Ask Dr. Marty: Milk

0
17

Dr MartyQUESTION: I know that milk is not my friend, but I love it. I get the sniffles and have to clear my throat every time I have milk, yogurt or cheese. But I am not brave when it comes to milk alternatives. Which ones have the best flavor and are they really healthier than regular milk?

ANSWER: Be brave! You don’t know what you’re missing. You may be sensitive to the lactose (a form of sugar) in milk or to the protein. Either way, you are safe with these alternatives. It is easier the last few years to find milk, cheese and yogurt made with healthy alternatives. Whether you are cooking, drinking or eating these plant-based options on cereal or in smoothies or puddings, you have choices.

Listed below are some alternatives that are easily found in the grocery store. They are in order from my most favorite to lesser favorites, taking into consideration taste, tolerability and calcium/protein content. Brands differ, but values are based on popular brands of each example.

– Almond milk has two grams of protein and provides 30% of the recommended amount of calcium in an adult’s diet (about the same as 1% milk). Yogurt, powders, creamers and canned evaporated or condensed versions are also available.

– Coconut milk has 0 grams of protein and provides 10% of the recommended amount of calcium in an adult’s diet.

– Rice milk has 1 gram of protein and provides 30% of the recommended amount of calcium in an adult’s diet.

– Hazelnut milk has 1 gram of protein and provides 0% of the recommended amount of calcium in an adult’s diet.

– Oat milk has 1 gram of protein and provides 0% of the recommended amount of calcium in an adult’s diet.

– Macadamia milk has 1 gram of protein and provides 45% of the recommended amount of calcium in an adult’s diet (50% more than milk).

– Cashew milk has 1 gram of protein and provides 4% of the recommended amount of calcium in an adult’s diet.

– Hemp milk has 2 grams of protein and provides 30% of the recommended amount of calcium in an adult’s diet.

– Soy milk has 7 grams of protein and provides 30% of the recommended amount of calcium in an adult’s diet. It is last on the list because I don’t recommend soy for children and some adults since soy contains compounds that are easily converted to estrogen in the body.

Look for unsweetened milks so that you can add your own healthy sweeteners if you like and organic, non-GMO options. Many are flavored with vanilla. You can even find many brands of a combination of almond and coconut milk. Use milk alternatives for guilt-free ingredients in creamy soups and sauces. Most options are stored in the pantry for up to a year. Once they are opened, they must be refrigerated and thrown out after 7 – 10 days. Chill before serving and shake well.

Hot Tip: Many individuals who phase out dairy from their diet find that they no longer have muscle and joint aches.

Stay well.

Marty Kernion, Ph.D. is not a medical doctor. She has a doctorate in naturopathy. Naturopathy uses natural, gentle ways to bring our bodies back into balance so that they have the God-given ability to heal themselves. She is a retired professor of herbal medicine and nutrition and has written 39 college level courses in natural approaches to health. She has published two books on natural health. She can be reached on askdoctormarty@cox.net for scheduling a class or consultation, or for sending in your questions for this column.