TO DRINK COW’S MILK OR AN OPTIONAL ‘MILK’
Whether to drink cow’s milk or not is a topic hugely debated. From my personal experience there are lots of people who have health problems that result from drinking milk or eating products with milk proteins in them.
Lactose, the sugar in milk, can also cause problems as a percentage of people don’t have lactase, the enzyme needed to digest it. If you think about it though why should we be consuming lots of a liquid meant for weaning calves?
Compositionally, cow’s milk is quite different from human milk – goat milk is a lot closer nutritionally and apparently easier to assimilate. There are also loads of other options to what you put in your cereal if you think ‘out of the box’.
There’s soya milk, nut milks, oat milk, coconut milk, rice milk, etc. We are totally spoiled for choice and it is just a matter of finding out what you like the taste of.
Personally, I’m making my own vanilla flavoured almond milk. This is either from ground almonds when I’m in a hurry or more often I’ll soak some whole almonds the night before. I stick both varieties in my blender and whizz it up. I just love the flavour of vanilla so I add that as well – more for personal taste than the added nutritional value.
Almonds are a brilliant source of vitamin E, containing about 25g per 100g. Vitamin E is low in many people’s diets as they avoid nuts to lose weight and go low fat. This is perhaps because oils (as fats) contain more calories per gram. Sadly, missing out in essential fats is not good for health and as Vitamin E speeds up metabolic rate we are missing a trick if we cut it out of our diet. It is such an important nutrient.
The milk proteins casein and whey can create allergic problems such as itchy rashes and runny noses or sneezing. Milk gets lots of points by some for containing calcium. Calcium is in loads of other foods such as greens and as green vegetables contain masses of other nutrients making them essential in a healthy diet seems like a good plan to me.
A cup of kale will give you a whopping great 100 mg of calcium and most other ‘milks’ are fortified to the same quantity as cow milk e.g. soya at nearly 300 mg per 8 oz portion. Tinned sardines are a brilliant source – the sardines also supply essential omega 3 for brain development. Lots of diets contain plenty of calcium but actually not enough Vitamin D to lay it down! So before you go to grab your next pint just have a wee thought about what else you could be doing to expand your nutrition.