You Don't Have to be Lactose Intolerant to Enjoy These 9 Nutritional Non-Dairy Milks

Lactose intolerance is extremely common. But that doesn't mean milk — with cereal, coffee, tea, or in cooked and baked food, is out of the question.

Even if you're not lactose intolerant, you might find other milks add more flavor and variety to your diet — enjoy these milks in cereal, hot chocolate, smoothies and more.

Try a new milk, and the nutritional benefits each provides.

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by Sara Spruch-Feiner

Soy Milk

If soy products don’t irritate your stomach, you’re in luck. Soy milk is the most commonly available non-dairy milk (as in, it’s your only option if you’re at Starbucks).

Pamela Sailor-Bonney, MS, RD, CDN, favors Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Vanilla milk, because it only has three ingredients and is low in sodium. It is also similar in protein and calcium content to regular milk. Dara Godfrey, MS, RD for RMA of New York, recommends you buy organic, non-GMO brands, and opt for the unsweetened version.

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Rice Milk

Sally Kravich, M.S. Holistic Nutrition, C.N.H.P., C.N.C., says rice milk is a go-to for those with digestive issues and sensitive stomachs.

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Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is a naturally creamy option that is easy to DIY. Making it yourself actually provides a more nutrient-rich beverage. However, cashews are high in fat so this might not be a good bet to drink constantly.

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Hazelnut Milk

Another rich and sweet nut milk, hazelnut milk is a luxe addition to hot chocolate.

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Oat Milk

Oat milk is a calcium rich vegan option. It contains more calcium than cow’s milk which is important for those who are lactose intolerant to get their daily intake of calcium.

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Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is rich in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and is also good source of protein. However, it’s not very calcium-rich.

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Almond Milk

Almond milk is a favorite for experts and consumers. It doesn’t cause the stomach irritation many report from soy products and is very low-calorie, and it’s high in protein. It’s also a great source of both calcium and antioxidant vitamin E, according to Leah Woock, R.D., who notes that it works well for baking. “If you’re sensitive to textures, almond milk is also a great option as it’s mild and can be used with anything.” Almond Breeze makes a million flavors — try the honey one in tea or oatmeal.

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Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is delicious and refreshing. It works great in smoothies, too. “Coconut milk has a nice creamy texture without too many calories added,” Woock says, but watch out for the saturated fat. One eight ounce glass contains 20 percent of the saturated fat recommended in a day’s diet.

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Goat Milk

Goat’s milk is high in protein and calcium, and it’s by far the easiest of the animal byproducts to digest. If you’re a fan of goat cheese, you’ll probably like the savory taste. Godfrey recommends Meyenberg’s.