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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 nutrients. 
  • Cow's milk contains lactose, a naturally occurring sugar, while milk alternatives often contain added sugar, which is harmful to our health.

If you do decide to use a dairy-free alternative, you won’t necessarily be missing out on vital nutrients if you eat a balanced diet.

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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%.

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 cause for concern.

  • If children between one and three consume half a pint of milk, they will consume enough calcium for healthy bone development. 
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Those with lactose intolerance can drink small amounts of cow's milk.

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.

Cow’s milk is a good source of:

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.

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