“What’s the best milk?” asked reader, Leigh from Illinois. “Do you recommend coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk or cow’s milk? Is there a nutritious milk?”
That is a great question! As always, when it comes to selecting food choices and creating your diet, I always recommend, first and foremost, to listen to your body. So essentially, the best milk is the one that’s best for you!
That said, there are certainly always better choices than others. Even though it’s gotten a bad rap, some people actually tolerate old fashioned dairy milk very well.
Of course, if you are going to drink regular milk, I recommend that you choose organic milk, to avoid unhealthy additives and hormones.
Unfortunately, though, the best choice is not always that clear cut. Cow’s milk is a common allergen and is mucous producing for some. For others, drinking milk increases the likelihood of gaining weight and/or produces gastro-intestinal problems.
The best way to know is to pay attention to your body’s feedback. Do the numbers on the scale go up when you drink milk? Do you have digestive issues? Bowel problems? Pay attention to the messages your body gives you.
For me, I avoid cow’s milk even though I don’t have any obvious “allergy.” But if I add milk to my diet, I can be sure that I’ll gain weight, even if it’s non-fat. That’s just the way my body reacts. So listen to your body.
What about substitute milk products?
The issue with so many of the substitute milk products, such as almond milk and coconut milk is that they are heavily processed and have unnecessary additives, chemicals and sweeteners.
If you are going to have coconut milk, I recommend that you read the labels and choose one that has only coconut in it. Coconut in its natural state has a delicious, sweet taste that you don’t need to mask with sweeteners.
You can also find organic coconut milk in a can, and that’s wonderful to use as a milk substitute when cooking or baking.
How to Make Almond Milk
Did you know that it’s really easy to make almond milk? All you do is take almonds and either soak them in warm water or grind them in a coffee grinder and then put the soaked almonds or the ground almond meal in a blender. Add water and blend until you reach the desired consistency. You can add a drop of pure stevia if you need to sweeten it.
Is Soy Milk Healthy?
As far as soy, I am not a strong advocate of soy milk at all. First of all, it’s highly processed. Think about what it takes to get a soy bean, in it’s natural state, to transform into soy milk.
Additionally, soy itself is considered to be a lot less healthy than was once assumed. The best way to consume soy is in its fermented state, such as in foods like miso, tempeh and high quality soy sauce. Even then, in Asia where soy is consumed regularly, it only comprises 10% of the diet.
Additionally there are many dangers inherent in consuming soy products. Studies have shown that eating soy foods can lower both your calcium and vitamin D levels, creating a risk for weaker bones. Ingesting soy has also been linked to certain cancers, such as thyroid cancer and breast cancer.
Making Your Decision
You may be someone who can tolerate cow’s milk, but even then I don’t recommend large amounts. Though milk does contain much needed calcium, you can also get calcium from leafy greens, sesame seeds and kale.
If you are going to have coconut milk, make sure to read your label and get the purest form that only contains coconut.
Make your own almond milk – it’s delicious and nutritious. If you aren’t sensitive to grains, try oat milk. Oat Milk is a wonderful option for baking and is made only from tasty, whole oats.
Remember the key to success when choosing any foods for your diet. Read labels and select foods in the most natural state available. Avoid chemicals, sweetened foods and additives. Listen to your body’s feedback and eat your healthy foods in moderation. Thanks for a great question, Leigh!
If you have a question, please send me an e-mail at: RenaGreenberg@EasyWillpower.com