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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions


  1. All of your posts are so amazing! I learn something new each time. I’m only a teen, but reading your blog gets me so motivated to change some everyday habits of mine, which will definitely benefit me as the years go by. My family and I have been drinking soymilk for the past couple of months for no reason, and neither of us are lactose intolerant. Maybe just the taste and the fact that the carton states that it’s a good source of calcium? Once I read the section of the post on soy, I was in shock! I’ll definitely try to talk my family into the idea of raw milk.. Thanks for the information!

  2. Excellent post! I often see “healthy” blogs talking about almond milk etc., but everytime I try to buy them and see all those foreign ingredients… I’m just wondering why the heck would anyone buy that!

    Looking forward to more great posts. 🙂

  3. I agreed with Maple! I was always baffled by the people who denounce multi-vitamins for being synthetic (not that I take them) but then drink almond milk by the truckload! I felt like I must have been missing something. Glad to see I’m not the only person who refuses to drink non-dairy milk. Since I’ve recently developed a reaction to cow milk, I’ll have to try making my own coconut milk.

    • This is just a suggestion, but you may be able to tolerate goat milk (preferably raw!) if you can’t do the cow milk. I’m a big fan of goat milk… it is quite the superfood. Homemade coconut milk is also healthy and delicious, though, so have fun making it!

  4. I am allergic to dairy, I don’t like the taste of coconut milk or almond milk either. I don’t like in an area where I can buy raw goats milk or raw cows milk. What do I drink? I have been drinking the Ricedream Rice milk since it seems to be the only one I like the taste and texture of. Help!

    • I am allergic to cow milk. cant drink cows milk organic, raw, pasteurized, etc. or eat dairy. Also cant have goats milk or even use goats milk soap. I support peoples right to have raw milk, but you raw milk drinkers falsely believe everyone and anyone can and should have raw milk. Anything that is edible and a food has at least someone allergic to it! Ive known people allergic to blueberries, broccoli, coconut and my husband is allergic to like 20 things including alfalfa! Oh and he is allergic to cow and goat milk too, yes organic, raw, etc. My husband is also allergic to cheese as well as dairy, how? Cheese has different additional bacteria which my husband is also allergic to. You can be allergic to cheese but not milk and dairy. So if my husband has cheese of any kind (including raw) it is a double whammy. Allergies dont care how healthy the food is

      • Cassandra, I would suggest you and your husband consider going on the GAPS diet, especially the GAPS intro diet, to resolve or at least minimize your multiple food allergies since they are indicative of leaky gut syndrome. Simply put, when the gut is impaired, it allows undigested or partly digested food particles into the body and bloodstream, causing the body to see these particles as foreign invaders and mounting an “allergic” response. The GAPS intro diet will heal and seal the gut lining.

        • Ironically, when I went on a hypoallergenic diet last fall (to try to heal my leaky gut and treat autoimmune conditions), I actually acquired two new allergies which are wreaking havoc on my daily life. I wish it were as easy as just eating a certain way. For some bodies, it’s not.

      • I have found that people with allergies are suffering from a Candida infection which produces D – Lactic acid and toxins into the blood stream, for which causes the allergic responses that people have in many different situation, from itching skin to swelling of the legs to the food allergies that are bought on by the Candida, for which can be eliminated from the body by no refine sugar consumtion and this knew product that I found that help me and my wife help beat the breast cancer she had, this product was worth its weight in gold. Look up Shannon brown’s this product works, its like five products in one when it come to fighting Candida and D- Latic acid in the body.
        look it up you be glad you did, I sure glad I did, cuts the time of removing this bad bacterial from my system as well as my wife.

    • My children to are allergic to cows milk on top of that my do is highly allergic to fat. And yes I did say fat along with many other things. After trying out all the different types of milk available my children can stomach the oat milk best. It is also recommended by our dietician at the hospital who we see 3 weekly. It seems to be one of the more natural milks with very little to no additives with the one we buy. I always get the natural unsweetened one. You can use it like you would cows milk and it doesn’t split or go funny.

  5. Thanks for this post! I definitely learned some new information! That locust bean gum sounds horrible! I used to buy the unsweetened silk almond milk because I thought it was healthy because it doesn’t have carrageen and only minimal sugar, but I hated the “natural flavor” aspect. You never know what that means!! I quit buying it a couple of months ago and I’m sticking to coconut milk! You just reinforced my decision! Thanks for this info!

  6. Thanks for posting this! There is always something new to be learned, and your posts are so informative. I love all your posts, in how helpful they are, and this one especially. I’ve been straying away from alternative-milks, but was originally lactose-intolerant, but haven’t been able to source a decent raw milk (or even goat raw milk) yet. Would organic milk substitute, or is there anywhere in Ontario, Canada you can say would have it?

    • If you can find non-homogenized, low temperature pasteurized milk (preferably from pastured cows) that would be the next best thing to raw milk. Otherwise you may be able to find raw milk on the black market and you can contact your local Weston A. Price chapter for help locating it.

  7. Hi,

    First off thank you so much for ALL of your amazing information. I truly appreciate the knowledge you share. Finally, what would you suggest for children? Both me and my daughter have so many allergies, we are celiac but also milk/dairy has bothered us terribly. We started out with soy and found out all the dangers, and now almond milk. Would you really suggest for children to consume raw milk? if so, is there yogurt and cheese u recommend too? Always looking for ways to keep my 7 year old happy 🙂 thanks!

    • I would absolutely recommend raw milk for children. I don’t know where you live, but if you have a Whole Foods around they carry Ervian Yogurt which is non-homogenized and from grassfed cows. They also have some great raw milk cheeses.

      • I would say that if there is a definite milk allergy + Celiac, tread carefully w/the raw milk. Try like 1/4 tsp first and wait. My husband was allergic to milk & tolerated raw just fine, but our son’s leaky gut was so advanced that raw dairy (both goat & cow) still caused him to break out in hives (his poor little face was puffed right up w/them). Raw milk is a wonderful thing but leaky guts are not so predictable, so do exercise caution. But I do think raw milk is “safe for children,” in general. Our son is also allergic to nuts & to coconut, though, so we make sure he gets plenty of minerals through broth and such, but his cup is only ever filled w/water kefir, kombucha, or water (and mostly it’s water).

          • I have not tried any raw but less then 2 oz of goats cheese sent me to the ER. I am going to start soon on trying to heal my gut, but I will be very careful with introducing any dairy. The most difficutl part is avoiding whey for me as I have teased out over time that is my main trigger as protien bars effect me the same as having a lot of dairy, but the allergy disapeared with one of my two pregnancies. I may need to stick to bone broths and coconut milk. Thank you for your info and good luck to everyone out there

      • I don’t see any mention of cow’s milk putting the body in an acidic state, which leaches calcium from the bones. The body tries to maintain a certain PH, and it will use what is needs to keep the body in balance. Dairy also causes inflammation and is difficult for many people to digest because it is cow’s milk not human milk. Is there another species on earth that drinks another species milk? I make my own almond milk by soaking the almonds. Plant-based proteins are preferable because they keep your body in an alkaline state, which your body likes.

  8. Thank you! I love this post! I don’t understand how others can write off cow’s milk so readily, but consume all the nastiness you spoke of. Even though I can’t get my hands on raw milk (flat out illegal in Canada), I think organic is better than consuming nut/seed based “milks”.

      • It’s not a matter of thinking the other milks are more beneficial, it’s a matter of the mass producing and what the animal farms are doing to our planet. Unfortunately, like people, cows produce gas and the volume has rather overpowered nature’s ability to absorb what we toss out from one end to the other. I’m a vegetarian, mostly vegan, and anti-GMO, and saying an animal is grass fed does not eliminate the pesticides that go onto the grass that goes into the cow, or into the corn and other food supplements.

    • Because some of us do it for ethical reasons. Drinking a little almond milk with my coffee and cereal is fine. I refuse to be a part of an industry that abuses animals. Not every reason is for health. Sometimes health of the planet, health of the cow and health of my conscience outweighs. ALthough Im not totally on board that a little carageenan is horrible for me. I do make my own from time to time. Balance.

    • I am allergic to cow milk. cant drink cows milk organic, raw, pasteurized, etc. or eat dairy. Also cant have goats milk or even use goats milk soap. I support peoples right to have raw milk, but you raw milk drinkers falsely believe everyone and anyone can and should have raw milk. Anything that is edible and a food has at least someone allergic to it! Ive known people allergic to blueberries, broccoli, coconut and my husband is allergic to like 20 things including alfalfa! Oh and he is allergic to cow and goat milk too, yes organic, raw, etc. My husband is also allergic to cheese as well as dairy, how? Cheese has different additional bacteria which my husband is also allergic to. You can be allergic to cheese but not milk and dairy. So if my husband has cheese of any kind (including raw) it is a double whammy. Allergies dont care how healthy the food is. I use to have chronic ear aches, sore throats my WHOLE life up unitl age 19 when I gave up milk it went away. I have been ear ache free for 6 years. So yeah, that is how someone can give up dairy without hesitation. It was either that or have my tonsils removed. I also lost 30 lbs effortlessly and kept it off, cleared up my acne and am no longer anemic. I am thriving without calve milk! I know, surprising I dont need the secretions from another species mammary glands to live healthy!

      • Cassandra, what you may not realize is that all cheeses come from either a cow, sheep, or goat. Different cheeses have varying amounts of whey and casein. Your husband might be able to tolerate the hard cheeses more than soft cheeses, however, it doesn’t mean he’s not allergic to cheese. Both my son and I are very allergic to dairy, though being 17 and rebellious, he still insists on eating Romano cheese from sheep because he can tolerate it. I on the other hand cannot tolerate anything from an animal.
        I don’t look upon this as a death sentence any longer. Why? Think about it….. humans are the only species that drinks the milk from another species. Kind of weird!
        next, keep in mind where those cows/sheep/goats are….outside. Drinking from streams or other water supplies which are receiving acid rain, or runoff from people’s fertilizer and pesticide infested lawns, junk people pour down the streets (fuel, oil, and yes, even toxic materials). The animals drink this! or they eat the grasses that are also receiving this water (runoff). Not to mention, the farm animals are beefed up with all manner of antibiotic and steroids to beef up their growth and production . that is then transferred into their milk, as well as their muscle tissue…so you are receiving steroids and hormones in the milk, and bovine growth factor by eating the meat….hello? has anyone noticed the exponential growth in the number of cancers lately? it’s all due to the hormones and growth factors in the food supply (animal).
        do yourselves a favor, listen to your bodies…these allergies are your signals that what you are eating is BAD for you!
        sure, oils aren’t great for you either, but, if you want to bake a cake or breakfast muffins once in a while and need a cup of almond Milk (or some other brand), or you want to have a dairy free cheese on a pizza once a week….what’s worse? ingesting something from a cow laced with chemicals and toxins? or taking in a little vegetable oil and flours? Going Vegan (Non GMO) is the best and most assured way of eating healthy and with the least amount of chemicals, and the healthiest way to eat (especially when organic).
        for a factual (historically factual) and scientifically based truth on the dairy industry and the ways in which animal milk is bad for you, see Whitewash: the disturbing truth about cow’s milk and your health by Joseph Keon and Jon Robbins.

        • We are NOT the only mammals that drink the milk of another species. It is not weird. I explain in my Raw Milk post. If we have an allergy to a common allergen like dairy, it means that we have gut and digestion problems. It does not mean that the food is inherently bad. Raw milk is not ideal for everyone, especially because modern humans have severely leaky guts. But in a historical perspective, real milk has nourished humans for millennia.

          • Unless you are referring to cats and dogs which drink milk only because we feed it to them – no animal other than humans drink the milk of other species. In fact many adult humans lack the enzymes necessary to digest lactose and dairy intolerance is common in adults (but I will read your raw milk article in case you address this).
            I looked into your interesting comments on the thickening agent, it seems most of the studies done showing negative effect have used a processed form which is no longer used in food, and which is considered as unsafe even by the food industry.
            Lastly, in reference to your comment about buying ‘ethical’ milk that doesn’t harm the cow; something has to happen to the calf that is supposed to be getting the cow’s milk we humans are drinking. Most commonly they are shot.

            • I’d like to comment further after reading your raw milk article – especially the bit about other animals drinking other species’ milk, which was very new to me and very interesting! I would like to withdraw my above comment about us being the only species to do so, but I would like to replace it with the comment that we are the only species to do so regularly.
              I’m sure animals would exploit any food source available, and I’m sure they would drink more milk if they could. Nowdays humans have more choice about whether they can – or should – exploit all food sources available.

      • Cassandra, I would suggest you and your husband consider going on the GAPS diet, especially the GAPS intro diet, to resolve or at least minimize your multiple food allergies since they are indicative of leaky gut syndrome. Simply put, when the gut is impaired, it allows undigested or partly digested food particles into the body and bloodstream, causing the body to see these particles as foreign invaders and mounting an “allergic” response. The GAPS intro diet will heal and seal the gut lining.

  9. I am fortunate to live near Trader Joe’s and I like to take a can of the light coconut milk, thin it with a can of filtered water and then use it as a milk substitute in my morning tea, or sometimes I just drink it.

  10. Thank you for this post! I knew that the carton-packaged non-dairy milks weren’t great, but I just never understood what was wrong with all of the ingredients. This post is very informative.

    I recently started drinking raw milk from a local farm and I’m in love! For the longest time I cut dairy out because it was the popular thing to do. Knowing what I know now about homogenized, pasteurized dairy I’m glad I did, but I turned to cartons of almond milk and coconut milk instead. I still consume coconut milk, but I started buying the full fat stuff in a can. My local health food store sells the Native Forest brand, which is relatively affordable. It’s only additive is Guar Gum (non-GMO project verified). There’s nothing on the label about the can being BPA free, but for now it’ll have to do. I’m about to start the GAPS diet to heal my eczema and I’ll probably start making my own coconut milk.

  11. Thank you, your article it’s very interesting. I have one question, when you say raw milk it means straight from the cow?, I remember when I was a girl we used to go to a ranch to get our milk, and the pour the fresh milk in our bottles but my mom used to boil it at home. So should we boil or not?

  12. One more thing. Where is the coconut milk recipe ?. I live in Florida and once I was soaking almonds and they turn bad because it is so humid. Should I soak them in the refrigerator, somebody living in a humid place to give me some tips. thank you so much.

  13. Hi,
    I really appreciate all the information you share. I have learned a lot on how to better feed my family, thanks!!
    My question is regarding Xanthan Gum. Why is it bad and can I replace it in my gluten free bread machine recipe?
    Thanks again and God Bless!

      • Xanthan Gum is made from the outer layer of a tiny inactive bacterium called Xanthomonas campestris. Guar Gum is derived from the seed of the Guar plant. Each are used as thickeners or binding agents in gluten-free cooking. Both are high in fiber. A little goes a long way. You can substitute psyllium husk powder or the husks themselves in place of it.

  14. Lauren, I really appreciate the knowledge you share, I only wish I knew at least 1/4 of what you know. At my age (65) it’s also too late to learn everything I need to know about what’s good for you and what’s not. I have a daughter with special needs and we found out 4 years ago that we’re Gluten Intolerance and I have been going crazy since.
    My daughter had pain for 10 years or more before we found out and she still in pain and they have said they have check for everything that they can think of. Before GI we were on the IBS diet and it worked ok but still stomach pains. Than we went GF diet and it work for about 6 or so months before the stomach pain came back and I know that even thou I try really hard to keep her meals GF it’s really hard for me to understand some of the ingredients in some of the item we purchase for instance like the non dairy milk your talking about now. I do use the non dairy milk for alot of cooking items and smoothies. I’m in the kitchen more than I like to be so that I can cook all of her meals from scratch but we do go out and eat sometimes. During my life I always prayed that I would live for retirement and now that I have made it I’m now working harder on just trying to make my daughter feel better and with all the unknowns out there it’s really hard. I wish there was a way that we could find out what is really good for us and what’s know. Your sight is wonderful and you know so much but I wish I could ask you something everyday because one sight might say something and than you might something else where is a old lady to turn. For instance I received info that Rice, Corn and Oats or Gluten and some people say it’s not. It’s really hard for us in any respect because I’m also GI and show or feel any symptoms and my daughter has pain everyday put it hard for her to explain were she really hurts.
    There is also goat cheese is that ok, or what do I need to look for in that? Also what is the problem with Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum which I also use for baking?
    Also I have read from a Dr. that commercial Kefir & Kombacha is not good for us as well as just about all the yogurts out there? I haven’t look into raw milk yet but when I look at it not really sure I guess I just have to try it, it might be too expense for us as much as I use milk for smoothies and cooking?
    I’m also with Mary what can you use for Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum?
    I guess I’m said enough but THANKS for letting me vent my frustrations.
    Thanks again for all the information you share it helps so many people I only wish my better half would believe that we need to eat right, he is so lucky he has No problems and can eat anything he wants.
    Thanks again for all you put into learning for the rest of us. I wish I could turn back the clock so that I could absorbed all there is to learn.
    Take Care and God Bless,

    • I know how overwhelming it feels to find a “healthy diet” when we have contradicting information coming at us from all sides! I don’t know all the answers, either, and I am always learning. I wish I could answer all your questions, but to address a few of your questions here: homemade kefir, yogurt and kombucha is preferable, but I think store bought is okay as long as the ingredients are good. I don’t think xanthan gum and guar gum is a huge deal, but it isn’t a whole food or a truly natural food. I don’t know of any substitutes for them.

      • Molly,
        Go and read everything there. Pay particular attention to the intro diet and follow it step by step. First order Dr. Mc Bride’s first book, the yellow one. Second print the recommended/avoid food list and put it on your fridge. Then really read. Use notebook paper to write down everything for
        stage one on one sheet, for stage two on a second
        sheet, and so on. Writing the info for each stage on seperate pieces of paper allows you to glean what you need from the website (and when it arrives, the book) and to organize it in a way YOU can use it.
        Finally, when you get all of the info for stage one the way you want it on your first notebook paper. Put it on your fridge next to the recommend/avoid list. Then rest.
        You may want to make a second copy of the list for stage one to put in your purse or car for when you go to purchase your food. That way you’ll remember it and if you lose it, you can always make another from your ‘fridge post.
        This process helps seperate the why (theoretical) from the HOW (practical).
        It will also allow you to focus on each step and only that step which helped me change from feeling overwhelmed and confused to empowered and confident. I hope it helps you, too!
        God Bless you!

        • Molly,
          After you’ve done the above and RESTED. Get a cardboard or other box and go through you kitchen and box up everything that “isn’t allowed.”
          Give it or throw it away.
          It was and is difficult for me to “waste” so many expensive items, but eliminating what you can’t use anyway helps eliminate that confusion and sense of being overwhelmed…
          I am doing gaps for severe ADHD and I work 50+ hrs/week to pay for it all. I can truly empathize with your feelings. Stay the course. It does get easier with time.

          • Nova,
            Thanks for the info, I need all the help I can get.
            Bless you,
            Also to all the others that gave info. I don’t really blog much at all as you can see from my long vent blog. I’m just get mad at my self for not knowing more or being able to absorb as much as I use to. Also I have a problem throwing out the item we don’t use because of my better half he eat anything he wants. And sometimes it’s hard to keep telling my daughter no she can’t have that. I do try and keep them on different shelves.
            Thanks again to all.

  15. I have found this Oatly branded non-dairy milk. It is made from oats. Organic version have only water, oats and salt in it. Good taste and good for those who do not wish or can’t use dairy or other non-milk dairy.

    I’m not sure is it sold in US, but in EU it is. Also there is many recipe online, to make your self. Also it is gluten free.
    I do love raw milk, I remember from my childhood my aunt had a farm and we did drink a lot raw milk. I sometimes use raw milk, when I get it or organic milk but I tend to avoid soy, rice and normal dairy these days.

    Many non dairy milk alternatives can be made at home and there is additive free versions, so these can be good for some uses in kitchen.

    For links to this Oatly brand:
    And recipe for self made:

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! My concern with oat milk is that oats are very high in phytic acid. I think it would be preferable to make oat milk with oats that have been soaked overnight in water with whey or lemon juice, but that may make the milk taste too sour.

  16. Your blog is my absolute favorite. I share it with everyone. I started taking a Nutrition Consultant course in May and have been giving free nutrition talks for a while. Milk was the big topic on Thursday night so your timing on this article is amazing. I have passed in on to a big group so I hope you get more followers. I tell people that plant milks are highly processed but you have given such great detail on what that means. People get so upset about the milk and grain issue. They feel the answer is plant milks then I have to tell them that they are bad, too. You can just see it on their face. It’s overwhelming and a big obstacle people think they can’t tackle. Drinking raw goats milk and giving up grains has given me control of my life and health. Because it was so hard and life changing I feel I should tell everyone. God bless you and all that you do! You are my inspiration!

  17. I recently (this week) started drinking WestSoy Soy Milk (contains only water and nonGMO soybeans) to try to deal with my hot flashes. I read several “healthy” posts about upping soy consumption to address the hormonal deficiency during menopause. What is your opinion of this? Are there better food choices for addressing menopausal symptoms?

    • I know that soy is a typical “treatment” for menopausal symptoms, but it makes me cringe because it does more harm than good. My new book “Quit PMS” is targeted at PMS symptoms, but it is very applicable for premenopausal and menopausal women because it explains how to balance your hormones and support your adrenal glands. I would recommend the book if you want to learn more about balancing hormones naturally.

  18. Great article! We did the almond milk thing for a while but it just didn’t feel right and now I have a good explanation why. I so wish we could find raw milk – I grew up on it and miss it so. I hope someday to have our own milk goats but not enough income right now. My sister had no milk when her baby was born premature and he threw up every formula that was tried and lost down to 4 pounds. Goat milk was the key – he thrived and was super healthy, and I loved the taste of it! I always wonder whether ultra-pasteurized organic milk is better if that is all you can find or the commercial whole milk that doesn’t have the hormones added since it is heated to a lower temp.

  19. If I may, here’s #8 for your most excellent list:

    8. Oxalates, which are very high in both soy milk and almond milk. Oxalate, or oxalic acid, is a natural plant toxin designed to protect the plant from being eaten, and when consumed can accumulate in many tissues of the body, wreaking havoc.

    Bravo to you for educating more people on the many issues concerning these fake milks.

    Hooray for Real Milk! (AKA, raw, unprocessed, additive free, grass-fed milk as Mother Nature intended.)

  20. Be careful with cans labeled “BPA free” since companies can use other forms of bisphenol like BPS, etc., and still legally be able to label it as BPA free. Best to call or write to the company and ask if their cans are free of ALL forms of hormone-disrupting bisphenol. Besides, they need to hear this request repeatedly and know that more consumers are becoming more savvy about these things and demanding safe alternatives.

  21. Hi Lauren

    I am alittle confused about milk and whether my family should drink it or only have it fermented. With GAPS you cant have milk so how can that make raw milk a perfect food for everyone when so many people have digestive issues etc and need to go on GAPS Are you saying it is the perfect food if you are completely healthy? Can I also ask why they say cheese is so hard to digest as isnt it cultured milk which should make it better than milk? As I said I am alittle confused with dairy as a whole and would love your thoughts.

    Thanks again

    • I don’t think raw milk is the perfect food for everyone, but I do think it is the case for many people. I use raw milk to make my GAPS yogurt and I think raw milk kefir is also beneficial for those who need a more digestible form of raw milk. I think dairy is a very personal issue… everybody needs to tweak their dairy intake to fit their body. It sometimes is a trial and error process. Personally, I find cheeses much harder to digest than my yogurt but some people have the opposite experience.

  22. All good and well, but I have SEVERE food allergies (soy, dairy, gluten, lime, mint and grapes, just to name a few), especially dairy, which causes anaphylaxis if I ingest it, so I don’t need to be scared off from the few other choices I have left. I do not choose alternatives on some PC, bandwagon or trendy whim. I, like MANY others with food allergies, NEED alternatives.

  23. Hi, I was just wondering what you thought about carob kibble? Its pods broken into snack sized bites…Would that be processed the same way as locust bean? I have the powder too..
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  24. i’m vegan, so i drink plant based milks. but i make my own from whole nuts and seeds. anything from hazelnut, walnuts, to hemp seeds. it’s easy and i know i’m not getting any of the additives that pop up in commercial foods.

  25. I purchased raw milk from a local farm for 3 years. My 3 older kids developed IBS, asthma, and cyclic vomiting while on it, the baby just flat refused to drink it. While I would much prefer to use a ‘natural product’, they just can’t tolerate dairy at all. (No cheese or yogurt either)
    I use coconut milk for creamy stuff, but they prefer almond milk for everyday use. Kroger’s Simple Truth brand does not contain carrageenan and they insist it is most like ‘real milk’ texture and taste.

    • I agree, but I only recommend the Trader Joe’s light coconut milk because it doesn’t contain gums and additives, while the Trader Joe’s regular coconut milk does (much to my disappointment!). If you are not bothered by guar gum, then their regular coconut milk will be an option for you.

  26. I agree w Sam. Are you aware of the amount of pollution a single cow produces in a year? More than a single automobile.

    In this day and age, when there are unlimited sources of organic plant based foods packed full of protein year round, there is NO reason to turn to slaughtering defenseless animals, especially in the name of soft skin.

    Do you have a recipe that is vegan friendly? The thought of putting rendered animal fat on my skin is just beyond my comprehension.

    After these grass-fed cows are no longer able to produce milk, what happens to them?They are slaughtered, usually w a nail gun type of device to the head.

    Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

  27. I enjoyed your article and I appreciate the scientific touch in your articles. In the article you mentioned that carrageenan should be avoided and that it is a seaweed-based additive. Does this mean that seaweed is unhealthy or only the additive is unhealthy?

  28. Wow, I had no idea some brands have all those extra ingredients. Mine has two: water, soy beans. And just FYI (for your readers), the jury is still very much out on soy; take a look at (a good overview that links to opposing research). I only put about a tablespoon in my tea each morning, so it’s not a big deal to me one way or the other, but I’ve come to see that anyone who thinks that soy is 100% good or 100% bad probably needs to do a bit more reading.

    • I’ve done my research and, as many others who have done even more research than me, I have come to the conclusion that soy is pretty much bad news unless it is traditionally fermented in small amounts such as natto.

  29. I have read on other blogs like yours that often say if you are lactose intolerant then you will tolerate raw dairy just fine! Some even claim that lactose intolerance is a myth. I urge anyone out there who is lactose intolerant to go very very easy on raw dairy because after reading posts like this I thought I would give it a shot and I ended up with a stomach ache I havent had the likes of in years since going dairy free.

  30. Thanks for the info. I have been a vegetarian for 35 of my 51 years. I am allergic to wheat , and have had the tests ( and life experience) to know I am lactose intolerant. I do not have enough money to buy almonds to make my own milk or to buy “real” milk, unpasteurized. I gave up processed foods back when doing so was definitely NOT cool. Still, ever so often I have a bowl of homemade granola etc.. and need something one it besides homemade yogurt ( I can tolerate homemade plain yogurt if I take enzymes with it.) When I do want some granola, I use SOLK pure almond unsweetened… if has natural flavors, but no carreg. etc.. I have 4 genetic conditions and a host f things that come off of those things. I can, freeze, dry, pickle my homegrown fruits and veggies, work hard on our 5 acres of land and homeschool 4 children, and work 3 jobs from the home. While it would be nice to be able to make my own almond milk ( I do make tofu, tempeh and about everything else)… I cannot , as I said afford the almonds. so, sometimes we do what we can and that’s it : ) just saying.. not everyone can afford some of the things we would like to do . Thanks again for sharing..

    • Yes, that is true. Natural Value and Trader’s Joes coconut milk (that I discuss in the post) are BPA-free. But that doesn’t mean they are entirely safe, so I think it is best to strictly limit even BPA-free canned goods.

  31. Oh for God’s sake. I alter my habits to try to do the best thing for my health, one of which is don’t ingest pasteurized cow’s milk with “acceptable” levels of pus and antibiotics and switch to plain almond milk. Then everyone has to find fault with that. I guess I should just give up eating altogether.

  32. Managing celiac disease and 25 food allergies, the one processed thing I buy is alternate milks. I’ve made nut and seed milks (and rice milk) in the past, but now with making everything from toothpaste to nut butter to baking powder to powdered sugar to food colorings to household and body care products, I have to choose my battles and rely on as much convenience as possible (which is so extremely little!). We currently use almond, coconut, rice, and Tempt Hemp Milk (which is the only milk my super allergic daughter can drink). I’m so glad you pointed out that soy is NOT the “healthfood” it was touted to be!

    • And vegetables are designed to be eaten raw and not cooked. Birds are designed to fly, not humans. Cows milk was not designed for cats. Bacteria was not designed to be used in vaccines. Space was designed for asteroids and planets, not humans.

      Welcome to the present.

      • well.. many vegetables are designed to be eaten raw – at least part of the time. The rest only release their anti-nutrient factors after special preparation (soaking, sprouting, steaming etc). Take goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables which impact the thyroid, or enzyme-inhibitors in almonds.

  33. Sorry Lauren but you couldn’t be more wrong about cows milk. Cassia is absolutely right. A little more research needs to be done on your part honey, our digestive system is not made to digest cows milk no matter what form it is in.

    • Kelly, I think there are a few factors at play here. Such as the ‘genetics’/microbiome of a person. ie. the amount of lactose-eating bacteria in the gut which can also be influenced by the amount and quality of probiotics one consumes. For many native people, raw milk has been life giving and their bodies are very receptive to it. The type of protein in the milk is also a factor.

  34. I grew up on a dairy farm..our milk came fresh and cold out of the tank every day. We lived on and lived for that stuff. Im 35 yrs old and have the strongest bones. I drink skim milk nowadays…..but will NEVER go to the processed “soy,almond” or any other “fake” milks.

    Great article!!

  35. Curious what your opinion to this is…….If the only milk in your budget is currently a processed jug milk in gallon size at your local store…….then would Silk Almond Milk still be a better option (iyo)? It’s unfortunately our only option at the present (hope to change it soon though!). I just don’t have time currently to make my own almond milk but will once we are firmly settled again.

  36. I’m lactose intolerant… grew out of it, I guess, but some dairy products still give me mild problems. A friend’s husband is a dairy farmer (Ontarian— we have strict laws about antibiotic use and somatic cell counts up here so it’s not like the issues you have in the States). This dairy farmer grew up drinking his own milk, as most dairy farmer kids do.

    He is severely— and I mean SEVERELY— lactose intolerant. He can drink lactose-free milk but that’s about it… normal dairy, cheese or dairy products even in small amounts will immediately send him into severe cramping for hours. Bit ironic…

  37. Thank you for this article, but as much as I want to switch, I cannot. I am allergic to the dairy protein, so as much as you promote raw milk, it’s not always an option for some of us. Also, raw milk is illegal in Canada, unless you own the cow. Living in an urban area, I can’t even own chickens to control what I get in my eggs, so owning a cow is not even an option. I’ll still have to purchase unsweetened almond milk, but I’ve already started to make my own a few times, when I have the time and money to purchase raw almonds! It’s not always financially an option, as well!!

  38. I’d love to see the list of drinks in the ‘least bad’ order. Because its easy to say no to everything but sometimes a continuum of bad – least bad is helpful for people who can’t make perfect choices all the time.
    Personally, I keep the pantry stocked with almond milk for special occasions. I look for carageenan free, low sweetner, organic and more (great guide above!). I choose almond for the higher protein amount.

  39. What about people who have Crohns disease? I get violently sick if I drink milk so never drink it and haven’t for years. The only options I have is the non-milk or milk alternative. Any advice?

  40. Alas, the great state of Florida has made it illegal to sell or actually consume raw milk. If someone does drink raw milk here, it is (no joke) an outright act of civil disobedience. Insane, but there it is.

  41. Why do so many people think they have to drink any type of milk product. If you have milk allergies, then don’t drink milk. If you don’t like what’s in the milk substitutes, then don’t drink those either. Drink water, fresh fruit or vegetable juices, organic teas, etc. Milk or milk substitutes are not a mandatory part of our diet. Simple.

  42. I love your blog/website! Thanks so much for all of your hard work and research. I am a vegan but I love tweaking your ideas and recipes as needed. It is so hard to find good quality information and recipes that actually taste good.

    First of all I am lactose intolerant and have been sick for years without knowing the cause. My parents never made the connection. In addition, my family also has a history of crazy allergies, so I decided to go all natural and cruelty-free. The change has been amazing and drastic. I have never felt better in my life. Concerning milk-alternatives, is making your own nut/seed milk economical? I drink maybe 2 gallons of coconut milk a week, if not more.

    Thanks Again!

  43. Your website is full of wonderful and creative ideas. However, allergies – the one’s that cause anaphylactic responses which can and do lead to death, digestive issues- vomiting, digestive inflammation, diarrhea, intense pain, etc. are not something one can ignore and just “try” something else. They are a medical condition, not a lifestyle choice. If one is allergic (ANA or digestive such as eosinophilic esophagitis) to dairy, and all its derivatives, there is no way one could consider goats milk, or raw milk. Carageenan and Guar gum and the like are not ideal, but what is a truly allergic person – not just someone who doesn’t want any chemical in her body – a wonderful goal – to do! Truly? I ask this question quite sincerely. My son has Eosinophilic Esophagitis. The protein in dairy, in any form, causes damage to his esophagus and, of course, various forms of pain and occasional vomiting. Please, please don’t suggest to allergic people to try dairy in its most raw form. It is irresponsible. Allergies are a medical condition, not a lifestyle choice. Thank you.

    • I agree with you Laurie and a few others here that the author really doesn’t know enough about allergies to dairy. I don’t think it is cool to put down all the milks & oils derived from plants, especially Hemp milk. That is one of the only milk replacements that my own 8 year old son can handle. We recently found out that he is allergic to so many things – besides dairy he is allergic to corn, soy and nuts, so even though he liked it, no more almond milk. ; ^ ( This was such a big issue for him to find all this out and try to deal with no more of some of his favorite foods! He got depressed on the hour drive home from the allergist when he was thinking about Mac -N-cheese, ice cream, pizza, and grilled cheese & not tasting them anymore. He is also slightly allergic to coconut – (On a 1 to 3 scale, he had a “1” reaction to coconut, banana, cucumber, and tomato). His allergist said we can try re-introducing some of the foods he had an antigen blood reaction to, but for right now while we are trying to get him healed up from some terrible eczema, we shouldn’t push it. We were told by the Doc (whom is allergic to dairy himself) that he may be able to tolerate goats milk or cheese. Our own Doctor can have some of these occasionally without any problem. Today I am happy to report that he can have goats cheese – he had it on pizza made without gluten/ wheat and can take a bit of tomato sauce as well! He was so happy today when we had dinner. The crust was a potato & tapioca flour mix that I bought from our local health food store. Lol – I forgot to mention his allergy to wheat! Anyway, our son is starting on imunotherapy treatment for his inhaled allergens (Dust, mold, cat & dog dander & POLLENS) and we were told that his food allergies may improve over time with the treatment. I think this is because there is a kind of cross-over from pollens and the food families that he is allergic to. An example would be his Corn allergy —> Corn is really in the Grass family so, Grass pollen = corn grain/grass. Another example is his pine nut allergy in correlation to his pine tree POLLEN allergy. We are all very allergic to the White pine trees in our back yard in the springtime when they start to spew forth the yellow powder.
      —- Any who, I just wish the author knew what it is like to have to avoid so many good foods. It stinks! making school lunches is a bit hard, providing enough Variety is the hard part, but I am learning.

  44. What Sparky said on August 1 is certainly true! ” Note that humans are the only species where ADULTS drink the pressings from the teets of other animals. Does not occur anywhere else in nature. Perhaps that should be a clue!” This is a fact that we all should remember.

  45. Carrageenan is in a lot of things. For instance most cottage cheese, Heavy cream, half and half, ice cream yogurt and so on. Its in a lot of dairy products, so watch out for that also.

  46. Water has hydrogen atoms in it, did you know that hydrogen is flammable and oxygen is poisonous to our lungs (pure oxygen will cause pulmonary fibrosis after about 2 hours, I’m not making this shit up) not to mention free radical damage to our cells. We should stop drinking it and breathing it, it’s dangerous as hell. Truth is, unless the compounds are outright poisons, or we have an allergy to something, most things in moderation aren’t that bad. We are after all, apes that evolved from eating whatever the hell we could find around us, we are quite an adaptable species.

  47. I wholeheartedly agree that raw milk is the best option BUT I am allergic to casein… and it causes my arms to break out… and I am a little bit too vain I guess to just live with it. So I usually avoid all milk products because they all have casein. Do you think people with casein allergies are better off just making their own nut milk or is drinking raw milk worth a shot (despite the fact it has casein as well)?

  48. 1. I’ve avoided cow milk lately, due to hormone and antibiotics involved in dairy industry. Not only the milk, but also cheese and cow milk based butter. It certainly boosts the growth of cancer cells in our body. That’s why I take ORGANIC soy milk in a proper daily serving therefore I don’t think I face all these “severe look” problem you wrote as listed below. Beside, I believe ORGANIC soy can combat cancer cells as well.
    Soy contains high amounts of phytoestrogens which may cause estrogen dominance
    Soy impairs thyroid function which lowers metabolism
    Soy contains substances that interfere with protein digestion
    Soy is super high in mineral-blocking phytic acid

    2. Most (if I can not say a hundred percent) soy planted in US is GMO (eeewww!!) and you can ask Monsanto for that. My choice of soy milk is pure powdered ORGANIC that planted in the best soil on earth for growing soy, which is in Heilongjiang province in China, near Russian border.

    3. Your suggestion on coconut milk is quite interesting, as we have plenty of coconut here in Indonesia (in fact I don’t think we have that unsweetened coconut flakes in our supermarket, LoL). My question is, can we drink that coconut milk directly after blended and strained? Because I believe we never do that, as we used to take this coconut milk as one of cooking ingredients so much that we never think we can drink it as is.

    Thanks so much for the articles and reply 🙂

  49. The majority of these comments talk about allergies, etc. Why do you think you’re allergic to something? It’s because your body has NO idea what to do with it, which means you aren’t supposed to be eating/drinking it. Come on people…

    It doesn’t matter how “healthy” someone tells you dairy milk is, and how “bad” non-dairy milks are… but here are the facts:

    1. Dairy milk is meant for THAT species, period.
    2. The dairy industry is considered more inhumane than the meat industry. Cows are kept in stalls barely their size, with machines pumping 24/7, milking them every second. Those machines create infections in their utters… and guess where that puss goes. Yea. Into your milk. I won’t say nothing else about their treatment; search for yourself.
    3. Casein makes up about 80% of the proteins in dairy milk, compared to less than half that in human milk. It’s used in paint, glue, plastics, etc.

    If you cared this much about eating healthy, then you should also care about the source of the thing you’re eating. Yes, carrageenan isn’t all that great, but there are great non-dairy milks that don’t have it. Truth be told, as much as it matters what non-dairy milks have in them, none of them are the product of extensive torture and cruelty to animals.

    • Ugh, please read my Raw Milk article where I address that silly idea that milk is “meant” for its own species. Also, consumers like me who are advocates of humane animal treatment buy our milk from humanely treated animals. And the research of Dr. Ray Peat, a nutrition pioneer, shows that casein is actually better digested than the whey part of milk/cheese. The problem is not the casein but the pasteurization combined with our improper, processed diets which make our guts permeable and inflamed.

  50. “As a matter of fact, carrageenan is so caustic to the digestive tract that researchers use it to induce colitis in lab animals!”
    … How much carrageenan did it take to become caustic?
    If you give an animal too much WATER it will die, too. Should we avoid water?

    “The World Health Organization classifies one type of carrageenan as a “possible human carcinogen” (1). ”
    …Yes. One type of.
    And “possible” not “definite.”
    Is that the type of carageenan that’s even in this non-animal-milk?

    “Lesson? Just because a carton of Almond Milk claims the titles “organic” and “heart healthy” does not mean it should be a part of your diet.”
    … Lesson?
    Just because someone wrote it on a blog with insufficient use of “data” to make their claims doesn’t mean Almond Milk or Rice Milk or Soy Milk is gonna erode your guts and give you cancer.

  51. Unfortunately not everyone can afford raw milk, nor does everyone have time to make their own nut milks, or can afford one of those great blenders that can make the process easier and faster. I don’t disagree with you, but sadly it isn’t quite in step with reality of a lot of people. I do want to get a hold of those coconut milks you linked and try those in my daily smoothies though (the only time I consume anything “milky”) since they aren’t expensive and are healthier.

  52. I love reading your posts and I have learned so much. I have to admit I literally laugh out loud every time I read “organic canola oil” as an ingredient since there is no such thing. I am a huge fan of coconut milk and buy the Trader Joes light in the can. I used to buy the cartons until I read an article about carageenan. Some day when I have the time I will try to make it myself. Thank you for all you do! You ARE making a positive impact in this world. Keep up the great work!!

  53. After reading the ingredients on store-bought almond milk, I decided to make my own. This version is as simple as it gets: 3 T. organic raw almond butter, 3 T. honey, 1 t. vanilla, a pinch of salt, and 3 c. water. Blend well. Very tasty and no wasted almond meal. I love it in chai tea. Best for me right now rather than animal milk.

  54. You should never rely on sources like Wikipedia!!! Wikipedia is open to outside editing, meaning that anybody and everybody may go in and edit a page, thus not a reliable souce of information.

  55. The problem with dairy is that 1) It also causes inflammation in a majority of people starting from the mouth, and all the way through the digestive system. For example, with in minutes of eating dairy I get a nasty, gooey (mucosy?) cough that lasts hours.
    2) If you have issues with acne, STAY THE HECK AWAY FROM DAIRY! It’s one of the major causes of acne in anyone who gets acne. In other words, unless you have gorgeous skin and only get a few zits a year, not eating dairy will make your skin clearer.
    I agree that coconut milk is probably the best out there. Though I had never heard about carrageenan before, and will immediately look into it! yikes!

  56. Hi! I find your blog very interesting. I always learn something new from you.

    Anyways, I have a question about milk. I can’t take milk due to religion, so raw milk is not an option for me. I currently make my own soy milk and buy oat milk. Apart from coconut milk, which milk do you think is the best? Thanks!

  57. Have you read that milk actually depletes calcium from our bones? Man. The dairy world has a seriously good marketing team:
    “Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.”
    -Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

  58. I am a college student in the nutrition and dietetics program, and have been lacto-vegetarian for a couple of years now. I am commenting on two matters that I have stumbled upon while reading this article and its comments:
    1) The “complications” of soy
    2) The discussion between Cassandra and Lindsey about farm animals.

    1) All research that has been conducted up to date (research from has inconclusive evidence that soy products affect the oestrogenic levels in such ways as to effect and complicate human health. No matter the research, none has any concrete evidence that soy causes such problems because there are too many interfering factors.
    2) Cassandra, I realize that many farms do not abuse their animals, artificially inseminate their cows, or take a mothers calve when it is born. However, many farms do abuse their animals and partake in horrific activities like those as previously mentioned. The one farm you live in may not, but others certainly do. Where I live, there is not a farm – that I am aware of – anywhere around that does not artificially inseminate. In addition, big companies (PET, Horizon, etc.) are victims to these acts, and so are many small farms, unfortunately. Lindsey was just trying to convey to the author that there are reasons to not purchase some farms cow’s milk.

    In conclusion, this is a good article, and you’re correct on most things you pointed out. However, some things are not proven, and make sure you realize this before displaying it for all to read. Nevertheless, always use and consume products IN MODERATION. Everything is bad for you, in its own excessive amount, specific to that product. A little soy milk will not wreak havoc on your estrogen compounds and screw your system up. Remember, there are pros and cons to every food, and we must realize this and make healthy, as well as ethical decisions. Thank you for the article!

  59. I’m late to the discussion BUT I’m curious what people do as a milk substitute for children who are dairy-free? We are a dairy-free family, namely because of allergy/intolerance, but also because we feel dairy can be inflammatory and we just don’t believe we should be consuming another animals milk every day – especially our children. Instead, I make a blend of rice milk and coconut milk and add additional coconut oil, but I blend from the Rice Dream Enriched and So Delicious Coconut Milk BECAUSE of the added vitamins and minerals so that my kids can have one other avenue for absorbing. It was recommended by our nutritionist – who also said that the Carrageenan is in such a small amount and not to worry. I trust in her, but also felt like this was my only option. So, just curious if there’s anyone out there that has found another, more natural dairy-free milk option or way for their kids to get Calcium. Or any thoughts at all. Thanks!

  60. I like your post and I am sure I will avoid all these ingredients that I didn’t know it was bad for you, however I don’t really understand why soy is on this list. I have heard a lot about the bad soy, but can’t really understand since I have eaten a lot of soy all my life and so my entire family, since we are from Japan. The Japanese diet is so high in soy and they have the lowest cancer and highest in life expectancy. I just don’t get it.

  61. Hi, first let me start by saying your a wealth of info an so helpful. I also have UC and am currently trying to curtail my diet, because. once again, conventional meds fail me. I’ve come to realize I can’t tolerate almonds/almond flour right now and read your posts that explain why, but I am wondering does almond milk actually contain enough of the inflammatory ingredients as almonds because it is strained and doesn’t actually contain almonds? So my question is, if I can’t tolerate almond flour, what about almond milk, could that be damaging as well? Also, I only buy the almond milk with out carrageenan, sugar etc. Thanks!!!

    • Hey Heather- I cut out all dairy (I was 18 months into post-pill acne and literally at my wits end- ready to try anything) and low and behold- the acne vanished. I drink a variety of non-dairy milks in small amounts now; i’m not sold on the soy-is-the-devil argument. I also kept using benzac (benzoyl peroxide treatment) on my face and persisted with it (it didn’t work straight away) and i’ve not had a pimple in months. If you could have seen my chin and neck before you would understand that’s a huge deal. So i’m not sure if it was a combination of my hormones settling themselves out, no dairy or persistance with the benzac treatment- but it only took about 2 months from not drinking any milk etc for my skin to clear up. I’m certain that was at least inflaming the acne (I understand that the ‘hormones’ in cows milk make your skin go into overdrive, causing excess oil and coupled with the p.acnes bacteria you’re in for a miserable and painful time). Anyway don’t know if any of that will work for you but I know how desperate I was before it went away and how awfully miserable having adult acne is. Good luck!

  62. Dr. Mark Hyman recently wrote a blog called Got Proof? The Lack of Evidence for Milk’s Benefits, which was based on a research article by Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Walter Willett from Harvard, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study by Ludwig and Willett showed a lack of evidence for the government’s recommendations. The Harvard scientists found no data to support the claim that the consumption of dairy leads to better bones, weight loss, or improved health. They also found some serious risks tied to dairy consumption, including weight gain, increased cancer risk, and increased fracture risk. It turns out milk does not build strong bones! They also found that dairy may cause other problems like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, gas, diarrhea, allergies, eczema, and acne.

    So, is milk nature’s perfect food? Yes. If you’re a calf.

    While it is true that some people can tolerate dairy in small amounts—for example, descendants from Northern Europe and people who don’t have allergies, lactose intolerance, or a leaky gut—it should not be a staple of our diet. We should not be putting it on or in everything.

    Dairy contains some very allergenic proteins, such as casein, which can be problematic for many people. And to make matters worse, the casein that’s in our modern dairy—sourced from modern, hybridized cows—has been genetically altered, creating a much higher likelihood of inflammation, autoimmune disease, and even type 1 diabetes. With this in mind, I strongly recommend that you limit the amount of cow-sourced dairy that you consume.

    If you want to eat dairy, I suggest you try goat and sheep dairy, such as sheep cheese and yogurt or goat cheese and yogurt, both of which are widely available now. It is also important to choose organic when you can, because pesticides and chemicals are concentrated in the fat found in non-organic dairy.

    This leads to another frequent question I receive: “Is organic dairy OK?” Organic cows are often milked while pregnant, producing milk that’s full of hormones. In fact, the average glass of milk has 60 different hormones in it. These are anabolic hormones, which means they help you to grow. But not all growth is good. You don’t want to grow cancer cells. You don’t want to grow big bellies. You don’t want to grow in ways that actually may be harmful.

  63. umm what about people who cant have dairy? i love dairy like no other! but now it seems to not agree with me to where i cant even drink milk, so i have to turn to non-dairy milk because of the fact i miss having a bowl of cereal from time to time…i disagree with alot in the post being that for one soy is very good for you and coconut milk is as well…now days it really doesnt even matter what you buy from the store, even so called “organic” foods still have things in them people arent aware of that arent good for matter how hard you try to so called “eat right” there is always gunna be something in the food we buy from the store that isnt good for you, unless you grow it yourself…people need to just make good eating habits and just live life, you only live once why waste it on reading every single little thing on back of a box…

    • Label reading is NOT a waste of time, some people have conditions that force them to avoid certain foods because it would endanger their health , while others have food allergies and how many of us are overweight nowadays. It’s true that organic is not a guarantee of necessarily good for us but that’s precisely why consumers need to read labels and be aware. There needs to be more education about label reading. In an ideal world we would grow and make all of our own foods but we have become so dependent on commercialization that’s unlikely to happen.

  64. I just made this tonight and it is by far the best milk of any sort I have ever tasted. This was my first time making my own. Before I bought organic coconut or Almond milk. I was oblivious to the harmful contents in them until I started reading your posts and blogs. So today was my first grocery shopping day of only Paleo foods. I’ve been busy in the kitchen for 10 hours and I’m excited. Thank you 🙂

  65. Do you know the nutritional break down of homemade coconut milk? I would like to give this to my dairy free/soy free 1 year old and want to know what other nutrients I would need to cover as compared to cows milk. Protein, calcium, etc.

  66. wow then im really out of luck then im unable to drink milk it has hormones and my acne flares up I cant drink coconut milk i have an intolerance to it i get really bloated no fun cant drink almond milk again my acne flares up soy i know is just bad for you as well as the taste is just nasty alone as well as with anything else so my only 3 options are rice or flax milk have not tried them yet but if their any good im stuck using them or the 3rd just do calcium vitamins and say goodbye to a lot of food =( anyone ever tried rice milk or flax milk if so are they ok and how would you describe their taste

    • Just to let everyone know i have tried rice milk its not to bad i don’t mind it i picked up enriched vanilla rice milk that i use in my coffee, the color of my coffee is still dark but the taste is pretty good. Also i picked up the chocolate of rice milk and its a nice treat.
      So if your looking for a coffee milk/creamer replacement and you cant drink milk lactose or hormone whatever the case may be or your going vegetarian, pick up some rice milk you can find it in the healthy section of your groceries store, I found it at the Zehrs Markets store in my town but you can probably find it at a sobeys or independent it comes in both cold with the milks and cremers as well as worm on the shelf. In original, Vanilla, and chocolate hope my comment helps the people looking for a milk alternative

      peace out

  67. I’ve recently been trying to go dairy free as I’ve had congestion, swollen eyes, etc. for months and months with nothing helping. I’ve ran into one hurdle, I LOVE MILK and always have so I have to have some sort of alternative. Here is the bigger problem – I don’t like almonds and have tried all the almond milks to no success. The coconut milk is just weird and hard to come by where I live. Soy milk isn’t as bad (if i buy flavor) but I’ve heard it’s not always the best alternative if you’re dealing with milk allergies as they often run hand and hand. Rice milk I like but it doesn’t contain much at all for nutrients. Any suggestions?

  68. So, I have the very same symptoms if I drink cow milk or soy or almond or any dairy free milk.: Diarrhea, bloating, terrible pain for at least a week. I wonder what they have in common because obviously is not the lactose. I also feel bad when I eat bred, however when I go to Europe I can eat any bread I want and have no issues, or at least so I think.

  69. It astonishes me that people who are looking for a milk substitute are content to settle for something that is white, approximates the consistency of milk, and has the name “milk” attached to it. Nutritionally, soy, almond, rice, coconut, etc, are NOWHERE NEAR comparable.

    It outright concerns me that many people are giving this to children, with the belief that they are providing nutritionally equivalent nourishment to milk. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

    If someone chooses to use it as a highly processed beverage, I can see it as a viable choice – instead of, say, soda, or Yoohoo, or Koolaid, or at best, Fruit Juice Cocktail.

    But it is NOT a nutritional substitute for milk.

  70. I quickly skimmed through this, so maybe I missed the section where you offer people who are lactose intolerant good options….you have literally slammed every non dairy option for people with dairy intolerance….some people don’t have the time or the money to go out and buy 200 lbs of almonds to make friggen milk…this is ridiculous….I bet the almonds you buy for your milk have been tainted by pesticides and herbicides, or the crap in the store that says it’s organic probably isn’t ..there is literally no way around it, in today’s world you cannot avoid it. Literally everything is bad for you…the only way your going to “eat healthy” is by owning your own farm…and even then the poisons from other gmo farms are probably leaching into your soil….so my opinion…eat it, if it doesn’t agree with you…don’t eat it. Stop worrying about things that May or may not happen 10-20 years from now…just enjoy life

  71. I make my own nut milk, & it’s much healthier than cow’s milk, which is for baby cows, not humans. Cow’s milk actually leeches calcium from human bones. Many vegetables contain substantial amounts of calcium, & that calcium is utilized more efficiently by our bodies than cow’s milk, meant for a calf.

  72. All sounds very good & theoretical, and when you take out the moral consideration of the cruelty & exploitation of other species & humans are the only species to consume milk after being weaned, it makes you consider how cultural & social conditioning has a massive effect on how we view as acceptable what is a most foul & objectionable practice.

    Personally I would sooner drink hemlock as exploit a vulnerable species & dismiss my ethical commitment.

  73. I would still choose non-dairy milks over cow’s milk, Mainly because ingesting pregnant cow hormones alongside other chemical substances (such as antibiotics, growth hormone etc.) causes stress within the body and is specifically designed to meet the needs of calves. I do agree that non-dairy milks do contain additives as well but I get around this by making my own almond milk from scratch. Making non-dairy milk is so easy, everyone could and should do it.

  74. The author needs to revisit and research items 1.Carrageenan and 5. Vitamin D2. before frowning on nut milks in favor of raw milk and coconut milk.

    5. Vitamin D2 is plant based not synthetic, albeit, slower to absorb and convert to Vitamin D3 in the body. Try for Vitamin D5, it maybe synthetic. Not an RD or scientist, yet have done enough research to know.

    1. Carrageenan- is a plant based substance and if as the article mentions is “extremely inflammatory and should be fastidiously avoided” is no worse than this articles contradictory title of non-dairy milks and later mentioning making your own coconut milk. Isn’t coconut milk non-dairy? Drinking raw milk as the article mentions could have the same caustic effect to someone who is lactose intolerant. So if carrageenan and raw milk are ” ” natural and plant based, shows that non-synthetic substances can still be bad for you.

    Although coconut milk might be an alternative, it doesn’t appear to have superior nutritional value v. commercially produced nut milks. That’s easy to find out by comparing labels and doing research.

    A good part of the population has been brought up to drink regular cows milk when more and more studies show that it’s not. As people get older they are more susceptible to developing lactose intolerance.

  75. There seem to be quite a few people who can’t accept that people drink raw dairy here . And they question the nutritional advice based on research that Lauren has posted here . Please respect those like me who have IBS and other conditions that cannot tolerate ingesting a lot of vegetables and get nutrients from meat sources – liver , bone broth , etc . What do we do if cannot tolerate vegetables and fruits – we depend on meat sources and hopefully these sources are from grass fed beef or pastured chickens or pastured pork . Did you know people who had mental conditions had compromised guts and their symptoms got better after a year or so of just relying on nourishing bone broth . just look up GAPS diet and that person who founded that diet . And conventional doctors and conventional nutrition therapists of course would not understand the training and knowledge that Lauren acquired – they would think Weston Price diet principles are outright ludicrous because they don’t receive that information in their colleges . So please , I did my research and I know what works for me as far as my health goes under the care of a holistic doctor (has an MD ) . My holistic doctor would agree with what Lauren says because she received training on holistic nutrition (including Weston Price principles ) that conventional doctors never receive in their colleges . So please , please respect those who ingest meat and drink milk from animals .

  76. I’m vegan and I rarely eat soy, there are plenty or other things I eat and I don’t consider it as a base for my diet.. Also, you should look first what it’s inside a glass of milk. Bacteria, pus and a lot of hormones. You worry about phytoestrogens but you drink something that is supposed to double the size of a calf in six months. If you want more information I would gladly send you some. And you should know that countries with the highest consumption of milk and dairy products have the highest levels of ostheoporosis too, especially in the U.S.

  77. “I believe nutrients are always better absorbed in the whole-food form.”
    – Lauren, July 19th, 2013

    “I have had great success with [a vitamin u supplement] and I highly recommend it.”
    – Lauren, May 22nd, 2013

    The “vitamin u supplement” has vitamin A as natural mixed carotenoids and palmitate, gamma oryzanol from rice, chlorophyllins from mulberry leaf, vitamin U complex as DL-methionine methylsdulfonium chloride, superoxide dismutase, catalase, cellulose, modified cellulose gum, silica and magnesium stearate..

    • The place for careful supplementation is a vast and important discussion, and one which to which I haven’t dedicated a comprehensive post yet. I will soon! It’s vital to consider diet vs. nutrition. Diet is what we eat, while nutrition is what we absorb. If we eat a perfect diet, we can have poor nutrition because our body is not balanced enough to absorb vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. So that is where bio-individualized supplementation comes in, as a measure to help the body absorb specific nutrients during a healing period.

      • OMG I think these lactose free milk products have made me constipated.. BIG TIME Ever since I made the change to the no sugar no dairy milks Ive become so clogged up Nothing helps.. Im at my wits end.. Then I noticed on thr ingrediants they all add some sort of extra calcium carbonate which I bet is the culprit. Ive always had problems with calcium supplements of any kind.. I NEVER got constipated fom cows whole life… I cant believe I waited so long to figure out this possibility Im going back to regular cows milk.. or other calcium options but none of the extra calcium carbonate or phosphorous crap.. IS THIS POSSIBLE?? please email me if any one has ever heard of this Thanks

  78. Kind of bummed out now. My son has severe cow milk protein allergy so NO milk at all. He uses Pepti Junior and not soy formula because the proteins are the same size. I have been giving him bio+ soy milk with his cereal and cups of it some days. I feel reaĺly bad after reading this.
    I was looking into homemade cashew/almond milk but is this a good idea? He gets diarrhea deom coconut oil/milk.
    Any suggestions?

  79. Hi Lauren: I just came across your blog. Thank you for re-emphasizing why it is not good to buy store brand nut milks. Have been making nut milks for years but my problem is that they are not thick enough and I am still hungry. Don’t want to make it thick and nut heavy, then it is difficult to digest. I want to thicken it and just purchased guar gum from Whole Foods. Was going to to give it a try. Any other suggestions as to the best way to thicken naturally?

  80. OMG I think these lactose free milk products have made me constipated.. BIG TIME Ever since I made the change to the no sugar no dairy milks Ive become so clogged up Nothing helps.. Im at my wits end.. Then I noticed on thr ingrediants they all add some sort of extra calcium carbonate which I bet is the culprit. Ive always had problems with calcium supplements of any kind.. I NEVER got constipated fom cows whole life… I cant believe I waited so long to figure out this possibility Im going back to regular cows milk.. or other calcium options but none of the extra calcium carbonate or phosphorous crap.. IS THIS POSSIBLE?? please email me if any one has ever heard of this Thanks

  81. As I have chosen not to consume animal products I drink organic oat milk (Oatly) as it only contains water oats and sea salt so I assume that this is a natural product. I love it and it can be used in cooking and added to hot drinks as well as enjoye as a drink on it’s own.

  82. I agree, those substances are not good that are added although there are milk alternatives that doesn’t contain any of these things like Oatly AND you can make nutmilks yourself , first by soaking to remove the enzyme inhibitors and also it’s even better to sprout the nuts and seeds. I don’t like the cows milk because- dairy (milk) is high in Phosphorus and also requires stomach acid to digest it and the type of calcium in dairy milk is called calcium lactate which is rendered almost unless in acid. It actually makes the body fall into acidosis which will then clean the very calcium from your bones to buffer the blood. So its actually anti bone health. Milk contains somatic cells aka pus (135 million cells per glass of milk ((( filtered ))) , milk that is not filtered has over a million somatic cells per glass of milk . Milk is high in Casein that has been linked with cancer , especially prostate cancer and breast cancer. Milk contains bovine growth hormone that is linked to cancer and cancer growth , milk contains IGF growth factor that is linked to cancer . Milk contains fecies , cholesterol ( that is linked to heart disease ) , it contains antibiotics , 16 g of fat per glass of milk , 300 kcal ,51 ml of cholesterol . Milk is super antihealth drink for humans.
    Check out , DR. Michael Greger, Dr Neal Barnard, Dr. T Colin Campbell and Dr Walter veith. There are of course other good doctors who talk about the issue with animal based protein , human physiology and human health . Also the data proves that contries where dairy consumption is the highest , also have the highest rates and risks for bone fracture , osteoporosis , cancer , heart disease , type II diabetes and obesity

  83. Hello! I am allergic to almond and also nuts (all kinds) and coconut as well (I am aware that it is not a nut).
    And I’ve been staying away from soy because it gives me hideous outbreaks, and i’m gluten and lactose intolerant.
    And I’m having a dumb idea of going vegan
    What are my options?
    Thank you… I hope there is something XD

  84. So much poor information here. Let me guess. Your a registered dietician and you had all your classes paid for by major food companies like Coca-Cola. So frustrating to see people put out such a ridiculous fax with no evidence to back them up. Telling people that drink dairy and how healthy it is… I think you need to spend a lot of time educating yourself before you start speaking on the internet again
    Anyone who thinks I’m making it up look into registered dietitians, the courses that they take our sponsored by all the major food companies. These companies also perform the FDA testing that creates the regulations. There is no FDA lab that test everything, they rely on the companies to create fact sheets and provide relevant nutritional information. Whoever more often than not that information is severely misrepresented. For example the salt industry made a huge backlash when we tried to regulate the amount of salt but should be in the average persons diet, now what we consider the daily acceptable limit is over 10 times what we should have in our diet to remain healthy. Registered dieticians are just spokesman for these companies

  85. I was with you right up until you said raw milk is the best option. As long as you don’t get sick, that’s probably true, but once you wind up in the hospital with E. coli or listeria, you might say differently. Pasteurization has saved countless lives. There is no way to guarantee that raw milk does not carry these dangerous bacteria, even when you trust your source and are incredibly careful. It can happen to you. It’s a high risk when you see the stakes firsthand.

  86. Research d-galactose, that is bad stuff in milk, causes osteoporosis, no matter how much calcium you get from it.
    Organic or not, milk is full of hormones for the calf.
    If grass-fed meat can be more or less humane, milk is never humane. Imagine mother being separated from the baby and imagine what the baby goes through as well.
    I wish I had known this stuff earlier. It’s full of hormones, especially estrogens. Natural, pastured, organic, unpasteurized, no difference.
    I quit milk and feel so much better, it was making my pre-diabetes symptoms so bad (messes up insulin!!!). You can research that link too.

    Good information on the non-dairy milks, though.

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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