2nd place is Soy Milk
3rd place is Oat Milk

Final Thoughts:

Pea Milk is definitely our winner for plant based alternatives based on environmental and nutritional facts. Granted, this is fairly new on the plant based milk scene and is not available everywhere. If you can find it near you, I highly recommend you try it out!

Otherwise, try to opt more for Soy Milk or Oat Milk. You really can’t go wrong with either one of those options. Soy milk is great in coffee, it’s great for baking, some people like it in cereal, or a soy yogurt alternative. Oat milk is also wonderful for coffee as it adds a little natural sweetness. It’s super yummy in cereal and can also be used for smoothies.

Whatever milk alternative you use, you can always know that you are still doing something great for your body, for the environment, because every one of the alternatives are better for the environment, and every single one is cruelty free!

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