Especially if you are intolerant or allergic to Lactose, these non-dairy alternatives to cow’s milk will be helpful.
Milk can be either of animal origin or vegetable origin. Among the dairy milks available, cow’s milk is without doubt the most popular. Other types of this product commonly available are goat’s milk and sheep’s milk.
Cow’s milk is high in calcium, protein and vitamins whilst containing low levels of sugar and fat, making it a great nutritional product for people of all ages
Non-dairy milk, on the other hand, is extracted from the seeds of legumes, cereals and other oily seeds. These non-dairy milks, however, do not contain calcium or vitamin D and these vitamins must be integrated into your diet from alternative sources.
With this in mind, what are the reasons for substituting traditional animal milk with plant milk in your diet? Some of the most motivating arguments are as follows:
- Being of animal origin, cow’s milk can easily contain infectious agents. There exists, therefore, the risk of transmission of animal diseases such as brucellosis, listeriosis, salmonellosis and tuberculosis (and this is why you consume pasteurized milk). Animal milk may also have either been contaminated by nature (e.g. residues of pesticides, dioxides and fungal toxins ingested by the animal before the milking process) or altered by the addition of nitrogenous substances used to increase the milk’s protein content.
A number of people are intolerant or allergic to Lactose or casein (a protein category). You can easily avoid allergic reactions by switching to vegetable milk, which does not contain either of these elements.
- Vegetable milks have excellent nutritional properties: they are a complete food, rich in vitamins, simple sugars, fibre and minerals. They contain no cholesterol or animal fat. Plus, you can make vegetable milk yourself. The process is simple and requires no special equipment or skills.
Seven Cow Milk Alternatives To Discover
Here are seven alternatives to cow’s milk you might want to try:
Soya milk is obtained by squeezing and boiling yellow soya beans and is a very popular drink in Asia. It is a great substitute for cow’s milk at breakfast. But you can also use it to make yummy desserts!
The protein content in soya milk is similar to that in cow’s milk, furthermore it contains twice as much vitamin B1 and iron. It is also very low in fat, especially saturated fat, and contains only low levels of polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3.
Soya milk can also help reduce cholesterol due to the presence of isoflavones. It is especially recommended for celiac sufferers as it is 100% gluten free. The only downside is that it contains less calcium with regards to cow’s milk.
Rice milk is made by adding water to milled rice before filtering the mixture, to leave only the rice milk. It has a very delicate flavor and is naturally sweet making it great for the preparation of desserts. It is the least fatty of all milks. When compared to soya milk it has a lower protein content but is richer in fibre, vitamins A, B and D.
It is also suitable for a celiac diet being completely gluten free. Rice milk is rich in simple sugars making it a quick source of energy.
Oat milk is rich in sugar and potassium, it contains fibre, vitamins E and B, and is low in calories. This is a truly great cereal… one of nature’s tonics due to its low glycemic index and diuretic and regenerative properties.
Like rice milk, it has a delicate taste and is naturally sweet making it’s milk very beneficial.
Almond milk is rich in antioxidants and minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and zinc. It contains high levels of polyunsaturated fats and vitamins E and B and is good for the cardiovascular system.
But remember… it is a very high calorie drink, so you should consume it with moderation!
Millet milk is easily digestible, highly nutritious and gluten-free beverage. It helps to revitalize and balance the nervous system, stimulates skin and protects blood vessels. Rich in protein, B vitamins, lecithin and minerals (iron, magnesium, phosphorus and silicon) this milk is a valuable part of a balanced diet.
Spelt Grain Milk
Spelt Grain milk is low in protein but rich in minerals and band. This kind of vegetal milk is just perfect for active people and children. It also helps to prevent osteoporosis due to it’s high levels of calcium.
Walnut milk has high levels of nitrogen, vitamins A and B and minerals. It also contains many essential amino acids. Walnut milk is particularly popular with children due to its pleasant taste.
You can also sweeten it with dates or fortify it with calcium.
As with all products, the quality of the milk depends on the quality of the raw materials. So, make sure you use only organic walnuts nuts, soya, millet and almonds!
Bonus Tip: other healthy alternatives to cow’s milk
Yes, be aware there are plenty of alternatives here. Just some examples:
- Hemp Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Cashew Milk
- Quinoa Milk
- Flax Milk
- Sunflower Milk
Do you know more? Please, let us know in the comments below.