It’s not much of a secret anymore that traditional cow’s milk isn’t good for us. From commercials to nutritional guides, for years we have been told that milk and dairy products are essential to our health.
Now, numerous studies have concluded that milk doesn’t actually build bone and provide the same amount of calcium that we thought.
A study published in the British Medical Journal, for example, followed more than 100,000 people in Sweden over periods of 20 to 30 years, with shocking results: The people who drank milk were more likely to die from heart disease and cancer. The women suffered more overall fractures and hip fractures as well.
Different studies have also shown that higher dairy intake is linked to higher risks of prostate and ovarian cancer and can trigger type 1 diabetes. It is also linked to forms of acne, just to name a few effects.
There is also the disturbing side of the dairy industry, where animals are abused to produce the milk we drink. A lot of dairy products are filled with the hormones that were given to female cows to keep them perpetually lactating so they produce an endless flow of milk.
This doctor describes it perfectly when he says “cow’s milk is for baby calfs, just like human milk is for babies.” It is a substance we need while in crucial stages of development, but past a certain age, it becomes obsolete.
While there are many alternatives to dairy milk, some are much better than others. Here are some of the better “milk” products out there.
Raw organic almond milk is a great choice when you know where it’s coming from. As with many mass produced products, even some almond milks aren’t the best for us.
An analysis of a UK almond milk brand showed that nuts make up only 2% of the drink itself.
A single serving of almond milk has almost no protein. Compared with plain old almonds, it fares even worse.
Making almond milk yourself, however, is a fantastic option, and allows you to control exactly what goes inside it, ensuring there are no additives, preservatives, or substances you’ve never even heard of before.
Rice milk is another good choice that works well as a dairy substitute, if you don’t mind the taste.
It’s higher in carbohydrates than other milk choices and contains around the same amount of calcium as cow’s milk.
Yet it contains almost no protein, so it needs to be balanced with other protein rich foods. During processing, the carbs break down into sugars and give the milk a sweet taste.
It is filled with more sugar, around 10 grams for one serving, which is a lot more than something like coconut milk, which has around 3 grams.
If you’re trying to have as little sugar as possible, rice milk may not be the best choice, but it’s certainly better than plain old dairy milk.
Coconut milk is definitely one of the healthier options here. When this milk is all natural, meaning there’s no added sugars, natural flavours, or preservatives, it is incredibly healthy for us.
“Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.”
The things that makes coconuts so good is the type of fat they contain. They have a form of medium-chain fatty acids rather than long-chain fatty acids, which are stored in our tissue for much longer.
One of the beneficial acids within coconuts is called lauric acid. This gets converted inside the body into a beneficial substance called monolaurin acid, which acts as an antiviral agent.
But unlike other milks, if you have access, you can go right up to a coconut tree and drink the milk straight from the coconut without the need for processing. This is one of the most pure and fresh ways to get some milk in you!
Ah, hemp; one of the most versatile plants on our planet. Hemp milk has a wide range of health benefits that a lot of other milks don’t.
Some companies make fully organic, non-GMO, and unsweetened hemp milk, but it’s always good to check exactly where you’re getting your products from.
Hemp milk has a more bean-like and nutty flavor to it, which still tastes great in many drinks or foods.
It’s also packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which help with our heart health.
In a single 8-ounce glass of hemp milk you can find the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin D
If you want to learn more about the benefits of hemp milk, click here!
It’s very easy to make your own at home as well. If you have a blender, all you need to do is blend half a cup of raw organic shelled hempseeds with 2 cups of water. After about three minutes of blending, use a cheesecloth to strain the milk through.
These milks are great alternatives for anyone looking for non-dairy milk with a wide variety of benefits.
Which kind of milk is your most favourite to drink?
It’s also important to keep in mind that Milk/Diary is not the only source of calcium. Kale, for example, is loaded with calcium, approximately 90 mg to be exact. This means that a 3.5 cup of kale salad provides more calcium than a one cup class of milk.
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