With the increase in milk alternatives (non-dairy/plant-based milk), there are some pretty low-calorie milk options nowadays. Which milk alternative has the fewest calories?
Almond milk is the lowest-calorie milk with 30 calories per cup. There are several other low-calorie milks that contain 50 or fewer calories per cup.
We’ll cover six of the lowest-calorie milks in this article and compare them nutrition-wise in a handy table!
What makes milk low in calories?
Many milk alternatives (not made from mammals) are lower in calories because they aren’t a source of lactose (natural sugar in mammal milk), which can make them lower in carbs and calories. Unsweetened milk alternatives are especially low in calories compared to sweetened versions.
Finally, if milk doesn’t contain much fat or protein, it’s not going to be very high in calories. That means that milk with the fewest calories doesn’t provide much of any particular nutrient, and is primarily made of water (blended with things like nuts, seeds, etc with the solids removed).
6 of the lowest-calorie types of milk
Almond-coconut milk – 40 calories per cup
Almond-coconut milk is a blend of almond and coconut milk. Like regular almond milk, emulsifiers are usually added to almond-coconut milk to make it thicker and creamier.
Almond-coconut milk is very low-carb (1 gram) and low in protein (1 gram), so the calories primarily come from the 3.5 grams of fat per cup.
Almond milk – 30 calories per cup
One of the most popular types of non-dairy milk alternatives, almond milk is keto- and Paleo-friendly. It’s not suitable for those with tree nut allergies, but otherwise is quite versatile and can be used in cooking, baking, coffee, and many other uses.
Coconut milk – 40 calories per cup
Another keto- and Paleo-favorite, coconut milk (in the carton) is made by blending coconut cream (very high-fat cream from coconuts) with water. It’s important to note the difference between drinkable carton coconut milk and high-fat canned coconut milk, the latter of which is primarily used for cooking.
Macadamia milk – 50 calories per cup
Like many other nut- and seed milks, commercial macadamia milk is typically fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Most of the calories in macadamia milk are from fat (5 grams per cup) and it’s very low in carbs and protein (1 gram each).
Oat milk – 45 calories per cup
Oat milk is becoming more popular among plant-based milk. Unlike nut- and seed milk, oat milk gets most of its calories from carbs (8 grams per cup) and is very low in fat (0.5 grams per cup) and protein (1 gram per cup). Also unlike the other milks on this list, oat milk is not keto- or Paleo-friendly.
Sunflower seed milk – 50 calories per cup
Sunflower seed milk is a good option for people wanting plant-based milk that doesn’t contain tree nuts. Sunflower seed milk gets most of its calories from fat (4.5 grams per cup) while being low in carbs and protein (2 grams per cup of each).
Nutritional comparison of low-calorie milk
|Per cup (237 ml/8 oz.)||Calories||Total fat (saturated)||Total carbs||Total sugars (incl. added)||Protein|
|Almond-coconut||40||3.5 g (1 g)||1 g||0 g||1 g|
|Almond milk||30||2.5 g (0 g)||1 g||0 g||1 g|
|Coconut milk||40||4 g (3.5 g)||2 g||<1 g (0 g)||0 g|
|Macadamia milk||50||5 g (1 g)||1 g||0 g||1 g|
|Oat milk||45||0.5 g (0 g)||8 g||0 g||1 g|
|Sunflower seed milk||50||4.5 g (0 g)||2 g||0 g||2 g|
Unsweetened almond milk is the lowest in calories with as few as 30 calories per cup.
Barley milk has the most calories of any milk alternative with 140 calories per cup.