I decided to conduct some study before converting to see what all the buzz was about. Is almond milk really healthier than regular milk? What are the issues that no one is talking about? The skinny about almond milk is as follows:
The Health Benefits
• It’s full of nutrients and good stuff. Protein, Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, selenium, manganese, and iron are all abundant in almonds. This translates to strong bones and muscles, antioxidant protection, healthy skin, high energy levels, a healthy metabolism, and other health advantages. Furthermore, commercially produced almond milk is often fortified with calcium. (A good tip: give the carton a good shake before drinking, because calcium can settle at the bottom). Almond milk has no cholesterol and has been demonstrated to reduce LDL cholesterol levels (thanks to the healthy monounsaturated fats in almonds) as well as protect against heart disease. (almond skins contain flavonoids which help to protect the heart).
• It’s low in calories. According to a recent Wall Street Journal analysis, a one-cup portion of almond milk has 60 calories, compared to coconut milk (80 calories), soy milk (90 calories), rice milk (120 calories), and 2% cow’s milk. (130 calories).
• It’s lactose free. Lactose intolerance affects an estimated 30 to 50 million Americans (about 25% of the US population), which means they have trouble digesting the sugar contained in cow’s milk.
• It’s antibiotic and growth hormone free. While many dairy producers have taken steps to guarantee that their cows are rBGH-free, the practice of injecting growth hormones and antibiotics into dairy cows has not been totally eliminated.
• It’s an alternate alternative. Soy milk has received a poor reputation as a result of Jeremy Piven’s man boobs. Unless you drink a gallon of soy milk every day, research demonstrate that soy-induced man boobs aren’t a significant issue. However, the impact of soy meals on women is still being debated. Soy meals include isoflavones/phytoestrogens, which may mimic estrogen’s effects. It is still unknown if soy foods increase the risk or recovery of breast cancer…The apparently contradicting conclusions in the research and writings on this issue might easily spin you around. The most frequently accepted conclusion seems to be to take soy in moderation, coupled with a healthy and balanced diet. Thank you very much, Captain Obvious.
• It may be problematic for those who are at risk of having poor thyroid function. Almonds are a goitrogenic food, which means that when ingested in excessive numbers, they may decrease thyroid gland function by interfering with iodine absorption, resulting in thyroid hypertrophy. While goitrogenic foods (such as soy, cabbage, kale, flax, broccoli, and almonds) might be toxic to persons with thyroid issues, they can be helpful to those with normal thyroid function. Avoid almond milk if you have a thyroid condition. Otherwise, your almond milk mustache should be OK.
• It has added sugar. Vanilla and chocolate flavored almond milks may include 15-22 grams of sugar per cup. To avoid all that additional sugar, choose Almond Breeze’s Original (7 grams sugar) or Silk PureAlmond’s Unsweetened (0 grams sugar) tastes.
Don’t get me wrong: almond milk will never replace genuine dairy in my opinion. I’m addicted to cheese, butter, and ice cream. For God’s sake, I grew up on bottles of fresh whole milk from our local dairy farm. However, as a healthy alternative, I can see myself using almond milk in my morning smoothies, eating cereal with it, and even preparing sauces and soups with it. What are your thoughts on almond milk? Is it a friend or a foe?