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Is it better to drink cow's milk or a dairy-free alternative?

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https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191123-what-milk-is-best-cows-dairy-free-alternative

bbc.com

Is it better to drink cow's milk or a dairy-free alternative?
As the only animal to drink the milk of another species, humans have an unusual relationship with the white stuff. Most other animals are weaned off milk in infancy, once we start to need more complex foods. So why do humans keep drinking it?

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Nutrients in cow's milk

Cow’s milk is a good source of:
  • Protein 
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12 
  • Iodine
  • Magnesium, which is essential for bone development and muscle function.

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Calcium intake

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Hormones in cow's milk

The estrogen levels of cows increase 20-fold when they are pregnant. Although one study linked estrogen levels to breast, ovarian and uterine cancers, ingesting hormones through cow's milk is no ca...

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Milk and heart diseases

There is a link between saturated fat and heart disease, but whole milk only contains around 3,5% fat, semi-skimmed around 1,5% and skimmed milk 0,3%.

Only very high milk intake can be harmf...

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Lactose intolerance

Those with lactose intolerance can drink small amounts of cow's milk.

A nutrition scientist carried out a study comparing the symptoms of people with lactose intolerance when...

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Dairy-free alternatives

Dairy-free alternatives for milk include soy, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, coconuts, macadamia nuts, rice, flax, oats or hemp. The main ingredient is processed and diluted with water.

Soya m...

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Milk alternatives 

Milk alternatives are usually fortified with the nutrients that occur in cow's milk, such as calcium. Yet, it is not sure if fortified vitamins and minerals provide the same health benefits.

...

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Cow milk and the alternatives

Cow milk and the alternatives

It is important not to assume that milk alternatives are the same as cow's milk. 

  • Cow's milk is a very nutrient-dense food, and fortified plant milk doesn't always cover all nutrien...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Best foods don’t have labels

Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

The "Age" of vegetables

The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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170 million gallons

170 million gallons

...is the amount of sparkling water Americans drink each year.

Sparkling waters are the latest in health chic, providing all the fizzy refreshment of a soft drink with none of those wi...

Carbonated water

It describes water with carbon dioxide dissolved into it. 

CO₂ can be introduced through natural processes, or by artificially injecting the gas into water while it is under pressure. Its addition gives these beverages their satisfying hiss-pop and effervescence.

Can also be found under the name "sparkling water".

Classifying sparkling waters

  • Seltzer water: water with carbonation. May include natural flavors. No sugar or sodium.
  • Club soda adds sodium bicarbonate or potassium sulfate to carbonated water to elicit a minerally taste. No sugar.
  • Tonic water includes sugar, citric acid, preservatives, and quinine for flavoring. 
  • Mineral water: comes from an underground source with a minimum of 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids. These dissolved elements must come from the source and cannot be added later. Carbonation may be induced to make sparkling mineral water.

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Vegan fast food

Vegan fast food alternatives may often be worse for your health than the meat equivalent. It is good that people start to think about plant-based foods, but the danger lies in thinking t...

Plant-based protein menus

Plant-based protein sources are not the same as animal protein sources. Proteins are made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of every cell and hormone in our body. Meat protein contains all nine essential amino acids, whereas plant-based protein usually lacks at least one of the nine essential amino acids our body needs.

Unripe jackfruit makes a convincing choice for pulled pork alternatives, curries and burgers. But it is almost valueless if you needed protein since jackfruit consists of carbohydrates. Vegan burgers are made up of beans, but this is not a complete protein source.

Iron content

One study found that 25% of vegans (mainly women) had very low blood iron levels, compared to 0% of omnivores.

Plants like whole grains, legumes and spinach are high in iron but is not always the best type. Animal sources contain haem iron. Non-haem iron, found in plants, is not as well absorbed by the body.

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