Dairy is NOT good for our bodies. Especially now that is is tampered with so much after coming from the animal. Lactose intolerance (or dairy intolerance) occurs when a person doesn’t have an enzyme called lactase, which breaks down the natural sugar found in animal milk and milk products, such as yogurt and cheese. Common symptoms include bloating, stomach pains or cramps and feeling sick, and usually occur shortly after consuming a food or drink that’s high in lactose.
As we get better at diagnosing such intolerances, the number of alternatives in the shops and the number of people drinking them is rising. You don’t need to be lactose intolerant to appreciate them! Most alternative milks are now fortified with calcium (which helps build strong bones and teeth, and ensures that blood clots normally) and vitamin D (which is important for encouraging the absorption of calcium from food) so they have many of the benefits of normal milk.
Here is a list of healthy alternatives to dairy milk. Test them out and find your favourate! :)
Milk alternative great in coffee. Commercial soya milk is available in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties, so always opt for the sugar-free carton where you can, so to avoid the extra calories. This can be purchased in health stores and supermarkets. try not to have soya to frequently, especially men.
Commercial rice milk is typically made up of about 14% rice, with the rest being a little oil, salt and water. I do not drink tea or coffee myself but i have been told it is a bit too watery to add to these so stick to using it with cereals, porridge etc. It is naturally sweet so goes well with these and low in fat at just 1%. Rice milk is available in health stores and supermarkets.
Milk made from hemp seeds is also becoming more commercially available now. What’s brilliant about that is that a 250ml serving provides 50% of our recommended daily intake for omega-3. Omega 3 is important to maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart disease when eaten as part of a healthy diet, but there is evidence to suggest that such vegetarian sources of omega 3 may not have these same health benefits as those in oily fish. As ever, this supports the idea that a healthy balanced diet eating from all the food groups in the right quantities is the best diet to follow to ensure that you’re not missing out on any nutrients. Hemp milk is available in health stores and some supermarkets.
Almond milk is my favourate. It is slightly beige in colour and has a creamy texture and nutty taste. Unlike animal milk, almond milk has neither cholesterol nor lactase. It comes in plain, vanilla or chocolate flavours and is sometimes enriched with vitamin. Almond milk is really easy to make your own at home. It is also available in health stores and supermarkets.
I do not particularly like the taste of coconuts but coconut milk has a very mild taste so i use this milk regularly in porridge and smoothies or in baking. 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. Unlike cow's milk, coconut milk is lactose free. Thin coconut milk is used for cooking curries and soups. In the UK, fresh coconut milk is unavailable and coconut milk is bought in cans. It is available in health stores and supermarkets.
Try making your own with just water and unsweetened coconut flakes. Heat the water (make sure it doesn't boil), add the flakes and blend. Pour through a colander to filter out the coconut pulp, then squeeze through a cheese cloth to filter out the smaller pieces of coconut. Use immediately or store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Hazelnut milk is made from high quality roasted hazelnuts, grown and harvested responsibly. I am intolerant to hazelnuts so i do not drink this milk myself but i have tasted a small amount and it was nice. It can be added to hot chocolate and used in baking. Available from health foods stores and supermarkets.
- 100% plant-based
- Source of Vitamin B12, which helps to reduce tiredness*
- Naturally lactose free
- Free from colours and flavours
- Naturally low in saturated fat
So that is a list of the most popular dairy alternatives available at the moment. These all come in small cartons as well as in 1 litre cartons so why not try the smaller ones first and see if you like the taste then you will know which one(s) you want to switch to!