Dairy milk plays a huge part in our lives. As children, we regularly drink it for bone development. As adults, we consume it other ways, from our daily coffee to creations in the kitchen.
But as delicious and creamy as dairy milk is, it has its cons, tied mostly to health and even ethics. A not-so fun fact: According to studies, Asians are known to become lactose-intolerant as they get older.
If you’re looking to slowly ease into a dairy milk-free lifestyle, whether for health or other reasons, here are some great alternatives you can try:
This nutty, subtly sweet dairy substitute is low-calorie and low-carb. It is rich in magnesium which helps regulate blood sugar levels. It also contains high levels of Vitamin E, which helps in improving brain health and therefore, lowering risk of cognitive diseases.
Since it’s derived from 100 percent full grain, oat milk is rich in fiber, beta-glucan in particular, which has prebiotics and helps maintain friendly bacteria in one’s body, boosting immunity. It has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and improved cholesterol levels. It also contains B vitamins and an assortment of minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium.
This has to be the most common and most accessible dairy milk alternative, being available in some coffee chains and with plenty of brands stocked in major supermarkets. Aside from its distinct taste, soy milk is favored for being naturally high in protein, comparable to dairy milk. It also contains amino acids and potassium, which is beneficial in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
Naturally sweet and creamy, coconut milk is believed to help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. This is also a good option for those trying to drop a few pounds as it also has good fats called medium-chain triglycerides, which aid in weight loss and tapers appetite. On the flip side, however, it is relatively high in calories and saturated fat.