There is too much controversy over the presence of dairy in humans diets and whether it is really necessary. There have been numerous studies through which people attacked dairy products and linking them to cause many adverse negative side effects on the human body. Instead of dairy as thought of to help osteoporosis and build strong bones, some studies are now suggesting that they actually cause calcium depletion in our bones. In addition it is also linked with causing acne and skin problems. The usage of growth hormones like rBST on cows has caused lots of controversy over the health side effects it causes on humans through the consumption of milk . Many studies have showed that drinking milk from cows who have been given growth hormones may cause girls to menstruate quicker because the hormones ingested in their bodies through milk causes them to mature at a quicker rate. The non-dairy industry has flourished over the past couple of years and its all because of people suddenly starting to stray away from the negative side effects associated with cows milk. Not all people that consume these non-dairy alternatives are lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy, but rather the shift in peoples lifestyle and thoughts about it has drastically changed. With the food industry taking advantage of this, there are many non dairy milk alternatives on the market today and it can get extremely confusing trying to figure out which to use. My personal suggestion about starting to consume non dairy milk alternatives is to completely understand what you are getting yourself into. These milk alternatives are more expensive than regular cows milk, but most offer equal if not more vitamins and minerals. Almond, Soy, Coconut, Cashew, Rice, and Hemp milk are a few of what is offered out on the market. Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of each type.
A popular, smooth, nutty, and sweet alternative to dairy milk, this milk has a mild nutty flavor that is perfect to pour over your cereal, bake with, or drink plain. It is made by grinding up almonds with water and often times adding sugar. There are flavor varieties as well that include the addition of other ingredients. (favors: vanilla and dark chocolate). One cup of almond milk has 60 calories, contains 50 % more calcium than dairy milk, vitamin D, A, and is an excellent source of vitamin E. However, it only contains 1 gram of protein.
A very mild flavor that works wonderful in baking and cooking, or in your cereal and coffee. Soy milk contains heart healthy soy protein. Coming in at 8 grams of protein in each cup with the addition of 100 calories. In addition, soy milk comes in a wide variety of flavors including original, unsweetened, vanilla, organic, and chocolate. It is also cholesterol free, and contains vitamins A,D, B12, C, iron, phosphorus, folate, and magnesium. It is truly a POWERHOUSE and contains as many, if not even more benefits than dairy milk. Although this milk is controversial because most people question the presence of soy in women body’s miming estrogen hormones and causing cancer, the FDA actually has come out and spoken about the many benefits of consuming soy as it has been
Derived from coconut flesh, this variety is the highest out of the milk alternatives in fat. It has a very potent coconut taste and is appropriate for baking, pouring over cereal, or drinking plain. The fat content in this kind of milk and in coconuts in general is regarded and thought of very highly for its many wonderful benefits of enhancing the bodies metabolism and actually increasing the ability to burn fat because of the present medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s).
Similar to almond milk, this nutty variety has a similar taste but is more creamier and works similarly like almond. Coming in at 60 calories per cup, this alternative also contains 50% more calcium than dairy milk. However, it falls short with protein coming in at less than 1 gram per serving.
A very watery bland tasting alternative that is not suitable for baking. Made from ground up brown rice, this variety contains 120 calories per cup and only 1 gram of protein. Best use is for pouring over cereal or oatmeal. Also comes in plain or vanilla.
A drink made from hemp seeds that have been ground up with water. This alternative has a slight nutty taste that is creamy and slightly sweet. Comes in at 80 calories per cup and 2 grams of protein. Only added benefit that differentiates this milk from the others is the presence of a significant source of omega 3 and 6.