Plant based milks are a healthier, more nutritious alternative to dairy based cow’s milk. A huge segment of the population is backing away from dairy and choosing to replace their milk with plant based milk. People may be lactose intolerant, have a dairy allergy, or choose to be plant based or vegan. Others simply enjoy the taste, texture, and nutritional boost that plant milks provide.
Multiple health risks have been associated with cow’s milk. An increased risk of ovarian and prostate cancer, concerns over the high amount of hormones found in cow’s milk and a link to type 1 diabetes in infancy is enough to make anyone consider alternatives. Cow’s milk is simply not necessary in any human’s diet. The alternative that exist are delicious, nutritious and increasingly easy to find at the local grocery store.
Let’s take a look at several cow’s milk substitutes and the benefits that they have to offer.
Made from heart healthy almonds, almond milk provides a great amount of calcium without all the additives found in cow’s milk. Available in varieties such as unsweetened, vanilla, chocolate and more, there is a flavor out there for every taste.
When choosing soy milk, be sure to find a brand that uses organic soy beans. Soy milk is thick and creamy and full of calcium and lower in sugar that cow’s milk. Soy milk tends to have the highest protein content out of all the plant milks.
Coconut milk is an easy to digest milk alternative. It is available in a few different varieties. The coconut milk in a can is typically used for cooking and baking. The refrigerated coconut milk is ideal for drinking, adding to cereal and the like.
Cashew milk is very creamy and would make a good replacement for whole dairy milk. Fortified cashew milk is rich in calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. It is a great choice for making creamy soups and sauces, vegan ice creams and other recipes that require a creamy base.
Hemp milk is amazing due to it being naturally high in heart healthy Omega-3 fats. Especially important to growing children, the fat content in hemp milk makes this a great choice for kids. With its nutty flavor and creamy texture, hemp milk lends itself well to smoothie bases, creamy sauces and a stand alone drink. Hemp milk is not as readily available as soy and almond milk are, but it can be ordered online in shelf stable containers.
Rice milk is the thinnest and naturally sweetest option out of all the plant milks. Rice milk is very low in fat. Fortified rice milk is a great choice for those who are allergic to soy and nuts yet still want to avoid cow’s milk.
Those who have not yet tried plant milks will be pleasantly surprised to find that plant based milks can feel, look and taste just like dairy milk. Many cow’s milk alternatives have carrageenan listed on their ingredients list. This extract of red seaweed, which is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to be a safe food additive, helps provide thickness and stability to plant milks. With so many plant milks easily available at grocery stores across the country, there is sure to be one that can easily replace the cow’s milk in your refrigerator.
It has been repeatedly found that the claims promoted by the dairy industry are unequivocally false. Cow’s milk has actually been proven to cause negative side effects such as increased risk of both bone fractures and cancer. Those switching from dairy to plant based milks notice clearer skin, more energy and an overall renewed sense of health. In light of these results, more and more people are reaching for plant milks to replace dairy milk.