With the increase in plant-based diets and sensitivity to dairy products, many people are looking for an alternative to cow’s milk. Almond fat is one of the best-selling vegetable milks because of its rich texture and flavor. But since it’s a processed beverage, you may be wondering if it’s a nutritious and safe option.
What is almond milk?
Almond oil is made from ground almonds and water, but may contain other ingredients, depending on the type. Most people buy them in advance, although it is quite easy to make at home. During processing, the almonds and water are mixed and then strained to remove the pulp. This leaves a smooth liquid. In most commercial almond milks, thickeners, preservatives, and flavorings are usually added to improve flavor, texture, and shelf life. Almond milk is naturally milk-free, meaning it is suitable for vegans as well as for people with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. However, you should avoid it if you are allergic to nuts.
Almond milk diet
With only 39 calories per cup (240 ml), almond milk has very few calories compared to cow’s milk and other plant-based beverages. It also contains various nutrients. One cup (240 ml) of commercial almond milk provides:
• Calories: 39
• Fat: 3 grams
• Protein: 1 gram
• Carbohydrates: 3.5 grams
• Fiber: 0.5 grams
• Calcium: 24% of daily value (DV)
• Potassium: 4% DV
• Vitamin D: 18% DV
• Vitamin E: 110% DV
Almond fat is an excellent and natural source of vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect your body from free radical damage. Some varieties are enriched with calcium and vitamin D, which are important nutrients for bone health. Homemade versions are not a good source of these nutrients. Finally, almond milk has little protein, and 1 cup (240 ml) gives only 1 gram.
Health benefits of almond milk
Almond milk can provide certain health benefits. High in vitamin E. Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for protecting your cells from free radical damage. Vitamin E promotes eye and skin health and can play a role in protecting against conditions such as heart disease. One cup (240 ml) of commercial almond milk provides 110% DV for vitamin E, making it an easy and affordable way to meet your daily needs.
Unsweetened varieties have little sugar
Most people eat too much added sugar in the form of desserts, drinks and sweeteners. Therefore, choosing foods and drinks that contain naturally little sugar can help you control your weight and limit your risk of certain chronic diseases. Many plant-based plants are flavored and sweetened. In fact, 1 cup (240 ml) of chocolate-flavored almond milk can pack more than 21 grams of added sugar – more than 5 teaspoons. If you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, unsweetened almond milk is a great choice. It is natural with little sugar and provides a total of 2 grams per cup (240 ml).
Although almond milk has a number of advantages, there are some important disadvantages. Lacking protein Almond fat provides only 1 gram of protein per cup (240 ml), while cow’s and soy milk provide 8 and 7 grams, respectively. Protein is key to a number of bodily functions, including muscle growth, skin and bone structure, enzyme and hormone production. Many dairy-free foods and plant-based foods contain high levels of protein, including beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and hemp seeds. If you don’t avoid animal products, eggs, fish, chicken and beef are all great sources of protein.
Unsuitable for infants
Children under 1 year of age should not drink cow’s or plant milk as this may prevent iron absorption. Breastfeed or use infant formula only until the age of 4-6 months when solid foods can be ingested. At the age of 6 months, offer water as a choice of a healthy drink with breast milk or formula.
After the 1st year of life, cow’s milk can be included in your child’s diet. With the exception of soy milk, plant-based drinks naturally have little protein, fat, calories, and many vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin D, and calcium. These nutrients are key to growth and development. Almond fat provides only 39 calories, 3 grams of fat and 1 gram of protein per cup (240 ml). This is not enough for a growing newborn. If you do not want your baby to drink cow’s milk, continue breastfeeding or consult a doctor for the best milk formula.
May contain additives
Processed almond milk can contain many additives, such as sugar, salt, gum, flavorings, and lecithin and carrageenan (types of emulsifiers).