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Protein makes up a central part of a medical weight loss plan. But for those who avoid animal products, or who are allergic to dairy, meal planning can feel a bit more challenging. Normally we might recommend low-fat dairy products for the protein, calcium, and vitamin D that they contain. But luckily, milk alternatives do exist. Let’s take a look at your options.
Almond milk. One serving of almond milk contains 60 calories and one gram of protein. Some brands are fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. With a mild flavor, almond milk can be a great substitute for those who would normally enjoy a glass of milk but don’t (or can’t) consume dairy. However, due to the low protein content, this isn’t the best option for those who want to include protein in a drink.
Oat milk. At 120 calories and three grams of protein per serving, oat milk is a bit heavy on the calories and a bit light on protein. It’s also high in carbs, with 13 grams per serving. Oat milk is very filling and you might enjoy it as an occasional treat (or in your coffee) but it isn’t the best choice.
Coconut milk. With 70 calories per serving, coconut milk makes a great dairy substitute in recipes that would normally call for milk. However, it contains zero protein, so coconut milk is not the right beverage for those looking to obtain protein from a non-dairy option.
Pea milk. With 90 calories and eight grams of protein in a serving, pea milk offers a great, protein-rich alternative to dairy. Fortified versions contain calcium and vitamins D and B12. And since the flavor is similar to cow’s milk, many people find it an acceptable substitute. You can even use pea milk in baking.
As far as protein goes, oat milk is the clear winner here. However, another option is to use one of the other plant-based options and add a vegan protein powder. This might be a good option for those who really need to get more protein in their medical weight loss plan but from non-animal sources.
As for your protein requirements, give us a call to discuss a medical weight loss plan. We can help you understand how your caloric requirements for each day should break down.