Should you juice or blend? 

By Elisha Aispuro, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Living in California will have you hearing the most absurd arguments as many of you know. One of those repeated arguments always discusses the age old question, is it better to juice or blend?

While it may be tempting to watch the Goop Lab starring Gwenyth Paltro on Netflix to answer the question, I’ll save you the trouble and answer the question in this post!

Juicing vs. Blending

Using a juicer entails separating juice from fiber leading to delicious creations such as carrot juice without any pulp or fiber. I know what you’re thinking…. why would you want to exclude the fiber when it’s good for you? Removing the fiber allows you to pack more vegetables/fruits in a juice thus increasing your servings of vegetables/fruits in an easy and hydrating way. Additionally, juices carry several benefits including being an instant infusion of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to your bloodstream. Choosing a juice over a smoothie also gives your digestive system somewhat of a break allowing cells to focus on resting and repairing when needed.

On the other hand, blending entails blending all ingredients together into a filling smoothie. Smoothies carry many benefits such as supporting digestive health by aiding in regular digestion and elimination of toxins. Smoothies also help satisfy hunger, sustain energy levels over time, and balance blood sugar. Choosing to blend over juicing will lead to having a delicious fiber-filled drink that will not be digested as quickly.

Do both!

You may be thinking that you don’t want to choose just one or the other. Well I’m here to reassure you that you don’t have to. Both juicing and blending carry their own awesome benefits. Listed below are two similar recipes using both techniques so feel free to try both and decide for yourself what you like best!

Green Juice Recipe

The base ingredients include 2 cups of spinach and 2 peeled oranges with potential add-ins such as ginger root or broccoli stems for a quick energy boosting juice.

Green Smoothie Recipe

The base ingredients include 2 cups of spinach, 1 peeled orange, 1 cup of water or milk, 1 tablespoon of nut butter with potential add-ins such as protein powder or hemp seeds for a filling smoothie.

Do you have any life-changingly delicious smoothie or juice recipes you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments!

The Importance of Electrolytes

By Angela Feng, Healthy Aggies Intern

Electrolytes are minerals present in your body…and there’s a whole lot of them! This includes: Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphate, and Bicarbonate. Electrolytes are essential in maintaining vital body functions. They are responsible for conducting nervous impulses, contracting muscles, and keeping you hydrated. Did you know electrolytes and water can be lost when you sweat? Long periods of intense exercise may cause significant electrolyte loss.

So… you might be wondering where to get more of these? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some electrolyte rich food and beverages that you can incorporate in your meals:

  • Coconut Water is naturally low in sugar and contains electrolytes like potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and magnesium!
  • Whole Milk also has the same electrolytes as coconut water, with an additional supply of calcium, carbohydrates and protein.
  • 100% Fruit Juice is a great refreshing electrolyte-rich drink. Make sure to look for fruit juice with no added sugars! Watermelon juice contains “L-citrulline,” which is known to enhance oxygen transport and athletic performance!
  • Leafy Green Vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli contain a variety of electrolytes. These can be added into salads or smoothies.
  • Nut and Seeds like cashews, almonds, and sunflowers are rich in magnesium and phosphorus. Nut and seed butters are both great too!
  • Legumes are loaded with electrolytes and also provide protein. These include a variety of beans such as: kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans. Other common legumes include: chickpeas, peanuts, and lentils.

Tell me about your favorite electrolyte rich foods in the comments below!

4 Ways to Embrace Gentle Nutrition

By Vivien Zhong, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Have you ever apologized for having a big feast? Or felt guilty while eating a delicious dessert? Do you been stress and worry about healthy eating?

If you answer “yes” to one of the above questions, know that you are not alone and it doesn’t need to be this way! You might want to look into the ideas of gentle nutrition! This post will show you why.

What is Gentle Nutrition?

Gentle nutrition is the 10th principle of “Intuitive Eating” developed by two Registered Dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. Intuitive eating emphasizes that you are the ONLY expert of your body because only you can feel your body signals, such as hunger and stress. Eating should be an intuitive process: when you’re hungry, you eat; when you’re full, you stop. Yes, that’s it! People who eat in response to hunger and fullness have a more positive self-esteem and are more satisfied with their bodies!

Gentle nutrition states that “Taste is important, but health is still honored, without guilt.” It encourages us to change our eating attitude: eating should be a satisfying experience rather than a guilty or bad one. In essence, there is no labeled “good” or “bad” food. However, many people avoid certain “bad” foods because they think a single bite of those “bad” foods would immediately make them unhealthy. That’s where the guilt stems from – the labels that people put on the foods that negatively influence how they feel when they take a bite.

Why is gentle nutrition important?

Eating with gentle nutrition means to choose foods that both honor your health while also offering a satisfying taste! Research shows that worry and stress about healthy eating could have a larger negative impact on our health than the actual food we consumed. When we give ourselves full permission to eat enjoyable foods, we’re less likely to eat to excess, less likely to engage in binge eating, and experience less guilt when eating. We have to keep the pleasure and joy in eating!

So, how can you practice Gentle Nutrition?

Listen to your body.

Reflect on how eating a particular food makes your body feel. For example, your tongue may be the first part of your body to honor when tasting foods, but it’s certainly not the only one.

Ask yourself:

  • How does the food make your entire body feel? Do you like this feeling? Why or why not?
  • Is there any discomfort in the stomach after the meal?
  • Do you feel hungry or full?
  • Which food makes you feel the most or least nourished? The most or least satisfied?

Addition, not restriction.

The word “gentle” means that nutrition is not restrictive. Restriction leads to deprivation, which often leads to binge and guilt, followed by restriction again. Rather, it’s all about moderation and balance. Each food has its own nutritional values, so try eating various types of foods in moderate amounts: not too little or too much. Consume the amount of foods that your body feels satisfied and comfortable with.

Health, not weight.

Our society values thinness, but healthy, beautiful bodies come in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t have to be “Oh I gained a pound today, I better just have a salad for lunch.” With positive changes in eating and activity, health will improve and body will settle at a weight that is right for you!

Progress, not perfection.

Remember, your health is determined by your long-term dietary pattern, not just a single meal, snack, or drink! It’s okay to eat desserts and treats. Incorporating gentle nutrition into your diet allows you to embody compassion and forgiveness with yourself. Small steps add up and allow you to enjoy the progress along the way.

Happy eating! Take a breath, give yourself permission to eat and enjoy your food. In the comment section below, tell me what you plan to do differently in your next meal 🙂

5 Tips Every Woman Should Know. Period.

By Sammy Seefeldt, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Ever since I was 13, I have spent weeks of my life with cramps, mood swings, migraines, and flat-out – grumpiness. All because of an inevitable natural process… menstruation. I am sure many of you can relate to this. Below are 5 useful tips to not only manage, but triumph, over your dreaded “time of the month.”

There is a historical stigma revolving around the subject of menstruation conspicuous in the culture of the past and of today. Most are uncomfortable discussing this topic openly, yet it is an experience of nearly half of the population!

Because of this stigma, there is a severe lack of resources to help combat the symptoms of this biological process. It is time we talk about the inevitable fate of females dreading their “times of the month” and support women towards action. Who is ready to triumph during this time??

Tip #1: Limit Sugar, Alcohol, and Caffeine

During the menstrual cycle, hormones fluctuate and with that so do our emotions. Our appetite. Our thoughts. Our well-being. One way to promote hormonal balance is to limit sugar, alcohol, and caffeine during your cycle. In addition, limiting these things can help reduce cramping as they have been found to actually trigger cramps during menstruation

Tip #2: Eating Whole Foods Every 3-4 Hours

Mood swings during your cycle can also be due to cortisol spikes. Cortisol is an important hormone that works with your brain in order to regulate things such as mood. To avoid these mood swings, try to eat every 3-4 hours. Eating more frequent smaller meals, focusing on whole foods, could help regulate cortisol levels in your body and thus help avoid mood swings. Try this, and you may find yourself not bouncing like a yo-yo between emotions and energy levels quite so much.

Tip #3: Drink Herbal Tea

If you do experience painful cramping, one tip is to drink herbal tea. Examples would be chamomile, ginger, and dandelion. All of these herbs are shown to help with inflammation and can help reduce pain. So whenever you feel a cramp coming on, brew yourself a nice cup of herbal tea… mmmm.

Tip #4: Increase Iron Intake

Around 1mg of iron is said to be lost every day blood loss occurs. That is a significant amount of iron considering a recommended daily intake of 18 mg of iron daily for women ages 19-50 (compared to 8mg a day for men). With that much iron needed, any loss needs to be accounted for! Eating foods such as dark leafy greens (spinach) and red meats, liver, lentils, and fortified foods is imperative! Pair these foods with vitamin C (oranges, strawberries, etc.)  to help with iron absorption!

Tip #5: Magnesium Rich Foods

To help with fatigue, eat foods rich in magnesium. These foods include spinach, pumpkin seeds, bananas, almonds, and dark chocolate. These delicious foods can be your first step in fighting fatigue associated with the later phase of your cycle.

If you or a friend suffer symptoms, from menstruation, that make living your “normal” day to day life more difficult, then starting with these 5 simple tips is for you. Hopefully, they will help you make your “time of the month,” into a time of the month still full of enjoyment and prospering!

Check out a UC Davis run program, Davis Period, offering more resources on their instragram! How do you cope with your menstrual cycle discomforts?

Secret Food Hacks from a Healthy Aggie Insider

Basic Needs Center, University of California, Davis

By Hannah Squire, UC Davis, Healthy Aggies Coordinator

School has started, and that means for many of us…no more family meals. Is grocery shopping for yourself a whole new world? Are you struggling to budget for your groceries? If you can relate to this (as most college students can!), you’re not alone. In just a short 3 minutes you will have some amazing resources that will keep you nourished and ready to tackle whatever comes your way!

  • CalFresh (SNAP)- This is a federal program that offers electronic benefits to buy most foods in most stores for those who meet the federal income eligibility rules. It is extremely easy to sign up, and will get you well on your way to be able to purchase the foods that are most nourishing to you! To sign up, go here!
  • Fruit and Veggie Up! & The Pantry– Do you like FREE fruits, veggies, and canned goods? Just bring your Student ID to the Memorial Union any day of the week for The Pantry, and every Monday & Thursday 10AM – 12PM at the South patio of the MU for free locally grown produce. It’s a great resource to get the foods you need for a thriving lifestyle! Find out more about The Pantry here, and Fruit and Veggie Up!  here!
  • Healthy Aggies- Now that you know these free and accessible resources available to you, Healthy Aggies is an amazing community to learn about how to use your free groceries. Get some foodie inspiration from our insta @ucdhealthyaggies, or try out some recipes on THIS website, and meet us in person in the West Quad every Wednesday of October between 11am – 1:30pm!

There are so many other resources available if you are in need of food! Here are some…

Now that you have all the tools to get the food you need to live a balanced and nourishing life, comment on your favorite seasonal veggie and how you prepared it. We are looking forward to meeting YOU at the Farmer Market this Wednesday (10/13)!

Are there other resources you know of? Let us know in the comments!

Boost Your Health and Social life!

By Hannah Squire, Health Aggies Coordinator

After more than a year off campus working remote, are you feeling disconnected from campus? Feeling like you want to get back into an in-person routine that promotes a healthy lifestyle? Well it turns out, you’re not alone!

Here are just 5  easy and accessible ways you can boost your health and social life while getting acclimated to campus life this Fall:)

  1. Come chat with the Healthy Aggies Team at our table in the Quad and make a new friend Wednesday’s October 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th on West Quad from 11am – 1:30pm!
  2. Take pictures with the Healthy Aggie props at our table and tag @ucdhealthyaggies when posting on Instagram.
  3. Try some irresistible free snacks like smoothies and veggie chips at the Healthy Aggie table Wednesday at the Farmer Market in the West Quad.
  4. Read the Healthy Aggie blog posts to pick up some cool health and wellness tips & tricks and implement the habit in your life.
  5. Bring a friend to pick up some fun Healthy Aggie swag at our Wednesday Farmer Market tables  at the West Quad to represent all around campus!

Now that you have 5 ways to make the transition to campus more fun, this coming school year, share these tips with a fellow Aggie. The Healthy Aggie Team can’t wait to see you very soon!  Oh, and sign up for our monthly newsletter, here and tell us how you’re boosting your fun in the comments!

Are Probiotics a Scam?

By Meigan Freeman, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Probiotics, prebiotics, and now synbiotics? What are these biotics and what can they do for your health; or are they just another health scam that ultimately burdens your wallet? I’ll go through their purposes, food sources, and possible benefits. But first, let’s review our gut bacteria, an important part of probiotics.

            Your colon hosts millions of bacteria, which scientists refer to as the gut microbiome,  which help you digest food, heighten your immune system, and give you essential nutrients. In fact, they contribute more genes towards human survival than humans themselves do! We have evolved with them and without these important symbiotic bacteria, humans would not be able to survive. We are completely dependent on them. (Consider reading my other post on bacteria and the microbiome for a deeper dive!)

            We have established how important our gut microbiome is to our survival, so shouldn’t we do everything we can to keep them alive, including eating all the probiotic supplements we can? Not quite. The human body has long evolved and survived healthfully without supplements, so I wouldn’t be too eager to start taking them now. But I have gotten ahead of myself, we need to define and differentiate between probiotics and prebiotics first. Probiotics are live bacteria which are ingested and intended to promote health. They naturally occur in fermented food products, like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi, and can also be taken as over-the-counter supplements. On the other hand, prebiotics are not living organisms, but rather food particles that feed and support the life of the bacteria which already live in your gut. Oligosaccharides, mainly fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galactooligosaccharides (GOS), and inulin are carbohydrates that cannot be digested by humans, but support healthy strains of bacteria in our gut. These oligosaccharides can be naturally found in many fruits, vegetables, and beans and are a significant part of many people’s diets around the world. Synbiotics are only contained in supplements and are a mixture of both prebiotics and probiotics. Providing probiotics (living bacteria) with prebiotics (food source) make the probiotics live longer and become more shelf-stable.

            As touched on earlier, probiotics and prebiotics are naturally found in many types of food that you probably already eat. Fermented products like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, kimchi, and sourdough bread contain probiotics while prebiotics are found in nearly all fruits, vegetables, and beans. Because probiotics and prebiotics are available in many different types of food, I personally do not see a need in taking supplements. However, if you have certain digestive disorders or a very limited diet, a dietitian may recommend you to use such supplements. Remember, what is healthy for me is not necessarily healthy for you! Health is a very individualized process.

A healthy microbiome can be marked by healthy digestion. If you have a regular poop cycle, your microbiome is probably very happy! Sometimes our cycle gets out of whack and we get sick with diarrhea or constipation for whatever reason. Thankfully, probiotics have been the most researched for their prevention of diarrhea and constipation, including people who have IBS, IBD, and even traveler’s diarrhea. An increased intake of fermented foods may be helpful during or after bouts of sickness to reestablish a healthy microbiome. Other probiotic claims, such as their effects on obesity, aging, and diabetes need to be further researched before any definite declarations can be made.

Overall, probiotics and prebiotics are not a scam. They are definitely real and can have real benefits. Fermented foods have been consumed for thousands of years across multiple geographies and cultures across the globe. However, not everyone needs to take supplements, in fact, most people probably don’t need to take them! As a rule of thumb, it is usually better to get nutrients, including probiotics, from whole foods, rather than supplements, because whole foods are richer in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and other important nutrients.

Problematic Diet Culture Vocabulary

Photo credit:

By Claire Benoist, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Diet culture is a lot like the monsters that used to live in our closet and under our beds as kids: scary and intimidating. With those monsters, we could usually just hide under the covers and try our best to ignore the noises and shadows until we eventually fell asleep. Unfortunately, diet culture is a really big monster that makes a lot of noise, making it difficult to ignore. So, this is one that we are just going to have to face and conquer. Let’s break down some of the most common diet culture vocabulary words, and tackle this beast one word at a time.

Let’s start by break down the word cheat. In school, cheating on an exam or on an assignment, results in serious disciplinary action. In a relationship, cheating breaks trust and can lead to breakups and divorce. Cheating is an ugly thing that leads to heartbreaking consequences. This word does not belong anywhere near food. Using cheat or cheating to describe meals and treats makes us believe, even subconsciously, that we are doing something morally wrong. And in case no one has told you recently, there is nothing wrong with indulging in your favorite foods.

I am a big believer that we shouldn’t need cheat days. We should be able to enjoy all foods without rules or the need to break them. Prioritizing a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, proteins and whole grains means exactly that: we are prioritizing those foods. Meaning we can also eat all the other foods we want, too!

The bottom line, call “cheat meals” what they are: pizza, ice cream, a treat, a food that reminds you of your childhood, comfort food, a traditional family recipe…and whatever you call it, savor it and leave cheating out of it.

Food can be and do a lot of things. It provides us with necessary nutrients that fuel our everyday activities. It can be a celebration of culture or religion. It can provide comfort and pleasure. It can be nostalgic. But food does not and cannot hold moral value. Nothing you eat can make you a bad person for eating it. This term “guilt-free” insinuates that you should feel guilty when you eat something that isn’t a fruit, vegetable or whole grain. Well, we at Healthy Aggies are here to tell you, that’s not true!  

Natural is one of those buzz words that sounds so good. #nofilter am I right? A study conducted by Ohio State University showed that people believe that foods featuring the words “natural” or “all-natural” on their labels are of higher quality and nutritional content and are therefore willing to pay more for those foods. But what does natural actually even mean on a food label?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a food as natural when it contains “nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source)”. That’s a very broad definition that can describe a lot of foods. For example, sugar is a natural product. It’s extracted from plants and then goes through processing to be purified, lightened, dried and packaged for distribution. Nothing artificial and no coloring added. But as we all know, table sugar isn’t exactly high in nutritional content or quality. So, save your dollars Aggies, natural is just a marketing buzz word brought to you by our old friend diet culture that doesn’t actually tell you much about its contents.

This is a big one. But let’s break it down. Yes, some processed foods have a ton of added sugars, saturated fats, sodium and a lot of other ingredients that are questionable at best. But that’s not the only example of processed foods. Nuts and seeds have to be processed (shelled, roasted and ground) to become nut or seed butters. Frozen produce is processed (washed and cut) before it is packaged and stocked in your local grocery store freezer. Fruits have to be processed (pressed) to become fruit juice. See? Processed foods aren’t that scary after all!

I’ll keep this one short: unless your food has literal dirt on it, it’s clean!

Words are powerful. They can have a significant psychological effect on us whether we realize it or not. Diet culture is not a monster we will defeat overnight or in a single article. But the more we know, and the more we break down the myths we are led to believe, the less powerful it will eventually become. Happy eating, Aggies!

Choose MyPlate!

By Claire Benoist, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Have you heard of MyPlate? MyPlate is one of my favorite tools to use as a nutrition peer counselor. I’m not a big fan of math or measuring. To me, figuring out how much protein 0.8g per kg of body weight would be or keeping track of all the vitamins and minerals I need to eat every day sounds like too much work. As a visual person, I prefer to think about filling my plate according to MyPlate guidelines. This way, I know my body will get the nutrients it needs without having to make it complicated. I also like not counting amounts and cups because then I can fill my plate according to my appetite rather than restricting or overeating based on arbitrary numbers.

Ok sounds good but, what is MyPlate?

Glad you asked! Let’s break it down:

Fill ½ of your plate with your favorite fruits and vegetables. Bell peppers, carrots, oranges spinach, mangoes, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, grapes, broccoli, fresh, frozen, canned, cooked, raw whatever you prefer! Note that you can choose to have a half a plate of fruit or vegetables or a combo! Getting a variety of fruits and vegetables will allow you to get all the minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and fiber our bodies need and love.  

Fill ¼ of your plate with protein. This can be an animal source of protein: chicken, eggs, beef, fish, pork, yogurt, etc or plant source: tofu, beans, lentils, tempeh, etc. Protein helps to keep you full after a meal and gives your body the building materials it needs to make muscle, enzymes and all kinds of important proteins your body needs to function and thrive.

Fill the last quarter of your plate with grain/starch. This includes bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, barley, tortilla, potatoes, sweet potatoes etc. These are full of carbohydrates which are our bodies’ favorite source of energy. Whether you’re studying, working out or watching Netflix all day, these will prepare you for any activity you have planned.

Liquid oils (not pictured)

Liquid oils like olive oil, canola oil, and avocado oil provide our bodies with unsaturated fats which help us feel full and provide many important functions throughout the body from lowering “bad” cholesterol to reducing inflammation. Though not technically liquid, fish, avocados and nuts are great sources of healthy fats too! If you did not cook the foods on your plate with any liquid oils, a little drizzle over your vegetables could be a good topper.

Claire, you forgot about the cup of milk!
Good eye, I did leave out the milk. The cup of milk is added because dairy is a great source of calcium and vitamin D (which helps our bodies absorb calcium), and calcium is important for bone health. However, we can get these nutrients from other sources. If yogurt or cheese is your source of protein, boom, there’s your calcium. Beans, lentils, seeds, some nuts and leafy greens, and tofu also contain calcium. Not to mention foods and drinks that might be fortified with calcium (like some cereals, fruit juices and non-dairy milks).  So, if you are consuming a variety of foods, you should be able to meet your calcium needs without the milk. If you like milk, go for it! I just personally prefer drinking water with my meals and getting my calcium from other sources.

A couple notes:

  • These won’t always be neatly separated into sections of your plate. Sometimes you’ll make a salad or a wrap and it will all be mixed together. That’s ok!
  • You can use MyPlate for snacks, too! The portions might be smaller but the proportions are the same.
  • Remember this is just a guideline. A tool that can help you think through composing a balanced meal. I love this tool but if it feels restrictive or confusing to you, make an appointment with a nutrition peer counselor and we can help you figure it out or find another model that will work better for you.

Now for some examples!

Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry served with Rice.

(photo from

Greek chicken salad

(Photo from

Bell peppers, hummus and crackers (or pita)

(photo from

Toast topped with ricotta cheese and fruit

(photo from

What is your favorite balanced plate? Share in the comments!

Oh My Milk!

By Meigan Freeman, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Do all those new milks have you overwhelmed? Well I am here to help, because we all have 99 problems, but milk shouldn’t be one! I’ll break down the nutrition content of each milk, environmental impacts, and cost so you can make an informed decision of which milk is most fitting for you.

Dairy: The longest standing milk out there, dairy is the classic that comes from cows. You can find four types at most grocery stores, skim (fat free), 1% fat, 2% fat, and whole milk (3.25% fat). Out of all the milks I compared, dairy has the highest in saturated fat which we should strive to avoid. It also has less calcium than its plant milk alternatives, which may seem surprising at first, but the other milks are fortified with calcium and therefore have more. Fortification is the process of adding nutrients into foods and helps people get adequate amounts of nutrients that Americans, on average, do not consume enough of. Healthy Aggie Tip: When available, try to buy fortified and enriched food for a nutrient boost!

            Dairy milk is about $2.69/gallon and is therefore a sound financial choice.  Environmentally, dairy has the highest impact. In a 2018 study, dairy milk produced higher GHG emissions and required much more land than soy milk. Cow agriculture is pretty tough on the environment, they take up a lot of land, produce a lot of methane, and drink a lot of water.


  • Classic and consistent flavor
  • Low cost
  • Good for baking and recipes
  • High in protein


  • Highest environmental impact
  • High in saturated fat
  • Slightly lower in calcium than plant milks

Oat: Oat milk has recently become very popular for its creamy and thick mouthfeel. This plant milk may be the most similar to dairy in terms of taste, but its nutrients are much different. Oatly’s brand oat milk is fortified in vitamins and minerals, with comparable or higher amounts than dairy and other plant milks. It has a moderate amount of protein that is less than soy and dairy, but higher than coconut and almond. 

At $5.29/ gallon, oat milk is an expensive choice. However, oat milk is one of the least intrusive milks on the environment’s land, water, and gas emissions.


  • Creamy & rich flavor
  • Fortified with lots of vitamins and minerals
  • Small environmental impact


  • Usually high in added sugar
  • Pricier than dairy milk
  • Less protein than dairy milk
  • Sometimes separates in drinks like coffee or tea

Soy: Soy milk is the OG, traditional plant milk. It has just as much protein as dairy, and is also a complete protein. A ‘complete’ protein (meat, eggs, dairy, quinoa, soy) contains all essential amino acids, whereas an ‘incomplete’ protein (beans, grains) contains only some amino acids. Fact Check: Soy milk has a bad reputation for causing increased estrogen levels, but this is just a rumor! It is true that soy milk can slightly increase estrone, a minor, weaker hormone, however, you would have to drink A LOT of soy milk to notice any harmful effects.


  • Only plant milk with as much protein as dairy
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Fortified with lots of vitamins and minerals
  • Easy to find unsweetened versions
  • Low environmental impact


  • May separate in drinks like coffee and tea
  • More expensive than dairy ($4.29/gallon)

Almond: Have you ever had homemade almond milk? Someone made it for me once and it was delicious! Here’s a recipe. Almond milk has a moderate amount of some vitamins and minerals, but often not as much as soy, oat, or dairy. It also has very low protein, so if you enjoy this milk, make sure you are getting adequate protein from other sources! It costs about $4.29 per gallon. As for the environment, this milk has low impact on gas emissions and land, but uses a large amount of water (still less than dairy though!).


  • Homemade milk is simple to make and may be more cost effective
  • Low in saturated fat


  • Low amounts of vitamins and minerals
  • Low amount of protein
  • More expensive than dairy ($4.29/gallon)

Personally, soy milk is my top choice for its high protein content and low environmental impact. However, our nutritional needs and goals likely differ from each other, so this doesn’t mean soy milk is right for you! I enjoy oat milk in my lattés, so sometimes my milk choice just depends on my mood and the use. I hope this article helps you find what milk is best for you; remember that everyone is different and no milk is ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ It all depends on you and your individual, special self! For a more in-depth analysis of plant milks (including coconut not mentioned herein) check out the milk spreadsheet I made which outlines the nutrition content of each milk.