Today’s piece is the fourth part of a six weeks series on Milk– Milk here is loosely used to describe different forms of milk as a dietary component, and does not include the subject of Breastfeeding here.
One of the most interesting discoveries so far is how little we give thought to other milk sources like non-dairy milk such as the very healthy Soya Milk (or even think its just a “poor man’s food”), and how wrongly people often label taking any form of Cow (Dairy) milk to be healthy-eating. In fact, as far as #Eating-Right is concerned with dairy milk, the rule of thumb with cow milk is: LESS FAT!.
Also, the increased awareness for Food Allergies as a result of the constituent proteins as seen in nuts, cow milk and even soya milk, has also presented the need for other viable sources of milk too. Other non-dairy sources of milk besides soya milk include: Coconut Milk, Rice Milk, Almond Milk, Oat Milk and Hemp Milk; most of which are not easily available within our environment so let’s get into more details with Coconut Milk.
Coconut Milk: Another Non-Dairy Milk Alternative
Coconut milk is the creamy liquid gotten from the sieved mixture of grated coconut flesh and hot water. This is different from the uniquely tasting coconut water within the raw coconut itself. Coconut milk is soy-free, gluten-free and of course dairy-free and it is readily available across Sub-Saharan Africa too! (Plus like Soya Milk, it is also very easy to prepare your home-made cheaper version!). An added benefit of coconut milk is its naturally rich and creamy nature which makes it very useful not only as drinks but also handy in baking and cooking- yes, for example, the staple Coconut Rice.
The down side to coconut milk is that its characteristic feel is as a result of its coconut oil which is undeniably high in (heart-unfriendly) saturated fats BUT they are mostly in the form of Lauric Acid which is less unhealthy because it raises the high density lipoproteins (HDL) making it better than most other forms of unhealthy fats like Trans-fats (or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils). Also, coconut oil contains mainly medium-chain triglycerides which are not as also lumped in the same category as saturated fats. The bottom line is, while coconut milk makes for a healthier alternative to dairy/cow milk, it should be taken with moderation.
More Non-Dairy Milk: Rice Milk, Almond Milk, Oat Milk and Hemp Milk
RICE MILK- is officially the Non-Allergenic milk in comparison to all other types but its unfortunate down side is that it very low protein and it can be high in calorie.
ALMOND MILK- turns out to be low on calories probably because it’s a fruit and has heart-friendly monounsaturated fats.
OAT MILK- as would be expected of oats, its milk is loaded up with fibre and a fair dose of protein but it is also high in calories and sugar.
HEMP MILK- is probably the newest in the non-dairy milk scene and its popularity is on its abundant constituent of omega-3 fats.
So in case you missed it, you definitely need to check out SOY MILK which is the perfect combo of being cheap, easy to prepare, high protein, NO cholesterol, and all commercially available forms are fortified with calcium.
Continues next week!