Four Non-Dairy Alternatives for Better Health
Dairy products are a staple in American diet. Given the variety of nutrients they offer, there’s good reason why the USDA increased its recommended daily intake of milk. However, milk in raw form is high in calories and fat, and there is evidence that too much milk may increase the risk of prostate cancer in some consumers. Moreover, a majority of the world population has trouble digesting milk after infancy. 60-65% of adults are lactose intolerant and thus unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in the beverage.
These facts are evidence for the need of a good non-dairy source for calcium, potassium, protein and Vitamin D, nutrients that milk and other dairy products are supposed to provide in abundance. Consider these dairy beverage alternatives:
Almond milk – made from the paste of ground almonds, the beverage is rich in potassium and calcium. It has no saturated fat or cholesterol and since it isn’t dairy, no lactose.
Soy milk – Once the most popular milk substitute (now the title belongs to almond milk), the protein rich beverage is made from soybean paste and water. Like almond milk, soy milk is low in fat and cholesterol, but has protein in comparable amounts to cow's milk. It has calcium, but the calcium in soy milk is indigestible by humans. Manufacturers often add calcium to commercial products.
Rice milk – This beverage is a good alternative for those allergic to soy or nuts. However, it lacks significant protein content and his higher in carbohydrates than other dairy substitutes.
Hemp milk – Hemp milk is gaining in popularity because of its low impact on the ecosystem and the variety of nutrients found in the seed from which the beverage is created. A serving of hemp milk has five grams of protein.
There are several other plant-based milk alternatives on the market. Many provide a similar source of nutrition thanks to safe additives. If you’re lactose intolerant or starting a vegan diet, try one of these dairy alternatives.
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