My clients often ask me about alternatives to milk. Lactose intolerance seems to be on the rise, and people are looking for alternatives to dairy.
Even if you’re not lactose intolerant, there may be reasons why you want to skip the cow’s milk. Maybe you want to avoid consuming animal products, or maybe you’re cutting out cholesterol for a while. It is true that cow’s milk has more protein than other types, but if you’re like most Americans, you already get more than enough protein from your diet.
But how do you get through your day without milk products when you’ve always relied so heavily on them? Boy, have I got some great news for you. You don’t need a cow to have milk. You have options!
Let’s take a look at some alternatives to cow’s milk:
Almond – Almond milk is actually made from almonds (yes, the nut), and its taste is very similar to skim milk. It does have more of a nutty flavor, but it is very neutral overall. Just be sure to grab the unsweetened version or you’ll be consuming too much sugar.
Coconut – Coconut milk’s texture is a lot like whole milk. It’s thick and creamy. But if you’re watching your calorie consumption, this may not be the milk for you. It is high in monounsaturated fat (which is a good fat, but still a fat), and it’s high in calories.
Rice – Rice milk is a mild choice, much like almond milk, but it’s obviously a better choice for people with nut allergies. Still, it’s too watery for coffee, which rules it out for many people.
Soy – Soy milk is a lot like cow’s milk in texture and protein content, so it’s a great choice for people who are lactose intolerant. Soy is another fairly common allergy, though, so this one isn’t for everyone. Another thing that is important to note is that high quantities of soy are believed to alter hormone balance, so it’s best to use this one sparingly until further research is done.
Flax – Flax milk is made from the flaxseed, so it is high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. It is very low in calories, but just keep in mind that it is completely devoid of protein.
Hemp – Hemp milk’s main benefit is that it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Its taste is sweet and a little nutty. The only drawback is that it can be pricey and hard to find depending on where you live.
Sunflower – Sunflower seed milk can be a bit hard to find outside of health food stores, but it is a good alternative to cow’s milk because it has a fairly mild flavor and is thick enough to add to coffee. If you’re drinking it on its own, though, you might find its grayish color a bit off-putting.
The bottom line is that there isn’t one perfect milk solution. Whether it’s cow’s milk or something else, there are pros and cons to each type. The key is finding which one meets your needs in the best way. If you’re allergic to milk and know you’re getting plenty of protein from other sources, you may opt for almond or flax milk. If you just want something for your coffee, you may choose sunflower milk. It’s all about what works best for you. So, give it some thought and give some milk alternatives a try.