Many people are ditching dairy products, removing cow’s milk products from their diets entirely in favor of dairy alternatives or veganism. Other consumers are cutting cow’s milk from their diets because of the increasing amount of hormones present in today’s products. The recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is one of the most controversial substances within the milk, contributing to the debate about whether genetically modified animal products are safe and ethical.
rBGH is used to promote milk production in the cow. When given to an animal, it can produce anywhere from 10 to 15 percent more than it would otherwise. Scientific studies have shown that the presence of rBGH correlates with another hormone called insulin-like hormone growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which, early studies suggest, may increase the risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society, however, does not have an official position on rBGH and is awaiting conclusive evidence from these studies.
Again, while there is no definitive clinical evidence that this hormone will directly put you in danger, you can avoid risk altogether by buying organic or considering these popular milk alternatives.
Alternatives to dairy products
Of course, there have long been healthy, delicious alternatives to foods made with milk, but these alternatives are rising in popularity with the natural food and vegan movements. In the past few years, you may have noticed that the shelves in the dairy aisle have been overtaken with soy, oat, almond, and other milk alternatives.
This popular milk alternative is made by soaking or blending whole oats with water and extracting the liquid using cheesecloth or nut milk bags to create a naturally sweet drink. Additionally, all the soluble fiber in oat milk makes for a super creamy texture.
One touted benefit of drinking oat milk is reduced LDL cholesterol in your blood. Additionally, since it contains soluble fiber, it helps slow down your digestion, which makes you feel full for a longer time and stabilizes your levels of blood sugar.
This is a great milk alternative for people who don’t have allergies to tree nuts.
The process for creating almond milk is very similar to that of oat milk. First, the almond nuts are soaked in water, then they are blended thoroughly and the solids are strained out. The unsweetened variety of almond milk is also much lower in carbs than cow’s milk, which is important for those on a low-carb diet, and it’s naturally full of vitamin E.
Bear in mind though, that many almond milk brands have a lot of added sugar, so be sure to read the labels before purchasing.
Coconut is an incredibly versatile nut, just think about Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain!
The taste of coconut milk is naturally sweet, and it’s an excellent alternative to cow’s milk that’s safe for people with nut allergies. To give coconut milk the same consistency as cow’s milk, coconut milk packaged in cartons and sold in the milk section is usually blended with water.
In contrast, when you buy coconut milk for use in cooking, it is much more potent with a stronger coconut flavor and higher fat content.
Dairy alternatives provide a range of nutritional benefits that products made from a cow’s milk may not. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, looking to lose weight, or prefer hormone-free, vegan “milk,” the dairy alternatives listed above might be just what you’re looking for.
BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.
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