Plant-based milks are all the rage in almost every sphere, and have been gaining in popularity for over a decade now. With the rising trend of veganism and the growing cases of lactose intolerance, the market for non-dairy milk alternatives continues to grow. You would think that plant-based milks are good for you, right? I mean, who doesn't love plants? Unfortunately, it isn't that easy.
Soy milk first came on the market in the late 90's and slowly gained popularity by 2010 as the primary solution for any dairy intolerance. The problem is that soy provides a plant-based source of estrogen in our already estrogen-dominated world which can contribute to a lot of hormonal imbalances. Feel free to dive down that rabbit hole on your own. 😉
Oat and any nut/seed milks have become the more popular alternative in most recent years, but these are actually high in phytic acid. As you may remember, phytic acid impairs the absorption of calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium and are especially harmful to our teeth. If that wasn’t enough, these plant-based milks tend to separate, and require additives and preservatives to make them shelf-stable.
The ideal milk for our health and teeth is organic, raw, grass-fed animal (cow, goat, or sheep) milk. Raw milk contains a lot of minerals and enzymes including lactase which breaks down lactose. As a result, many people with dairy sensitivities find that they are able to tolerate raw milk much better than the pasteurized milk that you find in the store.
For those who have a true dairy allergy or are vegan, coconut milk typically is the best plant-based alternative, but you’ll want to read the label well to avoid any preservatives that are typically added. If you still prefer nut and seed milks, try making them at home! You can soak the nuts/seeds first to break down some of the phytic acid, and you won't have to worry about the preservatives either!