Are you a fan of almond milk?
It’s become a popular alternative to cow’s milk due to lactose intolerance or milk protein allergies and sensitivities.
But have you ever wondered about the calcium carbonate added to many brands of almond milk?
Is it safe for consumption?
In this article, we’ll explore the potential dangers of consuming too much calcium carbonate and how it compares to other forms of calcium.
Plus, we’ll take a closer look at the nutritional content of almond milk and other plant-based milks to help you make informed decisions about your diet.
So, let’s dive in and find out if calcium carbonate in almond milk is bad for you.
Is Calcium Carbonate In Almond Milk Bad For You?
Calcium carbonate is a common additive in many brands of almond milk. It’s used to fortify the milk with calcium, which is an essential nutrient for bone health. However, consuming too much calcium carbonate can have negative effects on your health.
Calcium carbonate is derived from non-organic, non-living mineral sources such as chalk and eggshells. This means that when you consume almond milk with added calcium carbonate, you’re essentially consuming chalk.
Moreover, recent studies have linked calcium supplementation with serious health risks such as cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, and kidney stones. It may even increase the rate of hip fractures in older women.
Many foods, including almond milk, breakfast cereals, and orange juice, are fortified with supplemental forms of calcium. This should alert you to the fact that people are commonly consuming large amounts of dangerous supplements without even realizing it.
It’s important to note that not all forms of calcium are created equal. Calcium carbonate is a cheap and concentrated form of calcium that can contribute to constipation and bloating.
If you’re drinking more than two cups of almond milk per day, it’s recommended that you switch to a brand that uses a less concentrated form of calcium called tricalcium phosphate.
What Is Calcium Carbonate And Why Is It Added To Almond Milk?
Calcium carbonate is a natural product that is commonly used as a dietary supplement to increase calcium levels. It’s also used as an ingredient in antacids and added to food as an additive. While it’s approved for use in food with no limitations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it doesn’t naturally occur in foods.
Many brands of almond milk have added calcium carbonate to their products to fortify them with calcium, which is essential for bone health. However, consuming too much calcium carbonate can have negative effects on your health, such as contributing to constipation and bloating.
The problem with many brands of almond milk is that they add too much calcium carbonate to their products. This form of calcium is cheap and concentrated, which means that it can contribute to health risks such as cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, and kidney stones.
It’s important to note that not all forms of calcium are created equal. Tricalcium phosphate is a less concentrated form of calcium that is less likely to contribute to constipation and bloating. If you’re drinking more than two cups of almond milk per day, it’s recommended that you switch to a brand that uses tricalcium phosphate instead of calcium carbonate.
Potential Dangers Of Consuming Too Much Calcium Carbonate
Consuming too much calcium carbonate can lead to a buildup of calcium crystals in the soft tissues of the body, which can damage the heart, lung, and kidneys. This can cause abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle weakness, and bone pain.
In addition, excessive consumption of calcium supplements has been linked to an increased risk of hypercalcemia, a condition where there is too much calcium in the blood. This can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, and confusion.
Furthermore, excessive calcium intake can interfere with the absorption of other essential minerals such as iron and zinc. It can also lead to an imbalance in the body’s pH levels, which can cause a range of health problems.
It’s important to note that the best source of calcium is through a balanced diet that includes calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, and fish. Consuming too many supplements or fortified foods can result in an overconsumption of calcium carbonate and may lead to negative health consequences.
How Calcium Carbonate Compares To Other Forms Of Calcium
When it comes to calcium supplements, it’s important to consider not just the quantity of calcium, but also the bioavailability, or how much of the calcium our bodies are able to absorb and utilize. Calcium in milk is primarily found in the form of calcium phosphate, which is approximately 30 percent bioavailable.
Calcium carbonate, which is commonly used to fortify almond milk, has roughly the same bioavailability as calcium phosphate. This means that consuming almond milk fortified with calcium carbonate can provide a similar amount of absorbable calcium as cow’s milk.
However, it’s important to note that there are other forms of calcium supplements with even higher absorption rates, such as calcium citrate. While calcium citrate is not typically used to fortify milk alternatives like almond milk, it is often used in calcium-fortified orange juice.
Nutritional Content Of Almond Milk And Other Plant-Based Milks
When it comes to comparing the nutritional content of almond milk and other plant-based milks, it’s important to note that the nutrient profile can vary depending on the brand and type of milk.
Almond milk, for example, is low in calories with only 39 calories per cup (240 ml). It’s also a good source of vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical damage. Some brands of almond milk are fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which are important nutrients for bone health. However, homemade versions of almond milk are not a good source of these nutrients.
In terms of protein content, almond milk falls short with only 1 gram per cup (240 ml). This is significantly lower than dairy milk, which contains over 8 grams of protein per cup. Some newer nut milk varieties have added pea protein to increase their protein content.
Soy milk, on the other hand, contains about 7 grams of protein per cup (240 ml), making it a better option for those who need more protein in their diet. Soy milk is also a good source of calcium, although the body may not absorb all of the calcium due to the natural compound phytate inhibiting absorption.
Hemp milk is another plant-based milk that is gaining popularity due to its high omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid content. It’s also a good source of calcium and vitamin D. However, it’s important to note that hemp milk is lower in protein compared to soy milk.
Oat milk is another option that has gained popularity in recent years. It’s naturally sweet and creamy, making it a great option for those who don’t like the taste of unsweetened plant-based milks. Oat milk is also a good source of fiber and contains beta-glucans, which have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.
It’s important to check the nutrition label when choosing a plant-based milk to ensure that it meets your nutritional needs. Look for brands that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D and have minimal added sugars. Additionally, if you’re concerned about getting enough protein in your diet, consider opting for soy or pea protein fortified plant-based milks.
Making Informed Decisions About Your Diet And Almond Milk Consumption
When it comes to making informed decisions about your diet and almond milk consumption, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that almond milk sold in supermarkets is mainly water. Most of the almond solids are strained out, which means that the milk is low in fat and protein.
While almond milk can be a good alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or have milk protein allergies and sensitivities, it’s important to be aware of the additives in the milk. Many brands of almond milk add calcium carbonate to the product to fortify it with calcium.
Consuming too much calcium carbonate can lead to constipation, bloating, and even contribute to calcium-based kidney stones. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of how much almond milk you’re consuming and to look for brands that use a less concentrated form of calcium, such as tricalcium phosphate.
It’s also worth noting that the best source of calcium doesn’t come from the “milk” aisle – it comes from dark green/leafy vegetables like kale, collards, swiss chard, broccoli, mustard greens, as well as foods like almonds (better to eat the almonds), sesame seeds, and even oranges.
Ultimately, making informed decisions about your diet and almond milk consumption means understanding the ingredients in your food and being mindful of how much you’re consuming. Speak to a dietitian for more recommendations on how to ensure you’re getting adequate nutrients in your diet.