Updated: April 2021
Drinking milk isn’t a great choice for a PCOS diet for a variety of reasons (see Don’t Be A Dairy Queen). So, if you want to avoid dairy, what can you have in your morning smoothie? There are a number of milk alternatives on the market. However, it is important to read labels because many varieties can be high in sugar and carbs. Rice milk tends to be high carbohydrate, and I don’t recommend soy milk. Oat milk is a little carb-heavy, but it can be enjoyed occasionally in a beverage since it steams well.
Here are a few milk alternatives I recommend for PCOS Divas:
My favorite milk alternative at present is So Delicious Coconut Milk . It comes in 3 flavors and the Unsweetened version has 0 sugar, 45 calories, no protein or fiber, and only 1 carb per 1 cup serving. I rarely eat breakfast cereal, but I have smoothies several times a week, and I often use it as the base for my smoothie recipes. It has a very mild, almost undetectable coconut taste. For some info on the health benefits of coconut read my post about coconut oil.
Before I discovered So Delicious Coconut Milk, I was hooked on almond milk. It is the most common nut milk that you’ll find in the grocery store. Like all nut milk, almond milk is made by crushing almonds together with water, removing solids and adding thickening and preservative agents. The average unsweetened almond milk is 30 calories and contains 1 g of protein, carbs, and fiber. I typically buy Silk Pure Almond. The unsweetened version has the same sugar and carb count as the coconut milk. Believe it or not, it is not too hard to make almond milk at home. This recipe for raw almond milk from Happy Foody is simple and delicious.
Like almond milk, cashew milk is made by processing cashews with water and adding thickeners and preservatives. I find that it has a similar flavor to almond milk. The average cashew milk is 25 calories and contains 1g of protein and carbohydrates and no fiber.
Flax milk is a bit harder to find, but it has a healthy 8g of protein! In addition, it is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A, B12, and D. With 2g of carbs and about 70 calories per serving, it is a solid non-dairy milk option.
Oat milk is made of ground, soaked and strained oats. Since oats absorb more water than nuts, more nutrients are transferred to the milk than nut milks, so it is higher than you may expect in calcium and vitamin D. Here’s the catch- the unsweetened version of this milk alternative typically contains 45 calories with 8g of carbs and 1g of protein and fiber. I don’t generally recommend counting carbs, but at this level, I suggest reserving oat milk for the occasional latte. It is simple to make your own oat milk. Give it a try.
Hemp Milk is made from the seed of the hemp plant. I personally don’t think this alternative is as tasty as coconut or almond. I don’t mind Hemp Dream. It doesn’t come unsweetened, but has 80 calories and 2 grams of protein and Omega 3’s in the milk because it is made of the high protein and EFA seed. The carb count is 7 grams with 6 grams of sugar and no fiber. Note- the sugar is cane syrup.
Non-Dairy Cream Alternatives
I must admit that Califia Farms Better Half is my favorite of all the non-dairy creamer alternatives. It is a vegan blend of almond and coconut milks, and it’s dairy-free with 20 calories and 1g of sugar per serving. This is a very healthy alternative as it doesn’t contain corn syrup or hydrogenated fats as most flavored creamers on the market do.
I also like original Nut Pods flavored creamer. I will often use it in soups or coffee.
Amy Medling, best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.