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Every Milk Alternative, Ranked

By Mia Parker

In recent years, the popularity of traditional cow’s milk has taken a hit for a variety of reasons: digestive issues, intolerances, environmental issues, and allergies. As a result, a multitude of whole milk alternatives have risen to the surface as substitutes for dairy milk.

The world of milk alternatives can be confusing, especially when there are tons of alternatives, each with advantages and disadvantages. Here is a definitive ranking of some of the most popular dairy milk alternatives, based on taste, texture, and other attributes!

1. Oat Milk

If you’ve heard anything about milk alternatives, you’ve definitely heard about oat milk. One of the most popular brands, Oatly, has arguably been leading the milk substitution era as a result of clever advertising and trendy appeal to younger consumers.

Oat milk itself has become a beloved fridge and barista staple, not only because of its environmental advantages, but because of its taste. Some say the milk tastes just as good, if not better, than regular milk because of its creamy texture and slightly nutty flavor.

2. Almond Milk

Almond milk was the ‘oat milk’, before oat milk became a thing. For the longest time, it was the most popular milk alternative because of its light and palatable taste.

Don’t become blinded by almond milk’s favorable taste; environmentalists criticize almond milk because of how much water it takes to produce. A single almond takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow, so it isn’t the most eco-friendly.

3. Coconut Milk

While coconut milk isn’t as healthy as dairy milk, it bodes well in a variety of drinks, such as smoothies. It does help to boost heart health, but it also holds high levels of saturated fat.

Coconut milk is a key ingredient in the popular Starbucks Pink Drink,a customer favorite that developed into a full-time menu item. It pairs well with anything fruity and light, but not as well with actual coffee.

4. Soy Milk

Soy milk is another plant-based milk that has remained a popular alternative for years. Soy milk is the most nutritionally similar to cow’s milk, and has other benefits such as improving heart health.

Important to note is that there is sweetened and unsweetened soy milk, wherein sweetened soy milk can carry a lot of sugar, making it less nutritious than regular milk. However, its taste is pretty similar to the real thing.

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