Milk is ingested daily by many people, either as an ingredient in a recipe, as a drink or as an accompaniment, as in the case of cereal; This is because it was believed to be the best source of calcium, like most dairy products.
The reality is, that belief is wrong in many respects; It is important to remember that, not because it is natural, it is completely healthy; Several studies have proven that there are substitutes for cow's milk that can provide a greater amount of calcium and nutrients, as well as being better for the human body.
But let's start at the beginning, what does cow's milk do in the human body?
Whole milk contains lactose, which is a type of sugar; The human body needs an enzyme called lactase to be able to metabolize this type of sugar, although this above is produced by the human body, it is also true that this is produced mainly during the human lactase stage, decreasing its production as the person grows; Usually people 50 years of age or older have almost zero production of this above, so various lactose-free milks have been created for this sector of the population.
Another belief of milk is that it should be consumed due to its amount of calcium, however, there are two situations, the first is that, although 240 ml of milk contains 276 mg of calcium, only approximately 30% of this is absorbed calcium; This is because in addition to calcium, it contains 205 mg of phosphorus. On the other hand, as we already mentioned, we can find other sources of calcium, such as milk or vegetable substitutes, which are also better in absorbing it.
In addition to this, it is important to note that the phosphorus and calcium contained in milk can inhibit the absorption of iron, an essential nutrient for people suffering from anemia, in women during menstruation or pregnancy and in men during adolescence, mainly.
It is important to note that the aforementioned also depends on the biological predisposition and lactose tolerance of each person.
Now, let's move on to the keto part of the situation; Although it is known that whole milk contains a large amount of carbohydrates due to lactose, the good part is that currently there are options to replace the whole milk that we know.
Keto milk substitutes
Some of the milk substitutes can be made at home, however, if you prefer to buy this type of product, it is important that you review the nutritional table of each product, since the amount of carbohydrates and fats usually vary from one brand to another.
Unsweetened coconut milk
Among the benefits of coconut milk we can find:✅ Contains a large amount of fiber, vitamin C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6; in addition to minerals such as iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
✅ Does not contain lactose.
✅ Contains a considerable amount of saturated fat.
✅ Preserves cholesterol levels.
✅ Helps in weight control.
How to prepare it?
- Heat water, without letting it boil; Add the dried coconut and blend until smooth.
- Strain the mixture through a strainer to remove the pulp.
- You can use it immediately or refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
Unsweetened almond milk
Almond milk is one of the most common and due to its benefits, this is no surprise, below we list the most important ones.✅ Improves cholesterol levels.
✅ It favors the correct absorption of fats and sugars.
✅ Supports intestinal and heart health.
✅ It is a great source of calcium and potassium.
✅ It has a large amount of vitamin E and B complex, as well as containing minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.
✅ It does not contain lactose or gluten.
✅ It tastes slightly sweeter than coconut milk.
How to prepare it?
- Soak a cup of almonds in boiling water, to be able to remove the skin quickly. If you prefer, you can leave them soaking in room temperature water overnight.
- Once peeled, dry the almonds, place them in a blender and add 3 cups of water; blend until almost completely liquid consistency.
- Strain the mixture with the help of a strainer to remove the pulp
Unsweetened seed milk
In this category we can include flaxseed milk and hemp milk, which are the most used ketogenic options in the case of being allergic to almonds. We recommend that, if you decide to buy these types of products, you check the label to make sure they contain less than 2 g of net carbohydrates per cup.
How to do them?
- Add ½ cup of seeds and 4 cups of water in a blender, blend until smooth.
- Strain carefully with the help of a sieve or a muslin cloth to remove the pulp.
- You can refrigerate the milk for up to a week.
Soy milk is one of the most commercial today; Although most of these products are not exactly low in carbohydrates, there are several organic and sugar-free options, we recommend that you review the nutritional label of these products and that you choose those that contain less than 2 g of net carbohydrates per cup.
Among its benefits we can find:
✅ Strengthens the immune system.
✅ Lowers cholesterol.
✅ Helps control blood pressure and triglycerides.
✅ Supports intestinal health.
✅ Contains B vitamins, calcium and phosphorus.
How to do it?
- Soak the soybeans overnight.
- The next day, strain it and whisk it together with 3 cups of water until you get an almost liquid mixture.
- Strain the mixture through a gauze or fine mesh strainer.
- In a saucepan, add the milk obtained along with a cup of water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Remove the foam and reduce the heat to medium heat, continue cooking it for another 20 minutes and beat from time to time.
- Let the milk cool to room temperature and it's ready to eat, or you can refrigerate it for up to a week.
The milks listed above are low in carbohydrates, so they are considered keto-friendly; However, it is important to remember that the best way to choose a milk substitute is to combine your tastes and the benefits it brings you.
Which is your favorite? 😋