Milk and Vegetable Beverages – How to Make Your Choice?

15 February, 2018 , , , ,

This article was submitted by our partner, the Fondation québécoise de la maladie cœliaque (FQMC). It was written by a dietitian to help those on a gluten-free diet. However, the information is relevant to everyone!

Milk as a nutritional beverage is no longer the only available choice in grocery stores. Whatever the reason why a person may choose to consume milk, a gluten-free vegetable drink or alternate between them, the important thing is to do it in an enlightened way!


Gluten-Free Meal Plans from SOSCuisine

To know

TYPE OF BEVERAGE MAIN NUTRITIONAL FEATURES
Enriched soy beverage, original or unsweetened
  • Nutritional value closest to milk
  • Protein: 6 g per 250 ml (1 cup)
  • A little more fiber (2 g) than milk (0 g) per 250 ml (1 cup)
Enriched soy beverage, flavored (ex: chocolate, strawberry)
  • Same characteristics as the original version
  • More added sugars (up to double the amount contained naturally in milk)
Coconut beverage
  • More fats
  • Protein content almost zero
Almond beverage, enriched
  • Very little protein (about 1g per 250 ml (1 cup))
  • The fats present are unsaturated, important for health
Rice beverage
  • More rich in carbohydrates (sugars) than milk, even in its original version
  • Generally easy to digest
Nut beverage (cashews, almonds and hazelnuts, etc.)
  • Similar to almond drink
Hemp beverage
  • A little omega-3 (a fat essential to health)
  • Few proteins
Cow’s milk
  • 9 g protein per 250 ml (1 cup)
  • Natural source of calcium and other vitamins such as B12
Cow’s milk, lactose-free
  • Similar to regular milk
  • Up to 12 g of protein per 250 ml (1 cup)
Homemade beverage, made from nuts or seeds (ex: almonds)
  • Nutritional value close to that of the plants used
  • No enrichment of vitamins and minerals, unlike the commercial version

“ENRICHMENT: A MUST in choosing a vegetable beverage”

Most vegetable beverages are enriched to obtain the maximum number of nutrients and thus get closer to the nutritional value of milk. A notice on the label indicates that the vegetable drink has been enriched and the added nutrients are found on the ingredient list. They are usually calcium, zinc and vitamins A, D and B complex (including cobalamin or B12, and riboflavin or B2- according to the brand). These nutrients should also be monitored at the time of a diagnosis of celiac disease (checking for nutritional deficiencies) and thereafter (to ensure sufficient intake while eating gluten-free). Some brands are enriched with a greater variety of B-complex vitamins than others (ex thiamine or B1, pyridoxine or B6, niacin or B3 and pantothenic acid or B5).

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Author

Fondation québécoise de la maladie coeliaque

The Quebec Foundation for Celiac (Québec Celiac Foundation) is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in regard to diseases induced by gluten. Its mission is to ensure that a gluten-free life is simpler and safer.
Marie-Eve Deschênes, RD, has been a dietitian at the Québec Celiac Foundation since 2008 and member of the College of Dieticians of Quebec.

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