Friday 22 June 2018

'Mostly you are getting very expensive water' - Dietitian debunks myths about dairy-free milks

Lucy Jones on Channel 4's Supershoppers tonight.
Lucy Jones on Channel 4's Supershoppers tonight.
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A dietitian has revealed that some dairy-free milks aren’t as healthy as people might think.

On tonight's Channel 4 documentary Supershoppers, dietitian Lucy Jones reveals that some plant milks contain more sugar than cow’s milk.

And on average, 100ml of almond milk contains the equivalent of just 2.5 nuts, while the same amount of coconut milk contains just 3.5 per cent of raw coconut. 

“Mostly you are getting very expensive water,” Ms Jones said.

“Dairy alternatives are often lower in calories and they're often lower in fat, so they appeal to people trying to watch their weight. It's just that sometimes these drinks are much higher in sugar,” Ms Jones tells presenter Anna Richardson.

One glass of cow's milk can contain on average 12 grams of a naturally occurring sugar called lactose. But many cow’s milk-alternative brands add sugar to it to make the taste more palatable, Ms Jones explained.

She noted that consumers should be wary of dairy alternatives that carry an 'organic' label.

Organic products often are not fortified with nutrients like calcium and protein which dairy-free milks lack, and which naturally occur in cow's milk.

Ms Jones today said today on Twitter dairy-free drinks are "better for the environment, help those with allergies and intolerances and can certainly be healthy".

"If dairy free, go for non-organic for extra b12, calcium and D and go for unsweetened," she said.

Supershoppers airs on Channel 4 tonight at 8pm.

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