The Lowdown on Dairy

The Lowdown on Dairy

July 13, 2017

Plant-based, Vegan, Vegetarian – are these diets just fads or do they have any research and science behind them? More than just about eating (or rather, NOT eating) meat, it also extends to cheese, eggs and so on. Today, we shine the spotlight on dairy milk, and why you should consider non-dairy substitutes.

Humans are the only animals in the animal kingdom to consume milk in our adult years, and also the only animals to actively seek out OTHER animal’s milk. While in the past, we were always told that milk gives us strong bones and prevents osteoporosis, it is actually still up for debate, and while adequate calcium does strengthen bones, it has not been established that consuming dairy does give us any health benefits. In fact, it has been found that approximately 75% of adult humans are unable to break down lactose, the main carbohydrate found in dairy. There are many other ways of getting enough calcium, including consuming more dark, leafy vegetables (kale and collard greens) without having to take dairy.

However, most of us do include and love dairy in our daily diets (can you spell LATTE?), and would not bear to give it up completely. Here to help you figure out some of the healthier alternatives is Doctor, Owner of Breathe Pilates and Senior Instructor Deborah Wong, who loves her milk, but has since found great substitutes and hasn’t looked back since!

Hi Deb! Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today. Firstly, you follow a plant-based diet as much as you can, which includes milk. Why do you choose to substitute regular cow or goat milk for non-dairy milk?

Most animal milk have lots of growth hormones and antibiotics in it. The dairy industry is very cruel to the poor animals as well. For myself, after cutting out animal milk, my eczema and gastritis has improved heaps. I LOVE milk and any kind of dairy products so I understand when people say it is hard to get rid off, but the benefits far outweighs the taste and there are so many other type of plant milks you can substitute with that I don’t miss animal milk at all!

Besides soy milk, what other alternatives can we get that tastes great in coffee or tea?

Oat and almond milk! Those two are my favourite. Oat milk coffee is everywhere in Scandinavia. Almond milk is fab as well. Milk lab (a brand) makes great soy, almond and coconut milk that froths really well. Love Oat-ly oat milk for coffee. Some people love coconut milk as well – not a big fan. Makes your coffee taste like ondeh ondeh but you might love it!

What are some of the benefits of plant base milk?

There are so many options out there. Plant milk are so varied and include rice milk, quinoa milk, oat milk, nut milk, soy milk. It is like talking about the benefits of meat: there’s beef, chicken, pork etc
They vary widely in nutrition content but ANY non-dairy milk is better for you.

Where are some places you like to frequent to get your fix of non-dairy milk? (supermarkets and cafes included)

Supermarkets include Cold Storage, Little Farms, Taste Gourmet and NTUC Finest.

1. Pastissez at holland village
2. Monument lifestyle cafe at Duxton
3. MavRx at Duxton
4. Common man coffee roasters at Robertson quay

There you have it – whether it is farming ethics or an intolerance to lactose, it is time to start taking a closer look at that carton of milk in your fridge, and deciding for yourself if you do want to make the switch!
 To read more about the research behind how dairy milk affects humans, you can click on the links below:

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