In an effort to avoid such dairy-related phenomena such as “mad-cow” disease, lactose intolerance and a host of other dairy-related health issues as promulgated by the food industry, health-food industry or even the FDA, Americans have turned to alternative modes of beverage nourishment.
Apart from questionable so-called “energy drinks” that are laden with sugar and caffeine, consumers can now select from an array of almond milk, almond drinks, coconut milk, coconut beverages, soy-based drinks and a host of combo drinks such as almond-coconut or even cashew-coconut drinks. However, the question still remains, and it still needs to be answered: Which is better nutrition wise?
Some Expert Opinions
While some nutritionists insist that only by reading the label of the product can one determine which best, others argue equally convincingly that plant-based drinks are best. However, another group of nutrition experts presents a solid case in favor of continuing the time-honored approach of drinking cow’s milk. Let’s examine the argument in favor of cow’s milk.
Recent studies appearing in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition confirm that there’s a wide variance in plant-based beverages as to their nutritional benefits. Hence, it is recommended that young children continue on the traditional approach of drinking cow’s milk.
The research paper went on to further state that also found in cow’s milk are about eight grams of protein and adequate amounts of calcium. Also contained in cow’s milk are nutrients such as potassium, vitamins B12, A and D.
So, Which Is Better?
When we examine the nutritional value of soy milk, for instance, the equation shifts somewhat. We find that almond, coconut and cashews pale in comparison to soy. Amazingly, soy beverages equal almost as much protein nutrients as does cow’s milk; however, it does lack in calcium.
So, what happened to these nutritious plant-based beverages? They are all known for their healthy benefits, and yet they fall short when analyzed in comparison to cow’s milk? Quite simply, it was the processing of the products with comparatively large amounts of water that killed off most of their benefits to our health. Dilution was the culprit.
In fact, based on another 2014 study, 2,831 children were tested found to have lower blood levels of vitamin D than those who had not swayed from their normal cow’s milk regimen.