Not too long ago, I embarked on this personal journey to be healthier. One of the first changes that I made to my diet was switching from cow’s milk to non-dairy milk.  There’s been a lot of research that suggest we aren’t meant to drink animal’s milk as our bodies cannot digest it and that dairy may actually be more harmful than beneficial to our health. I must say that before you make any radical changes to your own diet, do your own research and decide for yourself.

I chose to make the switch because I’m working on eating less animal products, eating healthier and in a way that is gentler on the planet.

It was one of the easiest changes I made thanks to a huge selection of non-dairy milks on the market. That, plus the fact that my uncle whom I lived with in Florida at the time only drinks Silk. He was right when he said “once you start drinking Silk, there’s no going back to dairy milk”.

The time when I liked to wear sweatshirts because it fits so comfortably even after a big dinner. That's my uncle AB on the right, sitting next to Martini.
The time when I only wore sweatshirts because other clothes made me feel fat. That’s my uncle AB on the right, sitting next to Martini. <3

The first couple of changes I noticed in my body after I stopped drinking dairy milk regularly is 1) my acne problem improved and 2) I felt less bloated in the morning.

So I did some research and  learned that:

1) Milk contains components related to the hormone testosterone that may stimulate oil glands in the skin, setting the stage for acne or aggravating its condition. My unhealthy eating habits of fast food and junk food obviously didn’t help either.

2) Dairy doesn’t cause bloating for everyone, but about 70% adults have some kind of lactose intolerance, which is when the body doesn’t have the necessary enzyme to break down the lactose sugar. This causes increased gassiness because that sugar is not broken down. I concluded that having cereal with dairy milk in the morning was the likely cause of my morning bloat.

Lactose intolerance can develop over time and is often a normal part of aging since our bodies produce fewer lactase enzymes as we age. It is apparently more common in people with Asian, African, Native American, or Mediterranean ancestry than it is among northern and western Europeans. Approximately 30 million American adults have some amount of lactose intolerance by age 20. So don’t feel bad if you suddenly realize you can’t drink like you used to! There’s always a better and healthier substitute.

Silk soy milk was the first non-dairy milk I tried back in 2007 and while I didn’t fall head over heels initially, it eventually grew on my taste buds with time. To be honest, the flavor of it unsweetened isn’t my favorite, but when I mix it into other foods I don’t notice it as much. They also have sweetened varieties of course. No matter the brand you buy, look for organic, GMO-free soy milk whenever possible.

When I initially moved to Kuala Lumpur in 2010, I struggled to find any Silk or organic non-dairy milk. The only options I had were pasteurized milk, skimmed milk, sweetened soy milk or sugary ‘soya bean drink‘. I checked out the dry (not cold) dairy aisle and found almond milk and rice milk on the shelves but to my dismay, either  the drinks went bad or just doesn’t taste good… at all.  Good thing I was able to get it at Cold Storage in Singapore so I used to bring a carton back to KL every time I visited. Now, you can get Silk Soymilk in Malaysia at Village Grocer, Presto, Isetan or Cold Storage.

I’ve since tried other non-dairy milk, and from other brands as well, such as almond milk, rice milk and oat milk. With the increasingly high demand of healthy foods, it’s finally taking over big supermarkets in Singapore and Malaysia.

Silk-Almond-Unsweetened-Vanilla

My favorite is Silk’s Almondmilk (Unsweetened/Vanilla). However, I wished it came un a smaller size so I don’t waste any! Almondmilk has a shorter shelf life than Silk organic soymilk (below) and sometimes certain stores only carry one or the other.

silk organic soy milk

 

Silk almondmilk and Silk organic soymilk have less sugar, cholesterol and calories than skimmed milk or 2% dairy milk.

Check out the comparison taken from their website below:

silk milk vs milk

Another reason to spend a few more bucks on organic: while both organic and conventional whole milk have the same amount of fat, organic has a better balance of essential fatty acids, including 62% more Omega-3s and 25% fewer omega-6s. Limiting intake of the latter can help reduce the risk of a variety of chronic conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders. To learn more about the difference between Omega-3s and Omega-6s, check out this article.

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Another good reason to start drinking Silk: You can now order Silk soymilk online in Singapore and Malaysia! They don’t carry almond milk (for now) as the shelf life is quite short, but you can get other varieties of soymilk including chocolate and vanilla.

Use the discount code below upon checkout to get 10% off  Silk products and all other products listed except those already on promotion. Valid for both online stores until 30th April 2014.

Discount code: FAY

essentiallivingsg

 Happy shopping!

11 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Going Back To Dairy Milk

  1. Thanks for sharing Fay. I’m a milk-lover and your article is very informative. U bet imma lookout for Silk at Cold Storage from now on 🙂

  2. Hi Fay, alternatively, you can try the chinese almond milk (apricot kernels actually) sold in health food shops in powder form. it’s good for the skin and has a refreshing taste!

  3. Hi, you may need to be inform that the research for animal milk vs soy/almond milk is much debated and there are two factions: the people who are in farm industry and vegan, PETA people. Although lactose intolerant is prevalent among Asians, it is mighty beneficial to those who aren’t. Also, soy milk has higher sugar content than animal milk, despite claiming it hasn’t in food labels because it has sugar substitute, just like your typical diet coke. Again, the decision is quite split. http://milk.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=1317

  4. Fay,

    There is evidence that supports bovine milk for what soy milk does not provide or provide as much of.

    From: http://www.livestrong.com/article/385282-the-health-of-soy-milk-vs-cow-milk/

    Cow Milk Health Benefits

    Unlike soy milk, cow’s milk contains 30 percent of the daily value of calcium, a supporter of teeth and bone health. It also has 25 percent of the vitamin D, a vitamin that maintains the health of your skin. It possesses even more protein and phosphorous — another plus for bones and teeth — than soy milk does. If you’re watching your cholesterol, you can always switch to skim milk or low fat milk, as they have less cholesterol but the same benefits of calcium. Harvard School of Public Health stated that both dairy and calcium may help to reduce colon cancer and osteoporosis.

    Do consider that Soy has a carbon and water foot print. Soy is great in food and is healthy for humans, along with a balanced diet.

    More at: http://www.today.com/id/35976918/ns/today-today_health/t/skim-soy-more-which-milk-best/

    My wife and I are eating more fresh fruit and vegatables. That along with lean protien that makes up about 15% of our daily diet. Milk from cows is more available and less expensive than soy/almond milk. Those with allergies to tree nuts, Almonds in that group, cannot safely take almond milk.

    Healtier diets will benefit. Many in this world do not have access to enough clean and safe drinking water. I am sure you have felt the effects of water restrictions put in place in SG and Malaysia due to the current lack of rain. That same lack of rain will effect soy and almond farmers and any dairy farmers.

    I applaud your healthy choices, but do be aware what you propose is not for everyone, nor should it be unless a medical condition indicates a need for soy or almond milk.

    David

  5. We can also make our own almond milk; it’s not too hard if we have access to raw almonds, good water, and a good blender. Soak the almonds overnight in water, then drain them. After that put them into a blender with a pinch of sea salt, a few dates, and water (about 1 part almonds to 3 or 4 parts water). Blend; and then strain out the almond pulp and we have a great tasting almond milk! I usually leave the almond pulp in because I like the flavor and the added nutritional value, but some people don’t like it. If you save the pulp you can add it to other dishes. (You can also add vanilla oil or cinnamon if you like to the milk for flavor) Takes a bit more time than if we buy it at the store, but this way we KNOW what’s going into our food and our bodies! (P.S. You can cut down on time if you can get almond butter and use that instead of whole almonds.)

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