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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Law U chapter.

At this point in 2020, I think we can all agree that drinking dairy milk beyond infancy is a thing of the past. For years now, plant-based kinds of milk have been at the forefront of our generation and have basically become a trend.  Every restaurant, coffee chain, and cafè has non-dairy alternatives to support peoples’ needs, no matter what they may be.

In the past, we’ve been told cow’s milk is good for building strong bones, but in actuality, there’s not much evidence that supports this claim. It’s seen as not having many benefits for us at all.  You will get the same, if not more calcium and nutritional intake from drinking plant-based kinds of milk!

Beyond all the facts, you can drink whatever your heart desires. For me, I choose to only drink plant-based milk, so here is how they lineup for me!

Oat Milk

Oat milk is the newest of plant-based beverages and my most favorite plant-based milk I’ve tried. It has a very smooth consistency and sweet taste that almost reminds me of the flavorful milk left in your bowl of cereal after you’ve eaten it all. It’s best with coffee because of its creamy texture that almost melts its flavor into your beverage. It can serve as a great substitute for creamers high in sugar and fat. Oat milk is also higher in calcium than dairy-based milk! In terms of water usage, oat milk is much better for the environment compared to almond milk. It only takes ten liters versus seventy liters of water to produce one glass.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is the first plant-based milk I’ve ever tried. Around 5 years ago, when people started talking more about dairy alternatives, I began to drink almond milk. In comparison to oat milk, almond milk has less than half the calories and a sufficiently less amount of carbohydrates (one gram versus sixteen grams). Almond milk is much thinner and better with foods like smoothies, granola, and cereal. The only downside is that almond milk increases water usage which is impactful on the environment, yet it still does not even compare to that of dairy milk.

Coconut Milk

I’ve only had coconut milk a few times in drinks I’ve ordered from coffee shops, specifically cold brew and refreshers from Starbucks. It’s sweet and floral with a hint of nutty taste from the coconut meat itself. True coconut milk sold in cans separates into two consistencies, a thick cream that rises to the top, and then a thin milk that sits at the bottom. It can go great as a fruit topper or when it is paired with granola but don’t mistake it for coconut water, a hydrating low-calorie beverage taken straight from the fruit. Coconut is definitely an acquired taste and over time I’ve learned to really enjoy it!

Cashew Milk

To me, cashew milk is the perfect alternative to almond milk, if almond milk isn’t your thing.  Personally, I prefer other plant-based kinds of milk, but its nutrients are very similar to that of almond milk. It won’t necessarily work to replace dairy milk in terms of nutrients, like protein, but if you’re lactose intolerant, it’s a good option to start with! Nowadays, it’s just as easy to find aside from almond and oat milk, with big brands like Silk adding it to their lineup.

Soy Milk

Lastly, soy milk. This milk, by far, is my least favorite and I would never choose to drink it. Of course, if it’s something you think you would enjoy, then give it a try! Soy milk is the most similar to dairy milk, in my opinion, and came into the public eye mainly for people who were severely lactose intolerant. It was one (if not the first) non-dairy milk to hit the market and stands apart from other plant-based beverages as less original nowadays. It just never fully caught on like the other beverages being sold today.

Beyond these five, there are many other plant-based beverages to choose from instead of drinking dairy milk. These include Rice, Hemp, Hazelnut, and Quinoa, to name a few.

From this list, you can see that not only is drinking plant-based milk better for you and the environment, but there are also so many to choose from. You’re bound to like at least one! Go give them a try if you haven’t already!


Disclaimer: Her Campus at St. Law U is neither sponsored by nor affiliated with any brands or companies mentioned in this article.

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Claire Wergin

St. Law U '22

Hi! My name is Claire Wergin, a proud member of HC at St Law U! I'm studying Communications and Psychology with a focus and intended career in Social Media/Public Relations. Some of my favorite things to do outside of the classroom are spending time with family & friends, baking, traveling, and exercising!
Allison ("Allie") Attarian studied Psychology and Communications at St. Lawrence University where she was a Campus Correspondent for HC St. Law U. Allie was also a Campus Community Management Intern for the Community Team at Her Campus Media. Her combined passion for creativity, reading, and writing sparked her interest in joining Her Campus. She loves traveling, listening to music, creating visual art, and spending time with friends. Check out her personal blog here.