Healthy Dairy Alternatives

Healthy Dairy Alternatives

The week of August 1st, is World Breastfeeding Week. The goal is to create awareness, support, and engage action on breastfeeding and related issues. While this can be a bigger topic, we wanted to use this as an opportunity to highlight milk in general. The concept of dairy intolerance comes up quite a bit in our visits with patients. While milk and milk products are delicious additions to many foods, as much as 60% of the population has some level of dairy intolerance.

Most of us are taught that dairy is a source of calcium, healthy fats, and protein; and that we should have it several times a day. This can be an issue for many reasons. If your body is not able to handle and digest dairy, it can lead to increasing allergies, creating more mucus, and in many kids this results in increased frequency of ear infections. Thankfully we live in an area where there are many options to milk alternatives in grocery stores and restaurants. Some popular ones are oat milk, almond milk, hemp milk, and rice milk. When choosing a milk alternative you need to think about it from a few angles: taste, nutrition, and what you’re using it in or on. Many of these alternatives taste great with rice milk begin the sweetest choice. We advise getting unsweetened versions whenever possible to avoid unwanted sugars. For your morning coffee or tea it may not matter too much on consistency, but when you’re baking or cooking it will make a bigger impact. I prefer to use hemp milk in baking recipes and coconut or almond milk in cooking. Have you viewed our hemp milk video tutorial on Instagram? You can find it here. This recipe is a great way to control ingredients and save on the food budget. Hemp milk is high in protein and low in sugar, while also having some great healthy fats.

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