Today, you can find many alternatives for animal milk, yogurt, and other dairy products in the supermarkets. The number of people drinking and using them is rising, so there are a lot more options out there than there used to be!
Regular milk has a lot of potential negative effects on your body- including leeching calcium from your bones (yes- this is true!), causing inflammation in your body, and causing digestive problems because 75% of the world’s population is unable to properly digest milk after the age of 5!
Even if you don’t feel the negative effects from drinking regular milk, I encourage you to give some of these other options a try!
Soy Milk: Produced from soaking and grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture and filtering the remaining particles
Pro: Becoming widely available, thickest of the alternative milks, longer shelf-life than dairy milk, can be stored at room temperature for months
Con: Often contains gums, fillers, and added sugar. If not organic, it is likely a GMO and contains pesticides
Take-away – Avoid Soy Milk as it is potentially more inflammatory than cows milk
Almond Milk: Produced from blending almonds in water and passing through a filter
Pro: Good alternative to dairy and soy milks, lower calorie (unless sweetened), high in vitamin E
Cons: Often contains gums, fillers, and added sugars. Typically contains the non-active form of vitamin D (D2). Made from skinless almonds with most fiber and antioxidants removed
Take away – Almond Milk can be a good dairy free alternative, but be sure to check ingredients or make it yourself.
Goat Milk: Milked and bottled directly from goats
Pro: Easier to digest because it contains A2 Beta Casein, and less allergenic than cow dairy. Nutrients and minerals are more bioavailable than cow dairy
Con: Has a strong flavor and smell that may be unpleasant to some
Take Away – Goat Milk is a great alternative to Cow’s Milk, with tons of nutritional benefits
Cashew Milk: Raw cashews are soaked in water, blended, and filtered
Pros: Good flavor and often thicker than other alternative milks. Contains significant amounts of tryptophan which may increase serotonin.
Cons: Often contains gums, fillers, and often added sugars. Typically contains the non-active form of vitamin D (D2). Has a higher rate of intolerance or allergy than other alternative milks
Take-away – Proceed with caution and look out for symptoms.
Coconut Milk: Grated pulp is soaked in hot water, squeezed, and filtered
Pros: High in healthy fats and medium chain triglycerides. Higher in vitamins and minerals than other alternative milks. Improves digestion and aids in constipation
Cons: Often contains gums, fillers, and often added sugars. Typically contains the non-active form of vitamin D (D2). Canned varieties may contain BPA (an industrial chemical used to make plastic)
Take Away – Coconut milk itself can be very nutritious, high in healthy fats, low in carbs, and a great milk alternative, however, be aware of the fillers and additives.
Hemp Milk: Hemp seeds are blended with water, salt, and sweetener then strained
Pros: Is a complete protein and contains healthy fats including omega 3. It is also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, Vitamin D, and B vitamins among others.
Cons: Does not mix well and can separate in drinks like coffee; can be challenging to find
Take Away – Worth a try if you can find a good quality brand.
Since people have different tastes, I would recommend you experiment with a couple of different options to see what you like the best! Just make sure whichever option you choose is not loaded with sugar or other strange ingredients. Remember- the fewer the ingredients the better!
Are you up for the milk swap challenge this week? Which milk are you going to try this week!? Let me know in a comment below!