‘Milkman of India’ – Dr. Kurien Verghese, do you know that the importance of milk in today’s world is losing its prime nutrient element day by day. Recently some studies have linked high milk consumption to premature ageing, bone fractures and cancer. Really? Do we really need to drink milk? Apparently we can do better without it.
Lets look into non-cow milk alternatives
Pig – “Pig milk is high in fat,”.
Benefits: It is an excellent source of nutrient. Drawbacks: Its 8.5% concentration of fat compared to cow’s 3.9% is a concern.
Camel – Saltier in taste, camel milk is quite prominent as the ‘high in vitamin C, low in fat’ alternative to cow’s milk in the UAE.
Benefits: Three times as rich in vitamin C as cow milk and 10 times higher in iron. Drawbacks: There are not many known health drawbacks of drinking camel milk so far.
Goat – It has a similar composition to cow milk. “Could be a healthier replacement, lower in fat and rich in protein, calcium.
Benefits: It is easy on digestion and is known to reduce inflammation. Drawbacks: It’s lactose content is similar to cow’s which makes it difficult for lactose intolerants.
Sheep – It’s a much better source of protein & calcium but also rich in total fat and calories.
Benefits: High on protein, calcium, zinc and vitamin D. Drawbacks: Higher lactose content than cow milk.
Donkey (and Horse) – Horse and donkey milk have very similar compositions. Known to be the “closest to human milk. Very low in fat and high in lactose. Benefits: Has a lighter texture and is beneficial for skin’s health. Drawbacks: Low in proteins, high lactose content.
Buffalo – High on fat, almost twice as high as that of cow milk, making it very hard to digest especially for infants. Higher in saturated fat and overall calories as well.
The world is filled with a diverse 6,000 mammal species but why is it that 97% of us wholly depend on cow for all the dairy needs. But high-fat content in milk and saturated fat and calories is not very good news for people with high cholesterol and heart problems.
So can plant-based milk be a good replacement for milk as an alternative? Here take a look at 4 such plant-based milk alternatives that the world is going crazy about.
Soy milk – Made from soybeans, is naturally free of cholesterol, low in saturated fat, and contains absolutely no lactose. Benefits: Contains as equal protein as cow milk. Drawbacks: But higher consumption of soy-based products caused fertility problems and lower sperm counts.
Other alternatives can be Almond milk ,Rice milk, Coconut milk. But coconut milk due to its high levels of saturated fat and low protein content is also a cause of concern.