For many years, the only milk available has been milk from an animal. This has included cow’s milk, sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. All these fall under the category of dairy. Today, there are many alternatives to dairy milk, each with a different nutritional value.
For many people, substitutes to dairy milk are a highly sought after product. The most common reason for this search for dairy milk alternatives is due to allergies and intolerances. Intolerances are different to allergies. An intolerance to a food often causes bloating, flatulence and often
diarrhoea. Levels of intolerances may vary from person to person. An allergy is where the food product causes an allergic reaction and that food must be strictly avoided altogether.
Those on a strict vegan diet choose to avoid all dairy products. This group of people choose to avoid any food that comes from an animal. Those following a strict Paleo diet may also choose to avoid dairy products.
When it comes to making the decision to avoid dairy milk, it is important that you gain an understanding of the nutrients that you might be missing out on, such as calcium.
Soy milk is probably the most recognizable and sought after milk. Soy milk is often fortified with calcium, vitamin A and D and is naturally high in protein. The soy bean these days is often genetically modified. It is important to look for a soy milk drink that is organic.
Almond milk has a high amount of vitamin E. It is not suitable as a dairy substitute for infants as it is lacking in some vitamins and minerals as well as fatty acids that are essential for growth and development.
Coconut milk has almost the same texture as dairy milk, however contains significantly lower amounts of calcium and protein.
A Final Thought
If you choose a dairy milk alternative, make sure that you are getting all the right nutrients. Be aware of the sugar content of some of the milk alternatives and where possible, choose organic.
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