By Lauren Denos: 4/12/2015 (Concerns)

Rice milk- Rice milk is considered the most hypoallergenic choices when it comes to a milk alternative. However, it is not the best alternative for someone with blood sugar problems since it is very high in carbs. Make sure you read the ingredients so you’re aware of what’s in it.

Hemp milk- Hemp milk is considered one of the creamiest options of the non-dairy milk alternatives. It has a good amount of omega fats and calcium. It separates when you mix it with coffee, so if you plan to use your dairy alternative as a coffee creamer, this is probably not the best choice. If what you are looking for is something to put on cereals and such then this may just do the trick.

Oat milk- Oat milk has a light taste of oatmeal. It is rich in phytochemicals, which help fights disease. It contains fiber and is low in fat. Many people with different intolerance claim to do well with this alternative. Make sure if you are gluten intolerant that it is gluten free. Also be careful of how much sugar or sweeteners are added to it.

Soy milk- Soy milk is close to the same amount of protein a normal milk. It is low in fat, and the types of fat it does have is an unsaturated fat. If you are a non-GMO proponent, then you will want to check on the status of the soy milk you are buying. Soy is another food that has had a ton of good and bad press. It is said to be a phytoestrogen, which can be both a benefit and an added risk for breast cancer depending on the person. Soybeans have one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume, which is a nutrient blocker. This is why fermented soy beans are considered so much healthier as it has lower levels of phytale. Yet, as we stated above, it also has a good amount of protein and is low in fat. If you love soy then just do it in moderation. I would suggest testing out other milk alternatives and see if you can enjoy any of them as much as soy milk.

Coconut milk- Coconut milk is the coconut liquid and some of the meat blended to a nice milk. Coconut has become the miracle food of late, but remains a controversy. Its high saturated fat content scares away many people. Although the fat is a medium chain triglyceride, it is more water soluble and easier for the body to transport for energy use. Our bodies use this fat quite well, like anything else there is such a thing as overdoing it. If you are going to do coconut milk, then making your own is the best bet to get something that tastes great. Plus, you can then control how thick you want it. Add more water for a less fatty milk. If you are someone who has a lot of different food allergies, then this could be a good alternative.

Nut milk- There are milks made from almost any nut now-a-days. The other nut milks do not seem to be as popular as almond, but if you want to test out some nut milks with a slightly different flavor then check out what your local health food store or grocer carries.

Understanding your allergy or intolerance can make a huge difference on your health and your life. If you suspect that you could have an issue with dairy but you are not sure then start keeping a food log. In your log chart document what you eat, what time, and how you feel afterward. By how you feel I mean both physically and mentally/emotionally. How you feel emotionally can be another great clue to allergies or sensitivities you have. Also make a note as to whether you are bloated or not, and keep track of the supplements you take.

Take a look at cravings, are you craving dairy all day long? Sometimes we can crave what we are allergic to. This is something I have seen with many people with dairy, grain, and sugar issues. They tend to crave it, until they are away from it for a while and have purged it from their system. This is not the case for everyone, but it is worth paying attention to.

If you are having cravings test out a calcium, magnesium supplement, it may take care of the craving of it is due to a deficiency in the body.

Remember to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you have dairy issues and ignore it, they could get worse. We all want to enjoy life, and if you are not feeling good often from dairy consumption, it is time to find a solution.

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