Are you a fan of almond milk but concerned about the presence of carrageenan in your favorite brand?
You’re not alone.
Carrageenan, a common thickening agent and emulsifier derived from red seaweed, has been linked to gastrointestinal issues and even colon cancer in animals.
But fear not, almond milk lovers!
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Trader Joe’s almond milk and whether or not it contains carrageenan. We’ll also explore some of the best and worst almond milk brands on the market, so you can make an informed decision about what to pour into your morning coffee or smoothie.
Let’s dive in!
Does Trader Joe’s Almond Milk Have Carrageenan?
If you’re a fan of Trader Joe’s and their almond milk, you’ll be pleased to know that their refrigerated almond milk does not contain carrageenan. However, it’s important to note that the ingredients may vary in their other almond milk products.
Carrageenan is a controversial ingredient that has been linked to gastrointestinal issues and colon cancer in animals. While the research on its effects on humans is still ongoing, many people choose to avoid it in their diets.
If you’re looking for a carrageenan-free almond milk option at Trader Joe’s, be sure to check the ingredients label before making your purchase.
What Is Carrageenan And Why Is It Controversial?
Carrageenan is a natural extract derived from red seaweed, commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean. It is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier in a variety of food and non-food products, including dairy alternatives, deli meats, and cosmetics. Carrageenan has been deemed safe for use in food and consumer products by federal and international food safety agencies, including the FDA and Health Canada.
However, carrageenan has also been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation, lesions, and colon cancer in animals. While research on its effects on humans is still ongoing, individuals with inflammatory bowel disease or other gastrointestinal disorders are cautioned to avoid this ingredient as it can exacerbate symptoms and inflammation.
Due to these concerns, many consumers have expressed a desire for carrageenan-free products. In response to customer feedback, several companies have announced plans to remove carrageenan from their products. Trader Joe’s almond milk does not contain carrageenan in their refrigerated option, but it’s important to check the ingredients label for their other almond milk products.
The Risks Of Consuming Carrageenan
Carrageenan is a common food additive derived from red seaweed that is often used as a thickener, stabilizer, or emulsifier in dairy and dairy alternative products. While it may seem harmless, research has linked carrageenan to increased inflammation in the body, particularly gastrointestinal inflammation that can lead to colitis-like disease and even tumor promotion.
Consuming carrageenan on a regular basis can put your health at risk, especially if you have pre-existing gastrointestinal issues such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It’s important to note that carrageenan is found in many popular foods, including organic products that are marketed as healthy options.
While some people may not experience any negative effects from consuming carrageenan, it’s still a good idea to be aware of its potential risks and to make informed choices about what you eat. If you’re concerned about the effects of carrageenan on your health, consider choosing carrageenan-free alternatives or limiting your consumption of foods that contain this ingredient.
The Almond Milk Industry’s Use Of Carrageenan
Carrageenan is a common additive used in many food products, including almond milk. It is derived from red seaweed and is added to give products a fuller consistency and prevent ingredients from separating. The almond milk industry has been using carrageenan as an additive for many years, and it’s not just Trader Joe’s that has been using it.
Many food manufacturers add carrageenan to health foods like almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, yogurt, soy milk, and ice cream. It has been in use in food since the 1930s and was allowed in organic food production until 2017 when the National Organics Standard Board decided to remove it from the list of approved additives.
However, carrageenan’s safety has been under fire lately, and many people are concerned about its potential health risks. Once processed and degraded, carrageenan becomes what has now been deemed by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as a probable carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer).
Multiple studies have displayed carrageenan’s strong link to intestinal ulcerations, birth defects, diabetes, and cancer in lab animals. It has also been proven to cause inflammation in the body — inflammation being the root cause of various cancers, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
Despite these concerns, many food manufacturers continue to use carrageenan as an additive in their products. It is used as a thickener/stabilizer/texturizer in everything from yogurt and popsicles to processed meats and cosmetics.
If you’re concerned about carrageenan in your almond milk or other food products, be sure to read the ingredients label carefully before making your purchase. There are still a variety of almond and other substitute milks at the store that don’t use carrageenan, and if you’re into it, try experimenting with making your own alternative milk! Homemade is almost always best.
Trader Joe’s Almond Milk Ingredients
Trader Joe’s Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk contains the following ingredients: water, organic almonds, sea salt, tricalcium phosphate, gellan gum, organic locust bean gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), and vitamin B12. It is important to note that this information is specific to the refrigerated almond milk and may vary in other almond milk products.
The almond base in this almond milk is made up of at least 10% organic almonds. The sea salt and tricalcium phosphate are added for flavor and as a source of calcium. Gellan gum and organic locust bean gum are used as thickeners and stabilizers to help give the almond milk its creamy texture.
Additionally, this almond milk is fortified with vitamins A, D2, E, and B12. Vitamin A palmitate is added for eye health and immune function. Vitamin D2 is added for bone health and calcium absorption. DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E) is added as an antioxidant to help protect cells from damage. Vitamin B12 is added for nerve function and red blood cell production.
The Truth About Carrageenan In Trader Joe’s Almond Milk
Carrageenan is a common ingredient in many dairy and non-dairy products, including almond milk. It is derived from red seaweed and is used as a thickener and stabilizer in food products. While it is a natural ingredient, there has been controversy surrounding its safety.
Some studies have linked carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation, which can lead to colitis-like disease and tumor promotion. This has raised concerns about its potential harmful effects on human health.
However, it’s important to note that not all forms of carrageenan are created equal. Food Grade Carrageenan, which is derived from raw red seaweed using an alkali process, has been deemed safe for use in food and consumer products. It’s the degraded form of carrageenan, also known as poligeenan, that has been linked to negative health effects.
Trader Joe’s almond milk does not contain carrageenan in its refrigerated almond milk product. However, it’s important to check the ingredients label of other almond milk products at Trader Joe’s to ensure that they do not contain carrageenan.
If you’re concerned about the potential health effects of carrageenan, there are alternatives to almond milk that do not contain this ingredient. You can also make your own almond milk at home using raw or pre-soaked almonds, filtered water, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup or raw honey. By taking control of your diet and being mindful of the ingredients in your food products, you can make informed decisions about what you consume.
Alternatives To Carrageenan In Almond Milk
There are several alternatives to carrageenan that can be used as thickeners and emulsifiers in almond milk. One common alternative is gellan gum, which is Whole30 compliant and has a similar texture to carrageenan. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze removed all carrageenan from their almond milk products and replaced it with gellan gum, making it a great option for those looking for a carrageenan-free alternative.
Another alternative is xanthan gum, which is often used in gluten-free baking and as a thickener in sauces and dressings. However, it’s important to note that some people may have an allergic reaction to xanthan gum.
Guar gum is another option that can be used as a thickener in almond milk. It’s derived from guar beans and has a similar texture to carrageenan. However, like xanthan gum, some people may have an allergic reaction to guar gum.