For the affirmative side…

Milk: A good source of protein, milk is also high in nutrients such as vitamin A & B, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, protein, zinc and riboflavin and even carbohydrates. If you don’t eat dairy, try soy, almond, rice or hemp milk.

Cheese: Cheese contains good protein and valuable sources of vitamin B2, riboflavin and calcium. Be careful though. Vegetarians who eat lots of cheese in place of meat to get enough protein also get much bad fat and calories. So if you eat cheese, eat it in moderation.

Yogurt: An excellent source of protein, calcium, vitamin B-2, B-12, potassium, and magnesium and high in active, good bacteria, yogurt can offer many health benefits.

Being able to include egg and egg whites, cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese and milk to your diet, in other words being a lacto-vegetarian will dramatically boost your protein options and make your life as in vegetarian fitness a lot easier.

The “Udder” side… 

“It’s not natural for humans to drink cow’s milk. Human’s milk is for humans. Cow’s milk is for calves. You have no more need of cow’s milk than you do rat’s milk, horse’s milk or elephant’s milk. Cow’s milk is a high fat fluid exquisitely designed to turn a 65 lb. baby calf into a 400 lb. cow. That’s what cow’s milk is for!”
Dr Michael Klaper MD

Cow’s milk is the food source for a calf and only until its weaned. Humans are the only animals to drink the milk of another species, and we are also the only species to drink milk past infancy. Sounds a little perverse when you think about it, doesn’t it?

Everything you know about cow’s milk and dairy is in tune to the song sung by the dairy industry. Most of us have strong attachments to milk due to the emotions they capture during their marketing when we were children. I believe the fact that dairy products are considered a separate food group, instead of being added together with other animal products, has less to do with their nutritional advantage and more to do with the lobbying of the dairy industry.

Sure dairy taste delicious, but sometimes conventional thinking can leave a sour taste in your mouth. There are alternatives when it comes to “milk” and “cheese”. Now most people ask at this point about where, then, will they get their calcium intake from.

Where do you think cows get their calcium from? From plants, except when they eat plants they digest a large amount of magnesium which is necessary to absorb and use calcium. Unfortunately, this is not the case when you drink dairy.

Try and learn to drink milk alternatives. Below are three of the finer tasting dairy alternative products. Once you learn, adapt and love milk and cheese alternatives, you’ll notice some really awesome benefits. If you can’t give it up completely, please try for four to six weeks and then use in “moderation”.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is made by soaking soybeans and grinding them with water. The fluid which results after straining them is called soy milk. Plain soy milk is very nutritious: it is an excellent source of high quality proteins, isoflavones and B-vitamins.

Isoflavones can decrease the risk of menopausal symptoms, heart disease and osteoporosis. During the menopausal transition, there is a natural decrease in ovarian estrogen production. This decline in hormone production is associated with a heart rate increase and an increase in palpitation frequency and non-threatening arrhythmias, such as premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). The isoflavones in soy milk (and other soy products) help diminish menopausal heart palpitations and hot flashes. Isoflavones are phytochemicals – non-nutritive substances found in plants. They protect us from diseases when they are in our body. The isoflavones are also especially good for preventing cancer .

Soy milk is free of the milk sugar (lactose) and is a great choice for people who are lactose intolerant. However, in most of the large manufactures, there are too many GMO soybeans and bad environmental impacts which can cause some possible undesirable estrogen effects to pregnancies and males. Although I personally think not enough research has been done, go organic to avoid this possibility.

Rice Milk
As the name suggests, rice milk is dairy free milk made from… yes, you’ve guess it, rice. Like soy milk, rice milk is low in fat and unlike cow’s milk, it contains no cholesterol and is lactose free, making it good for the heart.

It is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, as well as manganese and selenium . Rice milk also contains an abundance of flavonoids. Flavonoids offer protection to the heart and can help to reduce the risk of strokes. Rice milk may be sweetened with sugar and some manufacturers use vanilla to make rice milk taste more like cow’s milk. However, rice milk generally tastes sweeter than cow’s milk as it does have a natural sweetness to it.

Almond Milk
Almond milk is a milk substitute made from finely ground almonds and water. Almond milk is also strained to remove skins and sediment. Almond milk, unlike rice milk, contains a diverse array of essential vitamins and minerals. Almond milk contains magnesium, selenium, manganese, potassium, fibre, iron, zinc, phosphorous, calcium and vitamin E. Because of the high levels of vitamins and minerals that occur naturally in almonds, almond milk manufacturers see little need to fortify the beverage.

Remarkably, the high levels of antioxidant vitamin E in almond milk make it effective in the prevention of cancer and can slow the signs of aging. Hands down, all alternatives are better than cow’s milk. All alternatives also tend now to be further vitamin enriched to add added value. But the stand out winner for palpitations, due to its naturally enriched nutrients, is almond milk (and personally it tastes the best, although I enjoy all three alternatives).

 The Verdict…

Cancer Blog, March 18, 2006 “Two Substances That May Reduce the Risk Of Cancer, May 25, 2011 “Benefits of Rice Milk

The decision is yours- but remember milk can come from other sources than cows. In many cultures, when one mentions milk, cows milk is not what one associates first (nor is cat’s milk… Meet the Parent watches will understand this). From goats milk to almond milk, their is an vast array of nutrious and tasty options that you may find hit the taste buds better. Try the alternatives even if just for variety. You may find a taste that moooves you to another option. Sorry, bad pun… just milking all the jokes I can get.


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