With the rise of dairy-free everything, these products seem to be taking shelf space away from their dairy-laden counterparts. Now, vegans, lactose-intolerant peeps, and anyone who refuses to ingest cow secretions don’t have to miss out on anything. Coconut yogurt is a delicious way to enjoy yogurt and its probiotic benefits without the not so cool effects of dairy products on our health.

For years, we’ve been sold on the idea that cow’s milk is the perfect food for the human body (even though it wasn’t even designed for our species). During the last few decades, information has surfaced about its connection to allergies, acne, sinus infections, osteoporosis, and even cancer. Thank God for almond milk –and the wide range of plant milks.

Why Should We Ditch Dairy?

In addition to the naturally occurring female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, and stress hormones such as cortisol (these poor cows–even "organic" and "free range ones"–are constantly stressed), dairy farmers inject them with bovine growth hormones--directly linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancer--so they grow faster and produce more milk.

We don’t grow at any rate similar to a calf, so these hormones run around in our system and wreak havoc one way or another. 

Speaking of injecting things, dairy cows are pumped with a bunch of antibiotics to keep them producing milk in unsanitary farm conditions, and even so, these cows commonly catch udder infections, which produce pus that ends up in our milk products. Not too appetizing if you ask me.

The wide consumption of second-hand antibiotics in animal products is a huge reason for rampant antibiotic-resistant bacteria taking over and making us sick. Regular consumption of antibiotics decreases their effectiveness over time, and can make you extra susceptible to infection. Catching a bug on a plane en route to a hot vacay? No thanks. 

Casein, the main protein in dairy products, has been shown in scientific studies to perpetuate the growth and development of cancer. This is because this particular protein elevates our circulating levels of Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This could also be a trigger for type-1 diabetes, through the initiation of the process of destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas, and its impact on the immune system’s production of antibodies to these foreign proteins. 

How Cow Breast Milk is So Different From Human Breast Milk

Cow's milk is nature's perfect food–for baby cows. Just like human milk is nature's perfect source of nourishment for baby humans. The carbohydrate, protein and fat content of milk from one species is made specifically to meet the nutritional requirements of that particular animal.

As put by the Center of Nutrition Studies, "it is hard to think that we should continue to consume the lactation fluid that exists in nature to nourish and rapidly grow calves." Pretty much. 

The protein content that we need is different from that of a baby cow. This shouldn't come as a surprise. Cow’s milk has more than twice as much protein as human milk, due to the fact that the quantity of protein in milk is linked to the amount of time it takes that particular species of animal to grow in size. In cows' case, it's a lot. 

The dominant whey protein in human milk is α-lactalbumin, whereas, the dominant whey protein in cows’ milk and formula is β-lactoglobulin, which isn't naturally found in human milk. Human milk contains casein and whey protein in a ratio of 40:60 respectively, while cow’s milk's ratio of casein to whey proteins is 80:20. Casein has been dubbed a powerful carcinogen, not to mention that it's quite difficult to digest. 

The weight gain of calves during the first year is close to 40 times higher than that of breastfed human babies. Scientific studies have shown that cow’s milk-based infant formula feeding significantly increases serum concentrations of leucine, insulin and IGF-1, which could be one of the mechanisms linking formula feeding to overweight and obesity. Breast is best. 

Coconut Yogurt

So now that you know a little bit about how dairy is so out, you may be wondering how to replace one of the so-called health foods out there: yogurt. This fermented dairy product can easily be swapped for a plant-based alternative, such as coconut yogurt.

Laura Rodriguez

This coconut yogurt, while not as creamy as the real thing, kinda tastes like plain yogurt. This artisanal brand has few quality ingredients: young coconut meat, purified water, and powerful 100% dairy-free probiotics.

Laura Rodriguez

It goes great with fruit, in salad dressings, smoothies, or by itself! It reminded me of plain unsweetened greek yogurt, and can be revved up with a little raw honey, maple syrup, or your sweetener of choice. 

Laura Rodriguez

Now that was a big bowl of pure joy. 

So basically, there is literally no human nutritional requirement for cow-milk whatsoever. It is deficient in dietary fiber, essential fats, niacin, vitamin C, and iron, and overloaded with calories, saturated fat, environmental chemicals, and disease pathogens (bacteria and viruses)

With delicious dairy alternatives such as coconut yogurt, there's no need to drink the milk of another animal. It's just not natural. As put by the Center of Nutrition Studies, "it is hard to think that we should continue to consume the lactation fluid that exists in nature to nourish and rapidly grow calves." Pretty much.