Just like what I mentioned previously on embarking on this journey from a dairy diet to a non-diary diet. As many researchers suggested that our bodies cannot digest animal milk and may harm our bodies in a long run. Non-dairy alternatives such as oat, soy and rice milk will be best substitutes and much healthier! Like what Jacelyn Tay mentioned “You are not just what you eat, you are what your body absorbs!”
There are many controversial statements mentioning about which is best, which is not. I would suggest that you listen to your body and react to how it feels. For myself, I feel that my body better digest non-dairy milk as I felt less bloating in the morning (which previously I do), as in fact more than 75% of the populations are lactose intolerance. Lactose Intolerance means to say the body digestive system doesn’t have the necessary enzyme to break down the lactose sugar into simpler forms that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This causes increased gassiness because that sugar is not broken down.
As we aged, we will experience this further more as our enzymes are lesser and the stomach gets more sensitive. Starting the journey on non-dairy milk, I started to notice my skin getting less oily too, as research mentioned that dairy milk stimulates oil gland which leads to acne. Subsequently, I fell in love with organic non-dairy milk and started buying other brands of nut milk, rice milk and soy milk. I will be doing a mini comparison on them and recommend the one I felt is best.
Let’s compare the key nutrients in milk to those in popular milk alternatives. Looking at some key health benefits they have to offer.
Milk is best known for being an excellent source of calcium, which helps build strong bones and prevent development of bone diseases like osteoporosis. Calcium also plays a role in energy metabolism, blood pressure regulation and muscle contraction. In fact average adults get about 20-30% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium. The good news is that milk alternatives like soy, rice, and almond milk are usually fortified with calcium so they provide the same amount as a glass of milk. Be sure to look at the ingredient list though, since some types of calcium are more easily absorbed by the body – look for calcium carbonate instead of calcium triphosphate.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
Milk is a naturally good source of all kinds of nutrients including potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin B12. It also contains a fair amount of magnesium, thiamin, and zinc. Most milk and milk alternatives have added vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption, as well as vitamin A.
Milk is an excellent source of protein. One cup of milk contains more protein than a large egg! Proteins help our body do important things, like build and move muscles, repair damage and build protection. Your body breaks down the protein you eat into building blocks (called amino acids) that it needs to make proteins for specific purposes (like repairing a muscle). Of the common milk alternatives, soy milk is the only one that contains a comparable amount of protein.
Fat and Cholesterol
Whole milk contains saturated fat and cholesterol. Low fat or fat free milk are recommended because they contain minimal amounts. Soy, rice, and almond milks are generally low in total and saturated fat and do not contain cholesterol because they are not derived from animals.
Here are some of the popular non-dairy milk alternatives I found online and thought it would be interesting to read on.
I am drinking Silk Soy Milk (Unsweetened) which has a smooth and balanced taste. Definitely, a healthier choice as soy milk is made from soybeans. Soymilk is plant based therefore it contains absolutely no cholesterol and saturated fat, making it a great option for people trying to lower those levels. Unlike other plant-based products, soy contains all the essential amino acids and is rich in protein and calcium. Standing at only 80 calories per cup, it is definitely suitable for people who want to keep a lean and slim body. 4/5
Dairy Milk Alternative #2: Oat Milk
Pure Harvest Oat Milk was the first non-dairy milk I tried and I thought the taste was different as compared to dairy milk. Eventually, my taste buds grew into the taste of Pure Harvest Oat Milk and started to enjoy it for breakfast every day. Just like soy milk, Oat Milk is low in fat and cholesterol free! A glass of oat milk contains 36 percent of the recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of calcium. Oat milk also contains 10 percent of the RDA for vitamin A, which is twice as much as cow’s milk. This is also one of my favourite brand ever! 4/5
NaturGreen Oat Milk was a lighter choice as I could not taste any oats in this brand. The texture isn’t creamy nor thick as compared to Pure Harvest Oat Milk. It pretty much tasted like an Oat Drink instead of milk texture. However, only at 45 calories in per 100ml serving, Natura Oat Milk have an astonishing high calcium at 120mg! Indeed, a nutritional packed drink with low calories. That’s no wonder why they imprinted “Calcium” on the packaging itself! 3.5/5
Dairy Milk Alternative #3: Rice Milk
Trying out Pure Harvest Aussie Dream Organic Rice Milk, which is not genetically modified has no cholesterol and cane sugar. The taste is bland, but smooth. Rice milk is made from ground rice (usually brown rice), is very low in fat and calories. However, rice milk lacks protein, delivering only 1 gram. It is considered to be one of the less nutritious milk alternatives, because it naturally lacks vitamins A, D, and B12. Rice milk is not suitable for diabetic. Since rice is highly starchy, so is rice milk. One cup of rice milk contains 33 grams of carbohydrates, 3 to 4 times the amount in milk or soy milk. If you have diabetes, rice milk may cause a sudden sugar overload. 3.5/5
Dairy Milk Alternative #4: Nut Milk
EcoMil Hazelnut Milk tasted creamy enriched with hazelnuts. I like the taste of this nut milk and I thought the calories for nut milk was pretty justifiable, at about 55 calories/100ml taking that nuts considered as one of the highest “good” fat content food. Hazelnut milk is gluten free and cholesterol free. Hazelnuts are also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin E which promotes healthy hair and skin, as well as boosting the health of the heart muscles. 3.5/5
*Do note that taste ratings are given based on my own preferences.
Overall, I would conclude that adapting to non-dairy milk alternatives is one of the best choices I have made for my health in 2014. I noticed better skin and stronger bones after consuming them at a daily basis. I would also recommend dairy milk lovers to start adapting to these changes slowly and most importantly to notice how your body reacts after consuming them.