Why plant milks can be bad for your hormones

Sep 14, 2022 | Endometriosis, Hormones

Why plant milks can be bad for your hormones?

Are you drinking almond, oat, cashew or coconut milk to help you manage your hormonal problems? Or are you a fan of oat flat whites and matcha lattes? Alternative milks like oat, almond, soy, rice, coconut have been heavily promoted as healthier alternatives to dairy milks. They gained a massive popularity, especially oat milk in recent years. However, I am not sure if we should say that they are a healthier option. I could even state that plant milks can be bad for your hormones.

What we need to remember is that actual full fat cow’s milk is a super food if your digestion is good and you don’t have any intolerances or allergies to it. It is rich in protein, calcium, potassium, vitamins D, A, B’s and has much less sugar than plant milks. Quality here matters a lot though. More on this in my slides.

That being said, milk alternatives are a great replacement when there are issues with milk digestion, leaky gut or need to be eliminated to reduce some hormonal symptoms while healing the root cause of your health issues. 

They can be a part of a healthy diet, but we need to look at ingredient labels more and maybe focus on milks which are more blood glucose regulating, as this is essential for hormonal health.

Follow all the info in this post to find out what happens when we digest these alternative milks and what we should do to feel good soon.

Plant milks are high carbohydrates (sugars)

Most plant milks are high in carbohydrates. They lack blood-sugar balancing protein found in dairy milk. Especially oat milk, which we all love in our flat whites and matcha lattes, is particularly bad, because it spikes our blood sugar levels with its high carbohydrate levels. Some people call oat milk a sugar water.

Blood sugar disregulation is bad for our hormones especially in insulin resistance, and PCOS.

Elevated insulin levels also lead to more stress on our body leading to higher inflammation and problems with weight management, so if you have autoimmune condition or endo or any hormone related health problems this will make your symptoms worse.

But there are steps you cant take now if you love oat flat white or matcha latte:

  • If you love oat lattes, drink them as a dessert drink after a meal which is rich in healthy protein, and fibre. This way you reduce a blood sugar spike.
  • Drink it as a treat, once in a while rather than a daily choice of milk.
  • Replace it with good quality Coconut milk which has the same fat content as animal milk, which will help with blood glucose regulation.
  • Or try Soya Milk which has more protein but make sure you use milk from organic soybeans. Try the Plenish Milks brand.

Most store alternative milks contain inflammatory vegetable oils

Most alternative milks contain vegetable oils like rapeseed (canola) or sunflower oil which are added to give a milk-like richness. They are highly inflammatory and are not healthy like a lot of people assume.

They are partially hydrogenated which makes them rancid and more inflammatory due to its processing. This is already very toxic. On top of that, they are rich in Omega 6 fats, which we already consume in abundance in form of nuts, nut butters, fried foods, processed foods, restaurants meals and all vegan alternatives. This leads to even higher Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio which is inflammatory for our bodies.

This has been linked to many health problems like worse symptoms in autoimmunity, cellular damage including hormone imbalances, digestive issues, skin issues, weight problems.

If you struggle with any hormonal and autoimmune conditions, like endometriosis, PMS, or Hashimoto’s choose cleaner milk alternatives with less ingredients in them. See below some examples of milks with simple ingerdients.

example of plant milks without vegetable oils

Plant milks are less nutritious

Plant milks contain lower levels of calcium, less protein and often have more sugar than traditional dairy milks. The added/fortified vitamins in plant milks are less bio available so the absorption here is questionable.

Dairy milk is rich in protein, calcium, potassium, vitamins D, A, B’s. A2 type protein dairy milks (sheep, goat milk) can be better digested than regular cow’s milk (A1 type) if you struggle with bloating, gas, diarrhea. If you know you can tolerate milk, favour family-farmed, locally sourced, hormone- and antibiotic-free (i.e., organic) dairy.

However, if dairy milk is not an option for you, think on how you can provide nutrients you would find in dairy in a whole food diet.

Add more dark leafy greens for B vitamins, liver for vitamin A and test your vitamin D levels every 6 months to check if you need to supplement. Don’t forget to include 20g of protein with each meal.

Hi! I’m Marzena

I’m a Nutritional Therapist and Endo Warrior. Read more about me here.

I show women with Endometriosis & other hormone imbalances how to use Nutrition and Lifestyle to move from surviving to thriving.

Gain clarity on what to do to feel in balance with your hormones so you can have smooth menstrual cycles, get pregnant naturally, feel full of energy and live the life you deserve.

If you feel like working with me follow this link to find out more about my packages.

Nutritional Therapy

focuses on the whole person. This means that I try to find a root cause of your health problems by taking a holistic viewpoint assessing your diet, lifestyle, work/life balance, your purpose in the world, toxicity at home, underlying nutritional deficiencies, sleep and relaxation, ongoing stress and more. This all plays into our general health and wellbeing.

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