Are you looking for milk alternatives to eliminate dairy during menopause? Well good news there are some very yummy and nutritious alternatives that you can make at home. In this article we will discuss briefly about the advantages and disadvantages of cow’s milk and alternative milks during menopause, after that I will give some easy recipes to make the alternative milks yourself at home, totally natural and cheaper than the ones you buy in the grocery store. This article is very long so I will divide in three parts: 1 part Which is better cow’s milk or alternative milks. 2 part: Should you go dairy free during menopause 3- Part alternative milk recipes, alternative cream recipe, Nice cream recipe and additional comments.
As you know our food takes center stage during menopause. Here is where alternative milks such as almond milk, cashew milk, oats, rice milks and many other come into play. For many women drinking cow’s milk is not healthy, for others is a matter of preference. In any case you can make your own delicious alternative milks at home.
Advantages and disadvantages of dairy and alternative milks
As you the movement against consuming cow’s milk or animal’s milk in general is very strong right now. I like to give an objective view of the trade-offs and the benefits of giving up dairy for alternative milks. These benefits are for all dairy products including milk
Health benefits of dairy
These benefits are for all dairy products including milk
- The health benefits of dairy include being a rich source of calcium, essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and providing high-quality protein, necessary for tissue repair and immune system support.
- Dairy products also contain vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption, and other essential nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.
- Additionally, the protein and fat content in dairy can contribute to satiety and weight management.
- Fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir contain probiotics that promote a healthy gut microbiome.
Disadvantages of dairy Products during menopause and perimenopause
- The hormones naturally present in dairy could potentially interfere with hormonal balance during menopause, leading to symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.
- Digestive issues such as lactose intolerance or decreased lactase production can cause bloating and discomfort.
- Dairy consumption has also been linked to inflammation, which may exacerbate joint pain and stiffness during menopause.
- Some individuals may develop allergies or sensitivities to dairy products, and excessive dairy consumption may not necessarily improve bone health.
Advantages of alternative milks during menopause
- Alternative milks offer advantages such as being lactose-free, plant-based, and providing a variety of options for different dietary needs and preferences.
- Store bought milks can be fortified with essential nutrients, making them comparable or to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional value.
- Perfect for individuals with dairy allergies or sensitivities to enjoy milk-like beverages
- Moreover, choosing alternative milks can have environmental sustainability benefits.
Disadvantages of alternative milks during menopause
- The nutrient content may vary.
- People with allergies or sensitivities to specific ingredients used in alternative milks need to be cautious.
- Most store bought alternative milks may contain additives, stabilizers, or sweeteners, so it’s important to read labels and choose options with minimal additives if desired.
- Availability and cost may be considerations.
- The taste and texture of alternative milks can differ from cow’s milk, requiring adjustment.
- Environmental factors related to farming practices, water resources, and packaging need consideration.
Most popular alternatives milks
- Almond milk: Made from ground almonds and water. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a creamy texture.
- Soy milk: Derived from soybeans, it is rich in protein. It has a mild taste and is used in beverages and cooking.
- Oat milk: Made from oats and water. It has a creamy texture and a subtle sweetness.
- Coconut milk: It has a rich and tropical flavor. It is commonly used in Asian and Caribbean cuisines and adds a distinct taste to dishes.
- Rice milk: Made from milled rice and water. It is a good option for individuals with allergies or intolerances to nuts, soy, or dairy.
- Cashew milk: Made from ground cashews and water, cashew milk has a creamy consistency and a naturally sweet flavor.
The most nutritive milks are made from nuts or soy.
About soy milk in menopause and perimenopause
Soy milk is rich in plant-based proteins and it is often fortified with essential nutrients. Soy milk also contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which are compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.
There has been some debate regarding the potential effects of soy and its isoflavones on hormone levels in menopausal women. Some studies suggest that consuming moderate amounts of soy products, including soy milk, may provide benefits such as alleviating menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and supporting cardiovascular health.
Soy milk during perimenopause is more complex. Some women during this time have what is called estrogen dominance. This condition happens when there are weaker estrogens, normally from environmental toxins circulating in the body. If the person has symptoms of estrogen dominance it is better not to consume soy products.
Should you go dairy-free in menopause?
If you are having menopause symptoms, excess weight, difficulty losing weight, indigestion, gases, skin issues (pimples, hives etc.), you can experiment going dairy free for a week or a month and see how you feel. If you experience relief avoid dairy for a while. After a few months you can return to dairy and observe if the symptoms come back. Of course you can consult with your doctor.
If you decide to go dairy free make sure you are consuming enough calcium rich food or taking a supplement.
There is insufficient evidence to say that all woman benefit from a dairy free lifestyle. However many women consume excess milk products and that will cause problems. The dairy propaganda that every person needs 5 servings of dairy is false. Every person needs the recommended amount of calcium, but milk is not the only source of calcium. That amount of milk products every day can be excessive.
In general fermented milk such as in the case of some cheeses, kefir and yogurt is a healthier alternative to unfermented milk such as the one people drink and the one contained in ice cream.
Notice that there is milk in a lot of products. If you decide to go dairy free you will need to read labels and make sure that the product doesn’t contain milk.
Should you buy or make alternative milks?
I prefer to make my own milks as they are more natural and I know what they have. The disadvantage is that your own homemade milk is not fortify with nutrients but you can compensate for this with your own supplements.
Another disadvantage is that you have to make it so it cannot be practical for some people.
If you don’t have a powerful blender to have to experiment to get the right texture.
Now here are some great recipes to make your own milk, cream and plant-based ice cream (called nice cream).