Scientists at the US Food and Drink Administration looked at the level of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and selenium in cow milk - all vital nutrients - as well as 85 samples of pea, soy, almond, cashew, coconut, hemp, oat and rice milk to see which were the most nutritional.
While it was once a niche corner of the supermarket aisles, vegan milks are now a mainstream option. But the new data shows that people opting for the more environmentally-friendly plant milks may be compromising on their health.
Previous studies have shown animal milk to be higher in calories, but there has never before been a consensus on how alternatives stack up for a wider range of compounds. Until now.
According to the new analysis from the FDA, pea milk is the only vegan-friendly milk option which has comparable nutrient levels to that of cow’s milk.
Pea milk had the highest levels of phosphorus, zinc and selenium, while soy topped the plant milk list for magnesium. However, all plant milks were inferior to cow’s milk across the board in this experiment.
“Those who consume plant-based milk alternatives lower in these target minerals should seek to obtain these nutrients through other foods or beverages,” Dr Redan of the FDA told the New Scientist.
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