Almond milk is becoming more and more popular, with sales passing the $700 million mark. It is widely considered as a substitute for regular milk and heavily incorporated in the diets of lactose intolerant and vegans alike. You can either buy it from the store or make your own at home by grinding almonds in a blender with water. But before this you may wonder: is almond milk healthy?
It almost seems like a super food. But is almond milk a complete substitute for cow’s milk? Is almond milk healthy for everyone? In this article, were going to look at the nutritional benefits and potential issues that might be involved.
Nutritional Benefits of Almond Milk
- First of all, the main benefit of almond milk is that it does not contain lactose. Around 25% of the American population is lactose-intolerant. So this is one of the most popular choices for a substitute. It has a creamy texture and a pleasant flavor, making it a very popular product.
- Almond milk is a top product when it comes to maintaining or losing weight. One cup has only 30 calories. Also, because it is not animal based, it has no saturated fat or cholesterol. On the contrary, it is high in omega-3 fatty acids that help in the prevention of cardiac diseases. And because it is low in carbs and sodium, there are no risks for increased blood sugar levels.
- Almond milk also contains almost half of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E which keeps your skin healthy by combating sun damage. There also high amounts of B vitamins that are important for muscle growth.
- And finally, almond milk can be easily digested, with only one gram of fiber per serving.
Almond Milk on the Market – What are we paying for?
While eating raw almonds is entirely recommended as they’re a great source of protein and antioxidants, almond milk is literally the watered-down version. Researchers have shown that the almond milk that’s being sold on the market is mostly water with a handful of almonds and added sugars.
Is almond milk healthy following this process? Not entirely. The nutritional value of the almonds is lost in the processing of the product and one cup does not give you the recommended amount. You would have to drink the entire carton to make up for the loss. Here also intervenes the issue of paying extra for a product that is essentially stripped of its nutrients and with added sweeteners.
Is Almond Milk Healthy for Everyone?
Compared to cow’s milk, almond milk is not as nutritious. Almond milk contains phytic acid, which reduces the absorption of iron, magnesium, and zinc. Therefore, substituting milk with almond milk in infants will cause them to develop nutritional deficiencies and growth problems.
Almond milk on the market might have added sweeteners that will damage your dietary plan. You have to always make sure to read the labels to avoid the added calories and fat.
Also, for those who are prone to kidney stones should avoid consuming too much almond milk as it contains a high amount of oxalate. This is an antinutrient which forms mineral compounds that sufferers might have problems eliminating.
How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
Taking all this into consideration, is almond milk healthy? By itself, almond milk is not unhealthy. However, the varieties on the market have added sweeteners and additives. Not only that, but the beverage itself is mostly water with only a handful of almonds thrown in that do not offer the entire nutritional value of the raw product. In addition, the price is a little too high for the content inside the carton.
So, if you do not want to skip on almond milk, a better and healthier option for you is to make it at home.
- Make sure to add more almonds and avoid the temptation to add any sugar.
- Add water by considering the consistency of the drink that you prefer the most.
- Soaking them overnight helps with the saturation of the antinutrient and you can process it better.
- For best results, try to use raw almonds but those can be tricky to get.
Final Words: Is It Worth It?
But almond milk does have its benefits but you should be cautious when consuming it. It can be part of a healthy diet and it’s a good option for those who have allergies or are lactose intolerant. But the deceptive products on the market should be avoided and whenever possible, try the homemade option.