Everyone knows that milk is good for you, whether you’re a kid that’s still growing or an adult. It contains a lot of great nutrients that’ll keep your body healthy and strong. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to drink dairy milk. Some have dairy milk allergies while others are unable to digest lactose, a primary ingredient in dairy milk. Because of this sad fact, a whole boat load of milk alternatives have cropped up. Walking along the milk aisle in your local grocery store, you’ll see soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, and more. With so many options available, which one should you choose?
In the past few years, one of the most popular choices has been almond milk. Many who have tried it rave about its benefits and taste in comparison to dairy milk. But, is almond milk really healthy? Or is this just a trend that will soon go away? Today, we’ll be exploring what almond milk can do for you, both good and bad so you can finally find out if the answer to our question is a yes or a resounding no.
Pros of Drinking Almond Milk:
Let’s start with the good stuff. What makes almond milk a good alternative to cow’s milk? One of the best benefits of drinking almond milk is that it can help you lose weight and keep it off. Compared to all other milk options, including those that are labeled nonfat, skimmed, or fat free, this popular milk alternative has lesser calories. One cup of almond milk (without any flavorings or sweeteners added) contains around 60 calories, 86 less than what is found in a cup of whole milk. This little fact makes it the best alternative for individuals who are on a low calorie diet or at least need to lower their daily caloric intake but still get the nutrients one needs from dairy milk.
Rich in Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants
Almond milk has a naturally high concentration of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vitamin E, manganese, and iron. Other types of milk, on the other hand, such as cow’s milk and soy milk, need to be fortified with these vitamins and minerals. As mentioned before, almond milk contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help slow down signs of aging as well as prevent cancer. Vitamin E is also essential to skin health, ensuring that your skin continues to have that youthful glow. In addition, the flavonoids in the milk help protect the body from several degenerative diseases such as type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis by reducing the number of free radicals in your body.
Now, the amount of calcium in almond milk isn’t as high as that in cow’s milk. However, it does contain enough calcium and vitamin D to help lessen the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis. This amount of calcium and vitamin D also helps improve your immune function. Lastly, these nutrients are able to help your bones and teeth stay healthy and strong.
Almond milk has zero cholesterol and saturated fats which bodes well for your cardiovascular system. In addition, the large amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the milk can help decrease the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your body and protect your heart. Lastly, almond milk is low in sodium which also helps prevent high blood pressure.
Low on Sugar
For those who want to watch their sugar intake, almond milk contains a low amount of sugar – only 7 grams in a cup of unsweetened and unflavored milk. This means that drinking it won’t affect your blood sugar levels much, decreasing your chances of incurring diabetes. In addition, these sugars aren’t stored as fat. Instead, the body will burn these as energy.
Many who’ve heard about almond milk have asked this question: is almond milk dairy? And the answer is a resounding no. Almond milk contains no dairy products, particularly zero lactose. This highly nutritive milk is the perfect choice for those who are unable to digest lactose or is allergic to dairy products.
Cons of Drinking Almond Milk:
There are only two disadvantages of almond milk. One, it’s not safe for individuals who have tree nut allergies. Almond milk has no lactose, guten, or casein, making it a safe milk alternative for those who are allergic to those ingredients. But those who are allergic to tree nuts, of which almonds are a part of, drinking this dairy milk alternative could prove hazardous to their health.
Another CON to drinking almond milk is that some brands contain a food additive called carrageenan. Now, this ingredient is FDA-approved. However, there is research that indicates the possibility of carrageenan contributing to cancer. In addition, it may also cause gastrointestinal inflammation which may aggravate illnesses within the digestive system such as ulcerative colitis and IBS. Of course, further research is still required to prove these points.
Based on everything we’ve laid out, is almond milk healthy? Yes. Yes, it is. It’s definitely got a lot of good in it and the only thing you have to worry about is if you are allergic to tree nuts. As for the carrageenan issue, there’s always the option of making it yourself.