Plant-based milk: Substitute for dairy milk


Plant-based milk

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Are you allergic to dairy products? Are you intolerant to lactose? Maybe you’re looking for techniques to lessen inflammation. Or perhaps you want to stay away from the antibiotics and hormones that are frequently present in cow’s milk.

It’s likely that you have looked for dairy alternatives if you can connect to any of the needs or worries mentioned above. Many people are finding reasons to explore plant-based milk, from allergies to intolerances, from a focus on health to a choice in flavor. Even though the idea of such kinds of milk is not new, there seem to be more possibilities available in this area every day. In fact, we’re going to cover different kinds of plant-based milk here.

Is Drinking Milk Healthy?

Cow milk consumption is actually something of a habit in the broader scheme of things. Additionally, evidence suggests that the behavior may not be very healthy. For instance:

Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted one study, which was reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2016 after an examination of 43,000 men and 187,000 women. The risk of heart disease decreased by 28% when calories from full-fat dairy products were substituted with carbohydrates from whole grains.
Additionally, dairy is known to promote the secretion of IGF-1 and insulin (insulin-like growth factor 1)

This is assumed to be the cause of the association between dairy consumption and higher rates of acne and other skin imperfections. Additionally, these hormones are thought to make some cancers more likely, particularly prostate cancer.
How about milk, calcium, and osteoporosis? It turns out that the nations with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis in the globe.  Many individuals are looking into the alternatives now that they realize dairy isn’t all that it’s been made out to be. Move over, dairy; everywhere, grains, legumes, and nuts are taking the place of cows.

Why then make the change? What dairy alternatives are there? And do they benefit you? Let us know!

 What Is Plant Milk? and Why Did Non-Dairy Milk Emerge 

Instead of being made by cows, non-dairy milk is made from plants, such as soy, almonds, seeds, or cereals like oats or rice. And with dairy sales down, milk substitutes are more popular than ever. Henry Ford opened a soy milk factory in his Michigan research facility in 1934, making him one of the first Americans to promote soy milk. In addition to being the only species on earth to consume milk past infancy, humans are also the only ones to do so.

Except for hippies, soy milk didn’t truly take off until close to the turn of the 20th century. At that time, news stories started touting its advantages for reducing cancer and heart disease. But shortly after, a soy-hating movement emerged. People used to believe soy boosted the hormones that lead to breast cancer, which is still a myth. In fact, studies “suggest that a lifelong diet high in soy foods lessens the incidence of breast cancer in women,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

The 90% genetically modified and toxic herbicide-sprayed soy farmed in the US was a major point of contention for the anti-soy movement. Clearly, that is a problem. However, GMO soy is typically fed to livestock, and soy milk that is certified organic or non-GMO doesn’t have this issue. The fear of soy, whether it was warranted or not, boosted the creation of other milk substitutes, which are now in nearly every grocery store and many coffee shops and restaurants. Plant-based cheeses, plant-based butter alternatives, and plant-based yogurt and probiotic drinks are now available as well.

Plant milk Benefits:

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1) It’s cruelty-free

Plant milk is derived from plants, not animals. They are not produced at the expense of any living thing, including newborns who are separated from their mothers and made into veal. On the other hand, industrial dairy cows frequently have terrible lives. A grass blade is often never seen. Most are pregnant annually, and their young are taken away until they are around four years old when they are murdered to be turned into hamburgers because they can no longer meet the demand.

2. It’s Better for the Environment

The dairy business has exacerbated the environmental crisis. Only 18% of the world’s calories are produced by animal agriculture, but using 83% of all agricultural areas. It is one of the main causes of tropical rainforest deforestation. Additionally, cows play a significant role in climate change. They emit methane, which has a warming effect on the atmosphere 23 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. Dairy also consumes a lot of water. One gallon of milk requires 976 gallons of water to create after accounting for the quantity required to feed and care for cows.

3. It’s healthier

Dairy is marketed as a fantastic source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D. It does contain these as well as other nutrients. However, it also contains large amounts of saturated fat, which clogs the arteries, as well as hormones and antibiotics, both of which are associated with an increase in disease. These have no place in non-dairy milk. Additionally, if you pick organic, pesticides are also avoided.

Many plant-based kinds of milk are fortified with vitamin D, but cow’s milk is frequently one of them. Some non-dairy products are also enriched with extra nutrients, such as Omega-3 fatty acids or important minerals. In order to replicate the nutritional value of cow’s milk without the hormones, antibiotics, cruelty, or environmental harm, soy, and almond milk are frequently fortified.

4.  It’s Lactose-Free

Worldwide, 65% of adults are lactose intolerant to some extent. When your body stops producing lactase, the enzyme required to digest the lactose in milk, you develop lactose intolerance. Is it possible that your body reacts this way because you’re an adult and weren’t meant to consume milk anymore? The first product with lactase added was Lactaid, which was made for people who could not swallow lactose. For folks who don’t want to try to deceive their body into digesting food it wasn’t designed to absorb after infancy, non-dairy milk is now a naturally lactose-free solution.

10 Popular Dairy Milk Alternatives: Health Considerations

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1. Soy milk

With seven to 12 grams of protein per cup, soy milk is one of the best deals on protein. To achieve this, some manufacturers employ whole soybeans, while others use highly processed soy protein isolate. I prefer brands made from whole organic beans because I like less processed meals. Additionally frequently added to soy milk is calcium and vitamin B12. According to recent studies, soy isoflavones reduce the risk of developing cancer.

How do you utilize it? Soy is fantastic in dishes, drinks, and baking. Be cautious to choose organic soy products if you want to avoid glyphosate contamination or GMOs in your food.

2. Almond Milk 

Almond milk offers 50% more calcium per cup than cow milk but has less than one gram of protein per cup. Vitamin E, an antioxidant that is healthy for your blood, skin, and brain, is abundant in almonds. I like making my own almond milk because many commercial varieties are really watery and only have a little number of almonds in them. Also fantastic in smoothies!

Concerns have been expressed by some regarding how much water is needed to cultivate almonds. And this is a serious issue, especially since the majority of the world’s almonds are grown in California, which is already under water stress. One gallon of almond milk requires around 920 liters of water. Although that is higher than other types of non-dairy milk, still, it’s no more than it takes to produce cow milk.

3. Cashew Milk

Anacardic acid, which may have cancer-preventing properties, can be found in cashew milk together with heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Additionally, cashews include the eye-healthy nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin. Creamy cashew milk provides a fantastic foundation for soups, sauces, and cereals. Almonds require more resources than cashews, which are farmed in less water-stressed regions.

4. Coconut Milk 

Unlike the rich cream you find in cans for many Asian cuisines, coconut milk in a carton is a thin liquid. The majority of the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut milk are saturated fats, yet there is conflicting research on their effects on heart health. There is extremely little protein in coconut milk. Regarding their effect on the environment, coconuts can very beneficially trap carbon in the soil. They don’t need a lot of water, but for many of us, they might need to be brought in from distant tropical locations.

 5. Hemp Milk

The flavor of hemp milk is buttery and nutty. Since hemp already includes calcium, it doesn’t need to be fortified as other milk alternatives could. However, a lot of commercial kinds have added thickeners and flavoring agents. Hemp grows quickly, is disease-resistant, and requires minimal water. Although hemp milk doesn’t work well in coffee, it may be used in smoothies, baking, cooking, and topping cereal.

6. Quinoa Milk 

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, has all nine necessary amino acids, and provides more protein and fiber than the majority of other grains. Iron, magnesium, and zinc are also abundant in them. Quinoa milk has a distinctive flavor that is slightly nutty and goes well with warm porridge and cereal. However, there isn’t a lot of quinoa in it, so the amount of nourishment it offers is little. Additionally, it frequently contains thickeners, sweeteners, and aromas.

5) Oat Milk

Finding oat milk that is low in sugar might be challenging. Gums and oils are commonly used by brands to improve texture. Oats are rich in soluble fiber, such as beta-glucan, which is good for the heart and digestive health as well as blood sugar control. Both sweet and savory foods benefit from the versatility of oat milk, which froths nicely and creates a great latte.

6. Rice Milk 

Rice milk, one of the first milk substitutes, is non-allergenic but doesn’t provide many nutrients. Rice has a high glycemic index, and some types are very sugary. Arsenic contamination of rice is a concern as well. Since rice milk is thin, thickeners could be required when using it in recipes.

9. Pea Milk

Though it may sound unusual, the milk isn’t actually green like peas. Even though isolated pea protein is utilized to give pea milk a flavor that is not pea, pea milk has a similar quantity of protein to soy. Some pea milk contains additional oils, and it has a mild aftertaste. Compared to cow’s milk, pea milk provides 50% more calcium and a third of saturated fat. It’s also more eco-friendly, as peas use little water or fertilizer compared to almonds, dairy, or soy.

10. Flax Milk

Flax milk, a recent arrival, is created by combining water and cold-pressed flaxseed oil, which is high in omega-3s. For individuals who cannot consume nuts, soy, or lactose, it is free of the top eight allergies. The drawbacks of flax milk include its lack of protein and bland flavor (which is why it is sometimes provided with numerous natural flavorings added).

If you come across a variety that is high in protein, pea protein has been added. Flax milk is a great addition to coffee and tea as well as cereal and baking. But the only ingredients are flax oil, water, and optional thickeners, flavors, or proteins. Although I adore flaxseeds, I haven’t been too impressed by the commercial flax milk options available so yet.

Three Things to Look Out for When Choosing a Milk Alternative

Although some companies use fewer additives than others, many commercially available brands may use too many. You may wish to avoid the following:

  • Cane Sugar — Sugar is frequently added to milk substitutes, and it is frequently the second ingredient stated (ingredients are listed in the order of most to least amounts in a product). Choose unsweetened to prevent up to six grams of sugar per cup.
  • Carrageenan — Made from red seaweed, carrageenan thickens and prevents separation in foods like yogurt, soymilk, and ice cream. Carrageenan has been associated in some studies with inflammation, intestinal irritability, and potentially cancer. In response to consumer requests, some brands have begun to remove this component, although many still use it.
  • GMOs — The majority of genetically modified (GMO) foods were developed by Monsanto (now Bayer) to withstand Roundup, a popular herbicide based on glyphosate that they produce. Glyphosate is possibly carcinogenic to humans. And it’s not simply applied to soy and other GMO crops. In order to dry up the crop before harvest on non-organic oats, barley, and other cereals, it is also increasingly utilized as a desiccant. The good news is that organically cultivated food is devoid of glyphosate and GMOs.

To avoid consuming any GMOs or undesired chemicals, use plant-based milk that is certified organic.

The Future of Milk Is Plants

The consumer market is evolving quickly to the point where plants are replacing the dwindling dairy sector. The choice to purchase milk alternatives could help rescue countless animals, the environment, and your health significantly. You can manufacture your own milk or choose the best option for your family by paying attention to a few things while making your selection. Milk produced without using animals is environmentally friendly and is nutrient-dense thanks to Mother Nature. There isn’t a better alternative to dairy, in my opinion.