What Is Wrong With Almond Milk?

The Mic Network reports that “Almond milk, the ever-popular soy-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly milk alternative now found in chic eateries and coffee shops everywhere, is destroying the earth.”

According to a Fortune Magazine article, almond milk has grown in popularity as a dairy-free alternative for vegans and lactose-intolerant coffee drinkers alike in recent years, becoming more popular than other non-dairy milks. The market for almond milk grew by 250 percent between 2010 and 2015.

When compared to dairy milk, many consumers choose almond milk since it has a lower carbon footprint. However, almond milk has a negative impact on the environment in other ways, which may surprise you. The main concerns with almond milk production are water use and pesticide use, both of which may have long-term environmental consequences in drought-stricken California, which produces more than 80% of the world’s almonds.

Commercial almond farming in California necessitates irrigation with ground and surface water diverted from the state’s aqueduct system. According to a New York Times report, it takes around 15 gallons of water to produce 16 almonds, making almonds one of the state’s most water-intensive crops. Almond milk’s reputation as a healthy alternative has been questioned by critics who argue that the nutritional benefits do not outweigh the amounts of water required to cultivate almonds.

Given that California produces more than two billion almonds, it’s simple to see why the amount of water diverted for this purpose is significant enough to be concerning. And, because many almonds are cultivated on land that has been converted from natural areas or farms cultivating low-water crops to fulfill the expanding demand for almonds, the increased irrigation needs have been significant.

Forbes reports that “Almond farms have been established on 23,000 acres of natural land. 16,000 acres of the area had previously been categorized as wetlands. In addition, some agricultural land has been turned to almonds from lower-water crops.”

Because the ground in the San Joaquin Valley, where most almonds are grown, is already sinking due to groundwater depletion, the additional wells farmers are digging to irrigate new orchards could have long-term consequences for California and its residents who rely on groundwater for drinking water.

Pesticide use in commercial almond production has been known to contaminate already scarce water supplies and contribute to the toxification of drinking water for people in California’s farming areas, exacerbating the problem. The USDA Pesticide Data Program has identified residues of nine distinct pesticides on almonds, five of which are hazardous to honey bees, according to the Pesticide Action Network, creating another another environmental threat.

A final point to consider is that certain store-bought almond milk brands contain carrageenan, a stabilizer and thickening chemical that has been linked to gastric issues.

According to the California Almond Board, the almond industry is working to promote sustainable water usage and boost water efficiency, so there are some solutions in the works. And, while just a few million almonds are currently certified organic, more farmers are opting to go this route, resulting in a rise in certified organic almond products on the market.

  • Think about your possibilities. You might alternate between several non-dairy milks, as each has its own set of perks and drawbacks. Goat and sheep milk are nutrient-dense and less allergic alternatives to cow’s milk.
  • Make your own version. If almond milk is a must-have in your life, try making it at home with organic almonds. At the very least, you’ll be able to manage how much water is used in the milk-making process, resulting in a purer product.
  • Purchase organically certified products. Pesticides aren’t used in certified organic almond milk, and there’s often less water used as well. When shopping, pick this option. Inquire if the caf uses certified organic products, and if not, propose they do so.
  • Carrageenan-containing brands should be avoided. When purchasing almond milk, read the label carefully and avoid types that contain carrageenan.

Lacks protein

Almond milk has only 1 gram of protein per cup (240 ml), compared to 8 and 7 grams in cow’s and soy milk, respectively (16, 17).

Protein is required for a variety of body processes, including muscular growth, skin and bone construction, and the generation of enzymes and hormones (18, 19, 20).

Beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and hemp seeds are among the high-protein dairy-free and plant-based foods.

If you don’t mind eating animal products, eggs, fish, poultry, and beef are all good sources of protein (21).

Unsuitable for infants

Cow’s or plant-based milks should not be given to children under the age of one year because they can inhibit iron absorption. Until 46 months of age, breastfeed or use infant formula exclusively until solid meals can be introduced (22).

Offer water as a nutritious beverage option in addition to breast milk or formula at 6 months of age. Cow’s milk can be given to your infant’s diet after the age of one (22).

Plant-based drinks, with the exception of soy milk, are inherently low in protein, fat, calories, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin D, and calcium. These nutrients are necessary for development and growth (23, 24).

Almond milk has only 39 calories per cup, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein (240 ml). This is insufficient for a developing infant (5, 24).

Continue to breastfeed or see your doctor for the best nondairy formula if you don’t want your kid to swallow cow’s milk (23).

May contain additives

Sugar, salt, gums, tastes, and lecithin and carrageenan can all be included in processed almond milk (types of emulsifiers).

Texture and consistency are achieved by the use of emulsifiers and gums. Unless ingested in really large quantities, they are harmless (25).

Despite this, a test-tube study indicated that carrageenan, which is often used as an emulsifier in almond milk and is generally considered harmless, may disturb intestinal health. Before any judgments can be drawn, however, further thorough research is required (26).

Despite these issues, many companies avoid using this ingredient entirely.

Furthermore, many flavored and sweetened almond milks include a lot of sugar. Sugar consumption can lead to weight gain, tooth problems, and other chronic illnesses (13, 14, 27).

Almond milk is low in protein, lipids, and nutrients necessary for an infant’s growth and development. Furthermore, many processed kinds contain sugar, salt, flavors, gums, and carrageenan, among other things.

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.

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.

Ingredients

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)

Nutrients

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.

Who says almond milk isn’t good for you?

Allergies to milk are number five. If consumed in excess, almond milk might cause negative effects in people who are lactose intolerant. Such people may experience adverse reactions after ingesting almond milk, thus they should avoid it entirely.

What kind of milk is the healthiest to drink?

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.

It is nutritious

Although almond milk does not compare to cow’s milk in terms of nutrition, enhanced products get close.

They usually contain extra vitamin D, calcium, and protein, making them nutritionally comparable to ordinary milk.

Almond milk, on the other hand, is naturally high in various vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin E.

The table below compares the amounts of a few nutrients, vitamins, and minerals found in a cup of enriched commercial almond milk versus a cup of low-fat cow’s milk, as well as some daily values (DV) (2, 3).

Is almond milk a pro-inflammatory beverage?

Dairy promotes intestinal inflammation in a large portion of the population. Milk has a tendency of inflaming the intestines and making you feel bloated, even if you don’t notice it on the outside. Assuming you don’t have a nut allergy, almond milk will not cause you to become inflamed. It has a calming effect on the intestines and, in most situations, has no detrimental effects on the digestive system.

Is there any almond milk that is free of carrageenan?

One of the most popular nut-based milk replacements is almond milk. Some brands, however, thicken with carrageenan. Silk Unsweetened Original Almond Milk is devoid of carrageenan and high in protein. This almond milk substitute can be used in smoothies, cereal, baking, tea or coffee, and even straight from a glass, just like cow’s milk. Silk Unsweetened Original Almond Milk is cholesterol and saturated fat free, in addition to being healthful and nutritious. $62.29. This bulk bundle contains two 6-packs of 32-ounce jugs.

Is almond milk a cancer-causing substance?

Hello there, incredible fitness family! I’d like to tell you about the ingredients in the almond milk we buy at the shop and why you should avoid it. I understand how frightening it is to believe that another of our “healthy” faves is festering in toxins on the shelves of Whole Foods’ freezers. However, we must remain knowledgeable and in command of our bodies and health. Carrageenan is the component, which has found its way into organic foods all around the world. Even if the meal is USDA certified organic, it still contains this carcinogen. It’s in baby formula, soy and almond milk, cottage cheese, and most dairy alternatives. The Cornucopia Institute’s study exposes corporate greed and dishonesty in our organic products.

Is almond milk or oat milk the healthier option?

  • Gluten may be present in some oat milks, rendering them unsuitable for gluten-free diets.
  • More sugar and preservatives may be present. This is done to extend the shelf life of the milk and improve its flavor.

How to make oat milk

You may have had McQueens oat milk before, but have you ever attempted to make it yourself? It’s easy to make your own oat milk, and it only requires one ingredient.

To produce your own oat milk, all you need is 100 grams of porridge oats. It’s easier than you think to make your own oat milk. You can control exactly what goes into it if you make it yourself.

  • Fill a bowl halfway with water from the tap and add the porridge oats. Allow the bowl to sit for 4 hours or overnight after covering it with a tea towel. Do not store it in the refrigerator.
  • After allowing the oats to soak overnight or for 4 hours, strain the mixture through a strainer, allowing the water to drain. Rinse the oats for a few seconds under the tap.
  • Combine the oats, 750ml cold water, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is perfectly smooth, with no visible oats. The creamier your homemade oat milk is, the more you combine it.
  • Place the sieve over a basin or jug and let the liquid to drain. Allow for 1 hour of straining time.
  • Take the sides of the cloth together and squeeze tightly to remove the oat milk once the majority of the mixture has been drained.
  • You can now bottle it and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to drink it. If the oat milk is too thick for you, add 50ml of cool water until it reaches the desired consistency.

Oat Milk vs Cow’s milk?

If you’re lactose intolerant and looking for a dairy-free, gluten-free milk substitute, oat milk is the way to go. The contents in both are dramatically different, with oat milk containing significantly less calcium than cow’s milk. Although certain oat milks contain calcium, it is recommended to get calcium from cow’s milk. Vitamin D and B12 levels are higher in oat milk. This isn’t to suggest that cow’s milk doesn’t include these essential vitamins; but, if vitamins are vital to you, we recommend choosing cow’s milk.

Oat Milk Calories

You might be shocked to learn that oat milk has a low calorie count. Although the number of calories in oat milk varies depending on the brand, the average number of calories in oat milk is around 130. With 39 calories, this is the least calorie-dense of our Oatly barista-style oat milk. Oatly full milk has 160 calories per 100ml, semi-skimmed milk has 46 calories per 100ml, and skimmed milk has 37 calories per 100ml.

Some people can’t or won’t drink cow’s milk because they don’t enjoy the flavor. Of course, oat milk is preferable. However, if you want to get all of the beneficial nutrients from cow’s milk, this is the way to go.

Which is the best milk alternative?

There is no clear winner because almond and oat milk both have their own set of advantages. Oat milk is also thought to have more calories than almond milk. Lactose-intolerant people will benefit from oat milk. It has 120 calories per serving against 60 calories in almond milk, so it may be the better choice if you’re looking to save calories.

Almond Milk vs Oat Milk The verdict

Both of these plant-based milks have numerous advantages. There are a range of options available depending on what you’re searching for in a plant-based milk. Whichever alternative milk products you choose, we’re confident you’ll enjoy them. Oat milk is one of the best tasting oat milks and is ideal for lactose intolerant individuals. Because of its creamy and nutty flavor, almond milk is ideal for cereal. The dispute between almond milk and oat milk has no clear winner; each have their advantages, and it comes down to personal preference.