More and more people are consuming alternatives to traditional cow’s milk.
A lot of people prefer dairy products without lactose or non-dairy milk items, like coffee creamer, evaporated milk, powdered milk, and sour cream.
Many people are also drawn to eating non-dairy ice cream due to a preference for the sweet, creamy flavor but don’t want to experience the unfavorable effects of cow’s milk.
Discover the potential cause of why non-dairy milk is ingested, what the highest quality alternatives are, as well as the elements you should take into account when selecting an alternate. A range of options for non-dairy milk can be found at the supermarket.
What Effect Does Dairy Have on the Body?
Are you aware that cow’s milk sensitivity is the most frequent ailment in infants and kids? Approximately two to three point five percent of babies are sensitive to dairy milk.
High numbers of adults have difficulty digesting lactose, ranging from 15% to 75%. Research has demonstrated that the majority of folks of African origin (80%) and all individuals of Asian and Native American ancestry (100%) are not able to process lactose.
Despite this, people who are not affected by cow’s milk allergy or lactose intolerance might still be impacted by dairy milk. People who do not have any medical conditions can still suffer negative impacts on their physical well-being.
A major protein component of dairy milk is beta-casein. Recent studies have shown that milk containing what’s called A1 beta-casein promoted intestinal inflammation and leads to gastrointestinal symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Increased stool frequency
- Stool consistency issues
The Link Between Dairy and Inflammation
Drinking cow’s milk can cause increases in inflammation-linked warning signs, slow down digestion, and cause some people with lactose intolerance and even without it to have digestive trouble.
Cow’s milk has physical as well as psychological effects. Research has revealed that consuming cow’s milk can result in a slower and less accurate cognitive processing speed.
Drinking cow’s milk boosts the amount of insulin-like growth factor 1 in the body, which leads to inflammation.
Lots of people have cut down on drinking cow’s milk as certain germs, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157: H7, are often located in it. Pathogens linked to numerous disease epidemics across the globe have been identified.
There is some evidence that regularly drinking cow’s milk increases the likelihood of developing cancer. There is growing evidence that dairy consumption may be linked to chronic degenerative and non-communicable diseases.
A lot of the problems people have in regard to cow’s milk can be attributed to lactose, but they can also arise from the milk protein casein.
Pros for Adding Milk Alternatives
- They make a great alternative to cow’s milk if you have trouble digesting dairy or lactose.
- Certain alternatives are a good source of protein.
- They can be bought in both organic or fortified versions.
- Most of them are low in saturated fat and contain healthy fats, such as mono and polyunsaturated fats.
- Plant-based milk contains some fiber, which is not found in animal-based milk.
- Animal-based alternatives are still a great source of calcium.
- Non-organic plant milk are fortified with key nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D and B12.
Cons for Adding Milk Alternatives
Organic plant milk is not fortified.
You should not solely rely on fortified plant-based milk to provide enough calcium and other essential nutrients in your diet; it is necessary to include other food options.
They are more expensive than cow’s milk.
Many plant-based milks have been processed to include additives such as preservatives, thickeners, and stabilizers, whereas traditional cow’s milk does not.
Plant milk may not be as ecologically beneficial as it may seem.
Substitutes for animal milk may not be right for you if you are hypersensitive to cow’s milk or cannot ingest milk due to lactose sensitivity.
Many brands contain added sugars, so it is best to select unsweetened varieties for a healthier choice.
11 best milk substitutes
1. Soy milk
Soy milk provides a distinctive source of both protein and fat, which does not come from dairy products. It is composed of 35-45% protein and roughly 20% fat. Soy milk is a high-protein option, full of a few grams of protein, and ideal for vegetarians.
Soy milk is often consumed for its isoflavone content. This item comprises of daidzein and genistein, both of which are isoflavones that might possess anti-cancer capabilities.
Soy milk has roughly the same amount of calories as cow’s milk, making it a great substitution if you’re looking to swap cow’s milk out of your diet.
Soy milk is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids, otherwise known as MUFAs. MUFAs aid in reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein (often referred to as “bad cholesterol”). This type of fatty acid, known as MUFAs, can be beneficial to one’s health by potentially preventing heart-related diseases and the growth of cancer. Possible treatments for infertility may also be advantageous for females dealing with conception issues.
2. Coconut milk
Coconut milk is a type of milk that does not contain any dairy and is made from the liquid saved from the mature coconut’s flesh. It is grown extensively in the tropical regions of Asia and South America. This is then shipped out as a preserved item to the United States and Europe.
This milk has more saturated fats than cow’s milk, yet the amount of calories is lower. Coconut milk is popular not only due to its health advantages, but also for its delightful taste and flavor. It is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk when used in baking.
Studies have verified that coconut milk can raise the amount of high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and reduce the amount of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol). The advantages are due to the presence of lauric acid in coconut milk.
3. Almond milk
Liquid obtained by combining water with ground-up or mashed almonds is referred to as almond milk—generally, the process of preparation calls for soaking and grinding the almonds with some water.
Once the harder parts are sifted out, this leaves a whitish liquid that is commonly acknowledged as almond milk. This milk is usually treated by pressing it at high force to homogenize it and then heated to pasteurize it, which raises its durability and lengthens its shelf life.
Investigations have discovered that almond milk is a superior choice to cow’s milk compared to other usual milk replacements, like soy-based products and protein hydrolysate formula.
Almonds themselves have good levels of antioxidant vitamins. Fortunately, not only do nuts have a high amount of vitamins, but almond milk does as well.
Almond milk provides beneficial levels of protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, vitamin A, and manganese. A single serving of almond milk can provide up to 50% of the necessary daily allowance of vitamin E and up to 30% of the recommended intake of vitamin A.
Almond milk has a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are believed to assist with controlling weight. MUFAs can help reduce low-density lipoproteins and, consequently, help decrease the odds of cancer onset and the likelihood of heart-related incidences.
Almond milk has a more pleasing taste than skim milk, and it has fewer calories. The flavor is nutty.
4. Oat milk
Oat milk has become more common lately as an alternative for individuals who no longer consume dairy but want a creamy consistency.
One study looked at 24 healthy men and women. It was discovered that drinking oat milk reduced the amount of total cholesterol in the bloodstream by 4%.
The intervention also had the benefit of decreasing levels of low-density lipoprotein by 9%. The study demonstrated that oat milk is efficacious in decreasing the amount of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein due to the high concentration of beta-glucans it contains.
The researchers determined that oat milk could be utilized as a substitute for other dairy drinks by individuals who would gain from having lower levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Steel-cut oats are the optimum source of oat milk.
5. Hemp milk
Hemp milk, derived from hemp seeds, has a mild nutty flavor and is a great choice for vegans since it is made from plant sources.
Hemp milk is a beneficial food because it provides both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is among the few vegan-friendly sources of complete proteins. This means that hemp milk contains all the necessary amino acids which the body is unable to produce itself and must be obtained from food sources. It’s also naturally gluten-free.
Nutritionally, there aren’t many downsides to hemp milk. The flavor of nuts can be quite strong, so choices other than nut-based milk alternatives may be preferable. Watch out for brands that contain added sugar.
It appears that hemp milk is one of the most beneficial milk substitutes for the environment since virtually all parts of the hemp plant can be utilized. Nevertheless, additional research is needed to reinforce this notion.
A great vegan option for breakfast is using hemp milk in our simple vegan pancakes or sprinkling it on top of nuts and seeds granola.
6. Hazelnut milk
Hazelnut milk has an intense nutty flavor compared to almond milk, and it works particularly well when used in coffee and baking. It has few calories and does not contain any gluten, cholesterol, or saturated fat. Vitamin E found in Hazelnut milk may help improve the health of the skin, hair, and heart.
Hazelnut milk, similar to almond milk, can contain a lot of sugar and very few proteins.
Hazelnuts are considered more eco-friendly than almond milk because they don’t rely on bees for pollination but instead on the wind, and they need far less water.
Mix hazelnut milk into these scrumptious vegan Brownies to give them a slightly nutty flavor.
7. Cashew milk
Cashew milk has a thicker, velvety texture, and its flavor is much more subtle than the taste of other nut milks.
It’s naturally gluten-free and vegan and low in calories. Cashew milk usually has calcium, and vitamin D added to it, so it serves as a decent source of those essential vitamins. Additionally, it has a good amount of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting.
Its protein content is not very high, and it does not provide any fiber; plus, there are numerous versions with added sugar. Those with a nut allergy should not use this product.
Cashew crops tend not to be very productive yield-wise and need an adequate amount of water, though not as much as almonds need. Therefore, it is likely not the most environmentally-friendly choice.
Why not give vegan flapjacks or a vegan chocolate party traybake with cashew milk a go?
8. Rice milk
Rice milk is produced in a similar manner to hemp milk, as it is created by crushing rice grains and then straining the mixture with water. It is not as thick as other kinds of milk and can be used in a variety of recipes.
It is the most unlikely of all milk substitutes to induce an allergy, and it has a low-calorie content.
This food is not an ideal choice for people with diabetes or blood sugar issues because it is packed with carbohydrates and has a low concentration of protein due to being derived from grain. Rice milk usually has added ingredients to make it smoother and has extreme amounts of arsenic, so it is not recommended for small children.
Try this green breakfast smoothie made with rice milk
9. Quinoa milk
Quinoa milk is created by first letting the quinoa soak, then straining it, and combining the grains with water.
Quinoa milk is generally without gluten, which makes it a suitable choice for those with celiac disease as long as there are no other added ingredients (check each brand for specifics). It has more protein than other kinds of plant-based milk and is entirely fat-free.
It is not as easy to get hold of in the UK as other plant-based milk substitutes.
Increase the amount of protein in this cardamom and peach quinoa porridge by using quinoa milk.
In the last ten years, the demand for quinoa and foods made with quinoa has increased substantially, affecting farmers in areas where this grain is harvested. Thus, sustainability is more crucial in this situation than its relation to climate change, which is not as significant.
10. Macadamia milk
This milk is a brand-new offering that is characterized by its creaminess and a hint of macadamia nut flavor.
This food has a low-calorie count and contains no gluten, a bit of protein, and is high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Macadamia nut-based beverages can be combined with protein powder to give them a thicker consistency, and they usually contain added sweeteners unless an unsweetened variant is available.
Macadamia trees possess the aptitude to adjust to climate alteration. They can manage water resourcefully as well as employ the carbon present in the surroundings, rendering them able to survive in dry periods. It’s probably one of the more sustainable nuts around.
Substitute macadamia milk for the milk called for in this delicious vegan truffle recipe.
If you are worried about your calcium intake from a vegetarian diet, read this guide to get more information.
11. Goat’s milk
Goat’s milk has a similar nutritional content to that of cow’s milk but has a more distinctive taste.
People have stated that it is easier for them to digest goat’s milk than cow’s milk, as goat’s milk has less A1 casein and lactose than cow’s milk, which some people have difficulty with when it comes to digestion. Goat’s milk is an excellent provider of calcium, and protein, and has a lower cholesterol content than milk from cows. It also contains a natural prebiotic called oligosaccharides. Prebiotics help support a healthy gut microbiome
Someone with an allergy to cow’s milk or those who have difficulty digesting lactose should avoid drinking goat’s milk. Consumption of prebiotics from goat’s milk might not be the best idea for some people, as it may produce intestinal trouble, particularly for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Goat’s milk and cow’s milk are relatively equal in terms of environmental impact. Goats need less water and land than cows, though.
It is suitable to replace cow’s milk with goat’s milk in this ratatouille dish topped off with goat’s cheese.
It is evident that there are numerous superb options for bovine milk, which all have distinctive advantageous characteristics for your well-being. It is essential to talk to a health care authority to make certain you are getting all the necessary nutrients in your food consumption; hence, confer with your medical doctor, naturopath, or nutritionist about this if you are planning to reduce cow’s milk from your diet.