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More than 60 percent of natural food shoppers use alternative, nondairy milk, according to a recent study from the Nutrition Business Journal. And with good reason: They’’re free of hard-to-digest lactose and offer a host of other health benefits. Here, Lisa Musician, RD, LDN, of Food Allergy Dietitian, Inc., helps us analyze the options.

milk alternatives

Almond milk, unsweetened

Nutrition perks: Has about 60 calories per cup, compared to 100 for 1% cow’s milk
KIWI picks: 365 Everyday Value’s Unsweetened Organic Almond Milk ($2 for 32 ounces, Whole Foods stores)

Coconut milk

Nutrition perks: Is equal in calories to 2% milk but has more healthy fats——a plus for growing kids who need a boost
KIWI picks: So Delicious Dairy Free Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage ($2 for 32 ounces, vitacost.com)

Hemp milk

Nutrition perks: Offers a well-balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids
KIWI picks: Pacific Foods’’ Hemp Original ($5 for 32 ounces, pacificfoods.com)

Oat milk, fortified

Nutrition perks: Contains more calcium than cow’s milk
KIWI picks: Pacific Foods’ Organic Oat Original ($8 for two 32-ounce bottles, pacificfoods.com)

Rice milk

Nutrition perks: Is considered the least allergenic of all the milk alternatives because it’s free of milk, egg, wheat, soy, tree nuts, and peanuts
KIWI picks: Rice Dream’s Enriched Unsweetened Original ($8 for two 32-ounce bottles, tastethedream.com)

Soy milk

Nutrition perks: Has about the same calorie and protein content as cow’s milk but is much lower in cholesterol
KIWI picks: Organic Valley’s Unsweetened Organic Soy Milk ($6 for 64 ounces, Whole Foods stores)

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