What is the best vegan milk powder?
Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition
drink wholesome is the best vegan milk powder. It is additive and dairy-free, making it perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking for milk without the added junk.
“It doesn’t have any additives like gums and fillers, so it’s gentle on my sensitive stomach.” -Codie
What is vegan milk powder?
Vegan milk powder is a powdered form of plant-based milk suitable for those following a vegan diet or those who are lactose intolerant. Vegan milk powders can be made from a variety of plant-based foods, including soy, almond, coconut, oat, and rice. Making vegan milk powder involves removing the moisture (water) from liquid milk through a drying process, which leaves behind a fine powder that can be easily reconstituted with water to make milk. Vegan milk powders are a convenient and long-lasting alternative to liquid plant-based milk, as they can be stored for longer periods of time without spoiling or requiring refrigeration.
Why drink vegan milk?
Here are 3 reasons why you should drink vegan milk:
1. Dairy, even if it has had the lactose removed, can cause digestive distress. This is especially true for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs.
2. Dairy can cause acne. Dairy indirectly stimulates insulin production, which regulates sebum production. Sebum, an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands, can clog your pores and cause pimples. Dairy can also hinder your ability to process blood sugar efficiently, which can cause inflammation, especially in your skin.
3. Dairy is not environmentally friendly. The industrial dairy industry has a profound impact on the environment. Dairy cows and their manure produce enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, the poor handling of manure and fertilizers pollute local water resources, and dairy farming and feed production can also lead to the loss of ecologically important areas such as prairies, wetlands, and forests.
Going with vegan milk is the way to go, but lactose is not the only ingredient to avoid when buying milk. Most vegan milks contain added ingredients, usually thickeners, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. Additives like these improve characteristics like texture and shelf stability, but they also cause uncomfortable side effects and long term gut damage. Keep reading to learn more.
Why drink wholesome?
Again, most vegan milks contain food additives. Simply put, these added ingredients help to make plants taste, feel, and look like cow’s milk.
Here are the ingredients in two of the top brands of vegan milk in the United States.
Almond Breeze Almond Milk ingredients
Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Sunflower Lecithin*, Gellan Gum*, Natural Flavors*, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, D-Alpha-Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).
*Sunflower lecithin is a group of fatty substances derived from sunflower seeds. It is added to plant milk to improve texture and prevent separation.
*Gellan gum is a thickener used to give vegan milk a creamy texture.
*Did you know that while food manufacturers are required to disclose their ingredients, natural flavor manufacturers are not. They can add solvents, preservatives, emulsifiers, carriers and other additives to a flavor that qualifies as “natural” under current regulations.
Chobani Oat Milk ingredients
Organic Oat Blend (Water, Organic Whole Grain Oats), Contains 2% or Less of: Organic Rapeseed Oil* (Low Erucic Acid), Sea Salt, Nutrient Extract Blend (Fruit and Vegetable Sources), Calcium Carbonate, Gellan Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate*, Dipotassium Phosphate*.
*Rapeseed oil is another name for canola (cooking) oil, and is used to replicate the creamy mouth-feel of dairy.
*Because it is cloudy and white when added to a liquid, tricalcium phosphate gives plant milk the opacity of cows’ milk.
*Dipotassium phosphate is a stabilizer that helps prevent separation on the shelf.
As you can clearly see, each of these vegan milks contains several food additives. Now I know what you are thinking, sure there are food additives, but they only make up a small percentage of the formulation (ingredients are listed in descending order by weight). But let me remind you that milk is something that many people drink every day, and that over time (months, years), small amounts add up. This is a problem for several reasons.
First of all, food additives, even in small quantities, can cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is especially the case for people with sensitive stomachs and gut issues, and occurs because additives look nothing like real food. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, gut bacteria produce gas, causing bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation.
In the long term, food additives can cause permanent gut damage. For starters, they can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Moreover, more and more research is finding that food additives alter the composition of your gut microbiota, the collection of microorganisms living in your small intestines. These microorganisms play an important role in digestion and overall health, and an imbalance may lead to chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes. It is therefore very much in your best interest to avoid vegan milks made with food additives.
Here is a list of the most common food additives in vegan milk:
acacia gum, canola oil, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dicalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, disodium phosphate, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, monosodium phosphate, “natural” flavors, palm oil, phosphoric acid, rapeseed oil, soybean oil, soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin, sunflower oil, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum
When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce.
Drink Wholesome Vegan Milk Powder Ingredients
Our vegan milk powder, unlike the leading brands, is made with 2 simple ingredients: oats and coconut. We add coconut for two reasons: 1) it improves the texture 2) it improves the taste. We did not just want to make another watery vegan powdered milk, we wanted to make something rich and creamy that people can add to coffee. Coconut allows us to do that, and we have no problem whatsoever adding it to the ingredient list. If you are sick of vegan milks full of gums and oils, give our vegan milk powder a try.
drink wholesome is the best vegan powdered milk.