Almond milk is generally thought to be healthier than ordinary milk. Both have varied nutritional and vitamin contents, as well as variable percentages of minerals and vitamins. The primary distinction is that almond milk contains fewer calories than normal milk.
Almond milk is made by mixing almonds with water and then straining it to remove the solids. Many almond milk manufacturers add additives to match the nutritional content of conventional milk. For flavor, some people add sugar. If you’re trying to avoid sugar, make sure to read the labels on the products you’re buying.
Almond milk vs. cow milk: what’s the difference and which one is healthier?
Are you perplexed by the various milk options? You’re not the only one who feels this way. With the surge in popularity of plant-based diets, demand and interest for almond milk has skyrocketed, while demand for cow’s milk has dwindled in recent years. Is almond milk, on the other hand, a good option? Which is the healthier option? Here’s how almond milk compares to cow milk in terms of nutrition.
What’s the difference between almond milk and cow milk?
Despite the fact that they have the same name, almond milk and cow milk are very different in nature. Almond milk is an imitation milk made by blending water with almonds and straining the mixture to remove the solids and create a liquid. Cow’s milk is a nutrient-rich liquid produced by the mammary glands of dairy cattle, while almond milk is an imitation milk made by blending water with almonds and straining the mixture to remove the solids and create a liquid. Whole milk, 2 percent milk, 1 percent milk, skim milk, and lactose-free milk are all available in cow’s milk, whereas almond milk comes in unsweetened, sweetened, and flavoured versions. Cow’s milk and dairy products have long been popular in numerous cultures, but almond milk and other plant-based milks have only lately become popular in Western culture as alternatives for people who can’t or don’t want to drink cow’s milk for health reasons or for personal reasons.
Almond Milk vs. Cow Milk Nutrition
Almond milk has a low calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and fat content, whereas cow’s milk has a moderate calorie content, but is high in protein, lipids, and carbohydrates. Here’s how 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk compares to cow milk. (1)(2)
- CALORIES: A 1-cup serving of unsweetened almond milk comprises 40 calories, compared to 122 calories in a 1-cup serving of 2 percent cow milk, making almond milk the lower-calorie option. The difference in calories between almond milk and cow’s milk is owing to almond milk’s lack of protein, carbs, and fat, as it is mostly water. However, compared to 2 percent cow’s milk, 1 percent milk and 0 percent milk contain 102 and 83 calories, respectively, making them lower-calorie options.
- ALMOND MILK CONTAINS VERY LITTLE PROTEIN: Cow’s milk is a natural source of high-quality protein, whereas almond milk contains very little. A 1-cup serving of 2% cow milk has 8.1 grams of protein, while a 1-cup serving of unsweetened almond milk has 1.0 grams. Cow’s milk also includes all nine essential amino acids, with casein protein accounting for about 80% of the protein and whey protein accounting for the remaining 20%. (3) Both casein and whey protein have been proven to contain bioactive peptides, which offer a variety of health benefits, including improved immunological function, higher mineral absorption, lower blood pressure, and the growth and maintenance of muscle tissue. (4)(5)(6)
- FAT: Although almonds are a rich source of healthful fat, just a small amount of the fat makes it into the beverage. A 1-cup amount of unsweetened almond milk has 3.0 grams of fat, compared to 4.8 grams of fat in a 1-cup serving of 2 percent cow milk. Although almond milk contains some fat from almonds, it also has added vegetable oils that contribute to its fat content, albeit the amount varies by brand. Cow’s milk comes in a variety of fat levels, including 3.25 percent, 2 percent, 1 percent, and 0 percent, so the specific fat amount will differ depending on the format. Cow’s milk fat is composed of roughly 65 percent saturated fat, 30% monounsaturated fat, and 5% polyunsaturated fatty acids. (7)
- COW’S MILK CONTAINS CARBOHYDRATES: Cow’s milk is a natural supply of carbohydrates, specifically simple carbohydrates in the form of sugar, primarily lactose with trace amounts of monosaccharides and oligosaccharides. (8) A cup of 2 percent cow milk contains 12.3 grams of carbs, whereas a cup of unsweetened almond milk contains only 2.0 grams.
- FIBRE: Neither almond nor cow milk contain a significant amount of fiber. A 1-cup portion of 2 percent cow milk has 0.0 grams of fiber, while a 1-cup serving of unsweetened almond milk has 1.0 grams; however, the fiber content of almond milk varies by brand.
- SUGAR: Lactose, a natural sugar found in cow’s milk, is a source of natural sugars. A 1-cup serving of 2 percent cow milk has 12.3 grams of sugar, compared to 0.4 grams in a 1-cup serving of unsweetened almond milk. While unsweetened almond milk contains very little natural sugar, sweetened and flavoured almond milk generally contains a higher amount of added sugar.
- VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Cow’s milk contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and selenium are all present in a 1-cup serving of 2 percent milk. (2) The loss of fat in 1% and 0% milk reduces the content of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are typically fortified as a result. Almond milk, on the other hand, is mostly made of water and hence has very few vitamins and minerals. The majority of almond milk brands are vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium fortified.
Cow’s milk is a complete food containing solely milk. Cow’s milk does not contain any additions or preservatives, despite the fact that some varieties of milk contain added vitamins and minerals. Almond milk, on the other hand, is a minimally processed food because almonds do not grow in liquid form, require processing, and contain additives such as preservatives, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. Although homemade almond milk is made by soaking and blending almonds with water, straining the mixture to remove the solids until only the liquid remains, store-bought almond milk frequently contains additives like gellan gum, sunflower lecithin, locust bean gum, ascorbic acid, and/or natural flavor. (10)(11)(12)
Cow’s milk is one of the world’s most nutrient-dense foods. It’s a good supply of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Almond milk, on the other hand, includes a relatively little amount of all macronutrients due to the fact that its principal ingredient is water, and most of the micronutrients in almond milk are fortified.
Allergies and Intolerances
Cow’s milk is one of the most common allergens in children, with 2-3 percent of children under the age of 5 in the United States allergic to dairy milk. (13) As a result, non-dairy beverages like almond milk have supplanted traditional dairy products including milk, yogurt, and cheese. While some people have a milk allergy, which is an immune system reaction to the proteins in dairy that causes a variety of symptoms, others have lactose intolerance, which is a bodily reaction to the natural sugar (lactose) found in milk caused by a lack of the enzyme lactase, which is required to break down lactose, but does not involve the immune system. (14) Lactose-free cow’s milk and dairy products are commonly accessible for persons with lactose sensitivity. Cow’s milk may be a preferable option for those who are allergic to almonds or tree nuts.
Calories and Weight Loss
Due to the fact that almond milk is mostly water, it has fewer calories than cow’s milk, which is high in naturally occurring carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. Almond milk may be a lower-calorie option for cow’s milk for those looking to lose weight or cut calories. Alternatively, calorie-reduction might be aided by consuming 0% or 1% cow’s milk and dairy products. That said, if total calorie intake is regulated and consumption supports a calorie deficit, whole milk and 2 percent milk can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. (15) Cow’s milk, especially the higher fat ones, may be a more efficient approach to increase calorie consumption for those seeking to gain weight.
Overall, there are advantages and disadvantages to both almond milk and cow milk, depending on the individual’s diet, health goals, nutritional needs, and personal preferences.
So, almond milk vs. cow milk: which one is healthier?
Cow’s milk is one of the world’s most nutrient-dense foods and one of the first superfoods. Cow milk is an excellent nutritious choice because it has a natural balance of carbohydrates, protein, and lipids, as well as over 15 necessary components. Almond milk is a viable plant-based alternative for individuals who cannot or do not want to eat cow’s milk. Almond milk contains less protein, fat, carbs, and micronutrients than cow’s milk, owing to the fact that water is the predominant constituent.
The Bottom Line
Cow’s milk and almond milk are fundamentally different foods, despite the fact that they are frequently compared. Cow’s milk is a natural source of carbs, protein, lipids, vitamins, and minerals, whereas almond milk is a fortified water-based substitute for individuals who can’t eat dairy. If you’re going to drink almond milk, check the labels carefully and choose variants with little added sugar and natural components.
Why should you consume almond milk rather than milk?
Almond milk’s vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants help to deliver essential health benefits:
Magnesium is abundant in almond milk. This mineral is one of your body’s four most common minerals. It is a required component of over 300 key enzyme processes. Magnesium is particularly crucial for blood sugar regulation and energy utilization in the body.
Because almond milk is not made from animals, it does not contain lactose. As a result, lactose intolerance sufferers can use it as an alternative. Almond milk can be substituted for cow milk in any recipe that calls for it.
Unsweetened almond milk has fewer sugars and carbs than animal milk. It contains 50 to 80 percent fewer calories than dairy milk while maintaining a similar level of flavor. As a result, it is classified as a low-glycemic-index food. Almond milk is less likely to trigger blood sugar increases as a result of this.
Calcium is added to the majority of commercial almond milk brands. Calcium is essential for bone health since it makes up the majority of the hard structures in bones. Calcium maintains your bones strong and can aid in the fight against osteoporosis.
Almond milk is high in Vitamin E, an antioxidant that has been shown to benefit the brain. Vitamin E deficiency has been linked to a lower risk of cognitive illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease in studies. In severe cases of Alzheimer’s Disease, it has also been found to halt the progression of the disease.
Antioxidants are necessary for minimizing free radical damage. These chemicals have the potential to damage surrounding cells, resulting in everything from aging signs to cancer. The minerals and antioxidants in almond milk can help your body better control free radicals.
What is the healthiest milk?
Hemp milk is prepared from crushed, soaked hemp seeds that are free of the psychotropic ingredient found in Cannabis sativa plants.
Protein and omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fats are abundant in the seeds. As a result, hemp milk has a somewhat higher concentration of these nutrients than other plant milks.
Although hemp milk is almost carb-free, some brands include sweets, which raise the carb count. Make sure to read the ingredient label and get hemp or any other plant milk that hasn’t been sweetened.
On the ingredient label, sugar may be described as brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, or cane sugar.
The seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant are used to make hemp milk. While the drink isn’t psychotropic, it does include more healthful fats and protein than other plant milks.
Is almond milk a better alternative than cow’s milk?
The fat and salt content are nearly comparable, and while cow’s milk contains somewhat more protein, it’s not enough to make a significant difference in your diet. Almond milk is somewhat healthier than cow’s milk and is good for lactose-intolerant persons. It also contains vitamin D, which cow’s milk does not.
Which milk is the most effective for weight loss?
For most people, cow’s milk is the ideal option because it provides a good source of protein and calcium.
Switch to reduced-fat or skim milk if you’re trying to lose weight.
Lactose intolerant people should choose lactose-free milk.
Soy milk is recommended for those who have a cow’s milk protein allergy or who eat a vegan or plant-based diet because it contains the majority of the nutrients found in cow’s milk.
Calcium and vitamin D are essential in all types of milk, so pick calcium- and vitamin D-fortified versions whenever possible.
Why Lite n’ Easy?
Ashleigh Jones is a Registered Dietitian with over 10 years of experience in hospitals, corporate health, private practice, and the food sector. She is a published researcher who has worked in a variety of fields, including genetics, multiple sclerosis, and sports nutrition. Ashleigh is an expert in endocrine problems, having a special focus in weight loss, pituitary and thyroid disorders, and diabetes management. Ashleigh is passionate about encouraging healthy habits, particularly among busy people, and she provides simple and long-term nutrition solutions.
Q. Is it healthy to drink almond milk every day?
A. Almond milk is healthy for your body. Drinking a glass of this delicious beverage every day will assist you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One of the most important advantages of drinking almond milk on a daily basis is that it strengthens your immune system and makes it easier to fight infections and disorders.
Q. Is almond milk healthier than milk?
A. Almond milk has a lower carbohydrate amount than ordinary milk, although having a higher fat content. As a result, because of its low calorie content, almond milk is usually the best choice for dieters. With only 40kCal calories per cup, dairy milk contains nearly double the number of calories as unsweetened almond milk.
Q. Is almond milk good for weight loss?
A. Of course. Your weight-loss journey will be aided with almond milk. It’s because of the low calorie count. Almond milk is a popular weight-loss food that can assist you in a variety of ways. It also has a good amount of protein and is low in fat. As a result, it’s good for weight loss.
Q. Are there any side effects of almond milk?
A. Of course. Almond milk may have some negative consequences. These adverse effects, on the other hand, are exclusively caused by overconsumption and nut allergies. Nut allergies, thyroid problems, excessive blood sugar, skin responses, and stomach problems are all possible side effects.
Q. Is almond milk good for the skin?
A. Of course. Almond milk is beneficial to the skin since it is high in moisture. As a result, the skin is rejuvenated and refreshed, remaining smooth, plump, and hydrated. It also has a lot of antioxidants, which assist to keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay.
Q. Which is healthier, almond or oat milk?
In terms of nutrition, almond milk is somewhat superior to oat milk. Almond milk, for example, is high in vitamin E, which is healthy for your skin and immune system.
Q. Can I drink almond milk at night?
A. Almond milk is a sleep-inducing alternative to the conventional bedtime treatment, and it may be a good choice. Additionally, it raises serotonin levels, which can aid in better sleep.
Q. When should I drink almond milk?
A. Almond milk can be consumed in the morning or at night. It is entirely up to you when you want it. To gain the health benefits, though, it is recommended to have it first thing in the morning.
Q. Can you warm up almond milk?
A. At room temperature, almond milk provides all of its benefits. Low to moderate temperatures can be used to heat or warm it. It’s not a good idea to heat almond milk to a high temperature because it reduces its nutritious value.
Q. What kind of milk is good for PCOS?
A. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop insulin resistance, and dairy consumption can raise insulin levels. As a result, seek for unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk (unsweetened), hemp milk (unsweetened), flax milk (unsweetened), cashew milk (unsweetened), pea milk (unsweetened), and other healthy choices.
Does almond milk cause weight gain?
Sweetened almond milk provides certain health benefits, but there are a few things to remember:
Protein content is low. The protein content of sweetened almond milk is lower than that of soy milk or cow’s milk. Each 8-ounce serving contains 1 gram of protein. If you switch to almond milk, be sure you’re receiving adequate protein from other sources.
Calorie content is higher. Sweetened almond milk is higher in sugar and calories than unsweetened almond milk. Drinking too much sweetened almond milk (or other sweetened beverage) can make you gain weight.
Not suited for children under the age of three. Protein levels in sweetened almond milk are minimal. It is not suggested for babies under the age of one year.
Almond milk that has not been sweetened is healthier than almond milk that has been sweetened. Enjoy sweetened almond milk in moderation if you desire it.
Is it true that almond milk can make your breasts bigger?
We assess the claim that consuming two cups of almond milk per day will improve a woman’s breast size as FALSE since it is based on nutritional claims that have not been proven in the scientific literature. While almond milk does contain phytoestrogen, it has a minor effect on the body when compared to estrogen produced naturally. Furthermore, the phytoestrogens in almond milk belong to a type of phytoestrogens that has extremely modest effects.
Is almond milk a good way to lose weight?
Plant-based beverages have fewer calories than traditional dairy milk. Switching to almond milk may help people lose weight by lowering their calorie intake (3).
Weight loss can typically be achieved or aided by reducing food energy consumption (4).
Depending on your goals, small switches from high-calorie items to low-calorie foods can be an efficient approach to reduce or maintain calorie intake (4).
A evaluation of 67 studies suggests that lowering dietary energy consumption may aid with weight loss (5).
Many commercial almond milks, on the other hand, are sweetened or flavored with added sugars, making them higher in calories. Varying brands may use different amounts of sugar, so if you’re concerned about sugar, examine the nutrition label and ingredient list.
Additionally, because unfiltered, handmade almond milk may include more almonds, it may be higher in calories.
Is it preferable to drink oat or almond milk?
If you have a nut allergy or wish to enhance your vitamin B12 and riboflavin intake, oat milk is the preferable choice. If you’re trying to lose weight, almond milk is the way to go because it’s low in calories and fat. For additional information, go to Insider’s Health Reference library.