Almond milk is okay for you, though it does not have the nutritional qualities of almonds alone. However, it is a reasonable substitute for regular milk for those who are vegan, lactose intolerant or simply don't like cow's milk.
Over the past few years, almond milk has seen a huge jump in sales as people make more of an effort to be health-conscious. There are a variety of reasons why you may think to make the switch-- the fat and cholesterol content of regular milk, concern over the ethical treatment of animals, and lactose intolerance, just to name a few. However, many may not realize that almond milk does little to support good health and that other options may be more beneficial.
It would be reasonable to assume that since it is called "almond milk" it would have similar nutritional qualities, particularly in regards to protein and calcium, to both almonds and milk. However, this is not the case. Almond milk is mostly made of water, thickeners, and sweeteners, with a shockingly low amount of actual almonds present in the drink. Cow's milk provides eight times as much protein per cup than almond milk (8 grams versus 1 gram), while the calcium content in almond milk is nearly negligible. Certain brands of almond milk are fortified with vitamins and minerals, though, so that they can be a worthier addition to your diet. Just make sure to always check the label as almond milk is likely to contain sneaky additives that may negatively affect you. One such additive is carrageenan, a thickening agent derived from seaweed that is known to cause gastrointestinal inflammation in sensitive individuals. If digestive distress is what you are trying to avoid, almond milk may not be for you!
It's not all bad news, though-- almond milk is relatively low in calories and sodium and has no saturated fat or cholesterol, which makes it great if you are watching your weight. It has a low glycemic index, which means that it won't impact your blood sugar levels and is consequently a good choice for those affected by diabetes. Some dermatologists even recommend almond milk for acne patients as it isn't riddled with added hormones as regular cow's milk often is. Almond milk is, therefore, okay for you. If you want to gain all the benefits of a true almond milk, though, why not try making it yourself?
Possible short-term side effects
- digestive distress
Possible long-term side effects
- nutritional deficiencies in infants, if fed to them in place of breast milk or formula
Ingredients to be aware of
- vegan, gluten- and dairy-free
- low in calories
- contains good fats that protect your heart
- high in antioxidants
- low glycemic index
Trusted brands / alternatives (what is this?)
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Written by Lindsay | 02-10-2016
Written by Lindsay
Suggest improvement or correction