A Look at The Nutritional Benefits of Almond Milk
When shopping for non-dairy milk at your local grocer, you may notice that almond milk now dominates the shelves and displays. There are many brands and varieties to choose from compared to other non-dairy milks. Almond milk has become a popular choice because it is lactose and dairy free, low in fat, cholesterol free, relatively affordable, and most importantly, it’s delicious.
Almond milk may be the best milk alternative for you, especially if you have dairy allergies or are on a vegan or low-fat diet. So, to answer the question, “Is almond milk healthy?” the short answer is yes, and the long answer is as follows.
Pro: Lactose and Dairy Free
If you are vegan, or have a dairy or lactose allergy/intolerance, almond milk provides a safe alternative to cow’s milk, assuming you aren’t allergic to nuts. Fortified almond milk is high in calcium and vitamin D, so you can still get some of the same nutritional benefits as cow’s milk.
Pro: Low in Fat and Cholesterol Free
Since almond milk is not an animal product, it is cholesterol free. It also has 50% less calories than cow’s milk, making this a great low-fat option for those on a low-fat diet.
Con: Low in Protein and Calcium Compared to Raw Almonds
Unfortunately, almond milk is lower in protein and calcium compared to cow’s milk and soy milk, even compared to raw almonds. So, it’s still important to get your protein and calcium from other sources.
Pro: Fortified Options Have High Nutritional Value
As mentioned before, fortified almond milk is the healthiest option because it has added calcium, vitamin D, and it is also full of other nutrients, such as: potassium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin E, copper, and selenium.
Con: Added Sugar
Many varieties of almond milk are flavored, which will usually mean they have plenty of added sugar too. If you don’t mind the taste of unflavored and unsweetened almond milk, then stick with this healthier option. It’s actually quite tasty if you give it a chance.
So, to fully answer the question, “Is almond milk healthy?” the answer is yes, but more so if it is fortified unsweetened original (unflavored) almond milk. For vegetarians and vegans, make sure to rely on other sources of protein as well for a fully balanced diet. For those who want a low-fat, dairy-free milk alternative, almond milk is a tasty option. But like with all things, just because it’s healthy for you, doesn’t mean you should be consuming it in abundance. Remember to practice moderation.