plant based milk, benefots of plant based milk, why cows milk is bad for you, why plant based milk is good for you

Cows milk, it's something that most of us grew up drinking and many of us continue to do so, still believing that its beneficial to our health and bones.

Well, it turns out it's really not great for us at all.  Over the past few years especially, a lot of us have been educating ourselves on dairy and cow's milk and we have been realizing why its probably not the best choice for humans to drink.

Some of the facts around cows milk are quite frighting.  That old saying of drinking it gives you strong bones, seems like it was nothing more than an ad campaign.  In actual fact a medical study in Sweden showed that women who drank large amounts of dairy milk daily, were more likely to sustain fractures than women who drank none. But that's not all, drinking cows milk also has links to an increase in risks to cancer, weight gain and acne. Not to mention the high amounts of cholesterol dairy milk contains.  To get more information and understand more about cows milk, you can read all about it here.

Deciding to stop drinking cows milk for your health is a great move but it can also be daunting.  What do you drink in its place?  How do you choose from the large amounts of milk alternatives on offer?

We thought we would give you a helping hand.  We spoke with two leading nutritionists Cassandra Barns and Marilyn Glenville all about plant based milks and all the benefits they have.  We hope having some more information about them will help you decide which one is right for you.

Oat Milk
“Oat milk can be an excellent alternative. Unlike most of the other alternative milks, it does not need added sugar or sweeteners, as it is naturally sweet. It also tastes naturally creamy so is nice on cereals and with porridge. It does contain more fibre than dairy milk and some of the other alternatives, including a kind of fibre called beta glucans, which have been found to help control cholesterol levels. However, it is not suitable for those with a gluten intolerance.” Explains nutritionist Cassandra Barns.

Flaxseed Milk
“Flaxseed milk is a great option for vegans, as flaxseeds are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are important for heart, brain, eye and skin health, but most nuts, seeds and grains – and therefore also milks made from them – only contain very small amounts, instead providing much more omega-6. Flaxseed milk can help correct the balance.” Says Cassandra

Almond Milk
“Almond is one of the most common plant based milks available. As it is made from a nut rather than a bean or a grain it contains a higher amount of protein than either rice or oat milk so it’s a better choice if you are looking to loose weight. However, many of the almond milks are not as healthy as they could be because of added sugar and other ‘nasties’, so always make sure you buy an unsweetened or organic variety.” Explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville.  Our favourite is by Rude Health and you can buy it on Planet Organic.

Coconut Milk
“Coconut milks can now be found in diluted form for drinking or for use on cereals (as opposed to the more concentrated ones used for cooking).  They taste very pleasant and do not have a strong coconut flavour or smell. The ‘drinkable’ coconut milk has relatively low amounts of protein but, unlike other milks, it does contain small amounts of beneficial ‘medium chain triglycerides’ – fats that are a good source of energy and may help to support our immune system.” says Cassandra.
Coconut milk can also add a deliciously creamy texture to plant based curries, try Clearspring’s Organic Coconut Milk  which is slightly sweet and compliments spicier dishes.

Rice Milk
“Rice Milk is a good choice if you are allergic to soya. It also has a naturally sweet taste to it so is often more palatable than soya or hemp milk. As it comes from a grain it does have a high carbohydrate content, so always make sure you go for an unsweetened version.” Advises Marilyn.
Like coconut milk, rice milk is great for vegan curries, especially lighter dishes as the milk has a thinner consistency than coconut milk.