For some people, the benefits of almond milk are extremely valuable. For other individuals, traditional milk or other alternatives still suit their needs and preferences better. Looking at the advantages and disadvantages of almond milk can help you identify when the nutty beverage can serve you well and when you’re better off with sticking to some other solution.
Looking at the benefits of almond milk
The nutty drink is lactose free & can be soy free
If you have any sort of dairy allergies, intolerances or sensitivities, almond milk may be an easy-to-digest option for you. Almond milk is a dairy-free beverage without any lactose or casein. If you have trouble digesting soy milk options, you can also pick up an almond milk that is free of soy. Be sure to read the ingredients information, though, since some almond milks contain soy and some don’t.
Almond milk is vegan friendly
Because almond milk comes from nuts and has no connection to animal byproducts, those who are vegan or otherwise concerned with the treatment and dietary use of animals can readily enjoy this guilt-free beverage.
It has fewer calories and no cholesterol
One cup of unsweetened almond milk has 30 calories while the same serving of nonfat cow’s milk has around 80 calories. What we generally classify as nonfat milk still technically has one-fifth of a gram of fat, with half of that coming from saturated fats, and also has 5 milligrams of cholesterol. Almond milk has no cholesterol and no saturated fat with the bulk of the milk’s fat coming from the healthy category of monounsaturated fat, which makes this pick a heart-healthy choice and a useful tool when it comes to weight loss and management.
You can pick up an unsweetened possibility
A cup of skim milk contains 12 grams of sugar, but you can get unsweetened almond milk instead, which has no sugar. If you’re really set on having some sugar, though, you can find some middle ground by locating a semi-sweetened option that contains around 7 grams of sugar per cup, which can still help keep your blood sugar levels where they need to be.
The almond-based beverage contains vitamin E
While skim milk provides such low levels of vitamin E that the nutrient doesn’t even typically get listed on the nutrition label, almond milk is a good source of vitamin E. One cup can offer 50% of your total daily needs.
Almond milk has fiber
A cup of almond milk provides a gram of fiber, which can help keep your digestion on track. Since regular milk does not offer such a component, the nut-based liquid can be a great base for a fruit or vegetable smoothie that delivers, when all your ingredients are combined, an even greater dose of fiber.
The nutty drink has a pleasant taste
Although taste is obviously subjective, some people prefer drinking almond milk to soy milk or cow’s milk based on taste alone. If you don’t know where you stand on the matter, you may be interested in just picking up a carton of almond milk so you can see how your taste buds feel about the heated debate.
You can make your own almond milk
You can actually make your very own almond milk by blending water and almonds. Afterwards, you separate the pulp from the liquid in order to isolate the drinkable liquid. As desired, you can then bake the pulp to create your own almond meal that can be used in other cooking ventures.
The almond-based pick doesn’t need to be refrigerated before opened and it has a long shelf life
Many almond milk options are shelf stable, meaning they can be kept unrefrigerated before being opened. The “Best By” dates can be months away, meaning you can buy in bulk and simply keep the unopened containers conveniently in a spare cupboard. If you try that luxurious move with regular milk, the results won’t be nearly as pleasing. After you open a specific carton, however, it’s still best to finish up the container within 7 to 10 days.
Understanding the possible disadvantages
Regular almond milk offers less protein
Although you can find some protein-fortified almond milks, a typical pick may only offer one gram of protein per cup whereas skim milk delivers eight grams for such a serving. If you’re including milk in your diet for the protein content, regular almond milk can disappoint you.
Some almond-based picks have less calcium than cow’s milk
From brand to brand and product to product, the calcium content of almond milk can differ greatly. Even though some options provide even more calcium than regular milk, some picks fall short of what you’re looking for. Make sure to carefully read the nutrition labels for products you’re considering purchasing in order to understand what particular benefits are being offered by any given item.
Drinking almond milk doesn’t provide the nutrition of eating whole almonds
Although some people think they’re getting the full benefit of eating whole almonds by drinking a glass of almond milk, it’s important to remember that almond milk comes from the liquid part of blended up almonds and is separated from the nutrient-dense pulp. Although almond milk still provides some of the nutritional benefits that whole almonds do, the offerings of each are not the same.
Individuals with nut sensitivities may not be able to join in on the fun
If you have dietary problems concerning the intake of tree nuts, almond milk may clearly not work for you. If you are allergic or sensitive to almonds, you can have the same problems when drinking almond milk. Stick to a safer bet and don’t risk a dangerous or unpleasant reaction.
The ingredients of any given almond milk may include something you don’t want
Before purchasing a container of almond milk, read the ingredients for a particular product to make sure you are fine with the ingredient list as a whole. Some almond milks have tapioca starch, gellan gum or added sugars. If your local grocery store doesn’t offer a pick that you like, consider visiting a health-food store or ordering the perfect product online. Keep searching until you find an option that’s just right for you.