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June 14, 2022

The 11 Side Effects to Store-Bought Vegan Milks

In a perfect world, vegan milks are great alternatives. to dairy milk for individuals transitioning their lifestyles. Vegan milk is gaining popularity but no one exactly clarifies tthe potential side effects to dairy-free milk yet.

There has been some misconceptions and unrealistic expectations in what plant base milks can do. But in order to get an understanding, consumers should be aware what they’re trying to replace dairy for. Is it for dairy free recipes? Is it for nutrition purposes? Or just to simply drink as a beverage? This sheds light on how to reap the most amount of benefits and not increase the risk of the side effects mentioned below.

The most popular dairy alternatives are coconut, cashew, oats, and almond with varying ingredients to mimic a creamier consistency to sweet and unsweetened for taste. The most popular brands that are available to most households are: Oatly, almond breeze, califa farms, silk, planet oat, Chobani

Brands tend to target customers with low price points while sacrificing the quality of their ingredients to mimic dairy milk. Parents are looking for toddler friendly milks, the vegan population are increasing, and some people just don’t like milk. Companies will take advantage knowing our current resources are unstable to cater to all. Let’s talk about it then!

11 Detailed side effects to “Vegan” Dairy

Poor ingredient choice

Brands typically want to meet the demands of the customer. What’s sacrificed are the ingredients for affordability and sales.

Poor ingredient choices are cheap, easy to source, and quickens the shipments process. Low quality ingredients means a cheaper product for households to afford. Is this a good thing? It can be. As in long term it impacts a population striving to live healthier and consciously through health.

When I was on the plant base milk wave, I was excited about the options available by the expense of my EBT. Sugar, gums, artificial flavors, preservatives, on top of fortified vitamins would dominate the ingredient secrion. Like why is it 10 ingredients for a beverage that’s supposed to be nut water?!

Fortified vitamins. Vitamins D2, A, and E to minerals like calcium are commonly supplemented in alternative dairy although there’s growing evidence of its metabolic effects differ from vitamins naturally occuring in foods. For example, modern literature suggests D2 toxicity is more common than the public think and thus incresses risk of hypercalcemia (a build up of calcium in the blood).

Sugar. Sugar is usually listed in the first 7 ingredients and can make milks incredibly sweet. Sugar is linked to oral microbiom disruptions, cause metabolic diseases, and worsen symptoms in neurological disorders. Often times this ingredient is used to enhance taste. Soms brands may not use sugar but sugar alternatives; however it does not change its affects on the body and how consumers use them as a morning beverage or on sensitive diets.

Gums. Guar, xanthan, arabic gum, locust bean, and carrageeean are some of the most commonly used gums, used as emulsifiers and stabilizers, in dairy free produce. In excessive amounts and among those with gut sensitivities, gums are linked to allergies, bowel syndrome, and metabolic disorders in adults and children alike.

Artificial Extracts. Extracts are known to contain plant compounds that acts as antioxidants or exhibit healing properties to its user. However the food industry do not use it in that way and use synthetic and cheap extracts for robust flavor.

Risk of Nutrient Deficiency or Toxicity. Whe individuals heavily consume fortified diets, there are risks of deficiencies and toxicities due to not knowing its source and how it metabolize in the body. Studies has shown anti-nutrients in plant milks that prevents necessary mineral absorption.

Homogeneous. Homogenizing is a common process used in dairy and vegan milks to create a longer shelf life by changing the milk particle size.

Allergies. Often times commericsl vegan milk brands are made from nuts which is one of the leading allergy causes. But that’s not the only ingredients someone can be allergic to. Carragenans is derived from red algae that is known for worsening conditions of IBS, IBD, and other gut related diseases.

Environmental impact. The most common plants are almond and cashew milks. Many brands do not share ethical concerns about the impact and use of deforestation and inhumane labor conditions in eumelanin communities. For newly vegans and environmental activists, the environment impacted by dairy free brands are one of the easiest ways to get into making a change. Brands like Milkadamia and Elmburst does well in growing and ethically sourcing their own ingredients for a greater change.

Packaging. The packaging are usually a concern snd contradicting to “Saving the Earth” speakers. Most brands are made out of plastic which still contributes to pollution. Some brands use recycled plastic BPA free however there are still hundreds of plastic byproudcts that can pass into produce and is not quite fitting for those desiring to lead a low carbon foot print lifestyle for health and wellness.

Less Cost Efficient. It’s unfortunate that consumers are paying extra money for junk. But then its even more concerning when individuals must pay more, in smaller quantities, for the top of line store-bought milks! It is just not cost effective for struggling or frugal individuals and families looking for affordable dairy free alternative with low side effects.

Depending on consumers budgets, goals, and lifestyle dairy free milks can be a long term choice for individuals intolerant to dairy or deciding to cut out dairy. Luckily there are great dairy free store bought brands, individuals just need to know where to locate and how to choose the best dairy free milk that best fits them. Outside of the side effects, the most effective is creating large batches from home with ingredient sources they can trust.

What are yall thoughts?

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