Going Dairy Free: Milk Alternatives

going dairy free

Lactose intolerance or lactose sensitivity has become a significantly larger health issue for children and adults. Luckily there’s now a few options for those who are looking for options other than cow’s milk. The problem, some of them may be a little more unhealthy then you thought. Let’s break them down and find out the benefits and downfalls of each alternative.

going dairy free - almond milk

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a plant-based milk that is made by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water. While it is one of the most popular substitutes for cow’s milk, however is also a common allergen itself. It delivers many nutrients including fiber, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. The issue? Soy milk has been known to be hard to digest and cause some side effects. One of these being that it replicates the effects of estrogen in the body, which can be a positive or negative thing if you look at the studies. Whether any of this has been proven or not, soy is a great alternative for those who are lactose intolerant

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a new friend to those who are lactose intolerant. One thing to keep in mind is that the coconut milk you find in the refrigerator is not the same as that you find in a can. This kind acts great as a base for smoothies, milkshakes, or cereals. It is also highly nutritious and contains several minerals including iron, calcium magnesium. It also contains vitamins C, B1, B3, and B6.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is another popular substitution for cow’s milk. It’s very low in calories; in one cup there is approximately 30-40 calories, 1g of fiber and proteins and 2.5-3g of fat. Almond milk is great for a variety of uses including a base for smoothies, in your cereal and for many baking purposes. It does not contain any cholesterol nor is it a significant source of protein. Note: try chocolate almond milk. It’s delicious!

Rice Milk

Rice milk is the one you are most likely to not be allergic too. It’s texture is similar to skim milk and has a mild flavor. It tends to be higher in calories compared to other non-dairy options. In one 8oz serving, it has approximately 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, no fiber and 1 gram of protein. It also contains only 2% of the recommended daily intake of calcium; if you are going to switch, be sure to find other sources to get the proper amount of calcium your body needs.

Hemp Milk

What makes hemp milk such a popular (yet fairly new) alternative to milk is that it is high in omega-3 fats. A single serving provides an entire day’s worth of omega-3 fats. It has a thicker consistency and a nutty taste. Even though hemp milk comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, you won’t feel any sort of high with this drink. It is made by blending the hemp seeds with water which is then filtered.

What dairy free options do you use?

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