Got Milk? Top Dairy Free Milk Alternatives
By Brandi Monasco
I found out last year that I have an allergy to dairy. Any time that I eat dairy, whether it be cheese or yogurt, I have a reaction.
It is nothing like being lactose intolerant, if that is what you are thinking. It is an actual allergy. I get the bad sinus pressure, the headache and the inability to concentrate. I feel like my head will pop. The only thing that eases the symptoms is an antihistamine and then I am out for the rest of the day.
I found out that I was allergic to dairy by doing an experiment and eventually cutting dairy completely out of my diet. I would eat a piece of cheese and if I ended up with a headache, I would cut it out. And it went on with yogurt, milk and more. Eventually, I realized that it was dairy that was causing the majority of my problems.
Not being able to eat dairy hasn’t been easy. If my husband and I go out somewhere, I have to make sure there is no cheese or anything dairy in my food or drink. At home, I have switched to almond milk, which I love.
Doing research and experimenting with non-dairy foods has been quite a challenge for me, but I have come a long way. I want to share with you the 3 best non-dairy alternatives to milk that I have discovered so far.
1. Almond Milk. Almond milk is made by blending almonds with water and then straining them to remove the pulp. Some almond milk even has sweeteners added.
Almond milk is low fat and high in energy as well as lipids, protein and fiber. It also contains essential vitamins such as iron, magnesium, calcium and sodium as well as vitamins C, B6 and E. Almond milk is also a great source of omega fatty acids.
2. Coconut Milk. Coconut milk is made from the white part – which is the flesh – of the coconut. It is grated down and soaked in hot water. Cream rises to the top and can be skimmed off. The liquid that is remaining is squeezed through cheesecloth to extract a white liquid. This white liquid is the coconut milk.
Coconuts are rich in fiber and provide a high amount of vitamins and nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6. Coconut milk is lower in fat than regular dairy milk, but should still be used in moderation.
3. Hemp Milk. Hemp milk is made from blending hemp seeds with water.
Hemp milk is high in protein and contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It is also loaded with vitamins A, E, B12 and folic acid and provides nutrients such as iron, magnesium and potassium.
Each of these dairy-free milk alternatives is great for when you are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy. They are each loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins that your body needs for your bones as well as immune health.
Which of these milks is your favorite? Do you have any other dairy alternatives that you would like to tell us about? Please share with us in the comments below!
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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