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Health Alert

Sometimes We are Allergic to Some Food

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Sometimes, the food we eat leads to allergies, which are serious and dangerous. At the same time, highly restrictive diets can be tough on people.

For instance, there is food colouring even in some cheeses and gluten in soy sauce. They can also be unhealthy. To avoid malnutrition, fatigue or low bone density, doctors recommend people who start removing ingredients from their diets consult a nutritionist for advice.

What’s   food allergy ?
It is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your body’s immune system. Allergic reactions to food can sometimes cause serious illness and death. The FDA estimates that two per cent of adults and up to eight per cent of young children have some form of food allergies. Childhood allergies are a common and growing problem. Sometimes, a reaction to food is not an allergy. It is often called “food intolerance”.

The exact reason behind the rise of allergies is unknown. But evidence suggests that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is at the root of most allergies. Hence, it is advisable that a single new food should be introduced to a child rather than multiple new options.

“Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening and may include, hives, itching, swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or eyes, diarrhoea, vomiting, cramps, itching and tightness of throat, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, in extreme cases, anaphylactic shock,” says Dr Richa Anand, dietician, Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai.

In case you feel that you may be allergic to a certain food:
* Eliminate the food that you suspect from your diet and check if the reactions stop.
* Challenge the food by consuming it and check for adverse reactions.
* Do a skin allergy test.

Ensure that any of the above options are done after consulting a doctor. Also, once the allergic food has been found, make sure that the same is eliminated from your diet.

Some common food allergies :-

In adults, the most common foods to cause allergic reactions include: shellfish such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster, and crab; peanuts, a legume that is one of the chief foods to cause severe anaphylaxis, a sudden drop in blood pressure that can be fatal if not treated quickly; tree nuts such as walnuts; fish; and eggs.

In children, the pattern is somewhat different. The most common food allergens that cause problems in children are eggs, milk, and peanuts. Adults usually do not lose their allergies, but children can sometimes outgrow them. Children are more likely to outgrow allergies to milk or soy than allergies to peanuts, fish, or shrimp.
Peanuts: are the main source of severe allergic reactions. Peanut allergies can be so extreme that just being in the same room with one can cause someone to go into anaphylactic shock. Peanuts are found in so many items, as frying oils, flavoured nuts, etc.

Shellfish/fish: Allergy to shellfish is quite common and a number of different types of shellfish can cause reactions in people who are sensitive. For example, shrimps, prawns, lobster, crab, crayfish, oysters, scallops, mussels and clams. People who are allergic to one type of shellfish often find that they react to other types. Adults are more likely to have an allergic reaction to fish and shellfish than children, which is probably because adults will have eaten these foods more often. Shellfish allergy can often cause severe reactions, and some people can react to the vapours from cooking shellfish. Cooking doesn’t destroy fish allergens. In fact, some people with fish allergy can be allergic to cooked but not raw fish.

Milk: Lactose is a sugar found naturally in milk. It’s important to distinguish between lactose intolerance and milk allergy, because milk allergy can cause severe reactions. Lactose intolerance is actually an enzymatic problem where the enzyme lactase cannot split the milk protein lactose into glucose and galactose. This leads to digestive system pain more often than swollen or clogged airways. Milk products are obviously in and ice-cream, but can also appear in sauces and as butter on steaks and other meats. Adults with lactose intolerance can often have a small amount of milk without getting any symptoms.

Eggs: Egg allergy is more common in childhood and about half the children who have it will grow out of it by the age of three. In a few cases, egg allergy can cause anaphylaxis. Cooking can destroy some of these allergens, but not others. So some people might react to cooked eggs, as well as raw eggs. Occasionally, someone might react to egg because they have an allergy to chicken, quail or turkey meat, or to bird feathers. This is called bird-egg syndrome. Also, those with egg allergies should avoid most pastas and foamy products, as egg is occasionally used as a stabiliser for coffee foams, among others.

Soy: allergies are probably most difficult for vegetarians, as it is often used as a protein alternative in things such as tofu. One has to be especially careful about food cooked in soyabean oil or Chinese food cooked using soya sauce. It can also be found in peanut butters, soups, infant formulas, etc.

Wheat: For those with celiac, anything containing gluten, including wheat, can lead to adverse reactions. However, for those with wheat allergies, only wheat makes a person react. Wheat is often used as a stabiliser in everything — from soups to biscuits — and it can be difficult to dodge. People with wheat allergies need to abstain from everything — from wheat breads to soy sauce with wheat.

Resources:

The Times Of India & Allergy related internet sites

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Healthy Tips

What’s in a Healthy Lunchbox?

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Ninety-nine out of every 100 packed lunches being eaten by primary school children are reported to be unhealthy and failing to meet nutritional standards.

click & see the pictures

So what should a healthy lunch contain and what foods should be left out?

According to advice from the Food Standards Agency,a healthy packed lunch should include:

• Meat, fish or a dairy source of protein

• Starchy carbohydrate, such as a wholegrain sandwich, to provide energy

• At least one portion each of a fruit and vegetable or salad

• Water or milk to drink, but diluted fruit juice and yoghurt drinks or smoothies are acceptable

 

The key foods to avoid are:-

• Sweets and chocolate

• Snacks, like crisps, with added salt/sugar/fat

Sugary and fizzy drinks

Deep-fried foods and processed meats

• White bread – if children won’t eat brown, try whole white sliced bread

Nutritional standards for school meals were introduced in 2006 and standards for vending machines, breakfast clubs and tuck shops came into force a year later.

In 2008, strict nutrition content guidelines for primary schools were introduced and extended to secondary schools in September 2009.

They include maximum/minimum levels of energy or calories and 13 different nutrients, including fat, salt and sugars.

SUGAR, FAT AND SALT (As per  Food Standards Agency)
Sugar: 15g sugar per 100g is high in sugar, 5g or less is low
Fat: 20g fat per 100g is high in fat, 3g or less is low

Salt: 1.5g salt per 100g is high in salt, 0.3g or less is low


The Schools Food Trust – an independent body set up to advise schools on healthy eating – says there are no plans to issue statutory guidance on packed lunches, but it has produced some sample lunchbox menus

You may click to see:

SAMPLE MENU  in a packed standard lunch (526.29 K

Children’s lunchboxes ‘unhealthy’
Pupils are to face lunchbox exams
Charity seeks end to lunchbox ham
Food Standards Agency
School Food Trust

Source: BBC News:12Th. January. 2010

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Healthy Tips

An Essential Mineral for Optimum Bone and Full-Body Health!

Weightloss pyramid.
Image via Wikipedia

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Calcium is one of the most important minerals for your body and your bones. This essential strength-building nutrient helps your body maintain proper blood vessel function… secrete hormones and enzymes… and send messages through your central nervous system.

Many people think that in order to drop a few pounds, they can simply drop many calcium-rich dairy products from their diet. Wrong! Not only will your weight loss efforts be more difficult, but you could put your heart and brain at increased risk.

So make sure you’re getting enough calcium with a balanced and nutritious diet. According to WHFoods.org, foods high in calcium include yogurt, goat’s milk, celery, broccoli, kelp, asparagus, garlic, tofu and oranges. Plus, spices such as garlic, rosemary, parsley and oregano can boost your intake of calcium.

But calcium alone can’t provide the highest protection for your bones. You need to balance your calcium intake with vitamin D, which is known as the “calcium helper” since it metabolizes the mineral for maximum health benefits. You can get vitamin D from safe sun exposure or from foods such as cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, eggs and beef liver.

So to help increase your bone mass and prevent the breakdown of bone tissue as you age, be sure to get ample amounts of calcium and vitamin D with a nutritious diet or quality supplements. These two vital nutrients are essential for a long and strong, healthy life!

Source: Better Health Research. Dec. 21st.2009

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Healthy Tips

The Fibre-Cholesterol Connection

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High level of cholesterol is related to the intake of processed foods, sedentary lifestyle, nutrient deficiencies and stress. Many people think that cholesterol in the diet is directly responsible for cholesterol in the blood.

So, all they have to do is to cut out high-cholesterol foods and their blood cholesterol will become normal. This is a misconception. Merely cutting down on dietary cholesterol will have an insignificant effect on blood cholesterol.

Relying on a low cholesterol diet to lower blood cholesterol probably won’t work for most people. When the body is fed with high cholesterol foods like eggs, red meat, high fat dairy products, the excess cholesterol is metabolised and excreted leaving blood levels unchanged. Further more, the liver compensates for the excess intake of cholesterol by reducing its own production so that the blood levels of cholesterol do not rise. All this happens if the person is leading a healthy lifestyle, consuming a lot of antioxidants in the form of fruits and vegetables; eating whole food in the form of whole grain cereals, whole grain pulses and avoiding processed and refined foods in addition to exercising. All these factors insulate him from mishandling dietary cholesterol.

On the other hand, if he is living a life of stress and eating the regular fat-food fare as well as a diet rich in cholesterol, namely eggs, red meat and saturated fat in animal foods, then his body metabolises dietary cholesterol differently. The liver then, does not act as a safeguard, instead it allows the excess dietary cholesterol to enter the blood stream and subsequently stores it in the blood vessels and coronary arteries. Such people get affected by cholesterol rich foods and benefit from reducing their dietary cholesterol intake. This only justifies the phrase `one man’s food is another man’s poison’.

Whatever be the reason of raising blood cholesterol, the answer is quite simple. When you increase your intake of soluble fibre, it helps bring down the blood cholesterol dramatically. A point to note here is that fibre occurs exclusively in plant food. Animal foods like chicken, fish, meat, beef, cheese, eggs, milk, have little or no fibre to boast of. Fresh, raw unpeeled fruits and vegetables are high in fibre. Cooking vegetables especially the way we do it in Indian cooking (soggy and overcooked) destroys much fibre.

Juices have little or no fibre. similarly, unrefined grains products like dalia (broken wheat), whole wheat flour, wheat puffs, brown rice, jowar and bajra flour, whole dals like channa, rajma, chowli, beans, etc. are high in fibre.

Breads and biscuits high in fibre will list `whole wheat flour’ and not just `wheat flour’, as their chief ingredient on the label. Wheat bran is one of the highest fibre foods known because its fibre content is about 50 per cent. There is no doubt that a diet rich in soluble fibre can lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure and prevent strokes as well as heart attacks.

So how much fibre should you eat? It has been seen that in most Asian countries incidence of heart disease and diabetes is low. People in these countries consume anywhere between 40-60 gms of fibre per day. An intake of 35-40 gms of fibre is recommended to prevent heart disease. To increase the fibre content of your diet and thereby reduce cholesterol levels, all you have to do is follow the table.

MUST HAVE :-

– Unpeeled fruits and vegetables
– Whole wheat bread (please note whole wheat bread is not the same as brown bread)
– Fresh fruits
– Brown rice or wild rice
– Whole grain dals like channa, rajma, black dal chowli, green mung
– Whole wheat flour
– Popped corn and puffed wheat
– Snack on high fibre biscuits like those made from millets or bran or soya bean or whole wheat flour
– Skimmed milk
– Red wine

BEWARE OF :-

– Peeled fruits and vegetables
– White bread
– Fruit juices
– Polished white rice
– Animal protein
– White flour ( maida )
– Potato chips and fried sev
– Maida biscuits, where the label reads as ‘wheat flour’ as their main ingredient
– Whole milk
– Any other form of alcohol

Source: The Times Of India

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Featured Healthy Tips

Different Types of Milk & Their Health Benefits

 

CLICK & SEE……Cow’s milk.
Whole cow’s milk packs 150 calories per cup, and about half of those calories come from fat. (See the related chart for a nutritional breakdown of all these different milks.) The 8 grams of fat in a cup of whole milk includes 5 grams of saturated fat, which can raise blood cholesterol. The American Heart Assn. recommends limiting saturated fat intake to 7% or less of daily calories: An adult consuming 1,800 calories per day would get more than one-third of that in an 8-ounce glass of whole milk.

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Skim and reduced-fat milks provide the same amount of protein without the high levels of saturated fats or the cholesterol whole milk also contains. They also retain all of the calcium found in whole milk — up to 300 milligrams, about one-third of the recommended daily intake. According to the Institute of Medicine, adults require between 1,000 and 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day for optimum bone strength. And cow’s milk has long been promoted by nutritionists and dietitians as a good source of this important mineral, as well as the vitamin D needed to absorb the mineral.

But “there’s a fair amount of controversy in that whole area,” says Larry Kushi, associate director for epidemiology in the division of research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland. The issue is just how important calcium — and milk as a source of calcium — truly is for bone health.

Scientists increasingly began to question the relationship after several studies, including two unusually large ones, failed to find evidence linking increased milk consumption to a decreased risk of fractures, a sign of bone health.

A 12-year study of more than 77,000 women, conducted by Harvard researchers and published in 1997, found that women who drank two glasses of milk a day had roughly the same risk of hip or forearm fractures as women who drank one glass or less per week. A 2003 investigation of the same population found that although vitamin D intake reduced the risk of hip fractures in post-menopausal women, high calcium and milk intake did not.

The science on the relationship between cow’s milk and cancer is also somewhat murky, and researchers are working to clarify this. Population studies have produced good evidence that increased dairy consumption, including that of milk, may decrease the risk of colorectal cancer. But studies also suggest that the risk of prostate cancer may increase with increasing milk consumption.

The evidence for female cancers — including breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers — is more mixed. Studies conducted several decades ago were less likely to demonstrate a link between dairy consumption and female cancers than more recent ones, and some nutrition experts think this difference may be linked to industrial practices that have increased the levels of the hormone estrogen in cow’s milk.

Then there’s the issue of milk allergy, an immune-system reaction to any of the several types of casein, whey or other proteins in milk. About 2.5% of children develop cow’s milk allergies in their first year, according to the National Institutes of Health, and 80% outgrow it in adulthood.

Other individuals suffer from lactose intolerance, the inability to digest the dominant sugar found in milk. The intolerance (which causes gas, bloating and diarrhea) stems from a lack of lactase, the enzyme required to break down the milk sugar lactose. It is far more common than milk allergy. “Most of the world’s population can’t digest milk,” says Dr. Scott Sicherer, professor of pediatrics at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and co-author of the 2009 book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dairy-Free Eating.” “Our bodies are not made to drink this stuff.”

CLICK TO SEE.Buffalow milk

Buffalo milk contains higher total solids than cow milk, which makes it thicker. Buffalo milk has 100% more fat content than cow’s milk, which makes it creamier and thicker. Due to high peroxidase activity (family of enzymes that are a catalyst for reactions), buffalo milk can be preserved naturally for a longer period. Buffalo milk contains more calcium, a better calcium to phosphorous ratio and less sodium and potassium which makes it a better nutritional supplement for infants. Cow’s milk is extremely rich in iodine. It has good amount of minerals like Calcium and Phosphorus.

 

CLICK & SEE……..Goat’s milk
The popularity in the U.S. of cow’s milk makes us a bit of an anomaly: Globally, goat’s milk is a far more popular drink.

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But Americans may be getting a taste for it. Tracy Darrimon, director of marketing for Turlock, Calif.-based Meyenberg Goat Milk Products, the top producers of commercially available goat milk in the U.S., says that over the last four years the company has increased production more than 30% to keep up with demand.

Consumers choose goat’s milk because they perceive it as less allergenic, easier to digest and more healthful all round than cow’s milk. Some of those perceptions may be wrong. Since goat’s milk, like cow’s milk, is derived from mammals, “It’s much more likely to have similar effects on long-term health,” Kaiser’s Kushi says.

Consumers looking to avoid saturated fat and cholesterol, for instance, may do well to eschew whole goat’s milk: It has more saturated fat than cow’s milk and similar levels of cholesterol and is higher in calories and total fat. And goat’s milk, like cow’s milk, contains lactose. Though the levels can be slightly lower than those in cow’s milk, “It’s not enough to really make a difference if someone has lactose intolerance,” Bastyr’s Kazaks says.

In Europe, where goat’s milk consumption is far more common than in the U.S., a few studies have suggested that goat’s milk is less likely to cause allergies than cow’s milk. But Ohio allergist Dr. Julie McNairn, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, doubts that this is true. She says the proteins triggering allergy to cow’s milk are very similar to those found in goat’s milk.

More than 90% of the time, people allergic to cow’s milk are allergic to goat’s milk, Sicherer adds: “If someone’s allergic to cow’s milk, I tell them to stay away from mammalian milks.”

Click & see…Sheep milk
Sheep milk (or ewe’s milk) is the milk of domestic sheep. Though not widely drunk in any modern culture, sheep’s milk is commonly used to make cultured dairy products. Cheeses made from sheep milk include the feta of Greece, Roquefort of France, Manchego from Spain, the Pecorino Romano (the Italian word for sheep is pecora), the Pecorino Sardo and Ricotta of Italy, and the ?bejna from Malta. Yogurts, especially some forms of strained yogurt, may also be made from sheep milk. Though sheep produce a far smaller volume of milk than cows, it is richer in fat, solids, and minerals. This makes it ideal for the cheese-making process.

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It is a delicious and healthy alternative to cow’s milk. It is particularly popular among those with lactose intolerance because of sheep milk’s low lactose properties.

Sheep milk can be used in every way that cow’s milk can: over cereal, cooking, baking, and desserts. The taste is often preferred over cow’s milk bland taste.

There are several reasons that you should choose sheep milk over traditional cow’s milk:

*Taste: After trying sheep milk, many people often conclude that cow’s milk is “tasteless” whereas sheep milk is sweet and creamy. It is comparable to goat’s milk, yet sheep milk does not have the faint bitterness or tanginess of goat’s milk, which makes it a more preferable option. With all changes, sheep milk may take a little while to get use to, but after the initial trial stage many people come to prefer the rich taste of sheep milk over any other milk on the market. Therefore if you prefer a sweet and creamy treat any time of the day, sheep milk is a viable and healthy option.

*Digestion:Nearly 75 percent of the world’s population is considered to have a lactose allergy, or are “lactose intolerant”. Those with a lactose allergy have difficulty digesting cow’s milk causing symptoms such as gas and diarrhea. However, most people with lactose intolerance are able to drink and enjoy sheep milk without the symptoms because of sheep milk’s low lactose content. With sheep milk being used in cheeses and yogurts, those that are lactose intolerant now have more options to enjoy dairy products once again.

*Nutrition:It may be a surprise to learn that sheep milk is actually more nutritious than cow milk and even goat milk. Though it contains a high level of butterfat, it is lower in saturated fat than cow or goat milk.

CLICK & SEE……CAMEL MILK

Compared to cow, buffalo and ship or ewe milk fat, camel milk fat contains fewer short-chained fatty acids, but the same long-chained fatty acids can be found. Some researchers claim that the value of camel milk is to be found in the high concentrations of linoleic acid among other polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are essential for human nutrition.

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Camel milk has a high vitamin and mineral content and immunoglobin content. The composition of camel milk depends on its feed and species: Bactrian milk has a higher fat content than dromedary milk.

Camel milk is low in lactose compared with cow’s milk. However, levels of potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, sodium and zinc are higher than in cow’s milk.

*Cholesterol in camel milk is lower than cow or goat milk.
*Camel milk is three times higher in vitamin C than cow’s milk and 10 times higher in iron.
*It is also high in unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins but lower in vitamin A and B2 (than cow milk).
*Camel milk has more fat and protein than cow’s milk

Camel milk is believed to modulate the immune system. A study showed its ability to ameliorate allergies in children. (Shabo Y, Barzel R, Margoulis M, Yagil R., Camel milk for food allergies in children.) However, the sample size of this study is evidently small.

Camel milk is also used as a medicinal product in India. The Bedouins of the Middle East believe it to have curative powers.. Click & read> ..Diabetic? Try camel’s milk
CLICK & SEE…Donkey milk

Donkey milk is considered to be the closest to woman’s milk. It is very nourishing because it contains more lactose and less fat than cow’s milk.  It was used until the beginning of the twentieth century as a substitute to breast milk. The 1928 testimony of Dr. Charles Porcher (1872-1933) of the Lyon National Veterinary Institution showed that the practice was still used, to a lesser extent, in the interwar years:

It seems that we are getting back to ass milk to raise children in the earliest infancy, notably when the child is of delicate health. Ass milk has not been quite totally abandoned, but if 25 or 30 years ago, a few well looked-after asses were easily found in the city to provide milk nourishing young babies, it is no longer the case today.

More recently, studies have shown that that ass’s milk could serve as an alternative to cow’s milk for children allergic to bovine proteins.

It has several other medicinal and cosmetic uses

CLICK & SEE………...Soy milk
Because soy milk is made from a plant, it contains no cholesterol and negligible amounts of saturated fat: just half a gram per cup.

Compared with whole cow’s or goat’s milk, it is lower in calories too, but a glass still provides the same levels of key nutrients present in those milks, including calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D and potassium. That’s partly because soybeans contain calcium, protein and potassium. But soy milk is also fortified to be nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk.

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Soy milk’s lack of cholesterol and low levels of saturated and total fat have made it a popular choice for people looking to improve their heart health, says Stacey Krawczyk, a research dietitian with the National Soybean Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the last 10 years, soy foods have been allowed to bear the FDA-approved claim that a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet containing 25 grams of soy protein per day may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Soy milk may have another benefit: In recent decades, several large population studies have suggested consuming soy may be linked to a lower risk of cancer, including prostate, colorectal and breast cancer.

But the relationship between soy milk consumption and cancer remains unclear — largely because most studies have focused on populations, such as those in Asia, that consume whole soy products, such as tofu, tempeh and edamame, as a large part of their diet. Studies on the general U.S. and European populations have not been able to replicate the findings, in part because soy consumption levels here are much lower, Kushi says.

This protective effect against cancer, if there is one, is thought to be at least partly due to estrogen-like compounds in soy that may compete with human estrogen in the body, hindering it from prompting the cell proliferation that can trigger cancer. But the link between soy consumption and cancer may invert in women after menopause, when natural estrogen levels plummet. “The evidence is still unclear,” Kushi says.

Soy can be a good dairy alternative for most people with allergies to cow’s milk. Soy allergies affect 0.4% of children — more common than most food allergies but far less common than ones to milk. Soy milk allergy in children is often outgrown. And though people allergic to cow’s milk are often likely to have another food allergy, the differences in the two milks’ proteins means an allergy to one doesn’t automatically translate into an allergy to the other, McNairn says.

Soy milk also lacks lactose, so it’s easier for people with lactose intolerance to digest it.

A downside? Because soybeans have an inherently bitter taste, soy milk is often heavily processed — and sweetened — to mask that flavor, says Kantha Shelke, a food chemist with the Chicago-based food-science think tank Corvus Blue. Sweeteners are often high on the list of ingredients in soy milks, adding sugar and calories that consumers might not be aware of. Still, with about 5 grams of sugar per cup, even the more sugary soy milks contain fewer sugars than the 12 grams per cup in cow’s milk. (Soy milks labeled “unsweetened” contain about 1 gram.)

Soy milk presents its own digestibility challenges, Kazaks says. The milk contains high levels of oligosaccharides, carbohydrates that are hard for the body to break down. “It can really cause a lot of gas in some people,” she says.

CLICK & SEE…......Almond milk
“With almond milk, it’s more about what you don’t get” than what you do, says Sam Cunningham, an independent food scientist and consultant specializing in nuts, who helped develop almond milk for Sacramento-based Blue Diamond Growers as an employee of the almond processor in the 1990s.

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Like soy milk, almond milk contains zero cholesterol. It’s free of saturated fats, so it’s a healthful option for people with, or at risk for, heart disease. It doesn’t contain lactose, so it’s an option for people with lactose intolerance. And it’s even lower in calories and total fat than soy milk: a glass contains just 60 calories and 2.5 grams of fat to soy milk’s 100 calories and 4 fat grams.

But although almonds, among nuts, are a good source of calcium and protein, almond milk’s calcium and protein levels don’t compare to the levels in cow’s, goat’s or soy milks. A glass of almond milk provides just 1 gram of protein. Some brands provide up to 20% of the daily recommended calcium intake (about 10% less than the other milks), but other brands provide none.

Almonds are also a good source of iron, riboflavin, vitamin E and some essential fatty acids. A cup of the ground-up nuts contains more than 11 grams of omega-6 fats (but very few omega-3s).

In recent years, several studies have hinted at a link between nut consumption and lower blood cholesterol and a reduced risk of heart disease. Since 2003, the Food and Drug Administration has allowed almonds (and other nuts) to bear the claim that eating 1.5 ounces of nuts daily, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce risk of heart disease.

Still, nuts are one thing — almond milk is another. The fraction of almond milk that’s actually comprised of finely blended almonds varies between products and can be minimal, Kazaks says. In many commercially available almond milks, almonds are the second or third ingredient, after water and sweeteners. (The same is true for many soy milks as well.) So despite the high vitamin E and omega-6 content of almonds, a glass of almond milk may contain none of the vitamin and just 300 to 600 milligrams of the omega-6s.

Almond milk is a fine alternative for people allergic to cow’s and soy milks, Jaffe’s Sicherer says, but almonds pose their own allergenicity hazards. Allergies to tree nuts, including almonds, are among the top allergies in the population, affecting 0.2% of children. And although cow’s and soy milk allergies are often outgrown, nut allergies are more likely to persist.

CLICK & SEE……..Rice milK
Like almond milk, rice milk’s main advantages are what it doesn’t contain. It is free of cholesterol and saturated fat. It doesn’t contain lactose. Allergies to rice are rare.

In fact, rice milk manufacturers commonly promote their product as safe for people with any of a number of allergies or intolerances — including cow’s milk, soy and nut allergies, as well as lactose and gluten intolerance. (Gluten, found in wheat and other cereal grains, is not present in any of the milks mentioned here.)

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Rice milk, like soy and almond milk, is formulated to contain levels of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D similar to (albeit lower than) those in cow’s milk. But it is not a good source of protein, with just 0.67 grams per serving, and often contains more calories than almond or soy milk: about 113 calories per cup. Its vitamin E levels exceed that of cow’s, goat’s and soy milk but don’t compare with that of some almond milks.

One more thing rice milk doesn’t have: flavor in need of masking with sweeteners. “It’s a very mild-flavored product,” Corvus Blue’s Shelke says.

CLICK & SEE……….Hemp milk
Among plant-based milks, hemp milk is unique, and not just because the cannabis plant it’s made from poses legal challenges for farmers.

A glass of hemp milk contains the same number of calories as soy milk, one-third to one-half of the protein, but 50% more fat: 5 to 6 grams. However, most of the fats in hemp milk are omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, key for nervous system function and healthy skin and hair. Certain omega-3 and omega-6 fats also appear to reduce inflammation and lower blood lipid levels.

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Plant oils typically have an excess of omega-6 fats relative to omega-3s — and the hemp seed is no exception. A cup of hemp milk (which is made from the “nut” of the hemp seed but can also contain some of the hull) often provides about 1 gram of omega-3s and 3 to 4 grams of omega-6s. Still, that level of omega-3s is high for plants, making hemp milk a useful source of them — especially given that American diets typically provide too few omega-3 fats and too many omega-6s.

In fact, some nutrition experts recommend a dietary ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s of between 1:1 and 1:3, a ratio that occurs naturally in hemp milk.

But the story is more complicated than that. It is unclear whether the predominant omega-3 fat in hemp, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), has the same heart-health benefits of those found abundantly in fish oils (known as EPA and DHA for short), says William Harris, director of the Cardiovascular Health Research Center at the University of South Dakota.

Like soy milk, hemp milk is low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free. It’s also free of lactose, and allergies to hemp are rare. Christina Volgyesi, vice president of marketing for Portland, Ore.-based Living Harvest Foods, which makes hemp milk, says the milk is made from different cannabis varieties than those used to produce marijuana, and contains none of the mind-altering active ingredient THC.

Hemp milk contains many of the nutrients found in cow’s milk (including calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D) since it’s fortified. In fact, some brands provide 40% to 50% of the daily recommended allowance of calcium, as compared with the 30% found in cow’s milk.

Nutritionally, hemp seeds are similar to flax seeds, which have become increasingly popular sources of essential fatty acids in recent years. But not all seeds rich in the fats lend themselves to a palatable milk alternative.

“Flax milk would probably be dark brown,” Shelke says. “We are probably not prepared to drink something dark brown in color.”

Unless, of course, it’s chocolate milk — be it of cow’s, goat’s, soy, almond, rice or even hemp.
Resources:
The Los Angeles Times
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camel_milk
http://www.diffen.com/difference/Buffalo_Milk_vs_Cow_Milk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheep_milk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ass%27s_milk_%28Donkey%27s_milk%29

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