Consumers have been going nuts over plant-based milk alternatives for about a decade. And there are plenty of reasons behind the shift toward milk substitutes in cafes and the home. Despite all the benefits of cow milk, its reputation has been seemingly spoiled, with many wondering, should humans drink milk?
Apart from being the best milk for coffee, its healthy nutritional profile deserves some recognition. Despite this dairy debacle, plenty of folks still back cow’s milk, especially since some dairy companies providing A2, a more digestible milk option. This happy medium may even become the healthiest milk alternative as the market innovates tastier and more healthy options.
Let’s look at why consumers are pushing dairy milk to the side and how alternative milk companies found centre stage. And to help you understand the ins and outs of dairy, you’ll learn what is in cow milk and how A2 milk allows the lactose intolerant to enjoy dairy without discomfort.
Why Did Milk Alternatives Become So Popular?
The rise of milk alternatives has been unstoppable. It started with soy milk, which was the only milk alternative you could find in Australian cafes and supermarkets for a long time.
Then almond milk waltzed in, followed by oat milk which became an instant hit with baristas, bakers, and environmentalists alike. It’s smooth and silky, resembling the consistency of cow’s milk, and is set to become the most popular alternative milk to order in cafes around Australia.
The reason for the shift varies from person to person.
- Some prefer drinking alternative milk because of the taste or how it makes them feel, as cow’s milk can be hard to digest.
- Others choose vegan milk for animal welfare purposes or environmental reasons.
- Some consumers alternate between alternative milk and cow’s milk depending on how they have it, e.g. ordering almond lattes at the cafes and using regular cow’s milk when cooking.
It’s safe to say that the target audience of alternative milk ranges dramatically, and this could be why there are so many options on supermarket shelves and in the fridge at your local cafe.
Despite the 43 per cent rise in plant milk consumption since 2019, Australians’ dairy milk consumption is still relatively steady. The nation’s love for milk is here to stay. And because dairy companies are starting to produce scientifically engineered cow’s milk that’s more digestible, there’s also an evolving trend of consumers circling back to dairy.
Is it Bad To Not Drink Milk?
A quick Google search of this topic reveals that humans have an amusing relationship with cow’s milk. Some people are all for it because of its nutritional profile, yet others are adamant that humans should not drink another mammal’s milk. Some people are lactose intolerant; others have evolved with enough lactase, the enzyme required for lactose digestion.
Since cow’s milk is a nutrient-dense product, if you can stomach it, there’s no reason to exclude it from your diet. Try as they might, alternative milk doesn’t always cover all nutritional bases. So part of the return to dairy milk is due to companies offering A2 milk that are easier on the digestive system thanks to the removal of the genetically-mutated A1 protein.
It’s all about looking further than the alternative milk mania to discover the best for your health and well-being.
How is A2 Milk Bridging the Gap?
A2 milk is arguably the most innovative dairy milk, as it’s filled a gap in the market, providing people with all the required nutrients without the digestional issues. At a growing rate, dairy companies are adapting to consumers’ needs by offering protein-rich A2 products.
Furthermore, some are creating them so that the human body can soak up all of the natural nutrients in milk, as traditional milk isn’t so easily absorbed. For example, NATUREDAY A2+ is one of the milk alternatives set to become a mainstream option. In a single glass, this specific A2 milk contains:
- 8.4g of protein, which is roughly 1.4 eggs, 50g of meat, or 420g of spinach
- 72% of an adult’s daily recommended calcium intake, plus vitamin D3 and vitamin A for absorption
- 1.7 billion probiotics, a dual combination of HOWARU Lactobacillus acidophilus and NCFM and Bifidobacterium HN019 for healthy digestion and natural immunity
- Vitamins E and C eliminate free radicals and enhance immunity
- Magnesium to maintain bodily functions
Bringing Cow Milk Back Into Your Diet
With the average person consuming around 6,178 litres of milk in a lifetime, it’s crucial to look beyond the trends and into the milk’s nutritional profile. Milk alternatives made from nuts, beans, and grains are here to stay, even if they might not stack up to real milk. Clearly, the benefits of cow milk are too good to dismiss, so perhaps the best milk alternative for coffee is A2 milk. Milk, just better (for you).