Milk and it's alternatives


With your breakfast cereal, in the first cup of tea and lots more, milk is part of our daily diet and there is now a huge increase in the amount of varieties on offer on top of traditional cow's milk. They all claim to have different health benefits (what is true and what is just marketing )to persuade you to buy them. So should we be swapping cow’s milk for a plant based type? I acknowledge there are medical reasons for removing milk from your diet but this is not the case for most of us. People can suffer with a “milk allergy” which is a reaction to the protein in milk; this is not to be confused with lactose intolerance, where the person has an inability to break down the milk sugars. Milk allergies tend to be relatively common in children and most youngsters do grow out of it , however lacctose intolerance is rare. Some people may develop lactose intolerance as a result of an illness, particularly if that person suffered diarrhoea.

These arethe most common medical reasons for cutting milk from your diet and in these cases you may have had alternatives suggested to try. However medical advice to one side, the next most common reason,after veganism, that people cut out milk is ethics,and it is becoming more and more common as the dairy industry is put under scrutiny for conditions of both the animals,and the farmers themselves.

Anyone who is excluding milk products from their diet,finding alternatives that are calcium enriched are really important to make sure that not only are their calcium levels kept to a good level but proteins are as well.

It could be just a matter of taste as some people just don’t like the taste of milk, preferring the alternatives.

There are no proven health benefits from excluding milk from your diet, but as with all things variety is the key, so why not mix it up a bit? Alternatives include, soya milk, almond milk (and other nut milk) oat milk and coconut milk.

I advise caution with rice milk however  as it does contain some harmful products that should not be given to children.

All have their benefits; soya and oat milk are really good low fat options. Almond milk is fortified with vitamin B12 and coconut milk is brilliant for baking.

Some people find these milks don’t mix well into hot drinks and for that reason hemp milk is best as it tends not to curdle. So go experiment and you may be pleasantly surprised!

BlogClaire Edwards