Cow's milk has had serious competitors in dairy preparations of vegetable origin for some years. These vegetable milks are prepared to drink made from ingredients of vegetable origin (almonds, rice, oats, soybeans ...), crushed and processed generally in water, although sometimes mixed with oil, and with different preservatives, sweeteners and / or additives depending on the ingredient of origin.
While these herbal preparations may have certain benefits over mammalian milk, they may also have disadvantages, and as parents we don't always know which one to choose.We tell you what are the advantages and disadvantages of cow's milk and vegetable milk for children.
- They are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, except for coconut milk, whose saturated fat content is very high.
- Its carbohydrate or sugar content is high. Among the available options, rice milk is the one that contains the highest content of carbohydrates, these being slow release. They may also contain sweeteners, some of which can cause sensitivities and even intestinal irritability. It is convenient to choose, from among the available options, the one that contains the least simple sugars, since they are the least healthy.
- They are low in proteinIn addition to the fact that these tend to have limited essential amino acids. In the case of soy milk, the protein content is higher and of relatively high biological value.
- They contain very few micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals. In fact, if they contain vitamin D and calcium, they are added artificially, and this artificial enrichment is not always desirable.
- Has a large amount of protein, calcium and vitamins D and B12, very important for growth, constituting a drinkable format with a high nutritional density, easy for children to consume.
- They contain saturated fat and cholesterol, unhealthy for the heart, which can be minimized by consuming skim milk. However, in skim milk the naturally occurring vitamin D also decreases.
- Your main carbohydrate is lactose, which, unfortunately, can cause digestive problems. There is lactose-free milk, in which it is divided into glucose and galactose, easily digestible simple sugars, so it can be an alternative in cases of intolerance. Fermented dairy products are also lactose-free, so they are another option in these cases.
Soy milk is the most widely consumed and is the great competitor to cow's milk, since it provides energy similar to skim milk and similar amounts of protein, while it does not contain lactose, avoiding possible intolerance .
However, in contrast, it does not contain iron and also the allergy to soy is quite widespread, so it is convenient to discard it before offering soy milk as a substitute for cow's milk to our little ones.
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