In 2015 milk isn’t just something you get from the regular supermarket shelf, straight from the farm, straight from the cow! With intolerances and different diets and lifestyles becoming more common, there are many alternatives to traditional cow’s milk on the market and they all have their benefits. How do you choose which one is right for you though? Below is a closer look at some of the different milks on the market and the benefits they have for your health.
The slimmer’s favourite! Almond milk is made simply from almonds and water and is low in calories, despite still having the creaminess to it that many people want from milk. It’s a great choice if you’re calorie counting because it is low in both calories and sugars and it has many of the healthy fats that your heart loves, just like you’d find in olive oil. The only thing that almond milk is missing is protein.
One of the more commonly found cow’s milk alternatives, found on the shelves of most supermarkets, soya milk is a combination of natural soya beans and water. It offers a higher protein count than the other non-dairy milks on the market and evidence suggests that soya milk may actually help lower cholesterol. Compared to other non-dairy alternatives, soya milk does have a higher calorie count.
Like soya milk, oat milk is a top choice for getting cholesterol levels down. It is made from a combination of rapeseed oil, oats and water and 250ml of oat milk provides 1g of beta-glucan soluble fibre which is a third of the recommended daily intake for lowering cholesterol. Calories again are quite high, compared to other alternatives, although lower than regular cow’s milk.
Coconut oil is a favourite of many fitness fans as it is a fantastic healthy fat for cooking, and coconut milk is just as good. Made from water and pressed coconut flesh, coconut milk has a low protein count and high levels of saturated fat. As the fats are those medium chain triglycerides that the body needs, it’s a good thing rather than bad. A great choice for cooking and baking.
Combining pressed rice, water and sunflower oil rice milk is a top choice for people who need an allergen-free, gentle on the gut alternative to dairy milk. It has a high carb content compared to dairy milk, as well as a low protein count. However if you need a solution to a sensitive stomach, rice milk could be it.
One of the newer non-dairy milks on the market, hemp milk is a fantastic source of omega-3 fats, unlike any other milks out there. A single serving of this milk gives you all the omega-3 you need, but like many other dairy alternatives it’s missing that protein you’d get from dairy milk.
This article wouldn’t be complete with a look at the benefits of traditional dairy milk. They begin with its most famous claim to fame: a great source of calcium. Wonderful for your bones and teeth, calcium fortifies your body and protects against bone diseases and dental problems. Dairy milk is also a good source of protein which helps rebuild your body’s muscles, especially handy after a workout. It can also help keep soreness at bay!
These are just some of the many milk alternatives out there and whether you have a particular dietary requirement or want to change your dairy intake for health and fitness reasons, maybe one of these types of milk is for you.
My nephew dropped dairy milk completely and his persistent stomach aches completely vanished. He really enjoys the taste of soya milk but I do worry about the processing of them. Don't think they're that healthy really.
Probably the best of all is raw milk. I have tried some and it's fine, though I cannot quite relax drinking it knowing it's possibly got bacteria in it. I know someone who has drunk it to control his eczema and it worked.
Almond milk is definitely worth trying and is a good one for putting on cereal. You can even make your own, though it's a bit of a hassle.
We use coconut milk for cooking and smoothies but haven't quite managed to tip it into a cup of tea just yet!
good explanation - but I'm glad I can just put the ordinary out of the cow stuff on my cornflakes, this all seems very complicated!
We're a 75% dairy free zone at home so have tried all of these - except hemp milk - never heard of it and definitely going to seek it out for curiosity's sake.
Soya milk is really NOT a healthy drink. It's processed rubbish and contributes towards oestrogen dominance as far as I know.
Coconut milk is my favourite - you can use it in pretty much anything. We sometimes have smoothies with it and it makes a really great risotto too!