With more and more products entering the market, picking the best milk alternative is not as straightforward as it used to be. And there are many reasons why plant-based milks have enjoyed a boom in popularity. Those with lactose intolerance, milk allergy and inflammatory bowel disease may choose them for health reasons. For vegans, ethical concerns are often the primary motive, while some individuals simply don’t enjoy the taste of cow’s milk. 

There’s also a growing worry that animal-based milks are not an environmentally-friendly choice. Livestock rearing generates a significant amount of methane – a potent greenhouse gas. It also consumes a lot of vital resources. According to an analysis by researchers at the University of Oxford (opens in new tab), it takes nine times more land to produce dairy milk than a comparable amount of rice, soy, oat or almond milk. 

What the experts say

Dr Michelle Braude, nutritionist and founder of The Food Effect (opens in new tab), says: “Of all the dairy-free milks now available, from hemp to hazelnut, and oat to almond milk, deciding which plant-based milk to choose can be rather challenging. Gone are the days where they were a reluctant replacement for cows’ milk.”

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