What is the safest way to avoid dairy that may be contaminated with growth hormones?

ask our dietitian your question todayalmond milk alternative

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I have seen articles stating that growth hormones are given to dairy cattle to increase lactation. What alternatives are safest?

1) Almond Milk – which I presently blend myself

2) Powdered skim milk – which I assume is contaminated

3) Organic Milk – probably fine, but pricey

– Theodore G.

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It sounds like you are referring to rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin); a genetically engineered growth hormone used to enhance milk production. Treating dairy cows with rBST is a common practice in the United States since its introduction 20 years ago.

Alternatives that would be 100% hormone free are those that are derived from plants: soy, rice, almond, hemp and coconut. Milk from organically raised dairy cows without synthetic hormones or antibiotics would contain traces of their natural growth hormone. Organic cows’ milk has a better profile of fats; namely more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Contaminants (like strep bacteria) are common in both conventionally and organically raised cattle. Organic milk is better, but not perfect.

Other options might be goat or sheep’s milk which are pricey and more difficult to find.

Debbie J., MS, RD

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Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.

Posted on January 2, 2014, in Ask Our Dietitian, Health, Helpful, Nutrition, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Soy milk can be a problem for two reasons:

    First, lots of soy these day is genetically modified. You do not want GMO’s.

    Secondly, soy has chemicals that can mimic estrogen in the body. This isn’t good for men and their manly hood, and it could also contribute to increased cancer in women.

    My research had found for the best nutritional and health benefits, drink raw, organic milk. Unpasteurized and unhominized milk is much better for you. But that may be a little more difficult to obtain.

    Your next choice would be hemp milk. It taste good and is loaded with nutrients. Hemp is considered a super food. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

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