Milk and Vegetable Beverages – How to Make Your Choice?
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!
|TYPE OF BEVERAGE||MAIN NUTRITIONAL FEATURES|
|Enriched soy beverage, original or unsweetened||
|Enriched soy beverage, flavored (ex: chocolate, strawberry)||
|Almond beverage, enriched||
|Nut beverage (cashews, almonds and hazelnuts, etc.)||
|Cow’s milk, lactose-free||
|Homemade beverage, made from nuts or seeds (ex: almonds)||
“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).
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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