Vegetable Milks: Properties and Benefits

For those who are lactose intolerant, there exists a wide range of vegetable milks that can replace cow's milk. Why do experts recommend them? What are their benefits? Today, we'll tell you all you need to know.
Vegetable Milks: Properties and Benefits

Last update: 26 August, 2020

Vegetable milks are products that have become increasingly popular and mainstream in recent years. Many choose them in order to replace cow’s milk, as they are an excellent option for those who are lactose intolerant. However, it’s important to keep certain things in mind regarding their labeling in order to guarantee good nutritional quality.

So, what are the possible benefits of vegetable milks? When is their consumption recommended? These are just a few of the many questions people have regarding these drinks.

To give you a more clear understanding, we’ll tell you about their properties and uses.

Vegetables milks: A substitute for milk

Milk is a substance that contains great nutritional density. However, it’s not a good option for those individuals who have developed lactose intolerance. There are varieties of milk that lack this discomfort-causing sugar, but their organoleptic properties aren’t the same. Therefore, the difference in taste can be displeasing to some.

In those cases, vegetable milks make for an excellent alternative given the nutrients they offer. Their protein and fat content is inferior, but, as long as they don’t contain added sugars, they’re suitable for hypocaloric diets.

On occasion, these milks are enriched with essential nutrients like B vitamins. According to a study published in the journal Sub-celular Biochemistry, these vitamins are important when it comes to metabolizing energy. Introducing them in your diet in the right amounts reduces the risk of damage to cells and DNA.

The properties of vegetable milks.

Read also: Vegetable Milk Snack Recipes

Vegetable milks are easier to digest

One of the most noteworthy vegetable drinks is that they’re easy to digest. Given that these products are low in fat and protein, they pass through the gastric system more quickly and without causing discomfort.

Therefore, they’re a great choice for adding to coffee or shakes for those who suffer stomach or intestinal pain. Vegetable milks combine perfectly with fruits, so you can also use them to prepare smoothies.

However, if you tend to suffer from problems related to intestinal transit or the digestion process, you should consult with a specialist first. On occasion, these disorders are associated with intestinal dysbiosis. According to a study that appeared in the Journal of Biomedical Science, supplementing with probiotics can help to correct the issue.

Vegetable milks contain protein

The proteins present in vegetable milks do not have a high biological value. What’s more, their proportion is lower than in cow’s milk. Just the same, vegetable milks also contain these kinds of nutrients.

They’re a great option for those who follow a vegan diet since they contribute to satisfying protein requirements. However, it’s important to note that their proteins don’t have a high biological value, they are lacking in essential amino acids, and their digestibility is improvable.

As a result, they shouldn’t be a person’s sole source of protein. Rather, you should combine them with other vegetable products that contain this micronutrient. In order to guarantee an optimal intake, you should follow the indications of a nutritionist.

Beware of drinks that contain sugar

When it comes to purchasing vegetable drinks, you should pay special attention to their nutritional labels. Some varieties contain added sugars. These ingredients improve the milk’s flavor, but also significantly reduce its nutritional quality.

According to a study published in the journal Advances in Nutrition, consuming simple sugars in excess increases the risk of developing metabolic illnesses. Therefore, adding carbohydrates to vegetable milks can affect a person’s health and increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Reading the nutritional labels of these products carefully is essential. That way, you can choose the varieties that are free of added sugars. What’s more, you should consume those that contain a greater proportion of vegetable products in their composition, like rice or oats.

A person serving a glass of oat milk.

You can include vegetable milks in your regular diet

Experts don’t recommend substituting cow’s milk with vegetable milks if there’s no physical need (for example, lactose intolerance or an allergy to milk protein). However, you can still include these milks in your daily diet.

When the objective is to provide a flavorful liquid base for a shake or smoothie, vegetable drinks are more digestible than dairy produces. In any case, remember to choose varieties without added sugar. Otherwise, you’ll be consuming a product that lacks nutritional value.

Finally, keep in mind that some of these vegetable milks are enriched with vitamins and minerals. These products are particularly beneficial when it comes to preventing deficiencies.

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