How to Pick the Healthiest Bread

Bread is a wonderful thing….soft, slightly chewy, and oh-so-delicious! Gluten is not the enemy! While I do not want to devote this post to talking about gluten, I do would like to briefly address it.images Gluten is absolutely not the enemy! Gluten is a component of all breads and unless you have celiac disease, by no means should you be avoiding it. Bread, when consumed in the correct portion and the correct type can offer many wonderful benefits and can help fuel your body and give you a boost of quick energy. Your body, organs (THE BRAIN!!!), and every single cell relies on glucose, the structural component of the breakdown of carbohydrates for energy and proper functioning. This is why it is recommended by the DRI that 45-65% of your caloric intake to come from carbohydrates. Without carbohydrates you would get migraines, feel sluggish, experience blurry vision, and have some balance problems.

So let’s talk about choosing the best choice. Obviously whole grain is a million times better than white bread because of the fact that it contains an abundance of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are all present in the bran and germ of the wheat grain. Iron, magnesium, phosphorus, since, copper, manganese, and B vitamins are some of the many wonderful benefits of eating whole grains.

whole_grain_stamp.jpgWhen assuring you are picking a whole grain bread, it will often times have the whole grain stamp, meaning that it has been accredited by the whole grain council and meets certain recommendations (16 grams or more per serving).

 

WholeGrainKernel_WGC_0.jpgAnatomy of the whole grain:

Whole grains contain all of the components, including the bran, endosperm, and germ. All of these components aid in allowing whole grains to have the benefits they do in that they provide the vital vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and healthy fat. White bread is made of the same grain, but the industry implements a process where they strip the bran and germ and only keep the endosperm, thus resulting in the white color. During this process, the industry re-adds all the nutrients and vitamins that were lost. However, the benefits of eating whole grains with all the nutrients intact are much better since they are naturally present.

There are other key factors to look for when choosing bread:

Sodium: This is often times overlooked, but is incredibly important. When picking bread you want no more than 140mg per slice. Considering you typically make a sandwich using two slices and add various condiments and lunch meat, sodium content can really add up!

Fiber: This is important obviously because the importance of the benefits associated with it. Aiding in satiety, helping your digestion, and lowering your cholesterol are some of the benefits associated with fiber. In terms of bread, look for about 3-4 grams of fiber to really benefit.

Protein: This is often times overlooked, but whole grain bread is actually higher in protein than white bread! Protein is important for helping you stay and feel full, maintain the structure and function of your body, and is responsible for many more benefits. Look for about 4-5 grams per slice.

So the next time you are at the grocery store picking up a loaf of bread, turn the package around and glance at the nutrition panel for some of the key factors discussed above!

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How to Pick the Healthiest Nut Butter

1423755769193With all the different brands of nut butters out in the market, it can be incredibly difficult to try and choose a healthy one. Nut butter are a great source of fat and protein and are absolutely delicious and versatile. Peanut butter used to be the most common and only nut butter out in the market, until people with peanut allergies demanded other nut butters…and thankfully the industry responded! If you are a lifelong peanut butter fan (and I know I am!), I highly encourage you to venture out and try some other nut butters in the market as different nuts have different tastes and offer a different nutritional quality.0210p117-nut-butter-m

There are MANY brands and kinds out there, so it can absolutely be difficult and confusing to pick the best option. Here is my number one tip for choosing nut butters:

THERE SHOULD ONLY BE ONE OR TWO INGREDIENTS!!!!!!

….NOTHING MORE

….NOTHING LESS!!!! 😉

So for example, your peanut butter jar should only list one ingredient…PEANUTS..and maybe some salt. Almond butter should be almonds and perhaps some salt.

…etc with the other nut butters! 😉

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Let’s take a look at a common brand and type many people eat:

Jif or Skippy  peanut butter is a common household Screen shot 2011-11-14 at 2.50.56 PMname that many people have grown up eating. Sadly, if we take a look at the ingredients we can see that there are various speculating ingredients. The one that is flagging red flregularjifags at me is the fully hydrogenated vegetable oil. THIS IS BAD!! Basically *in a nut shell * 😉 what this is, is a chemical process done by the industry to turn an unsaturated (good) fat, in this case the vegetable oil, into a saturated fat by the addition of hydrogens to every single carbon essentially making what was once a liquid turn sold at room temperature in order to solidify the peanut butter at room temperature. This is all saturated fat that is artery clogging and in the long run can put you at risk to develop heart disease.

NO…NO..NO!!

Unfortunately, many brands label their nut butter as being “NATURAL.” However, “NATURAL” is an unregulated term and is often times used by food companies to lure people into thinking their product is healthy when it really is not.

Lets look at a common peanut butter that most people think is healthy:

Jif “NATURAL” peanut butter. This is probably somewhere in your cupboard, as I know I used51WPXRsGHtL.jpg to have countless jars of this sitting on my college desk for emergency snacking situations. However, if you turn the jar around and look at that ingredient list, here’s what you will find:
naturaljif

Definitely more than one ingredient…

in fact sugar is the second ingredient! *gasp!*

Palm oil…?! WHAT IS THAT!!!!

Let me start out by explaining that nuts already contain high levels of fat. So why would the food industry be adding more fat?! I’m wondering the same thing you are. Not to confuse you (or bore you!)  with too much chemistry, however it is important to understand that palm oil contains a significant amount of saturated fat (i.e the bad artery clogging) and it has the ability to stabilize and cause solidification to occur in the peanut butter. This is ultimately why the jar says, “no need to stir.” It’s because of the palm oil inhibits the natural oils in the peanuts to separate.  So pretty much the only difference between the “NATURAL” and the original Jif or skippy mentioned above is the fact that palm oil is naturally saturated while the vegetable oil had to go through the hydrogenation process.

Therefore,  this means that if you follow my rule about nut butter containing one ingredient, you would have to make sure you stir it each time before you use since separation will occur because of the lack of saturated fat.

Take a closer look at the label and ingredients before you purchase your nut butter and happy fueling! 🙂healthiest-peanut-butter-brands.jpg

What to Eat for Healthy Hair?

Beauty-Tutorials-G03Such a popular topic like this one, many people are actually not aware that there is a direct relationship between one’s diet and your hair and even skin! What you feed your body is externally represented through your hair and skin and if you feed your body poorly and lead an  unhealthy lifestyle, your hair and skin will absolutely show and reflect that. Certain vitamins are known to have a positive effect on hair and skin and should be considered when trying to consume a balanced diet.

biotinAlthough not necessary, but used by many people because of their high amounts, specific dietary supplements can be taken to enhance hair and skin growth. Biotin is the most popular dietary supplement taken for hair growth and overall increased hair quality because of its role in strengthening and nourishing the hair.

ironIron is another vital vitamin that is crucial for healthy hair. Having too little iron causes anemia which leads to the shedding of the hair. Because the hair follicle is dependent upon a rich blood supply, having low iron levels in the blood depresses the amount that is supplied to the follicle, diminishing the hair growth cycle. Animal products like red meat, chicken and fish offer iron with a high bioavailability. Vegetarians can incorporate spinach, broccoli, kale, and lentils which are other excellent sources of Iron.

Best Foods for Healthy Hair:

Red fish

Salmon: Full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids that are essential fats our bodies do not make, this delicious fish supplies the cells that line the scalp and keep a sufficient amount of oil present in the scalp for healthy nourishment. Other good sources of omega-3 are mackerel, sardines, and herring.

sweet-potato-nutritional-fact-versus-regular-potatoSweet Potatoes: the Beta- Carotene present in these potatoes is converted into Vitamin A which is vital for cell growth and leads to the reproduction of hair growth. Vitamin A also creates an oily substance called sebum which is responsible for maintaining a healthy scalp and serving as a natural conditioner. A deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to dull, lifeless hair that can lead to hair dandruff. Carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, and kale are also excellent sources.

Mixed NutsNuts: rich in Vitamin E, nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts all provide significant amounts of Vitamin E to protect your hair from the sun. Also containing Zinc and Selenium, nuts are a wonderful source of many different vitamins all of which aid to the healthy development of hair.

eggsEggs: not only are they protein rich and versatile in cooking, they also supply sufficient amounts of Biotin to create lustrous hair and nails. Peanuts, almonds, salmon, and avocado are also all excellent sources.

PROTEIN

It is important to make sure that you are consuming enough protein in your diet, since your hair is mostly composed of protein. Keep in mind that protein doesn’t have to come from only red meat, but can come in many forms. It is important to choose lean protein choices to control fat intake and avoid the onset of weight gain and reduce the risk for developing heart disease. Chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, beans, lentils, and greek yogurt are all superior sources of protein and should be consumed in abundance because of the presence high quality protein contained in them. Adults need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a normal adult who consumes a 2000 calorie diet, 5.5 ounces of protein is recommended each day.

Other Tips!

Drink WATER:YES…we have all heard it way too much! But it is important to keep in mind that making sure your body is well hydrated makes for strong, soft, and lustrous hair!

Avoid heat products: although this is often difficult, the heat from curlers, irons, and blow dryers damage the hair and affects the quality, strength, and shine.

Avoid sulfate shampoo and conditioners: unfortunately most shampoos out in the market contain Sulfate, a toxic known to damage hair. It is best to switch to an organic sulfate-free shampoo to make sure you are providing the best cleansing products for your hair.

Avoid Stress: having too much stress in your life can mess up hormone levels in your body and lead to an effect on your metabolism. This can often times lead to hair loss and shedding and is usually temporary until the stress is relieved.

 

 

Why Breakfast Should Become Your Next Favorite Meal!

Healthy breakfast. Bowl of yogurt with granola and berries
Healthy breakfast. Bowl of yogurt with granola and berries

We have all been hearing it all the time since the time we were young kids growing up about how we should never skip breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. However, currently most people skip out on this meal leaving them short for optimizing their cognitive abilities and attention spam. Not only does breakfast fuel your body for the day, it also keeps your metabolism working and blood glucose levels stabilized. Much research has been conducted on the health effects that breakfast has on your body. All research has concluded and agreed upon the idea that breakfast eaters have an increased nutrient intake and improved diet quality.

In a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics titled The Role of Breakfast in Health: Definition and Criteria for a Quality Breakfast, the study focuses on defining the components the facilitate a good breakfast. Therefore, most research done previously is vulnerable to individual study-participant interpretation and can cause different interpretations of data by researchers. As a result, because of the lack of a consistent definition for what constitutes a “good” breakfast, this limits consistent results to be drawn regarding how determining the health effects of breakfast eaters.

To analyze what constitutes a quality breakfast since it’s definition varies between people and country of origin, the study written in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics by dietitians defines this important meal that literarily “breaks” the fasting a long night of sleep as contributing 15-20% of daily caloric intake. In terms of food groups, breakfast should be customized to fit a healthy diet in accordance with the recommendations set out by My-Plate. It is preferable that the breakfast meal contains protein rich foods paired with carbohydrate rich foods that are nutrients dense in aims of restoring glycogen stores after an extended period of time fasting while sleeping.

Huevos rancheros
Huevos rancheros

Protein sources in your breakfast meal include examples like eggs, low fat to fat free dairy, nuts and legumes, and lean meats with particular attention to low fat content and low sodium. As further explained in the study, “Eggs provide vitamins A and B-12 and potassium; lean meat provides B vitamins, zinc, iron, choline, and conjugated linoleic acid. Legumes, consumed most often by Hispanic Americans, are rich sources of dietary fiber, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Nuts, which might be consumed most often at the breakfast meal in cereals and other grain products, provide monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamins E and K, folate, magnesium, copper, selenium, and potassium.Low-fat and fat-free dairy products are important sources of carbohydrates, vitamins A and D, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium” (The Role of Breakfast in Health). Not only does protein increase satiety throughout the day, it also alters hormones in the body that control food intake regulation.

Healthy-CerealWhole grains coming from bread and cereal is another important component that should be part of the breakfast meal because of their tendency to be high in fiber, a nutrient of concern that is vital for proper digestion. Ready to eat cereals that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving have been shown to play a vital role in combating heart disease, obesity, cancer, and digestive diseases.

Fruit-salad-diet-healthy-breakfast-weight-lossFruits and vegetables is another group that should be part of the breakfast meal. Unfortunately, this group tends to be under consumed by almost al age groups of those in the US, but its importance is vital and extremely important in terms of providing nutrients and fiber that are crucial for proper health. Whole fruits, 100% fruit juices, and frozen fruit provide vital nutrients like fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamin D(if fortified).

Across the world from country to country, breakfast varies! Take a look at what breakfast is like across the world with this video!

Citations

O’neil, Carol E., Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Dayle Hayes, Laura Jana, Sylvia E. Klinger, and Susan Stephenson-Martin. “The Role of Breakfast in Health: Definition and Criteria for a Quality Breakfast.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 114.12 (2014): n. pag. Web.

Healthy Habits For Life!- A Sesame Workshop Organization Project

Healthy Habits for LifeBattling the obesity crisis with a ravenous blue monster and singing vegetables.”

HealthyHabits

In an effort to combat childhood obesity and increase awareness about making healthy food choices and exercising regularly, United Healthcare and Sesame Street have partnered together with first lady, Michelle Obama, to create the Health Habits for Life Initiative. As if we need another reason to love and admire Mrs. Obama this program is meant to be a huge initiative in helping our children who are now at risk for many health problems than they ever were before. As a part of this program, Sesame Workshop has created a bilingual outreach program called Food For Thought: Eating Well On a Budget. This nutrition education program targets low income family’s with children in trying to teach them effective strategies about how to eat, plan, and buy healthy foods all while attracting their attention through the familiar and loving Sesame Street characters we all cherish and admire. The program encompasses a DVD and many online resources that are available for free in aims to help family’s in need of creating life long healthy habits for themselves and their children. The specific example I am focusing on and reviewing is the free online resource kit, The Healthy Habits for Life Resource kit, which is produced in partnership with Nemours, Health and Prevention Services, and Kidshealth.org.

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The resource kit  was distributed to families who are at high risk for developing obesity through the supplemental nutritional program that serves many citizens throughout the country called the WIC (Womens, Infants, and Children) program . Approximately 4.5 million bilingual resource kits which feature simple recipes, activities, a story book, and DVD that has Elmo as the host encouraging kids to “Move Your Body!” and “Eat your Rainbow!” have shown to have significant impact. About 98% of these children’s food choices improved greatly through participation in this program which proves to show just how significant the impact a project like this can have on the health of many. The resource kit is meant to be printed out and placed in a binder so that all the useful and helpful tips and ideas can be effectively implemented by the audience. For this particular nutrition education program, the target audience are young children and their parents. The kit is divided up into three chapters with each chapter focusing in on a certain health topic. Chapter one is called Moving and Growing, and it focuses on the ways children get to feel and better understand what it’s like to dance or jump! The second chapter is called Go and GrowThis particular chapter features resources, facts, and tips on how to allow children to understand the health benefits of exercising and being active and their effects on the lungs, heart, muscles, and bones. The final and third chapter in this resource kit is called, What My Body Tells Me. This chapter features material that teaches children how to listen to their bodies and determine what makes them happy and healthy. 

Within each chapter there are tips for parents and games to play that get children moving,  specific tips to teach parents how to maScreen Shot 2015-10-03 at 10.48.49 AMke their children more engaged and enjoy building healthy life long habits, and even food cards that children can color. The handouts provided in this resource kit follows the basic principles of determining a nutrition educational approach in that the intervention program can be most effective when it focuses on specific food choices or diet-related practices. A wonderful example that implements this idea, is the activity in the kit that makes children create their own salad using fresh vegetables at home and then completing the associated worksheet that features fill -in -the- blanks about the ingredients used, coloring the vegetables on the worksheet, and indicating how many vegetables the child has picked. Here, the activity is urging children to eat more vegetables and urging them to learn how to create fun tasty salads that they can customize. In terms of the behavioral focus, this activity is aiming to make children more aware about the health benefits of vegetables and to elicit maintaining a good relationship with healthy foods.

Behavior change is a strong and evident goal that is being administrated throughout this kit as based on evidence of research regarding the needs of the population. The nutritional education strategies implemented throughout this intervention program is directly relevant to the behavioral focus of aiming to decrease childhood obesity and enhancing positive healthy lifestyle changes. The approach of this program is very clever in that it takes into consideration setting up an appropriate educational setting for these family’s, in addition to being mindful about the resources available to them. As a nutrition educator, I would personally use this resource kit as a tool for family’s with young children that seek nutritional guidance or attention, in addition to children with an increased risk for being obese or already are. Not only is this resource kit fun, effective, and creative, it is also free, making it even more accessible to family’s that need this kind of guidance.

Lemon Lovin ;)

I LOVE LEMONS! When the warmer weather arrives, there is nothing I love more than eating light, healthy, flavorfFettucine-with-Lemon-47ul meals. To achieve this, I love incorporating lemon juice and zest into my dishes to create a zesty and vibrant punge of bright flavors. I love eating colorful salads, pastas, and poultry and fish with lemon. Not only does lemon add SO much flavor to dishes and has the ability to shine through, it also has many added nutritional benefits like cleansing the body from toxins in addition to its antibacterial properties. It is also a wonderful source of vitamin C, which is known to boost immunity and help absorb the iron when consumed with iron rich foods. Below you will find some of my favorite recipes to make using lemons! My obsession with lemons came from falling in love with the beautiful country of Italy and its southern coast known for the most production.

The Amalfi southern coast of Italy  features some of the most beautiful and hypnotizing cities like Capri, Napoli, Postiano, Sorrento, and Pompeii. These beautiful cities over look the water and grow the most amount of lemons in the ENTIRE WORLD! There are lemons growing in just about everywhere you go. The lemons there happen to also be the size of a baseball 😉 With an overload of all these lemons, its not a surprise that they add lemon to just about any dish they make. Their national drink, the Limoncello, is a refreshing Italian lemon liquor made from lemon zest and peel that is steeped with rectified spirit and mixed with a sugar syrup to sweeten it up. 

Beautiful Italian music that is sure to put you in a good mood! Happy cooking! 🙂

Lemon Basil Spaghetti

Recipe by Giada de Laurentiis

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound of spaghetti/ Linguini (regular or whole wheat)

1/2 cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

2/3 cup olive oil(extra virgin or lemon infused)

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt+pepper to taste

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

2 chopped cloves of garlic

4 tablespoons capers

Directions: Boil salted water and cook spaghetti for 9-11 minutes until al-dente. In a separate bowl combine the lemon juice, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper, and capers.Chop the two cloves of garlic finely and add to the bowl with the other ingredients. Once cooked, scoop the hot pasta into the serving bowl and add the lemony dressing.Top with lemon zest. *I like to serve mine on a bed of spinach or arugula with some grilled fish or shrimp.*

Baked Lemon Ziti

Recipe by Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients

1 pound ziti pasta

Sauce

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup of flour

3 and 1/3 cups milk

Zest of 2 large lemons
¾ cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Topping
⅔ cup plain breadcrumbs
⅓ cup grated Parmesan
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a 13x9x2 inch pan. Boil water and cook ziti pasta until al-dente, about 8- 10 minutes. For the sauce, start of by melting the stick of butter in a sauce pan and add the flour, whisking until smooth. This should take about 2 minutes. Add the milk and lemon zest whisking quickly so that is stays  smooth. Take down to medium heat and stir frequently for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, basil, and thyme. In a large bowl combine the ziti pasta and the sauce until well incorporated. Pour in you buttered dish. In a separate bowl make the topping by mixing together the breadcrumbs and parmesan and spread evenly over the top of your pasta. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Lemony Tuna Pasta Salad
 Ingredients:
1 pound bowtie pasta
2 cans tuna
1 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt +pepper to taste
Directions
Cook pasta al dente for about 9-11 minutes once salted water has come to a boil. Meanwhile the pasta cooks, chop spinach, tomato, cucumber, yellow and orange peppers, olives, and basil. Place cut veggies in serving bowl. When pasta is cooked al-dente, rinse with cold water to stop cooking processes and to take heat away. Add to the serving bowl with cut veggies. Top with olive oil, lemon juice, zest, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Stir well and serve right away or keep in fridge.

Is Dairy good for you?

There is too much controversy over the presence of dairy in humans diets and whether it is really necessary. There have been numerous studies through which people attacked  dairy products and linking them to cause many adverse negative side effects on the human body. Instead of dairy as thought of to help osteoporosis and build strong bones, some studies are now suggesting that they actually cause calcium depletion in our bones. In addition it is also linked with causing acne and skin problems. The usage of growth hormones like rBST on cows has caused lots of controversy over the health side effects it causes on humans through the consumption of milk . Many studies have showed that drinking milk from cows who have been given growth hormones may cause girls to menstruate quicker because the hormones ingested in their bodies through milk causes them to mature at a quicker rate. The non-dairy industry has flourished over the past couple of years and its all because of people suddenly starting to stray away from the negative side effects associated with cows milk. Not all people that consume these non-dairy alternatives are lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy, but rather the shift in peoples lifestyle and thoughts about it has drastically changed. With the food industry taking advantage of this, there are many non dairy milk alternatives on the market today and it can get extremely confusing trying to figure out which to use. My personal suggestion about starting to consume non dairy milk alternatives is to completely understand what you are getting yourself into. These milk alternatives are more expensive than regular cows milk, but most offer equal if not more vitamins and minerals. Almond, Soy, Coconut, Cashew, Rice, and Hemp milk are a few of what is offered out on the market. Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of each type.

Almond milk

A popular, smooth, nutty, and sweet alternative to dairy milk, this milk has a mild nutty flavor that is perfect to pour over your cereal, bake with, or drink plain. It is made by grinding up almonds with water and often times adding sugar. There are flavor varieties as well that include the addition of other ingredients. (favors: vanilla and dark chocolate). One cup of almond milk has 60 calories, contains 50 % more calcium than dairy milk, vitamin D, A, and is an excellent source of vitamin E. However, it only contains 1 gram of protein.

Soy milk

A very mild flavor that works wonderful in baking and cooking, or in your cereal and coffee. Soy milk contains heart healthy soy protein. Coming in at 8 grams of protein in each cup with the addition of 100 calories. In addition, soy milk comes in a wide variety of flavors including original, unsweetened, vanilla, organic, and chocolate. It is also cholesterol free, and contains vitamins A,D, B12, C, iron, phosphorus, folate, and magnesium. It is truly a POWERHOUSE and contains as many, if not even more benefits than dairy milk. Although this milk is controversial because most people question the presence of soy in women body’s miming estrogen hormones and causing cancer, the FDA actually has come out and spoken about the many benefits of consuming soy as it has been

Coconut Milk

Derived from coconut flesh, this variety is the highest out of the milk alternatives in fat. It has a very potent coconut taste and is appropriate for baking, pouring over cereal, or drinking plain. The fat content in this kind of milk and in coconuts in general is regarded and thought of very highly for its many wonderful benefits of enhancing the bodies metabolism and actually increasing the ability to burn fat because of the present medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s). 

Cashew Milk

Similar to almond milk, this nutty variety has a similar taste but is more creamier and works similarly like almond. Coming in at 60 calories per cup, this alternative also contains 50% more calcium than dairy milk. However, it falls short with protein coming in at less than 1 gram per serving.

Rice Milk

A very watery bland tasting alternative that is not suitable for baking. Made from ground up brown rice, this variety contains 120 calories per cup and only 1 gram of protein. Best use is for pouring over cereal or oatmeal. Also comes in plain or vanilla.

Hemp Milk

A drink made from hemp seeds that have been ground up with water. This alternative has a slight nutty taste that is creamy and slightly sweet. Comes in at 80 calories per cup and 2 grams of protein. Only added benefit that differentiates this milk from the others is the presence of a significant source of omega 3 and 6.