Dairy Free Milk Alternatives | A Cardiologist’s View of Milk
Dairy milk consumption in the United States is on the decline. The US Department of Agriculture says Americans are drinking 42% less milk now than in 1970.
Meanwhile, dairy-free milk sales are up a whopping 61% since 2012.
Are dairy-free “milks” healthy? How do they compare with raw milk, whole, skim and 2%?
What is Dairy Free Milk?
Dairy free milk is exactly what the name implies – it is a product to be used like milk that does not come from an animal (most commonly a cow). Using the term milk is factually incorrect, but since so many use it like dairy milk, the word has remained.
Why Dairy Free Milk?
The short answer is that most dairy free milks are healthier for you than traditional cow’s milk, especially from a cow that was fed unnatural food, toxic water, and subjected to unhealthy living conditions.
Some people have negative reactions to dairy. Gas, bloating, and other digestive issues are common from the milk sugar, lactose. As babies, we could digest the lactose in our mother’s milk. As adults, many cannot. Dairy from cows also contains proteins such as casein and whey, leading to allergy and sensitivity. Trust me, I test patients for these conditions that lead to inflammation in the human body.
Modern agricultural practices include raising dairy cattle with growth hormones and treating them with antibiotics to maintain healthy and strong milk production. When drinking this hormone and antibiotic laced milk, you bring into YOUR body harmful chemicals that have been linked to just about every disease known to man, including heart disease and cancer.
The Drs. Wolfson recommend dairy free milk. However, if you choose to drink cow’s milk, we advise you to use only organic raw milk. Organic raw milk contains no hormones or antibiotics. Raw milk has not been pasteurized. Raw milk is more nutritious than pasteurized milk, boosts your immune system and most people believe it tastes better.
The Wolfson’s do enjoy raw dairy on occasion and source out the best farms to find it. Raw dairy is sold in many stores, but state laws vary. Some states require you to be a “member” of a milk share program.
Dairy Free Milk Alternatives
Before examining the common dairy free milk alternatives, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- We recommend you make your own dairy free milk. Store bought dairy free milks usually contain preservatives, sweeteners, thickeners and emulsifiers, all of which can be harmful to your health. Here’s how to make your own dairy free nut milk.
- If you buy dairy free milk, make sure it is in a quality container. Most store-bought products are housed in cheap wax/plastic/paper that can add chemicals to the milk. That contaminates the milk and you. Stick with glass containers only, even for the dairy free milk you make at home. Shop the refrigerated section first for brands like Malk Organics and The New Barn.
- Always buy/use raw and organic ingredients. This prevents harmful chemicals and genetically-modified foods from entering your body. You may want to soak your nuts overnight to breakdown lectins and other anti-nutrients. Discard the water and then use as below.
Here are the most common dairy free milk alternatives with a summary of each:
- Best uses – Cereal, blended drinks
- Benefits – Low in calories, doesn’t raise blood sugar levels
- Caution – Beware added sugars and additives in store bought products
- Best uses – NEVER
- Benefits – Outweighed by risk
- Caution – Many commercial soy products are genetically modified and not organic. Soy contains many antinutrients against thyroid and other hormonal functions.
- Best uses – Coffee, cooking
- Benefits – Good saturated fat content, contains many vitamins and minerals
- Caution – Many canned varieties contain chemicals that leech into the coconut milk
- Best uses – Coffee, cooking, oatmeal
- Benefits – High in antioxidants and minerals
- Caution – Slightly less creamy than other nut milks
- Best uses – Cereal
- Benefits – Full of calcium, nice choice for people who can’t do nut milks
- Caution – Contains very little protein
- Best uses – Coffee, baking, pancakes
- Benefits – High in protein, low in fat
- Caution – Beware products containing gluten
- Best uses – Straight up, cereal
- Benefits – Rich in Omega 3 fatty acid, low in calories
- Caution – Store bought versions often contain unhealthy additives
- Best uses – Coffee, cooking, smoothies
- Benefits – High in B and D vitamins, high in fatty acids
- Caution – Low in protein, store bought products often contain lots of added sugars, salt and thickeners
The Drs. Wolfson Daily Defense
Another milk alternative is to add our Daily Defense protein shake mix to water. Daily Defense comes in two delicious flavors and is loaded with vitamin, minerals, and phytonutrients to keep you healthy in a 21st century world.
The protein in Daily Defense IS from dairy. Only New Zealand grass-fed whey protein is added because:
1) Whey has the best science regarding health benefits
2) Grass-fed, grass-finished is the law of the land in New Zealand
3) Most people tolerate whey quite well, especially with our added digestive enzyme and probiotics to the blend.
There’s lots of dairy free milk options available to you. Find the one that’s best for you and make your own. You’ll save money, be healthier and are likely to enjoy it more!