What is the Best Milk Alternative for PCOS? [Updated]
Updated: October 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 in carbohydrates, 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. Read on to learn about the best non-dairy milk choices for PCOS.
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 above-mentioned 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.
Smoothies are the best breakfast for PCOS. Find out what to put in and what to leave out.
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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 with 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.
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 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 the original Nut Pods flavored creamer. I will often use it in soups or coffee.
Are you ready to start managing your PCOS, but are overwhelmed and don’t know what to eat? Or perhaps you are super busy and don’t have time to plan your meals each week (most of my clients have this problem!). You are in luck. PCOS Meal Plans can help!
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.
I started using Almond Breeze a few months ago and LOVE it but I haven’t been able to find a yogurt alternative as of yet. Is there anything out there? I use yogurt in my smoothies EVERY morning but would love to find an alternative if possible!
I personally feel that organic yogurt a few time a week is okay. Fermented foods like yogurt are very beneficial. So Delicious does have a fermented coconut product that tastes great but it is high in sugar.
there is an almond milk yogurt with only fruit sugars. it’s delicious
Can you share the brand with us?
there are coconut and almond milk yogurts and they are delicious!!
Some health food stores are starting to sell almond milk yogurt. they are far and few between. I have not seen any of them at regualr grocery stores.
Unsweet coconut milk is so good…my kids love it on their berries and such. It is so good for you too!
The major fat in mother’s milk is the same lauric acid as in coconut oil. Baby foods all over the world do contain Lauric acid (that from coconut oil) as the prominent ingredient.
Thank you for your delicious review! We’re delighted to learn that our coconut milk is your favorite non-dairy milk beverage! I did want to take a moment to address your concerns about carrageenan, because there seems to be a lot of confusion about the different types of carrageenan, and I thought the following information would be helpful to your readers.
There are two types of carrageenan: undegraded (food-grade) and degraded (hydrolyzed with acid). Undegraded carrageenan has been used on a huge scale in food production worldwide since the 1930s, and its safety has been assured by the FDA Gras status. The Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) gave carrageenan the highest ADI (Accepted Daily Intake) status. Chemically treated, degraded carrageenan however, is a known carcinogen and is not used or permitted in food production.
While it is not our intention that our products replace the whole foods that ought to be the centerpiece of a healthy diet, we strive to make our products as natural as possible so they can be safely incorporated as part of well-balanced diet. Along with many of world’s esteemed nutrition authorities, we believe that food-grade carrageenan is safe for human consumption.
Thanks Gail for your clarification!
I have to find that Coconut milk, that sounds great! Currently I am having soymilk, but I have heard that too much soy in your diet ain’t good either.
And I LOVE the almond milk! We switched to that last year – until it turned out that I am allergic to almonds!
Now what would be really hard to give up for me is cheese – Is there the same issue with goat cheese as with cheese made from cow milk?
You can look for organic raw cheese. I would just use cheese in moderation – more like a garnish. I believe that goat cheese especially if you can find locally made is a better choice.
Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!
Great post! I am so excited to read more. I am new to PCOS and need some eating guide lines to start with until I learn more. Where can I find this?
Check out my meal planning tips and Menu Plans for lots of info.
Hi Amy! I am so happy that I found your fantastic site! I have recently been reffered to a dietician who specialises in PCOS but may be waiting for some time. I have read through your diet and meal info and as I do live on a ‘clean’ diet anyway, I was wondering if it is possible to maybe put a list of foods that are a definite ‘no-go’. I am going to be dairy free and wheat free 🙂
If you sign-up for the Diva Dish Newsletter you get a free Kitchen Dejunk Guide which is basically the no-no list. Keep up the great lifestyle changes!
Thank you Amy! Just recently a local farmer started offering their products once a week in our courtyard! Including raw milk cheese 🙂
And I can’t wait to see more “Ask Amy” posts! Usually something ends staight on my shopping list! 🙂
Silk also has a Pure Coconut Milk. I picked it up (as I was happy to find it…I didn’t see So Delicious) and drink a glass a day like I would milk. That’s HUGE for me as I have never been a milk drinker and drinking something that even looks like milk isn’t something I do. However, it’s good. Not particularly sweet but it’s tasty enough that I finish the glass I pour myself. I drink that, along with taking my daily coconut softgels (it’s the only way I will have coconut in a raw form…I’ve tried the spoonful of coconut and it makes me gag). I don’t like to cook but I bought some raw organic coconut and will be using that.
But when it comes to the coconut in general, I can’t believe how much more energy it gives me. As I have both PCOS and hypothyroidism, they both rob you of your energy, big time. But coconut oil is a great boost of energy and now I WANT to go walking; my walking is faster, with a spring in my step.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SITE! You are just awesome! 🙂
I love Coconut too! So glad it has helped with your energy levels.
Do you recommend Silk Coconut milk?
I think Silk is pretty much the same as So Delicious.
I was diagnosed with PCOS last year, after having an absent menstrual cycle for 2 years. I have been to many different doctors and I am now taking a female-only BC pill, which is not helping. I took Metformin for 4 months but had to stop because it made me very sick. I am feeling lost and completely frustrated. Any advice would be wonderful! Thank you.
I also could not tolerate Metformin. Read my blog – there are lots of info that will help. If you want a more 1-on-1 approach – email me email@example.com and I can tell you more about my health coaching program.
Thanks so much for this post – I’m wrestling with giving up cow’s milk and this is really helpful. Hopefully you can clarify something for me – my dietician said I should only be drinking skim milk since I have high cholesterol from my PCOS, but she did not seem well informed on milk alternatives. I really would like to switch, but I’m afriad of the fat content in almond or coconut milk. Can you talk about the fat a little bit? Thanks so much!
We need healthy fat – it is very beneficial for PCOS. Monousaturated fat from nuts, avocados, olive oil is great. Coconut oil does have saturated fat but nearly 50% of the fatty acid in natural coconut oil is lauric acid, which converts to the fatty acid monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin has adverse effects on a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. Coconut oil is a “functional food,” defined as a food that “provides a health benefit over and beyond the basic nutrients. Some dietitians unfortunately are afraid of coconut oil and to this day are still misinformed about the benefits of nuts.
JUST GOT HOOKED ON PURESILK ALMOND. love it. i spruced it w a lil flavoring for a strawberry flavor. it actually tasted like a slimfast shake if anybody has ever had one of those. When i saw 35 cal per cup i was basically sold and i was going to drink it no matter how “earthy” it tasted 🙂 haha. but i wasnt disappointed. i dont drink any drink even milk if it is high calorie. thanks for being here PCOS DIVA. im going to devour the info and get my buns in gear. I’ve made progress but i can only get better and become more aware of what makes my body work best. God bless
hi amy is it ok to drink silk chocolate milk becasue i have been drinking a little of that and my children drink that to and the last time i tried some of the alternatives i gained weight
Jennifer – I don’t recommend Silk Soy. I do like the new Silk Almond Unsweetened or Regular – the vanilla and chocolate have too much sugar.
What about oat milk? I usually buy Vanilla Almond Milk and recently change to the unsweetened type. I want to try the coconut. Do you recommend to always use the unsweetened or can we use normal?
I can’t seem to find where I can ask you a question unrelated to the posts on “Ask Amy.” My question is, however, of course related to PCOS 🙂
Send me your question at firstname.lastname@example.org–
How do you feel about goat’s milk?
Goat milk it a better alternative than cows but I still think that eliminating any animal milk is the way to go
I absolutely love So Delicious coconut milk. It’s the best for creamy smoothies and my morning rolled oats. I recently made my own version of Orange Julius blend with it and it tasted like the real thing! 🙂
Oohh, I would love the recipe!
I just recently found your website and I purchased the Winter Menu Plan this morning and I’m super excited about trying it out!
I have a question regarding your choice of coconut milk; is the reason you use the So Delicious brand because of fewer calories and fat as opposed to canned versions? I like to use coconut milk in my smoothies and cooking but I use Arroy-D because it’s just coconut milk and water with no other preservatives and they come in BPA free tetra packs. I’m not too concerned with the fat content because of the Medium Chain Triglycerides but I’m wondering if maybe I should be…
I think that brand should be just fine.
I’m about to order your new meal plan, and I was just wondering if the recipes are interchangeable. I’m not a fan of fish at all, so I wanted to know if I could maybe replace some recipes with chicken breast or if I can just make a whole other recipe for that day. Also, my husband will be eating this with me and he is highly allergic to onions. Would I be able to replace onions in these recipes with scallions?
Yes you can absolutely make those substitutes very easily.
Most walmarts and some health food stores now carry FLAX milk! It is by far, my favorite. With an
I will have to try Flax Milk!
im pcos almost 10 years ago.. im from indonesia. In my country isnt more people know about pcos.
I always feel so tired n swallen n sometmes my eyes wanna close feel sleepy. Can you help me how i become energize like other women. I wanna cry sometimes. Help me amy.. i waiting your reply. Thank yaaa
Narita- You should consider joining my Jumpstart Program http://www.pcosdiva.com/jumpstart
Maca root powder
Hi. I know it’s an old post. I just wanted to let other pcos sufferers know that it’s best to make your own almond milk or other variation. Some brands of almond milk contain carageenan which is a no-no for women with pcos. Please search up the ingredients of any type of commercial brand milk before consuming! I bought 4 boxes of almond breeze milk after reading about milk alternatives on some pcos sites and they failed to mention anyhting about it! Please take care of your bodies ladies! We are already going through enough.
Hi! what about organic goat or sheep milk?
I’m sensitive to iodine, so I can’t eat almond or almond products 🙁 because of that giving up milk sounds terrifying to me….advice?
Do coconut or hemp. Hemp is a seed, not a nut. I have also found flax milk, but you might have to check several grocery stores
I recently discovered macadamia nut milk – and it comes unsweetened, too! But I can’t find a lot of info online about if it’s recommended for ladies with PCOS or not. The label says dairy free and soy free so I’m leaning towards thinking it’s a good option but I’d love some solid evidence. Any ideas?