With greater awareness of the many health problems associated with pasteurized dairy products, many people are turning to vegetarian milk substitutes like soy milk and rice milk. I’m not a big fan of either. Here are some reasons why I don’t think soy or rice milk should be staples in your diet:
- Many brands of soy and rice milk contain polyunsaturated vegetable oils which can contribute to an imbalance of essential fatty acids in your body. As harmless as this might sound, I am convinced that a chronic imbalance of essential fatty acids caused by regular consumption of polyunsaturated vegetable oils is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. Polyunsaturated fats that contribute to this harmful imbalance are found in safflower, corn, soybean, sunflower, and cottonseed oils. I recommend that you stay away from these oils completely. Read more about healthy vs. unhealthy fats here.
- Some brands of soy and rice milk contain rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, or some other natural sweetener. Natural or not, most sweeteners put significant stress on your pancreas and liver. They also raise your insulin level, which significantly increases your risk of suffering from unhealthy weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, premature aging, and several other negative side effects.
- While fermented forms of soy like miso, tempeh, and natto can be healthy choices for some people, non-fermented soy products can cause a variety of health problems if consumed in large quantities on a regular basis. I will discuss the details of when soy can be good and when it can be bad in a future newsletter.
Ready for some good news?
You can make a rich and creamy alternative to cow’s, soy, and rice milk with raw almonds and a good blender. Here is how we make it at our clinic:
All-Natural Almond Milk
1 ½ cups of raw almonds, soaked in water overnight
4 cups of filtered or spring water
3-5 dates (optional)
Blend 1 ½ cups of raw almonds that have been soaked overnight in 4 cups of water. Blend with dates if you like your milk with a hint of sweetness. Strain once to remove almond granules. The result is a delicious, creamy milk that is free of harmful vegetable oil, concentrated sweeteners, and the problems associated with cow’s milk and soy. It keeps for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Read more about Why Soy Milk and Rice Milk are Not Health Foods