glass of a healthy milk alternative with fruits and nuts in background

Which “Milk” is Best for You?

Making a conscious decision to lead a healthy lifestyle is huge! There are so many wonderful benefits to the choice you’ve made, and I want you to know I am right here to support you! You’re going to look, feel, and BE healthier than ever. With this decision comes a commitment to changes that can significantly affect your life-long success. One of these choices is what to consume and what to say goodbye to in your normal diet. But don’t frown just yet — with those farewells come great benefits! You’ll enjoy radiant, glowing skin. Think of that healthy flowing hair. And wait ‘til you see a slimmer, toned body that supports your health both inside and out as a thank you for treating it well!

Should I be consuming dairy?

So, let’s get right to it. Although I haven’t spent a lot of time on the subject lately, it’s definitely going to be a game-changer for many of you. I’m talking about the great milk debate. That’s right. The once good-for-your-bones product is getting the ax. But not without good reason. 

Did you know that most of us can’t tolerate dairy products? You probably know someone who’s lactose intolerant, but have you ever stopped to consider that some of those unpleasant symptoms you often experience could mean YOU are intolerant too? You don’t need the dreaded label if you’re seeing the signs. Think about the last time you had milk or any other dairy product.

Symptoms of dairy intolerance

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Uncomfortable cramping or pains
  • Gas
  • Constipation

Health issues because of dairy intolerance

  • Skin rashes or other irritations
  • Stuffy nose
  • Congestion
  • Asthma flare-ups or worsened asthma conditions 

Does drinking milk strengthen bones?

If you haven’t heard by now, drinking milk does NOT protect you from brittle bones. In fact, studies have even shown that milk intake can play a role in increasing the risk of some bone fractures. Crazy, right? Crazy, but true. One Harvard Study over twelve years found no evidence of milk offering your bones protection. So why put your body through the agony of keeping it in your diet? Besides, you have bone broth for all your vitamin and nutrient needs, right?

Healthy dairy alternatives

I know there are still going to be those of you that don’t think you can part with milk. Believe me, I get it. It’s tough, and dairy can literally be an addicting food. But you do have alternatives that will support your new healthy lifestyle. You can just as easily enjoy milk alternatives that provide the benefits of a healthy, happy gut and all the goodness that comes with one. So, let’s take a look at what’s out there…

Oat Milk

Now, if you’ve chosen the Keto or Gluten-free path, oat milk may be an option for you. It’s a plant-based “milk,” so it’s made up primarily of grain. Mixed with water then strained to remove the pulp, it’s a slightly sweetened option with a thicker, creamier texture. It also more closely resembles milk. It is unbelievably easy to make at home and worth a try with only seven grams of fat and nine grams of carbs (where are my Keto fans?).

What are the drawbacks of purchasing oat milk?
  • Can potentially contain gluten, unless the oats are certified gluten-free
  • Oats are grains – this could upset grain-intolerant guts or a low-carb diet if that’s the route you’ve chosen
  • “High concentration” claims of nutrients and vitamins are typically added after the fact; not naturally
  • Possible gums, preservatives, and stabilizers can be found

Almond Milk 

A great alternative for those who have chosen the healthy lifestyle of Keto is almond milk. Since Keto does not allow you to consume milk, the unsweetened almond alternative is a fantastic option. Choosing this version is low in carbs — only 1.99 grams per cup! It’s also low in calories, offers vitamins, nutrients, and a bit of protein. Almond milk that does not contain sugar or carrageenan does not cause inflammation or contain a bunch of hormones. When you weigh in the cons of almond milk below, you see that the smart choice, again, is to make your own.

What are the drawbacks of purchasing almond milk?
  • Most of the vitamins and nutrients are added in after the fact
  • It usually contains only 2% almond, and the rest is basically water
  • Usually has sugar, added flavors, and various ingredients including the dangerous carrageenan

Coconut Milk

Certain coconut milk options are perfect for my Whole 30 enthusiasts. When choosing a Whole 30 approved option, look for the unsweetened version, and AVOID carrageenan. Stay clear of any sweeteners listed in the nutrition label AND in the ingredients list itself. The triglycerides in coconut milk are fatty acids that provide your body with energy that can be used before stored. The rich, creamy texture also comes from healthy fats.

What are the drawbacks to purchasing coconut milk? 
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Carrageenan

Now, if you’re a coconut lover like I am, you may want to take a peek at a helpful little guide I whipped up explaining the many differences of all things coconut milk and cream. I wouldn’t want you unknowingly ruining that healthy lifestyle you’re working so hard for.

Still, think you may need a “dairy” fix once in a while? I have just the solution for you. Try my Paleo Espresso Gelato with Chocolate Chips. It’s a dairy-free alternative that will have you forgetting you ever had a love affair with milk. Trust me. You’ll also find a variety of other delicious dairy-free and dairy-alternative recipe options I’ve shared to help satisfy those cravings while you adjust. 

So, there you have it. A handful of milk alternative options for a healthier lifestyle. The good. The bad. And the homemade. While there are always substitutions that can be made, explore, and choose the products that best support your health goals and needs. To learn more about healthy lifestyle plans that help you lose belly fat, promote healthy skin, hair, and all-around health, head over and check out my programs to see how you can jump-start your health today!

6 cups of healthy milk alternatives

Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!