It’s becoming more and more commonplace to use dairy milk alternatives, and the traditional dairy industry is quickly losing ground. New legislation has affected many of the alternative milk producers as the food industry claims that alternatives like almond milk aren’t “milk” because they don’t come from a mammary gland (remember, “an almond doesn't lactate!”).
But why is the alternative milk scene gaining ground in the first place? If you look online, you’ll find very conflicting information. Wading through the mixed bag of dairy-funded research versus third-party research, you will see everything from, “milk is a superfood!” to “milk will kill you!” But on the ground, the answer is relatively simple: people feel better when they don’t drink pasteurized cow's milk. Their health improves, their children's allergies are reduced, they have better bowel function, skin conditions improve, etc.
For years the dairy industry has pushed their “It Does a Body Good” and “Got Milk” slogans at us, claiming that the calcium milk provides is good for our bone health. But the actual research is inconclusive. Meanwhile, lactose intolerance is rising and evidence suggests that pasteurized dairy can be a major inflammatory for the gut.
If you have ever considered switching to a dairy alternative, the options can be daunting. Almond, hemp, coconut, soy, the list goes on and on, and who knows when you are looking at that $3.00 carton if you will be able to stand even a swallow? So I set out to create a chart that lays out not only the flavors and textures but also the nutrients and everything else that might affect your decision.
You decide for yourself which is best for you, even if cow’s milk is still your personal favorite.
Side note: saturated fat has a bad rep, but contrary to popular belief, it is essential for a healthy diet. That’s another discussion for another day.