Transitioning or interested in a vegan diet? Switching to a non-dairy milk is a great place to start! Many contain added nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and protein. So, if you ever struggle to reach your nutritional needs, a high-protein vegan milk is a cheap and easy way to do so.
Why Should I Choose A High-Protein Vegan Milk?
To be clear, vegan diets do not lead to protein deficiencies. However, any diet that restricts calories or excludes certain macronutrients can cause deficiencies. By eating a wide variety of plant foods, and enough calories, you will easily avoid this issue. Try incorporating leafy greens, legumes, and nuts whenever possible, for a nutritional boost.
That said, if you do not consume a wide variety of plant foods, or don’t have access to fresh produce, not to worry! There are many accessible, fortified vegan milk brands to choose from. Some types of vegan milk, like pea and soy milk, contain much more nutrition and protein than others, at a low cost.
The True Cost of Dairy
You may be thinking, isn’t dairy milk cheaper than vegan milk? While this is usually true, dairy comes at a higher cost than its market price reflects. This is true both literally (most dairy farms receive subsidies) and in a figurative sense. Plus, there is no need for it. Did you know we are the only species that constantly drinks another species’ milk? Not only do we not need any sort of breast milk after infancy, dairy is killing our planet and harming our health.
Dairy Milk Requires a LOT of water
While one cup of dairy milk requires 1050 liters of water for its production, soy milk requires 297. That’s a 3x smaller water footprint! There is also a huge amount of deforestation taking place to fulfill the demand for beef and dairy. In fact, up to 80% of the deforested land in the Amazon is now used for cattle ranching, and another 14%, for animal feed. And that’s not all; the gases emitted by cows account for 40% of our methane emissions!
Dairy Milk Is Bad For Our Health
Dairy Milk Is High In Saturated Fat
We could go on covering the environmental impact, but let’s find out how dairy affects our health. First of all, milk contains high concentrations of saturated fat. This is because it’s designed to help calves grow from around 60 pounds to over 700 pounds in a few short months. Meanwhile, for humans it can have devastating effects. Heart disease is the number-one killer in the U.S., and saturated fats are one of the main causes of this condition. That’s why the AHA recommends just 5-6% of our calories come from saturated fats.
Daily Milk Causes Acidity In Our Body
Another reason to avoid dairy, even if it’s fat-free, is because of its acidity levels. Higher levels of acid in the body can lead to inflammation. Then, inflammation can lead to asthma, heart disease, pneumonia, and even cancer. High acidity levels in the body, or ‘acidosis,’ occurs when we eat foods like meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs. And while our bodies do have mechanisms to counteract higher acid levels in the body, they can only do so much. When we are unable to get rid of the acid fast enough, we create the ideal environment for disease growth.
Alkaline diets, which fight inflammation and disease, emphasize nuts, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
Now that we know the true cost of dairy, what can we replace it with? After all, milk is full of protein, calcium, iron, and other essential nutrients. Plus, what will we add to our oatmeal and our morning coffee? Keep reading and discover some great brands that can beat dairy milk any day!
Which Vegan Milks Are Highest In Protein?
While grain and nut milks are delicious and usually very healthy, they are not so high in protein. Legume-based milks are higher in protein and nutrients, even when made at home! You may also find protein-fortified nut milks, which are a great choice as well. Let’s take a look at some of our top picks.
Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Almonds (5g)
Another natural pick, Elmhurst’s “milked almonds” drink contains just almonds and water. But what makes this beverage so unique is that it contains 5x more almonds than competing brands! This gives them a huge nutritional advantage — and it shows, at 5g protein per cup!
Silk Unsweetened Soy Milk (8g)
A cheap, accessible, and nutrient-dense option, Silk’s Soy Milk contains 8g of protein. As mentioned earlier, soy milk contains huge amounts of protein. But Silk’s version is also fortified with vitamin D, calcium, iron, and even vitamin B12! And as the B-Certified Corporation they are, they’ve made sure their milks are non-GMO, too. Make sure to go for the unsweetened version to avoid unnecessary added sugars!
Ripple Unsweetened Original Pea Milk (8g)
Now fortified with DHA omega-3s and vitamin B12, you’ll want to check out Ripple’s pea milk! It’s also packed with calcium — 50% more than dairy milk, at zero grams of sugar and best of all, 8g of protein! You may be happy to know that this product is also non-GMO and gluten free.
Califia Farms Protein Oat Milk (8g)
It’s no joke that oat milk has become one of the world’s favorite milk substitutes. Baristas are likely oat milk’s biggest fans, as this frothy, creamy milk is perfect in tea and coffee! The problem with most oat milks is that they’re very low in protein and usually pretty carb-heavy. That’s why Califia Farms has created a great solution: protein-fortified oat milk! Peas, oats, and sunflowers make up the base for this protein-packed beverage. It’s also loaded with vitamin D, E, potassium, calcium, and omegas.
Good Karma Unsweetened Flax Milk + Protein (8g)
With 8g of plant protein and 1200mg of omega-3s, we couldn’t leave out this incredible option! Did we mention it also contains as much calcium and vitamin D as dairy milk? If you’re allergic to nuts and soy, you have to try Good Karma’s high-protein flax milk!
Pacific Organic Unsweetened Soy Original (9g)
At 4g of fat and 9g of protein, Pacific’s soy milk is an excellent choice! It’s also carrageenan and gluten free! And the best part is that it’s made of only soybeans and filtered water! This is one of the most natural choice on our list. Go for the unsweetened version for fewer calories!
Unsweet Silk Almond & Cashew Protein (10g)
Another excellent option, Silk’s Protein nutmilk is a clear winner when compared to dairy. This unsweetened nut milk also contains calcium, iron, and vitamin D, but we’re here for the protein! Sitting at an incredible 10g, this is one of the best options on the market. Fortified with pea protein, this is a healthy and natural pick!
Orgain Organic Protein Unsweetened Almond Milk (10g)
Who said we need dairy to get enough calcium? Orgain’s almond milk contains 25% of your DV of calcium and vitamin D! Not to mention those 10g of natural pea protein! If you prefer the taste of nut milks, this could be the perfect option for you.
EdenSoy Unsweetened Organic Soy Milk (12g)
Our top pick in this high-protein list, EdenSoy’s soy milk contains a whopping 12g of plant protein! This heart-healthy option is also low in sodium, and packed with B vitamins, calcium, and iron.
Ready to make the switch to a nutrient-dense, high-protein vegan milk? We know this change will do wonders for your health and our planet, and we thank you for your contribution! If you’re interested in taking the leap into a vegan diet, we know the perfect way to get you started! Check out our new coaching program “Go Vegan The Right Way” here, and start your vegan lifestyle today!