Question: I’m sensitive to real milk, so I drink almond milk (30 calories per cup). What is the correct serving size for almond milk?
Answer: The First Place 4 Health food plan’s primary reason for stressing the milk group requirement is for the calcium these foods provide. I know that many of the newer varieties of almond milk are fortified with calcium, so that helps get this much-needed nutrient! If your brand has at least 30% of the recommended daily value of Calcium (look for this on the Nutrition Facts label on the side of the container) in a one-cup serving, then it has the calcium that you would get in one cup of milk, so you are good there. However, most almond milk doesn’t have very much protein in it (some only has one gram per cup), and that is another nutrient that the FP4H food plan has arranged for you to get from the milk group (cow’s milk has 8 grams of protein per cup). Therefore, if you substitute almond milk for cow’s milk in the plan, you will most likely need to add one more ounce of lean meat (which provides 7 grams protein) to your daily meal plan to help meet your protein needs. For example, if you are following the 1300-1400 calorie plan, you will need to get 5 ounces of meat daily instead of just 4. Make sense? Since the almond milk you are using is only 30 calories per cup, and an ounce of lean meat is only about 50-60 calories, you will end up using about the same calories as in one cup of fat free cow’s milk, also.
Information provided by registered dietitian, Charlotte Davis, R.D.