Cow’s milk is out of the question. There are so many plant-based milk options popping in the market right now that are so much lower in calories.
However, not all plant-based milk is created equal.
Some are higher in protein than others. Some are sweetened, and some are unsweetened. Some are fortified with vitamins, some are not.
Knowing how each of the different plant-based kinds of milk compares with each other is the key to helping you figure out which one is the best to help you lose weight.
So, what’s the best milk to lose weight? Find out below!
What’s The Best Milk To Lose Weight?
Cashew and almond milk are my to-go kinds of milk for weight loss. The primary reason why I picked these is that they are low in calories, they are delicious, and they are easy to find in grocery stores.
1. Is Cashew Milk Good For Weight Loss?
Cashew milk is my top pick. One cup of a store-bought has only about 25 calories! It is the lowest in calories of all the plant-based kinds of milk.
Nutrition: Cashew milk is usually fortified with vitamin D and A, calcium, and magnesium.
Unfortunately, it is not a significant source of protein.
Taste: With its nutty and mildly buttery flavor, it is one of the best-tasting plant-based kinds of milk.
It works great as an alternative coffee creamer, for thickening smoothies, and as an excellent pair to cereals.
Watch out for: Commercially sold cashew milk which might contain high sugar and sodium content.
Cashew milk is not advisable for people dealing with nuts allergies.
Price: It is slightly more expensive than almond milk but a lot more expensive than cow’s milk.
A 64 fluid ounce Silk unsweeten cashew carton of milk costs about $3.20 at Target.
How to make it: Cashew milk is one of the most straightforward plant-based kinds of milk you can make on your own.
To start with, soak ¾ cup of cashew nuts in water overnight.
Drain and rinse the nuts. Combine cashews with 3 cups of water. Blend at high speed for about 2 minutes. Add sweetener or vanilla if desired.
Strain milk with a fine mesh strainer. Store in your refrigerator and consume within 3 to 4 days.
2. Is Almond Milk Good For Weight Loss?
If you don’t like cashew milk, try almond milk. Almond milk is the second go-to choice.
A cup of unsweetened almond milk can be as low as 35 calories, which is still significantly less than the 150 calories in a cup of whole milk.
Nutrition: It is a rich source of magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, and E.
Because almond milk is already strained and is typically made from blanched skinless almond nuts, it is not a good source of fiber. Also, a significant portion of its natural antioxidants is removed.
However, it has a little more protein and fiber than cashew milk, but the difference is almost negligible.
Taste: The taste is the closest to cow’s milk. It blends well into just about anything. Great for baking.
Watch out for: Like cashew milk, be careful of the number of additives such as preservatives and sugar that manufacturers add.
Remember to avoid if you are allergic to nuts.
Price: It is slightly less expensive than cashew milk but more expensive than cow’s milk.
A 64 fluid ounce Silk unsweeten almond carton of milk costs about $2.99 at Target.
How to make it: Making your own almond milk at home is easy. All you need is a blender, a cup of almonds, and water.
To start with, soak 1/2 cup of almonds in water overnight. By soaking the almonds, its skin is softened, allowing it to peel off easily when you rinse the almonds.
Then, put the skinless almonds in a blender with two cups of water. Blend well until smooth.
Lastly, strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or nut milk bag to remove the solid particles.
3. Is Flax Milk Good For Weight Loss?
Yes! Flax milk has one the lowest calories among non-dairy milk and is excellent if you want to lose weight.
A cup of unsweetened flax milk has about 25-60 calories. I listed it as the number 3 best because it is not as easy to find in stores.
Nutrition: Flax milk can help lower blood pressure and help manage blood sugar levels. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamins A, B12, and D.
Some brands of flax milk, like “Good Karma,” have added pea protein to it, so it can also be a great source of protein.
Taste: Flax milk has an outstanding creamy taste, making it perfect for smoothies or baking.
Watch out for: Drink flax milk with caution if you are at risk for estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
Price: It costs about the same as almond milk.
A 64 fluid ounce Good Karma unsweeten flax carton of milk costs about $2.98 at Walmart.
How to make it: Blend 1/4 cup whole flaxseeds, 3 cups water, and a pinch of salt.
Pour the mixture into a container, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Scoop out the flax matter on the top, and strain the rest of the milk with a cheesecloth.
Store in your refrigerator and consume within 4 to 5 days.
Other Plant-Based Alternatives
Not looking for what’s the best milk to lose weight but just want a tasty plant-based milk substitute?
Here are 8 more plant-based milk alternatives you might want to know about.
(Keep in mind that although I have done my best to provide the approximate calories for each type of milk, calories will vary from brand to brand)
1. Coconut Milk
One cup of unsweetened coconut milk has about 45 calories.
Coconut milk is loaded with healthy saturated fatty acids. Dr. Josh Axe, a certified natural medicine doctor, says that coconut milk is one of the most nutritious plant-based milk substitutes.
It is rich in minerals such as copper, selenium, manganese, and zinc and has low sugar content.
Coconut milk has a creamy and mild natural sweetness making it great for desserts and curries.
Make your own coconut milk at home. Simply combine freshly chopped coconut meat with water. Blend well until you get a smooth, thick liquid.
Use cheesecloth to strain the milk. Store in your refrigerator and consume within 3 to 4 days.
2. Oat Milk
One cup of unsweetened oat milk has about 45 calories.
It contains a small amount of soluble fiber and protein. And it is rich in protein, calcium, and folic acid, vitamins A, B12.
Oat milk also helps promote lower cholesterol levels which are good for your heart.
Light, inexpensive, and has a delectable, naturally sweet flavor that makes a good choice if you want a non-dairy milk alternative.
Unfortunately, oats have gained negative connotations due to the pesticides associated with growing them. Therefore, it is best to buy organic oat milk.
Also, if you are allergic to gluten, it is best to avoid oat milk as it is prone to gluten cross-contamination since, most of the time, oats are grown in the same fields as wheat.
Oat milk is quick and easy to make. All you have to do is combine one cup of old-fashioned rolled oats and three cups of water into your blender.
Blend on high until you achieve a smooth consistency. Strain the milk using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Refrigerate to enjoy refreshing, chilled oat milk.
3. Macadamia Milk
One cup of unsweetened macadamia milk has about 50 calories.
Macadamia nut milk is also a fairly new entrant into the plant-based milk market. It’s not commonly found in groceries, but you will be delighted once you get to taste it.
It has a natural sweetness and is creamy and savory.
It is packed with antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fats.
If you are allergic to nuts, you should definitely stay away from this macadamia nut milk. Excessive consumption of it may also lead to constipation or diarrhea in some individuals.
4. Hemp Milk
One cup of unsweetened hemp milk has about 60 calories.
Hemp is an excellent source of protein which makes it great for athletes, according to Dr. Joel Fuhrman.
It also contains high amounts of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and iron. It is low in saturated fats and contains vitamins and minerals that help improve cognitive performance and aid in skincare.
The main drawback of choosing hemp milk as a non-dairy substitute is its price. It is one of the most expensive dairy-free alternatives.
Fortunately, you can make homemade hemp milk easily. Simply mix one-half cup of hemp seeds and about four cups of water in a blender.
Blend until smooth for around two minutes. Lastly, filter solid particles using a strainer. Keep in the fridge and consume within two to three days.
5. Pea Milk
One cup of unsweetened pea milk has about 70 calories.
One of the newer types of non-dairy milk substitutes in the market is pea milk. With 8 grams of protein, pea milk boasts of its high protein content.
It is also packed with calcium, potassium, omega-3, and vitamin D.
Organic and unsweetened pea milk has an earthier flavor. It may also leave a mildly bitter and chalky feel in the mouth which many people may dislike.
6. Rice Milk
One cup of unsweetened rice milk has about 70 calories.
It’s low in fat and is a good source of vitamins A, B, and D. It also contains manganese and selenium, which are known to be powerful antioxidants.
It has a naturally sweet and mild taste.
Rice milk is a great plant-based milk substitute, especially for those who have allergies to gluten, nuts, and soy.
However, it’s high in the glycemic index, at a GI of 79 to 92, and is not the best option if you are trying to watch out for your sugar level.
To make rice milk, you will only need a blender, rice, and water. It’s best to use brown rice as it is more nutritious than white rice.
Simply combine ½ cup of cooked brown rice and 2 cups of water. Blend well until smooth.
Strain the mixture and store it in your refrigerator for a cold refreshing rice milk drink.
7. Soy Milk
One cup of unsweetened soy milk has about 80 calories.
The closest non-dairy cow’s milk substitute in terms of nutrition, a cup of soy milk provides 7 grams of protein and provides all the essential amino acids.
Besides being rich in protein, soy milk also contains ample amounts of calcium, fiber, iron, and B-complex vitamins.
Soy milk is one of the widely used plant-based milk substitutes. You can find it easily in supermarkets and health food stores.
I would suggest buying organic soy milk, as soy crops are known to be heavily sprayed with pesticides.
Some believe that too much soy milk is also associated with soy allergies, gas pains, and thyroid disorders.
So, like in most foods, drink soy milk in moderation and opt for unsweetened soy milk to avoid too much sugar.
8. Hazelnut Milk
One cup of unsweetened hazelnut milk has about 90 calories.
It’s rich in dietary fiber and essential fatty acids that promote heart health. Hazelnut milk is also packed with vitamins B and E, and it’s high in folic acid.
Hazelnut milk has a remarkably delicious sweet, creamy, and nutty taste. It’s great as a coffee creamer or to use for overnight oats.
And since it is also made from nuts, it is not recommended for individuals who are allergic to nuts.
Hazelnut milk is also a more expensive plant-based milk substitute.
The good news is, you can easily make your own hazelnut milk in the comfort of your home.
First, allow the hazelnuts to soak in water for at least four hours. Drain and rinse well. Combine water and hazelnuts in a blender.
Blend until smooth. Filter the mixture using a cheesecloth. Refrigerate and enjoy your own delicious hazelnut milk.
Download this cheat sheet to learn the secrets to go from busy and out-of-shape to energetic and fit!
A Growing Population Are Now Ditching Cow’s Milk
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) claims that Americans are now drinking less cow’s milk than they used to in the past.
Notably, dairy allergies are on the rise, with 50 million Americans suffering from lactose intolerance, according to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
And even those who have no issue drinking cow’s milk are now turning to plant-based milk substitutes.
This is due to the growing concern about using GMOs among cows to increase their milk production.
There is also increasing awareness of the environmental impact of raising cows for the dairy industry.
And, with so many options available in the market, drinking plant-based milk has never been better and healthier.
The taste is excellent, it can be made at home, it’s low in calories, and the nutritional profile of certain types even exceeds cow’s milk dietary contents.
For all those reasons, plant-based milk is continuing to dramatically gain popularity!
Going for Plant-Based Milk? Things to Consider:
Some milk alternatives may not be suitable for certain individual’s lifestyle and nutritional requirements.
You may also need to watch out for gluten, nut, and soy allergies.
You can opt to choose the flavored varieties but be weary about extra sugars, gums, and gels added to enhance the milk’s taste and texture.
Pick plant-based milk with minimal to no amount of additives, thickeners, and fillers.
Also, consider looking for GMO-free, organic varieties free from toxins that offer more natural health benefits for your body.
This is especially important for nut-based milk such as cashew and almond. These crops are heavily treated with pesticides.
Is goat milk good for weight loss?
No. Goat milk is high in calories, with about 168 calories per cup.
One advantage of goat milk over cow’s milk is that it is easier to digest. It is also creamier than other types of milk and more nutritious than most types of milk.
Is camel milk good for weight loss?
Although it is not as high in calories as goat milk with about 100 calories per cup, I would still not recommend it because it is not plant-based.
You could drink 4x more cashew milk for the same number of calories. So my answer is “no” for weight loss.
However, camel milk is better than cow’s milk for those who are lactose intolerant.
It has lower sugar and cholesterol levels than other types of milk, and it is very rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Is golden milk good for weight loss?
Golden milk is also known as Tumeric milk.
This milk is commonly made by combining milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and a sweetener. The mix is drank warm.
One cup of golden milk has about 90 calories, so I would not consider it suitable for weight loss. Other types of plant-based milk are a lot lower in calories.
Is A2 milk good for weight loss?
As it turns out, there are two types of protein in cow’s milk: A1 and A2. A2 milk contains A2 protein, which is easier for your body to digest.
The A1 protein is believed to be linked to gastrointestinal problems in some humans when consumed.
A2 milk is excellent for those who are lactose intolerant, but it not great for weight loss. It has about 120 calories per cup.
Which is better full fat or skimmed milk?
Reduced-fat milk or fat-free milk is better than whole milk for weight loss because it has fewer calories.
Skim milk has about 90 calories per cup, and full-fat milk has about 150 calories per cup.
In addition, regular milk contains 4.6 grams of saturated fat per cup.
The American Heart Association recommends that someone with a 2,000 calorie diet have no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
Reduced-fat milk contains 1 gram of fat per cup. It is made by removing fat from whole milk, which may reduce calories but unfortunately also leads to a decrease in protein and calcium.
Either way, I encourage you to drink plant-based milk instead of cow’s milk.
Is chocolate milk good for weight loss?
Chocolate is not suitable for weight loss in general as it’s high in calories and fat. Therefore, drinking chocolate milk will most likely do more harm than good.
I do, on occasion, like to buy unsweeten almond chocolate milk from the Whole Foods brand. It’s delicious!
And in fact, it has almost the same number of calories as the original almond milk! Only 40 calories per cup! I say go for it!
On the other hand, chocolate-flavored whole milk has up to 210 calories per cup! Run away as fast as you can from this one!
If you want to lose weight, it’s crucial to maintain a calorie deficit each day. Drinking plant-based milk is a step in the right direction to achieving that goal.
Choosing plant-based milk like cashew and almond over cow’s milk can help keep your sugar intake low while providing some of the same nutrients—plus, they are usually a lot lower in calories!
Opt for the organic and unsweetened varieties to boost the health benefits you can get.
Therefore, if you ask me, “what’s the best milk to lose weight?,” cashew milk is my clear choice!
It is also an excellent option if you’re looking for ways to cut back on cow’s milk without feeling deprived.
What is your plant-based milk of choice when you are on weight loss mode? Let me know in the comments below!
LilyHi, I'm Lily! Like you, I have struggled with my weight. It was not an easy journey but I was able to lose 40 pounds and have kept it off for 14 years. My goal is to share with you all the research, tips, and tricks that I have learned over the years to help you lose weight also.
Download this cheat sheet to learn the secrets to go from busy and out-of-shape to energetic and fit!