3/15/11

Have you ever tried soy milk or greek yogurt?

It wasn't too long ago that I had my first taste of greek yogurt. I have always enjoyed the taste of soy milk but I rarely buy it for Karel and myself. I enjoy skim milk (as does Karel) and we drink a lot of it.
Many people are hesitant about drinking cow's milk because of the stories that "cow's milk is poisonous" or that it contains cancer-causing hormones. While research may support side effects of drinking milk from hormone-injected cow's, there is a lot of research on the many benefits of drinking milk. But what about meat consumption? We have read research on meat increasing the risk of inflammation and lowering meat consumption to decrease dietary fat as well as vegetarians living longer and more quality-filled lives than meat-eaters (although there are certainly many meat-eaters who live long lives and vegetarians who die from cancer). It would be interesting to see if there is a relation of cancer and people who drink cow's milk and then comparing how much meat is in the diet. Perhaps the people more likely to increase risk of cancer from drinking milk are also those who consume a high quantity of meat and not just from drinking milk. It would be neat to see the risk of disease/cancer in lacto-ovo vegetarians who drink cow's milk.
Greek yogurt is tasty, but it is a bit costly depending on the brand and where you buy it. I think it is great that soy milk is an option for those who don't like the taste of skim milk and want the calcium and a sweeter taste or for those who can not tolerate skim milk.
Soy milk is both a lactose- and casein-free choise for those with dairy allergies. The milk is made from the soybean plant and is a wonderful source of protein.
FYI:
If you are lactose intolerant you are allergic to the lactose in milk. Soy milk or lactose free milk would be a great option. If you are casein intolerant, you are allergic to the main protein found in milk and lactose-free milk is not an option. Lactose-free milk contains the same proteins as milk so if you are allergic to milk proteins you are also allergic to lactose-free milk.

I have slowly weaned myself away from "flavored" non-fat yogurts and I buy Dannon fat-free plain yogurt. Although Greek yogurt and soy milk are both super tasty and have wonderful benefits related to health, I find it much more satisfying for my personal diet to enjoy foods with little to no ingredients. To flavor up my yogurt, I like to mix in a little cinnamon, honey or fresh fruit for a sweet taste. It took a while to learn to appreciate the taste of plain yogurt but now I find myself enjoying it all the time. We replaced our ice cream habit with yogurt about 2 years ago and still today, Karel and I only enjoy ice cream on occasion and when we do...it's the real-stuff :)

Today I handed out samples of greek yogurt and soy milk at Dillon Cafe @ St. Vincent's Hospital. I had so many people tell me that they have never tasted greek yogurt or soy milk so this was a great opportunity for me to introduce people to something new. I just love it when people are open to new things and thinking/eating outside the box.

I am a firm believer in milk and yogurt in the diet, especially if you are an active individual. For both the protein and the calcium, I think yogurt and milk (whichever low-sugar option you choose) are great ways to keep your muscles, tissues and bones happy and strong.

This is a great guide to understanding Milk and Dairy food labels. I find that even if people tell me that they understand food labels, there is always something new to learn.

http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/Resources/mpk3_lesson3.pdf

Take a look at the different food labels and check out the vitamins and minerals on the bottom of each label, as well as the sugar and protein for various products. I always recommend to replace, not eliminate. So when you are searching for new products to add in your diet, first check out the ingredients and then based on the fewest ingredients, make your choice by choosing a product that makes you feel good about the sugar, protein, sodium, calcium (or fiber in your fav starchy/grain foods) and then calories.