There seems to be a common misconception, that transitioning to the vegan diet means you will struggle to get enough protein in your diet.
While animal-based products do contain a high amount of protein, vegan alternatives also do, especially when it comes to their milk alternatives.
Since veganism has been on the rise, there has been an array of plant-based milk alternatives being created, from soy milk to all kinds of nut milk.
Many of these kinds of milk contain beneficial nutrients, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and a good amount of protein.
However, those who would like to consume more protein on the vegan diet may be wondering which milk has the most protein.
This article will be discussing this, as well as some other interesting facts about cow’s milk.
The Importance Of Protein On The Vegan Diet
Switching to the vegan diet does not mean you will develop a protein deficiency.
However, since you are cutting out all animal-based products (which contain a lot of protein), it is important to be mindful of where you get your protein sources from now on.
Be sure that you are eating enough vegetables that are high in protein such as broccoli, and enough leafy greens, legumes, and nuts.
Plant-based milk also packs a lot of protein, such as soy and pea milk, which can actually contain more protein than animal milk.
The Truth About Dairy And Health
You may have noticed in grocery stores, that dairy milk is cheaper than plant-based milk. While this is the case, the cost of producing dairy comes at a much higher price, especially when it comes to our health.
Did you know that we are the only species that still drinks milk from another species? Other mammals stop doing this once they’ve received the appropriate nutrients, so why do we continue to drink it?
While there are good minerals and nutrients in dairy milk, it is also very high in saturated fats.
This is because it is used to help calves grow at a fast rate when they are young, so it is filled with high levels of this kind of fat.
Although this is good for animals, the same can’t be said for adult humans.
Consuming too many products that are high in saturated fats could lead to high cholesterol levels, leaving you at a high risk of having strokes, and heart attacks.
The main carbohydrate that is present in milk is lactose.
In order to digest it properly, children produce the appropriate enzyme when they are young, but as we get older, many of us lose the ability to break down lactose as we transition into adulthood.
This is why many adults develop lactose intolerance, leading to them opting for plant-based alternatives.
Lactose intolerance produces some uncomfortable symptoms, such as bloating, nausea, cramps, gas, and diarrhea.
Some dairy contains high levels of acidity, and this can be harmful to the body. Higher levels of acid in the body can lead to inflammation, asthma, heart disease, and even cancer.
However, our bodies do have the appropriate mechanisms to counteract acidity levels in the body, but they can only do so much.
If you consume too much dairy, then your body may not be able to get rid of the acid fast enough, leading to an unhealthy environment in your body.
The Dairy Industry And The Environment
It’s no secret that the dairy industry has a large effect on the environment.
Mass amounts of forests are being destroyed to cater for the dairy industry and producing all this meat and dairy results in a large number of greenhouse gas emissions.
These emissions are responsible for climate change and are contributing to global warming.
Several studies have shown that switching to a plant-based diet can reduce Green House Gas Emissions.
Which Plant-Based Milk Has The Highest Amount Of Protein?
This is one of the newer types of vegan milk to grace the world with its presence. It uses pea protein, which is the same protein used to make the famous ‘Beyond Burger’, made from yellow peas.
The ‘Beyond Burger’ actually contains more protein than regular ground beef, so it is not surprising that milk made from pea protein contains the most protein.
It is also free from soy and free from nuts, so those who are allergic to nuts can enjoy this vegan milk.
Depending on the brand, this milk can contain 4 grams of protein (NotMilk), or it can contain 8 grams (Ripple). Therefore, for more of a protein hit, opt for the latter!
Made from soybeans and water, soy milk can be seen as a byproduct of tofu.
Many different brands will add some thickeners to give it more of a milk-like consistency, and when it comes to vegan milk, is one of the ones with the highest protein content.
However, as is the case with pea milk, the amount of protein it contains will depend on the brand.
The brand Silk, for example, recently released a high-protein version of their soy milk that is aimed at athletes. One serving of this milk contains a whopping 20 grams of protein.
Oat milk is another very popular vegan milk. It is soy and nut free, making it a great option for those with allergies to these substances.
It is also a great option for coffee, with Baristas drooling over how well it foams for lattes!
You can expect to find around 3 to 4 grams of protein in a serving of oat milk.
Hemp milk is a popular option due to its creamy consistency, and because of this, it compliments coffee, smoothies, and cereal, very nicely.
It also has a good amount of protein, with each serving containing around 2 to 4 grams no matter what the brand is.
Flax milk is made from flax seeds and the result is a much lighter milk alternative. It also has a very bland taste, which makes it a good option for mixing in with smoothies, and protein powders.
Flax seeds are also a great substitute for eggs when it comes to baking! You can expect to find around 3 grams of protein per serving of flax milk.
Almond Milk is a favorite milk alternative in the states and is in the lead when it comes to sales of $1.3 billion.
However, there is some controversy over almond milk, as it uses up a lot of water to produce, as opposed to other crops.
That being said, it is still better than cow’s milk when it comes to water usage. One cup of almond milk takes 74 liters of water to produce, whereas a cup of cow’s milk takes 130 liters.
There are also far fewer greenhouse gas emissions when it comes to producing almond milk, but it only contains 1 gram of protein per serving, so you may want to look elsewhere if you’re trying to increase your protein intake on a vegan diet.
Cashew milk is another delicious option due to its creamy consistency, and slightly sweet taste. Unfortunately, it is pretty low on the protein scale, providing you with less than a gram of protein per serving.
Like the previous option, coconut milk is not your friend when it comes to protein, as it also contains less than one gram of protein per cup.
However, it is a delicious alternative to cow’s milk, so if you’re sure you’re getting enough protein from other food sources, then you shouldn’t avoid this yummy vegan milk.
When it comes to finding vegan, plant-based milk, there are an array of options that are delicious and healthy.
When it comes to protein content, pea and soy milk are in the lead, with oat milk following closely after.
However, if you are mindful of what you eat, and ensure to consume enough protein throughout your meals of the day, then you don’t need to choose a milk that is very high in protein.
For those who need a lot of protein, such as athletes, then there are milk brands out there that have included extra protein in their plant-based milk for this purpose, such as the brand Silk.
Switching to a vegan diet does not mean you are missing out on protein.
As you have seen from this list, many alternatives have a good amount of protein, and when paired with nutritional foods, make for an all-round, balanced diet.