Milk Substitutes for Warfarin Patients
By: Alere Staff
Recently, dairy drink alternatives or milk substitutes like soy, rice, and almond milk have grown in popularity. Milk substitutes all have their pros and cons, however, you need to pick the one that fits your needs best.
Soy milk is formulated from soybeans which come from the soy plant. While soy milk is relatively low in vitamin K, between 3.9 and 8.7 mcg per serving, some patients have found it lowered their INR levels.1, 2
Almond milk is another healthy dairy alternative and is very low in vitamin K, about 0.2 mcg per serving.1 Almond milk is high in antioxidants which have been proven to prevent cancer and slow the signs of aging. It is also great for your heart as it contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.1 And finally it is high in vitamins and minerals and low in fat and calories. If you have any tree nut allergies, you should avoid drinking almond milk.
Rice milk is processed, milled rice, blended with water until it transforms into a liquid. During the process, carbohydrates become sugar, giving it a natural sweetened taste. Because it is slightly sweet, rice milk works well as a milk substitute in dessert recipes, but it is less suited for savory or salty dishes. Compared to soy and almond milk, rice milk has less protein.1
Just because it has milk in the title, does not always make it healthy. It’s important to be careful about sugars or salt additives, and to check labels to ensure nutrients like calcium and vitamins have also been added if you are no longer drinking cow’s milk.
When planning your daily menus while taking warfarin, remember to keep your vitamin K intake consistent from day to day. It is wise to be aware of the vitamin K content in the foods you eat and beverages you drink. For more information about the amount of vitamin K in the foods and beverages you consume, check out our Vitamin K Finder.
It is important to talk with your doctor about starting any new foods because they can interact with your warfarin, so please keep this in mind when planning your next meal.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2004. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp.
- Cambria-Kiely JA. Effect of soy milk on warfarin efficacy Ann Pharmcother. 2002;36:1893–6