5 healthy non-dairy options for lactose-intolerant people
Milk is a staple in our diets. In fact, cow milk is one of the most consumed food items and boasts an impressive nutrient profile. However, a lot of people are intolerant to lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk. While such people are unable to get nutrition directly from milk, there are other food items with a similar nutrient profile.
- Studies suggest that 75% of people worldwide are lactose intolerant.
- This condition happens due to the deficiency of the lactase enzyme that helps digest lactose.
- But completely cutting out milk from your daily diet isn't a healthy solution.
- So, what are the healthy substitutes for regular milk?
- We've found these lactose-free milk products that lactose-intolerant people can add to their diets.
One of the best substitutes for cow milk is oat milk. It's a plant-based product that is not just delicious but also lactose-free. Oat milk has Vitamin D, calcium, which is beneficial for bones. The presence of soluble fibre in oat milk helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body. It's suitable for those intolerant to lactose. You can easily prepare oat milk at home.
Soy milk is another healthy substitute for regular milk. Milk made from soybeans or soy protein isolate is rich in protein, fat and carbohydrates and boasts healthful nutritional benefits. Dieticians say that soy milk has omega-3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective properties. It is a plant-based non-dairy beverage preferred by many lactose-intolerant people as an alternative to milk these days.
You can prepare almond milk from whole almonds or almond butter by adding water. It's sweet and has a nutty flavor. It contains less amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates as compared to regular milk. But, it is a natural source of Vitamin E, essential for the body's natural defence mechanism to fight illness and infections. It is the best option for cutting calories.
Coconut milk is a tasty alternative to regular milk and boasts of several health benefits. This milk substitute is used in traditional cuisines and can be prepared at home easily. It is great for those looking to cut their carb intake as it contains almost no carbohydrates and very little fat. The downside is that it has negligible amount of protein.
If you are someone who is not only allergic to dairy, but also nuts, soy and gluten, then you should choose rice milk. It is the least allergenic in the non-dairy category. Rice milk has a watery consistency and can be consumed just like regular milk. It has the highest amount of carbohydrates and very little protein. Diabetics should stay away from rice milk.