A Guide to the Best Dairy Free Milks

A Guide to the Best Dairy Free Milks

Whether for health or ethical reasons, more and more of us are shunning traditional cows milk in favour of dairy free alternatives. A piece of research from Mintel found that almost a quarter (23%) of us regularly consume non-dairy milk alternatives. There’s a big difference in quality when it comes to milk alternative products. Some are surprisingly highly processed. They can contain undesirable additives and low levels of the ingredient that the milk is supposedly based on. In 2015 a false advertising lawsuit was filed against the makers of Almond Breeze almond milk by consumers who were upset about the fact it only contained 2% almonds. On the other hand there are also some fantastic tasting, minimally processed milk alternatives made that use just a few simple ingredients.

Which dairy-free makes the best cappuccino? Which is best plant milk if you’re on a low carb diet? Find out here…


When it comes to choosing the healthiest dairy-free milk, there are several factors to consider. It’s important to avoid ultra processed products with long lists of additives like emulsifiers and stabilisers. Nutritional value and sugar content are also key considerations.

Soy milk is relatively high in protein compared with other dairy free milk alternatives. Pea milk is a relatively new dairy free milk alternative that provides protein, is low in sugar, and contains iron. Oat milk is a top favourite and it’s no surprise, given it’s sweet and creamy flavour. However, oat milk can be quite high in sugar compared to other plant milks. Good almond milks are low in sugar and a good source of vitamin E. Finally, coconut milk are typically a good source of healthy fats and can be used in a variety of drinks and savoury dishes.

There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing the best dairy-free milk for you. Here’s our breakdown of each option.


Currently the most popular of the dairy-free milks. Homemade almond milk can be made simply by blending together almonds and water (a small pinch of sea salt and vanilla bean extract are optional) before gently pressing the liquid through a muslin cloth.

Almonds are a natural source of vitamin E and almond milk is low in carbohydrates making it ideal for anyone on a low carb diet. Make sure you choose unsweetened almond milk as some varieties do contain added sugar.

Watch out for some bigger brands of almond milk which contain a very low percentage of almonds and have unnecessary additives.

Try: Plenish Organic Almond Milk.


Most commercial rice milks are made by pressing soaked brown or white rice through a mill.

Rice milk is the least likely of all dairy-free milks to cause an allergy, as it doesn’t contain common allergens such as nuts or soya. You can find rice milks that are fortified vitamins with like B12 and calcium but whilst boosting the nutrient content, these nutrients are not naturally occurring.

Even unsweetened rice milks can be quite high in naturally occurring sugars so be careful when it comes to how much you’re drinking. We don’t recommend rice milk for those on a low carb diet.

Try: Rude Health Brown Rice Drink.


The process of soya milk production varies quite significantly amongst commercial brands. Some go through multiple steps of industrial processing whilst more traditional soya milk is made by simply soaking soya beans and blending them with water.

Soya milk has the highest protein content of the dairy free milks. A 200ml serving of soya milk typically contains 6-7g – the same amount of protein in cow’s milk. Soya milk creates a good foam when steamed and many coffee experts believe that it’s the best option for use in cappuccinos.

Soya products can have an oestrogen-like effect in the body and if consuming large amounts, this may disrupt hormonal balance. If you choose to eat soya products, we would always recommend opting for organic as soya can be exposed to high pesticide usage during it’s farming.

Try: Provamel Organic Soya Milk.


Coconut milk (the type that comes in a carton, not canned) is a great dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk. It is produced by grating coconut flesh and then soaking it in hot water. The coconut cream then rises to the top. This is squeezed through a cloth to produce the coconut milk.

Coconut milk is higher in fat than other milk alternatives, however these fats have health benefits. Like coconut water, coconut milk also contains some electrolyte nutrients.

If you like the taste of coconut, try replacing cows milk with coconut milk.

Try: Plenish Organic Coconut Milk.


Oat milk can be easily made at home. Simply soak the oats in water and then sieve the liquid through a muslin-like cloth. Beware of big brand, shop bought oat milks. Like many other dairy free milks, they can be highly processed and filled with undesirable additives. Read our post on the truth about oat milk for details on what to look out for on the carton.

Quality oat milks contain naturally occurring beta glucans – a component of the oat cell wall which has been shown to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Oat milk is one of the sweetest of the dairy-free milks. Even the unsweetened ones contain the equivalent of around a teaspoon of sugar per 100ml. Therefore we recommend consuming oat milk in moderation and avoiding it if you are following a low carb diet.

Try: Plenish Oat Milk.

Whichever dairy free milk you choose, always take a moment to check out the ingredients on the back of the carton. The less ingredients, the better. If there are any ingredients that you don’t recognise then you’d probably do best to avoid that particular product. Finally, always opt for organic where possible.


Some dairy-free milk alternatives may be more suitable than others depending on individual needs. For example, soy and pea milks are good overall alternatives to cow’s milk for children due to their nutritional content and fortification levels. Considering factors like sugar content, processing methods, and any specific dietary restrictions (such as nut allergies) will help in making an informed choice that aligns with your own health goals and preferences.


While we tend to make dietary recommendations based on nutritional value, many turn to dairy alternatives for environmental reasons. Coconut milk, hemp milk, pea protein milk, and oat milk are considered to have a low environmental impact as non-dairy milk alternatives. It is worth noting that rice milk and almond milk are also thought to have a smaller environmental footprint compared than cow’s milk.


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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


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Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


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Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


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Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


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After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


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