5 milk alternatives to try if you’re lactose intolerant

If you’re lactose intolerant, you don’t need to miss out on milk. Here are five substitutions to consider

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soy milk

Soy beverage

Made from soy beans and water, soy milk is rich in protein (7 g for 250 mL) and potassium. One cup of unsweetened soy beverage has 80 calories and 4 g of fat, but very little saturated fat (0.5 g). It also contains flavonoids, recognized for their antioxidant properties.

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rice milk

Rice beverage

Rice beverage is a kind of grain milk processed from rice. It is commonly unsweetened, but there are commercial brands available in vanilla, chocolate and almond flavours. It does not contain cholesterol or lactose, which makes it a good option for people who are lactose intolerant. One cup (250 mL) of unsweetened rice beverage has 110 calories and 1 g of fat (0.3 g saturated fat) and 2 g protein.

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Lactose-free milk

Canada’s Food Guide recommends adults have two dairy servings a day-three if you’re 51 or over. If you’re lactose intolerant, fear not. All milk, whether it’s lactose-free or not, is extremely high in calcium; one cup (250 mL) of 2% milk contains 302 mg (the RDI, or recommended daily intake, for women age 19 to 50 is 1,000 mg a day). And it contains a number of other vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamins A and K, and most of the B vitamins. Plus, milk in Canada is fortified with vitamin D. Milk is also packed with protein (a cup has 9 grams).

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almond milk

Almond beverage

Made from ground almonds, almond beverage is a great option for those trying to monitor their cholesterol, or who have an intolerance to lactose. Similar to a rice beverage, almond milk brands feature flavours such as vanilla and chocolate. One cup (250 mL) of the unsweetened kind has just 30 calories and 2 g of fat (0.2 g saturated fat), but is low in protein with just 1 g.

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Coconut beverage

This brand-new type of milk made with water and coconut milk, not to be confused with the straight coconut milk available in cans, is available on natural food store and some grocery store shelves, and is popular for its smooth texture and mild taste. “Coconut milk contains a high proportion of medium triglycerides, a type of fat that is metabolism boosting,” says Nicole Fetterly, a registered dietitian in Vancouver.

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