It is National Dairy Month and if you are one of the 75% of the
world's population (or one of the 40 million Americans) that is
lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy, then you are probably a
pro at tasting the variety of non-dairy milks out there.
There are benefits to drinking different types of milks. In fact
I tell my new moms all of the time to rotate the milks they
introduce to their baby. It not only enhances their palate and
exposes them to a variety of flavors, but they get different
nutrients from each non-dairy milk. Just be sure to buy unsweetened
to avoid the excess and unnecessary added sugars. In fact, those
added sugars can spike blood sugars more than cow's milk, which is
the natural sugar, lactose. There is a difference.
My goal is to help you find which is the right one for you and
your family if you are needing or considering going milk/dairy
Dates back to the Middle Ages and it is super easy to make
at home. It's consistency is thin like skim milk, and low in
calories and fat like skim milk (about 40 calories and 3 grams of
fat per serving). If you like a little foam in your coffee, then
this is a great non-dairy substitute.
Almonds are naturally high in vitamins and
nutrients such as vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous,
potassium, selenium, iron, fiber, zinc and calcium. While cow's
milk has about 8 grams of protein per serving, almond milk only has
about 1 gram. I like to add a little protein powder to up the
protein content and make it just about equal. My personal favorite
is the 365 Brand carried at Whole Foods. It is free of the additive
called carrageenan. If you have gut issues already, this
can disrupt it even more. In fact, a
local UIC professor is hitting the FDA hard
with their studies to remove it in all food products.
Coconut milk has been around since the beginning of time (ok,
well almost) and is getting some major play in the last few years.
Many of us are familiar with it coming from a can, thanks to
So Delicious making it a yummy fad. I swore by coconut milk
yogurt when I had heartburn during my pregnancy and this tends to
be one of my favoritesfor baking, but I'll use canned coconut milk
for its thicker consistency.
It is rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 as well as iron,
selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Coconut milk
has more calcium naturally and is rich in lauric acid, a substance
also found in human milk (the only other place in the world!),
which researchers have shown have anti-viral and anti-bacterial
The downside is carrageenan and little protein. Word on the
street is So Delicious is looking to remove this additive due the
demands from its consumers. This can be a nice non-dairy
alternative for toddlers due to it's high (and good) fat content.
Just don't get suckered into buying the sweetened stuff. But as a
special treat, their chocolate milk has WAY less sugar than
Horizon's chocolate milk.
Don't be fooled by the name. This milk has he highest amount of
naturally occurring omega 3's than all the non-dairy milks (others
are fortified). This is important for the toddler who is beginning
to drink milk as omega 3's are vital for brain and eye development
in the first two years of life. Hemp milk was a life saver for my
son who could not have almond, coconut or cow's milk.
The flavor is nutty (though it is a seed) and unique, and it
gets some getting use to (just don't put in in your coffee). It has
great nutritional value containing 10 essential amino acids and a
little higher in protein. I liked Tempt Living Harvest as it was
also corn-free, which was important for our food sensitivity
issues. Their ice cream is fantastic and if Dr. Oz picks hemp milk
as his favorite non-dairy alternative, then it is not all that bad.
The downside? Yes, it has carrageenan in it.
In an effort to keep our home free of products with carrageenan
in it, we have begun using this new milk combo as it adds more
nutrients than rice milk alone. It has a sweetness that I am not a
fan of and I wasted a good cup of coffee using this milk in it. The
upside is that it is super easy to digest for those with a lot of
food allergies, but it is not the most beneficial in terms of
nutrients and vitamins. I have begun switching back to hemp milk
for the kids.
It has the highest amount of protein than other non-dairy milks
that is comparable to cow's milk, but is also highest in calories.
Although soy milk supplies some B vitamins, it's not a good
source of B12, nor does it provide a
significant amount of calcium like coconut naturally does.
Soybeans tend to be the hardest beans to digest, so if you are
feeling bloated after drinking soymilk, you may have an intolerance
to soy. Be careful, if you have a peanut allergy, you may also be
allergic to soy. Peanuts are also a legume like soy and
some studies found hidden correlation
between soy and peanut allergies (some deadly). Some question its
high estrogen like compounds and I am personally not a fan of soy
milk at all. If you do like and buy soy milk, make sure it is
You can easilyy make your own milk at home with the Soya
Maker (you can use any nut or seed) or with a Vitamix or Blendtec.
In fact, someone is giving me their Soya Maker and I cannot wait
to begin making homemade milks for all of us!
Jasmine blogs to inspire you to make positive, healthy changes.
See more of Jasmine's stories here.
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