Cow's milk is a natural and easily available source of various vitamins and minerals. It is in fact a gift of nature. Almond milk is man-made milk which is used as a substitute for cow milk. It is named as 'almond milk' because it looks like milk. It actually does not contain milk.
Almond Milk and Cow Milk
Cow milk is obtained by milking a cow. But before we use it, the milk undergoes several processes like pasteurization. We get the milk packed in boxes, cartons, bottles or polythene bags which result in an increase in non-recyclable waste. You can make almond milk at home easily. You just need to soak the almonds in water overnight and then grind them with water in a blender or food processor. Strain the resultant liquid and almond milk is ready! This milk is thus unprocessed milk which is quite easy to make. You can determine the thickness of the milk by adding less or more water. You can make about 2 liters of almond milk with about 500 g almonds. It has been noticed that most people dislike cow milk because of its typical taste and odor. Almond milk is far more delicious than cow milk. In supermarkets, it is available in various flavors.
Both almond and cow milk need to be stored in the refrigerator. Cow milk is heated before distribution but almond milk does not need heating. For infants, breast milk is the best milk. In case of insufficient breast milk, baby formulas that are fortified with necessary nutrients are used to feed babies. Doctors recommend cow milk usually after the first birthday of the baby. Almond milk cannot replace cow milk in a baby's diet as it won't be able to provide the nutrients necessary for the healthy growth of a baby. Grown up children and adults can have almond milk and reap its health benefits. Those who are lactose intolerant can enjoy almond milk. Bloating, gas and discomfort are the common symptoms of lactose intolerance. Babies and toddlers may find it difficult to digest the protein present in cow milk. Those who have milk allergy can be given almond milk. Skin rash or hives, swelling, difficulty swallowing, severe diarrhea, bloody stool, increased irritability and in severe cases, anaphylaxis (shock) are the symptoms of allergy.
Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Both almond and cow milk are healthy and economical. Cow milk (whole) is rich in fat but you can opt for a low fat version. Since almond milk contains no saturated fat, it is a low carb, low calorie healthy alternative for cow milk. Both types of milk provide various essential vitamins and minerals but almond milk is cholesterol free while cow milk contains some amount of cholesterol. Cow milk contains all essential amino acids that are required by our body for protein synthesis. Both types of milk are excellent sources of vitamin A and D. Vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium from the milk. Both are packed with calcium. The nutrients like copper, selenium, zinc come with several health benefits as they strengthen the immune system. There is no need to say that calcium strengthens bones and lowers the risk of osteoporosis. It is a universal fact that cholesterol free almond milk lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases. As it does not require boiling, there is no loss of vitamins or minerals. If you want you can have almond milk with a pinch of salt. Thus you can avoid eating sugar with milk. Almond milk can be used in various other recipes where you cannot use cow milk. Cow's milk is a very good source of iodine; but these days, cows are fed with antibiotics, growth hormones like rBGH, etc. to get ample milk. When human beings ingest residues of such substances through cow milk, long-term side effects are noticed. Organic milk is a good option available but in that case, homemade almond milk seems to be the safest alternative.
Hope you found the above information on 'almond milk vs. cow milk' helpful. You can choose the type of milk according to your dietary needs and liking. Besides cow milk and almond milk, soy milk can also be consumed for various health benefits.