Are you dairy sensitive, or do you suspect that you are? Dairy sensitivities are on the rise, and it may not be lactose intolerance that is causing the problem. Also, the price of milk is increasing up to $0.60 per gallon this month, so people are considering other non-dairy options.
According to the USDA, 87% of Americans drink at least one glass of milk per day to get calcium and Vitamin D. When it comes to dairy products and even dairy alternatives, it can be confusing when trying to make the right choice for you and your family. When choosing milk or other dairy products, along with dairy alternatives, it is always best to choose the least processed option available. For dairy, choosing full-fat, pasteurized, non-homogenized products from grass-fed cattle are the best options because they are free of antibiotics, hormones, and artificial ingredients or sweeteners.
Those that suffer from a dairy intolerance or allergy should aim for a dairy alternative that is derived from a non-GMO source with the least amount of ingredients. For my family, we choose organic coconut, almond, hemp, or soy milk. Use our list below to make the right choice for you.
Organic Milk vs Regular Milk
Most people drink milk because they want to get calcium, protein, Vitamin D and potassium. Is there a difference in organic milk and regular milk? Yes, there is.
Did you know that organic milk does not contain recombinant Bovine Growth Hormones, or rBGH, that is used to increase the cow’s milk production? Organic farms feed their cows at least 30 percent of their food at pasture for at least a 120 day grazing season. Organic farms do not use antibiotics and all of the cows’ feed has to be organic without any meat or poultry bi-products. No artificial sweeteners like Aspartame are allowed in organic milk. Did you know that one cup of regular low-fat milk contains 13 grams of sugar?
If you’ve tried consuming organic milk and still have sensitivities, it may be due to the type of dairy proteins in the milk. In the U.S., Holstein cows are the predominant dairy cows. In the milk from Holstein cows, there are more A1 proteins that have been linked to serious health conditions like diabetes, autism and heart disease. In the U.S., A2 proteins are found mostly in Jersey and Guernsey cow’s milk and also in goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. A2 proteins are thought to be better for allergies.
If dairy still isn’t an option for you, and if you are looking for other milk alternatives, try making one of my nut or seed milks.
Milk offers 300 mg of calcium per cup. If you are looking for other ways to get calcium, I have provided a chart below that lists healthy foods that contain high amounts of calcium.
If you are still worried about the daily recommended 1,000 – 1,300mg of calcium each day, you can always supplement with clean, plant-based Shaklee Chewable Cal-Mag Plus.
Milk offers 100 IUs of vitamin D per cup. If you are looking for other ways to get Vitamin D, I have provided a chart below that lists healthy foods that contain high amounts of Vitamin D.
Other Dairy Alternatives include:
- Almond Milk
- Goat Cheese or Seed Cheese (I find that goat cheese does not hurt my stomach like cow’s milk cheese.)
- Coconut Yogurt
- Coconut or Rice Ice Cream
To learn deeper facts about dairy, go to my Deeper Dairy Blog.