Should You Go Dairy-Free?

and what non-milk milk is right for you!

Photos by George Marks and Junko Kimura/Getty Images

Milk used to be simple. The “Got Milk?” ads showed Taylor Swift, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and even Mischa Barton (sigh, The O.C.) donning glorified milk mustaches. By drinking the recommended three glasses per day, they kept their waistlines trim, muscles strong, and bodies nourished. 

But just a few years later, we’re overwhelmed online and at the grocery. When it comes to milk, a well-known source of dairy, many articles claim it causes breakouts or bloat, and has too much sugar. Whole Foods offers multiple types of non-dairy milk, like soy, almond, hemp, coconut, or cashew, as well as regular dairy milk. Even Starbucks now has coconut milk for the dairy-wary. 

What’s the real difference between dairy and non-dairy milk, and is one truly better for us than the other? We’re eager to do what’s best for our bodies, but are hesitant to jump on any bandwagons before doing research. To get to the bottom of the dairy debate, we spoke with Sarah Baker, founder of The Balanced Babe multimedia website, certified health coach and nutritionist.