14 May Dairy Alternatives – The Good, The Bad and The Interesting
In the past decade, food allergies, intolerances, and dietary restrictions have been linked to a great number of ailments. Irritable Bowel Syndrome – irritated by dairy, gluten, and even some fruits and vegetables – is one of the most common disorders affecting people today.
There are a growing number of intolerances people suffer from – that’s why we’re dishing up the deets on which dairy alternatives work best for your dietary requirement – with everything from hemp milk to organic coconut cream. This information will help you to identify symptoms of intolerance or allergy, as well as discover which plant based milk products to reach for when you’re shopping.
Now, let’s tackle the world of dairy-free alternatives and plant milk.
FIRST, WHAT IS LACTOSE INTOLERANCE?
We are all born with intestinal enzyme; lactase. It helps us to split milk into sugars, glucose and galactose. This makes digesting breast milk possible. Naturally, after childhood, the lactase enzyme disappears or lessens because our bodies no longer need breast milk. Our digestive systems have matured to a stage where they can handle solid food.
Human beings are the only creatures in the world that regularly consume another animal’s milk. Which is weird when you consider that, as a species, our bodies have not evolved to a stage where they can comfortably digest milk that is not their own. This is why as much as 65% of the population suffer from lactose intolerance. Certain people’s bodies no longer possess the milk-splitting enzyme called lactase. Dairy ends up being an irritant to the lining of their intestines.
SYMPTOMS OF LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
The primary symptoms are, though may not be limited to, indigestion, abdominal pain or cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea and nausea. If you notice that you, or a loved one, experience one or more of these after the consumption of dairy – you should see a doctor as soon as possible. It is imperative to note that your intolerance may not exhibit itself the same way it does another person so rather than comparing your symptoms, head to the doctor’s office to be sure.
TREATING LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
Though there is no cure for the condition, there are ways to avoid aggravating your intolerance (you might not have to quit dairy overall). Keeping a food diary is a great way to isolate which dairy items aggravate your condition. One digestive system can’t handle cream, milk or butter but can handle cheese and is best suited for plant milk alternatives. But another, on the other hand, can’t stomach any form of dairy and is best suited for a range of dairy alternatives in their diet.
Because more than half the population is lactose intolerant, there has been an emergence of delicious dairy free, plant based milk alternatives so that no one feels left out. One might even argue that they’re so delicious and effective as a substitute that you’ll never have to look back.
Health fanatics are always on the hunt for the next superfood, and in 2013 this grain joined the ranks. Quinoa is a plant based milk packed with protein and releases carbohydrates slowly, ensuring you stay fuller for longer. This milk alternative is made by cooking the grain then blending it with water, making it even more easier to digest.
Get your fair share of vitamin B6 and C, potassium, folate, manganese, and magnesium from this creative dairy free milk substitute. The latte looking liquid also serves up a healthy amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Good for those with diabetes, the fibre in chickpeas helps regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.
Organic hemp milk contains no sugar, no cholesterol, and is free of soy and gluten. In a single cup of plant milk, you can get half your daily calcium requirement. Hemp milk is also easy to make at home. We’ll let you in on one of our lactose intolerant shopper favourites: the Ecomil Hemp Drink.
Almonds are said to be rich in a number of vital vitamins and minerals including: calcium, potassium, vitamin E (which is a known antioxidant) and copper. You can shop a range of the best almond milk, cashew milk and other nut milks on our site as well as learn how to make your own at home with our selection of DIY Milk Alternative Kits – including nut milk bags.
Non-GMO and gluten-free oat milks are perfect for your superfood smoothies and breakfast cereals. It’s part of a wide selection of natural and organic milk alternatives available on our site, where you can find the best oat milk for you.
Rice milk lends a uniquely light taste to your cereals, smoothies and hot beverages. Rice milk isn’t just nice – it’s delicious, nutritious, organic, and GMO-free on Faithful to Nature.
Coconut milk is a milky-white liquid made from the grated pulp of mature coconuts. Its rich taste and opacity are because of its high oil content, which is mostly saturated fat. Coconut milk is a must for pad thai made with organic rice noodles.
This soy-based superfood is low in calories and is an important protein source for vegans and vegetarians. Silken tofu is not recommended for those sensitive to phyto-estrogen.
Coconut cream is much thicker and richer than coconut milk – it’s created by simmering four parts of shredded coconut in one part water. You can cook up your favourite coconutty curries and dairy-free desserts with natural and organic coconut cream and canned coconut cream available on our site.
Coconut yoghurt has up to 30% of your daily calcium and magnesium requirement – which is essential to your bone health. It’s also full of antioxidants and vitamin B12 which is essential for red blood cell production. Inflammation associated with illnesses like IBS are soothed with coconut milk, and it can help to combat yeast infections.
There is dairy in almond cheese, so it isn’t 100% dairy-free. Almond cheese isn’t as fatty as dairy cheese, it’s got very little cholesterol too. Shop our site for a cheese making kit.
This antiviral, antibacterial alternative is perfect if you’re craving parmesan cheese. Yeast has a nutty cheesy flavour and can be purchased as granules or flakes. Sprinkle the immune-boosting condiment on your pasta dishes or thicken sauces with it. Yeast contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and zinc, as well as vitamin B6 and B12, making it a great superfood!
ICE CREAM ALTERNATIVES
This frozen dessert contains very little other than water, sugar and flavouring which makes sorbet low in calories. Try using natural ingredients as opposed to syrups and flavourants. Lemon sorbets tend to be healthier because lemon is a great source of vitamin C, it’s an antioxidant, and it makes your skin glow.
Dairy and gluten-free, you can make a number of different ice cream flavours when using frozen bananas as a base. These fruits are packed with potassium and provide the same thick consistency and any double-cream ice cream or gelato. Bananas regulate blood pressure, diabetes and digestive health. Get an easy recipe for banana ice cream here.
AVOCADO ICE CREAM
Another safe fruit to use as the base for your ice cream is avocado pear. You’ll get a healthy portion of good fats and fibre. Eating avocado also lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Avocados give you up to 26% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin K, which aids in bone and heart health, blood clotting, brain function and metabolism.
Faithful to Nature has over 50 individual dairy-alternative products on it’s website, for a comprehensive and peaceful shop through the options, be sure to go to natural milk alternatives.