Shocking Reasons You Shouldn’t Drink Store-Bought Almond Milk

Jessica Gomes
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Milk is a protein-enriched and vitamin-filled substance with a creamy texture. Who doesn’t love a little milk in their morning coffee, poured over their cereal, or added to their recipes?

 
The problem with conventional cow’s milk (even the lactose-free kind) is that unless you buy organic, your milk comes from a source pumped with antibiotics and hormones to mass produce and increase profits. Many people are unable to digest its naturally-occurring lactose (the sugar found in milk) and are turning to milk alternatives to supplement this popular beverage.
 
Due to ethical reasons and digestive complications, alternative “milk” has become increasingly popular for replacing the classic cow’s milk.
 
Enter almond milk. Almond milk sales are on the rise, soaring into the billions and surpassing all other varieties of milk. Almond milk is a superior milk, as it is made from almonds, which are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats, and are typically low in sugar. What could be so wrong about this nut milk, then?
 
Well, a lot . . .
 

The Issue with Almond Milk

Because it takes a lot of almonds to produce almond milk, almond milk producers are cutting corners to produce large quantities at minimal costs. Go to your refrigerator and pull out your carton of almond milk. Your brand of choice may have certifications that are highlighted on their carton, including kosher, gluten-free, organic, and non-GMO. You might automatically think that these labels make this a “healthy” drink . . . but think again.
 
Flip over your carton and read the ingredients list. Making almond milk should only require two components: almonds and water. On your nutrition label, you will more than likely see the following ingredients:
 

  • Tricalcium phosphate
  • Sunflower lecithin
  • Gellan gum
  • Potassium citrate
  • Vitamin A palmitate
  • Cane sugar
  • Carrageenan

 
If almond milk requires only two ingredients, what’s up with all these additives?
 
Your store-bought almond milk has very little almonds in it, with only about 2% of it being made using actual almonds. It is watered down with fillers and thickeners such as carrageenan to make it appear creamy.
 

Disturbing Ingredients You Need to Avoid

A lot of brands add carrageenan, a thickener and beverage stabilizer derived from red algae, which can cause gastrointestinal inflammation and contribute to cancer. Thus, if your almond milk is not agreeing with you, carrageenan may be the culprit.
 
Vitamin A palmitate is another nasty common ingredient. It’s a synthetic vitamin that has been proven to accelerate cancer growth, as well as cause allergic reactions, hair loss, liver toxicity, and eye and mouth problems.
 
For the very few almonds that manufacturers do use in almond milk, they are most likely not sprouted. Almonds contain natural enzyme inhibitors that allow the almonds to survive once they fall from the tree and lay on the ground waiting for water to become “alive.” Moisture allows the release of the enzymes so the almond can come to life and become “sprouted.”
 
A sprouted almond is much easier to digest, can release its nutrients easily, and allows the human body to absorb them efficiently. The sad fact is that 99% of almond milk producers skip this essential step.
 
Along with skipping necessary steps and the addition of thickeners and stabilizers, almond milk lacks protein (compare 1 gram per serving of almond milk to 8 grams per serving of actual almonds), typically contains added sugars, and has little-to-no fiber per serving.
 
While there are plenty of alternatives to dairy out there, it’s important to do your homework and know what it is you’re consuming. But do not fear – this article is not all doom and gloom. There is a way to have your almond milk and drink it too! You can make your own!
 
Here is a simple recipe you can follow to make your own almond milk.
 
Easy DIY Almond Milk Recipe (YUM!)
 
Knowledge is power and you can empower yourself to better choices and health with a little research. Cheers to your health!
 

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Jessica Gomes

Jessica Lynn Gomes is a twenty‐something creative writer and health enthusiast living in Laguna Beach, California. As an athlete, she develops her own workout routines and practices a clean eating lifestyle. She is constantly experimenting in the kitchen, creating new ways to cook for her gluten‐free lifestyle, without sacrificing taste and nutrition. To get to know more about Jessica, head over to her personal blog, The Naked Bohemian.

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