Almonds have long been associated with a heart healthy lifestyle. Almonds are also a crop that is easily grown in the United States. California grows 100% of the United States almonds and exports 80% of the worlds’ almonds. If you are a proud American, almonds consumption can feel patriotic since they are made in the U.S.A.
Although it may seem like almond milk is a rather new health food, almond milk has been around since the medieval ages. It was popular in the medieval ages because it could stay fresh longer than cow’s milk. In China where cows’ milk traditionally has not been popular, milks made from nuts and legumes have been a prevalent staple in the largest Asian markets.
Almond Milk is a plant based milk made from ground almonds soaked in water. The pulp is then strained to leave almond milk. This is similar to how soy milk is made. Because the carbon footprint for almonds is better than traditional dairy, almond milk is also an eco-friendly option!
Almond Milk Benefits
- Has no lactose.
- Does not have cholesterol or saturated fat.
- Low sodium content.
- Unsweetened almond milk has a low glycemic index making it a good choice for individuals with diabetes.
- Contains heart healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Has riboflavin which can aid converting carbohydrates into energy.
- May hinder prostate cancer growth.
- Vegans and vegetarians may prefer almond milk since it is plant based.
- Unopened, almond milk has a longer shelf life than cow’s milk.
Almond Milk Concerns
- Has less protein than cow’s milk or soy milk.
- Is not a good substitute for infants because it can lead to dietary deficiencies.
- Nut allergy sufferers should not consume almond milk.
- Have fewer calories than cow’s milk. Although some varieties may have added sweeteners to increase the calorie count.
- May have additional sweeteners added and other ingredients to add flavor including artificial flavor and natural flavor. This natural flavor may include animal ingredients which makes it not compatible with a vegan or vegetarian’s lifestyle.
- Carrageenan, which comes from seaweed, is used to thicken almond milk. Some research shows chemically modified forms of carrageenan could be a carcinogen. While this form is used in France, further research is needed to determine if this additive is safe in long term use.
- Are more expensive than cow’s milk.
It is great that we have so many milk varieties available. Be sure to read the label for any added ingredients that you may want to avoid like natural flavors, sweeteners or artificial colors. Only you can decide what options work best for your family.
Please share this article if you are a fan of Almond Milk! We would also love to hear from you. Have you tried any alternative milks? What is your favorite brand of almond milk?