“Almonds are good for your heart,” says Dr. Day, a cardiologist who suggests almond milk to his heart patients. Unsweetened almond milk is low in saturated fat and has between 30 and 40 calories per cup. It also has no cholesterol because it is made from plants. Fortified versions have the same amount of vitamin D as skim cow’s milk and, in certain cases, up to 50% more calcium. According to study from the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, almond milk includes polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may help lower LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and improve cognition (brain function). Unfortunately, as compared to cow’s milk and other milk alternatives, almond milk is poor in protein, making it a less desirable option.
Drink unsweetened almond milk to keep your heart healthy, according to Day. “The main problem with alternative milks is that they’re usually sweetened,” he says. “Any form of added sugar might be harmful to your heart.”
What kind of milk is best for lowering cholesterol?
Drinking full fat, whole milk improved cholesterol levels compared to skimmed milk, according to a three-week crossover study.
Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk have been recommended as a strategy to lose weight and avoid heart disease for decades. However, these standards were established before thorough investigation was conducted to see whether the idea was correct.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen investigated the effects of drinking 500ml of skimmed or whole milk every day for three weeks before repeating the experiment with the other type of milk. The trial was set up in such a way that some individuals started with skimmed milk and others with whole milk.
Cholesterol tests were performed to see how different types of milk influenced blood lipids like LDL and HDL cholesterol. The study enrolled 18 healthy adults, and all but one finished it.
LDL cholesterol levels did not differ considerably between the two types of milk, according to the study’s findings. Whole milk, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to raise HDL cholesterol levels, indicating a healthy effect on cholesterol levels.
The findings add to the growing body of data showing low-fat diets are unhealthy and that full-fat dairy is the healthier option.
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.
Is it OK for me to consume milk if I have high cholesterol?
Dairy products are recognized to have health benefits, particularly in terms of bone strength. Dairy products are high in the following nutrients:
Consumption of whole-fat dairy products has the unfavorable health consequence of raising LDL cholesterol levels. They’re heavy in cholesterol and saturated fat. Replace them with healthier, lower-fat alternatives, such as:
- low-fat cottage cheese, part-skim milk mozzarella, and ricotta are examples of low-fat cheeses.
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.
Is it safe to drink almond milk on a daily basis?
Some minerals in almond milk are not absorbed as well as they are in milk. This is mainly due to the presence of phytic acid, an antinutrient that inhibits iron, zinc, and magnesium absorption (4, 5, 6).
Almond milk is not acceptable as a milk substitute for infants since it is deficient in several nutrients.
Almond milk is naturally high in a variety of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin E.
It is low in calories
Despite the fact that almonds are high in fat and calories, commercial almond milk is a low-calorie beverage (1, 2).
This implies you may consume a large amount of it without gaining weight. It also has a high nutritional value in relation to its calorie content.
Almond milk is made by diluting it with water to get a fat content equivalent to that of low-fat milk, which is roughly 1% fat.
A cup of almond milk has 39 calories, which is half as many as a cup of skim milk.
However, not all almond milk is the same. Depending on how many almonds are in each cup, homemade almond milk and select brands may have a substantially higher calorie count.
Furthermore, some products have added sugar, which people should avoid if they want to get the most out of their health.
Bottom line: Almond milk prepared in a factory may have less calories than skim milk. However, this may not apply to all brands, so read the nutrition labels carefully.
Unsweetened almond milk doesn’t raise blood sugar
Sugar-free almond milk, on the other hand, is a low-carb beverage with fewer than 2% carbs in 1 cup, or 3.43 g of carbs (2).
Low-fat cow’s milk, on the other hand, has a carb content of 5%, or 12 g per cup (3).
In comparison to its glucose level, almond milk is also heavy in fat and protein. As a result, it does not induce a surge in blood sugar levels, making it acceptable for diabetics and those on a low-carb diet.
However, study the ingredient lists carefully and choose items that are as natural as possible.
Bottom line: Almond milk is a low-carb beverage that is ideal for those on a low-carb diet or who need to keep their blood sugar levels in check.
It is dairy-free
Almond milk is a fantastic alternative for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk because it includes no cow’s milk or other animal ingredients.
Many people are lactose intolerant, meaning they can’t entirely digest it. Undigested lactose goes down to the colon, where it is fermented by the indigenous bacteria, causing excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Because almond milk is dairy-free, it contains no lactose, making it a good milk substitute for lactose-intolerant persons.
Bottom line: Almond milk is a dairy-free substitute for vegans and anyone with lactose intolerance or milk allergy because it is an imitation milk that contains no dairy.
Enriched almond milk may strengthen your bones
Calcium is found in the highest concentration in dairy products. Almonds, on the other hand, are a poor provider of this vitamin.
Calcium is commonly added to almond milk to make it more akin to genuine milk. Depending on the type and brand of commercial almond milk, a cup may provide 37 percent or more of your daily need.
A cup of cow’s milk, on the other hand, may contain up to 23 percent of your daily calcium need, depending on the type and brand.
As a result, fortified almond milk is a good source of calcium for people who don’t eat dairy, such as vegans and those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk.
Calcium is necessary for the formation and maintenance of bones. As a result, consuming enough calcium lowers the risk of osteoporosis, a disorder marked by weak bones and fractures (7).
Bottom line: Almond milk is frequently fortified with calcium, making it a good source of the mineral. Those who do not consume dairy products may minimize their risk of osteoporosis by drinking enhanced almond milk on a regular basis.
It may reduce the risk of heart disease
Regular eating of nuts has been related to a lower risk of heart disease in observational studies. This is mainly due to their high content of beneficial fats (8).
Almond oil’s major fatty acid, oleic acid, has been associated to positive changes in blood lipids in studies (9).
In one study, healthy adults who consumed 66 grams of almonds or almond oil daily for six weeks saw their levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, drop “Cholesterol was lowered by 6%, and triglycerides were reduced by 14%. It also improved their HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol “It’s a wonderful thing,” cholesterol by 6% (10).
These positive alterations in blood lipid profiles have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease (11).
Although fat accounts for around half of the calories in almond milk, it is a low-fat product that is unlikely to have a substantial impact on your blood lipid profile.
Many of the health advantages of almonds are attributed to vitamin E, as well as bioactive plant chemicals such as polyphenols, according to nutritionists. These substances are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which are beneficial to heart health (12).
Almond milk is strong in vitamin E and includes healthy fats, so it’s a good choice. It may be beneficial to your heart if you drink it on a regular basis.
Enriched almond milk is high in vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency affects a large number of people. Brittle bones, tiredness, and weak muscles are more likely as a result of this (13).
In the human diet, there are few good sources of vitamin D. As a result, adding vitamin D to particular foods is a typical public-health practice. This is especially true with dairy products.
Almond milk, like ordinary milk, is frequently fortified with vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D in each product varies. One cup of almond milk, for example, may contain 2.62 micrograms, or 13% of your daily value. A cup of vitamin-fortified cow’s milk has a same amount of vitamins (2).
As a result, fortified almond milk is a good source of vitamin D that, if consumed frequently, can help prevent insufficiency.
Bottom line: Almond milk is frequently fortified with vitamin D, and drinking it on a regular basis may help avoid vitamin D insufficiency.
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.
What vitamins can you take to help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol?
Many patients are given statins to help them lower their cholesterol levels. While statins are sometimes a required prescription, they can also cause joint discomfort and muscular problems. One possible explanation is that statins can lower coenzyme Q10 levels (CoQ10). Bergamot, an Italian herb, may provide similar benefits to statins without lowering CoQ10 levels. A bergamot supplement, alone or in combination with a statin prescription, may be advantageous.
B vitamins boast many benefits
Vitamin B3, often known as niacin, has been demonstrated to raise HDL, or good, cholesterol levels while lowering triglycerides. Niacin supplementation has been used to treat excessive cholesterol since the 1950s. While B3 may not be enough to cure high cholesterol on its own, it can help when used in conjunction with other drugs.
Eat more fish
Some of the most well-known supplements for improving heart health are omega-3 fatty acid supplements. For best heart health, the American Heart Association suggests eating fish two times each week. People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, on the other hand, may find it difficult to receive adequate omega-3s through diet alone. In these circumstances, taking a fish oil supplement could help you improve your heart health.
Lifestyle changes to promote heart health
Eating a diet low in saturated fats and free of trans fats is one of the most effective methods to lower cholesterol and enhance heart health. People should also engage in aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes 3-5 times a week. These lifestyle adjustments, when combined with cholesterol-lowering supplements, can result in significant heart health gains.
Supplement a healthy lifestyle
For Americans, heart disease is a major worry. Lowering cholesterol and improving heart health can be achieved by leading a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly, and supplementing a nutritious diet with specific vitamins and herbs. Find out what heart health supplements are ideal by speaking with a healthcare physician or pharmacist.