Millions of people are drinking packaged almond milk because they believe it is a ‘healthy alternative.’ Find out why it is better to make your own almond milk.
Are you one of the 65% of the world population that is lactose intolerant? There are almost 90% of the East Asian population who are lactose intolerant. This is the reason many are looking for dairy free, yet still creamy, vegan alternatives.
As one of those people, to begin with, I started with soy milk as a dairy-free alternative. Very soon I realized that it did not agree with me. I was delighted to discover almond milk and it tasted great in my smoothies, puddings, soups and sauces. Being a label reader, I made sure to get unsweetened almond milk and thought that the carrageenan in it was okay as it is a seaweed and I knew how good seaweed is for us. While I continued to use store-bought almond milk, I soon realized that the best/healthiest alternative was to make my own.
Why It Is Best Not to Buy Packaged Almond Milk
The Carrageenan Controversy
It is used as a thickener and stabilizer in many foods and is now in most commercial almond milk mixtures. Originally it was considered safe, now there is growing scientific evidence that it causes inflammation in the body. This is of particular concern to individuals with digestive disorders (as I had) as no one wants to add more inflammation to their system. Read 10 Reasons to Avoid Carrageenan
“Carrageenan exposure clearly causes inflammation; the amount of carrageenan in food products is sufficient to cause inflammation, and degraded carrageenan and food-grade carrageenan are both harmful.”—Dr. Joanne Tobacman, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago
Almond Milk Has Very Few Almonds in it
A half-gallon of almond milk (Silk or Almond Breeze, original unsweetened) has 240 calories.
One pound of almonds has 2,624 calories. If you assume there are no other major sources of calories and nothing is removed, that means a whole half gallon carton of almond milk has less than a handful of almonds.(about 1.5 ounces)
There is Very Little Nutritional Value
We have already figured out that almond milk has very few almonds in it. This means every benefit you would expect from almonds is available only in limited quantities.
We often assume, for example, that ‘milk’ will give us plenty of protein BUT 1 cup Almond Breeze provides only 1 gram protein. This is because that cup only has the protein from 4 almonds.
Tapioca Starch Added!
At some point, manufacturers began to add tapioca starch to the almond mixture. Starch is a highly processed carbohydrate that quickly breaks down into sugars. I do not need sugar added to my diet when I can avoid it.
Processed Foods Are Not Healthy – Eat Real Food
My daily food is unprocessed food. I prepare all of my food from real food, not from cans and packaged meals.
Best to make your own out of real unblanched almonds. But when I bought packed almond milk, there was an obvious discrepancy. Every day I was consuming a factory processed food with the carrageenan additive. All those cartons of organic almond milk stood out in my grocery shopping cart which was otherwise full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.