Alternative to cow's milk

More and more people can not tolerate cow's milk and its products and are looking for alternatives. Reasons for the intolerance can be either an allergy to cow's milk or lactose intolerance. The latter in particular is becoming increasingly common. Those affected then look for cow's milk substitutes and switch to milk from other animals. But is this really a good idea?

Glass jug with milk on a wooden tray

Not only cow's milk, but practically all animal dairy products contain some lactose. It is therefore advisable for those with lactose intolerance to avoid milk of animal origin entirely and to switch to plant alternatives.

In a cow's milk allergy, it is not the milk sugar, known as lactose, that causes the problem, but rather the protein found in cow's milk. Therefore, affected people can in this case consume all other animal milk products, provided that they are not allergic to the respective milk. However, an additional allergy to another type of animal milk is very rare.

The following tables are broken down into animal and plant dairy products and provide information on their specific properties.

Animal milk products

Milk product Taste Special ingredients per 100 ml Lactose in %
Cow's milk reference point Fat contant 3.5%, Protein 3.3 g, Calcium 120 mg 4.7
Camel milk more watery than cow's milk Similarity to breast milk, more protein and less casein than cow's milk 5.5
Donkey milk like cow's milk but less intense lower protein and fat content 10.0
Goat milk somewhat severe more protein and less fat, folic acid and vitamin B12 than cow's milk 4.2
Mare's milk like cow's milk very low in fat (1.5%) and low in protein 6.2
Sheep milk like cow's milk, but a little thicker higher fat (6%), protein and calcium conten 4.7
Buffalo milk very syrupy, tastes like cream higher fat content, protein and minerals similar to cow's milk 4.5

Plant milk products

Milk product Taste Special ingredients per 100 ml Lactose, gluten
Soy milk somewhat bitter, nutty nrich in nutrients and vitamins, no cholesterol, protein content at 2.4 g, low calcium content 20 mg lactose-free, gluten-free
Rice milk sweet little protein (0.3 g), vitamins and calcium lactose-free, gluten-free
Almond milk sweet low in fat and calories, not suitable for children, possible hydrogen cyanide content lactose-free, gluten-free
Oat milk slightly nutty, like oatmeal a lot of cholesterol-lowering fiber beta-glucane, low in calcium lactose-free
Spelt milk like oat milk, but more intense little fat (1 %), cholesterol-lowering due to dietary fiber lactose-free
Coconut milk very sweet and syrupy very high in fat (15%), ideal for desserts, sauces and Asian dishes lactose-free, gluten-free

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