Milk allergy and lactose intolerance are surprisingly common in children and may necessitate elimination of milk and milk products in diet. Learning to live without that morning cup of milk can be difficult but is essential if you are suffering from daily shattering symptoms of the allergy. Having to look at some healthy milk substitutes in the market can be a real tedious task, much more so in the Indian market.
Here get some facts about milk allergy that can help you pick your type of milk substitute:
1.Milk allergy can be specific to certain milk proteins present in specific type of animal milk. Eg. A child suffering from cow’s milk allergy can tolerate milk proteins present in goat’s milk or any other animal milk.
2.Many types of animal milk naturally have absence of lactose that can be quite suitable for lactose intolerant individuals.
3.Plant based milk substitutes are equally beneficial and may also have some other added nutritional benefits.
1. Camel’s milk:
Quite popular in the desert corners of our country, this local milk is salty in taste but has umpteen nutritional benefits suited for replacing cow’s milk. Camel milk lacks β-lactoglobulin, and β-casein which are potent allergens seen in cow’s milk.
Benefits of Camel’s milk:
Extremely rich in protein, calcium, 3 times richer in Vitamin C, 10 times richer in iron and potential antimicrobial components like lactoferrin, lysozymes and immunoglobulins is seen absent in cow’s milk. Low in fat and lactose free, camel milk is one such milk substitute which is actually quite superior to cow’s milk.
2. Goats Milk:
Nutritionally quite similar to cow’s milk, it is relatively easier to digest and plays an important role in reducing inflammation. It is a healthy substitute for individuals allergic to cow’s milk proteins. The only worry being it has lactose content similar to cow’s milk, makes it a difficult choice for lactose intolerant individuals.
3. Donkey and Horse milk:
This option may sound absolutely vague to many readers. However, many are unaware of the nutritional composition of donkey and horse milk quite similar to human milk. It contains 7% of lactose content that helps in high calcium absorption. The amino acid composition of the milk is higher than any other milk including serine, arginine, valine and glutamic acid.
4. Sheep milk:
The third most consumed milk in Brazil; it is also marketed in Southern parts of India like Karnataka. Studies suggest that children with cow’s milk problems can consume sheep milk. It is rich in fat, zinc, Vitamin D and calcium. Milk products like cheese and yogurt made of sheep milk are quite popularly available in the market. It is higher in lactose content compared to cow’s milk, hence unsuitable for lactose intolerant kids.
5. Yak milk:
Quite popular in the desert pastures and the cold arid regions of North India, it has many nutritional health benefits. It has a pink tinge with a sweet smelling aroma. The high fat content and sugar present makes it sweet in taste and generally does not require addition of sugar. Yak milk is similar to cow’s milk in lactose content but is consumed by children and older individuals of North India even during illness.
6. Reindeer milk:
It is lactose free with high fat content that can be a healthy milk substitute for lactose intolerants. However the high fatty acid profile of the milk can be a cause of concern specifically for individuals combating over weight problems and other health disorders.