Almond Milk May Contain Unwanted Ingredients
One driver of “clean” almond milk products, including two-ingredient liquid options and concentrated bases, is simple, recognizable ingredients. If you flip over the container on some products, you may find unwanted additivesincluding preservatives gums, such as gellan gum and oils, like sunflower oil. Pre-pandemic, I used to meet clients at their local markets and walk the aisles together to compare products and identify the best brands. Many clients were surprised to spot add-ins they didn’t expect to find in pricey almond milk. But again, there’s no standard formulation, which is why reading ingredient lists is key.
Unsweetened Almond Milk Doesnt Raise Blood Sugar
Many almond milks on the market are loaded with added sugar.
Sugar-free almond milk, on the other hand, is a low carb beverage, made up of less than 2% carbs, or 3.43 g of carbs in 1 cup (
Almond milk is also high in fat and protein relative to its carb content. For this reason, it doesnt cause a spike in blood sugar levels, making it suitable for people with diabetes, as well as those who are following a low carb diet.
However, be sure to read the ingredient lists and select products that are as pure as possible.
Bottom line: Almond milk is a low carb beverage, making it a perfect choice for people on a low carb diet and those who need to keep a check on their blood sugar levels.
If Youre On The Standard Ketogenic Diet :
The standard keto diet allows for 50 grams or less of carbs per day . Its suitable for beginners just starting the keto diet because its not as restrictive as other versions while ensuring adequate depletion of glycogen stores and eventually ketosis.
With 3.4 grams of carbs per cup, unsweetened almond milk is a great choice for those following the SKD . Avoid sweetened almond milk as it will take up a large portion of your carb allowance for the day and make it difficult to stay in ketosis.
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Almond Milk Also Has Upsides And Downsides
Though sustainability has become one of the biggest arguments against almond milk, concern about the thickeners used in the beverage has also brought it under fire.
The additive in almond milk is carrageenan, Castillo says. Carrageenan is used to thicken almond milk and prevent separation, but there are concerns that it may cause inflammation and damage in the intestines.”
Castillo and other nutrition experts feel that more research will help clarify the impact carrageenan has on the body. Though there are several studies that use animals as subjects, a review in the Food & Function Journal of existing studies also determined there isn’t enough evidence to determine the effects of carrageenan on the body.
Plus, since almond milk doesn’t offer the natural sweetness that oat milk does, it’s often sweetened. Whether you’re specifically monitoring your carbs or not, both Castillo and Modell always recommend opting for the unsweetened stuff.
That said, almond milk is still significantly lower in calories than oat milk, which is a plus if you want to limit how much of your daily calorie intake comes from beverages.
Oat Milk Definitely Has Pros And Cons
Because of its higher carb and calorie content, oat milk provides a creamy consistency that almond milk does not provide, Modell says.
That’s why baristas have taken so quickly to the stuff oat milk froths in a way that almond milk typically cant.
Another perk of oat milk’s naturally heavier texture: It also rarely contains thickeners , which some scientists believe is harmful to the digestive tract. In animal models, carrageenan has been linked to cancers and intestinal ulcers, per a review in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Oat milk is also relatively shelf-stable .
Of course, if you’re watching your calories or strictly monitoring your carb intake , consider how oat milk fits into your daily eats and keep an eye on your serving sizes.
Gluten-free folks should also be careful about which oat milk they buy. Oats are naturally gluten-free, Castillo says. However, they can often be grown or processed , which can cause cross-contamination.” If you have celiac or a gluten allergy, check your labels to make sure it’s truly gluten-free.
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What Makes Almond Milk A Popular Choice For Low Carb Diets
Here are just a few of the reasons why almond milk, and unsweetened almond milk in particular, is so popular amongst people following low carb diet plans:
- Almond milk is low in calories and low in carbs .
- Almond milk provides trace amounts of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Almond milk offers similar health benefits as raw almonds .
- Available in a variety of different flavors, including plain, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, almond milk remains a competitive option for those who prefer flavored milk.
- Almond milk works great in everything from making keto protein shakes, to acting as a straight replacement for dairy milk in recipes.
If Youre On The Targeted Ketogenic Diet :
The targeted keto diet is similar to the standard version, but it includes strategic carb intake around workouts .
This approach can help improve workout performance by providing glucose to working muscles. Its best suited for athletes or highly active people whove been on keto for a while. Drinking unsweetened almond milk with no carbs before or after your workout is perfectly fine on the TKD.
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Helps Keep Your Bones Strong
Almond milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients that are essential for bone health. Calcium helps build and maintain bone mass, while vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium .
A lack of calcium may lead to osteoporosis, a condition where bones become weak and fragile. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to an increased risk of fractures .
Making Your Own Almond Milk
You don’t have to be held to the almond milk formulations offered in stores, though. You can make almond milk at home. Typically, homemade almond milk recipes call for one part almonds and three parts water. But to determine your own optimal ratioand if you don’t mind a little mixologyyou can now buy almond base and add water. One brand, Joi, sells shelf-stable tubs that contain a paste made simply from blanched organic almonds . The company suggests mixing 1 to 2 tablespoons with a cup of water. Two tablespoons would provide 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 6 grams of carb, with 4 grams as fiber. That’s right on par with the macronutrient makeup of an ounce of raw almonds , according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, the plant-based meal delivery brand Daily Harvest offers Mylk: almond milk in the form of frozen wedges, made from just nuts, pink sea salt, and vanilla bean . The wedges last six months in the freezer and can be blended with water alone or added with liquid to smoothies, lattes, or oat bowls. Two wedges provide 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, and 2 grams of carb, with 1 gram as fiber.
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Is Unsweetened Almond Milk Keto
100 grams of unsweetened almond milk from the supermarket provides approximately the following nutritional values :
- Energy: 16.7 calories
- Dietary fiber: 0.4 grams
- Net carbs: 0.4 grams
Although macronutrients vary by manufacturer, on average, unsweetened almond milk contains so few carbohydrates that you can safely drink a cup or two of it.
Accordingly, the unsweetened almond milk in our example adds only 1 gram of net carbohydrates to the cup.
Considering that the ketosis tolerance level is 25-50 grams of net carbohydrates per day, the milk substitute is entirely safe.
Consequently, natural unsweetened almond milk is highly keto-friendly.
On the other hand, what about flavored almond milk?
Peanut Butter Keto Low Carb Smoothie With Almond Milk
Who is guilty of skipping breakfast when you are running late and have an incredibly busy schedule? I know I am. But I have realized every time I skip breakfast I am running extremely low on energy. So I decided to whip out some easy filling recipes that will keep me high on energy and not hungry by 11 am.
As we all know breakfast IS the most important meal of the day and its going to give your busy-body the ENERGY that it needs to OWN the WHOLE week.
For those busy-no-time-to-cook kinda mornings when you were not your usual meal-planning-prepared self with some cookie dough overnight oats or breakfast egg muffins at the ready, this low carb breakfast smoothie is going to come in real handy.
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Does Almond Milk Need To Be Refrigerated
Yes, you should refrigerate almond milk. Since there are no stabilizers, it will settle and thicken over time. You can simply thin it out with more liquid, if needed, and give it a quick blend.
TIP: For less fuss, store almond milk in a glass jar and shake before serving. Much less cleanup than transferring to the blender.
How To Make Almond Milk
Learn how to make almond milk at home – with just 2 ingredients + 5 minutes! This easy unsweetened almond milk recipe can be plain, vanilla, or chocolate.
This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep this content free.
As one of the most popular dairy free milk alternatives, almond milk is everywhere these days. And while its convenient to buy it at the store, learning how to make almond milk at home is worthwhile if you use it frequently. The ingredients in this unsweetened almond milk recipe with options for vanilla almond milk or other flavors, too! are cleaner, it tastes better, and it only takes a few minutes.
If you like the idea of homemade almond milk but cant have almonds, you can use the same method with other nuts, or make hemp milk for a nut-free option.
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Health Benefits Of Almond Milk
When it comes to almond production, the United States is one of the top producing countries, with California producing the vast majority of the crop. In fact, the Golden State produces over 80% of the worlds almonds.
Being made from a highly nutritious nut, you can guarantee this tasty milk isnt lacking in nutritional value. When it comes to health benefits, almond milk ranks rather high.
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Some of the main benefits almond milk include increasing and maintaining healthy weight loss, improving heart health, building strong teeth and bones, helping fight inflammation, preventing heart disease, and even helping to slow the progression of Alzheimers disease .
Along with vitamin E, almond milk provides several other key vitamins and minerals. This plant-based milk is loaded with vitamin D, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Is Almond Milk Healthy
Almond milk is made from a nut that is rich in nutrients. For this reason, it can score high in the following vitamins and minerals :
Especially the latter vitamin is present in a remarkable concentration in almond milk.
Provided that it is natural almond milk, obtained only from almonds, the following health benefits can also be associated with it:
- Reduction of cardiovascular disease as well as general mortality
- Prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers disease
- Reduction of body fat percentage
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Almond Milk Nutrition Facts
In the table below is the nutritional information on 1 cup or 244 grams of almond milk.
If you are buying from a store, make sure that you read the label. Every brand will have different nutritional information depending on what and how much salt, sweetener, and other additives and preservatives they use.
Almond Milk Nutritional Breakdown
There’s no one way to formulate almond milk. And because of that, the nutritional breakdown of almond milk is different for each product. Overall, though, the protein and carb contents in unsweetened almond milk are quite low per cup, so the main macronutrient you’re getting is healthful fat. But that can vary widely from product to product, depending on how many almonds a particular milk contains . In other words, some products contain more almonds than others, which is one factor that impacts the drink’s potential health benefits.
For perspective, an 8-ounce portion of Elmhurt’s unsweetened almond milk provides 11 grams of “good” fat, 5 grams of plant protein, and just 3 grams of carbohydrate, with no added sugar. A 1-cup serving provides 6% of the daily value for iron and 4% for potassium.
Of course, that’s just one product example. The simplest unsweetened versions contain just two ingredients: water and almonds. But if a product is fortified , the vitamin and mineral content of almond milk can vary considerably.
Some almond milk brands are fortified with calcium, which can bump up the mineral’s daily value to meet or exceed the amount found in cow’s milk. If they’ve been put into a product’s formulation, vitamins D and B12 are other nutrients you may find in higher amounts in almond milk.
In addition, some companies add protein to almond milk, primarily pea protein, sourced from yellow split peas. Whether these products still qualify as almond milk is up for debate.
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Does Almond Milk Have Carbs
100 grams of conventional almond milk from the grocery store gives us the following nutritional values :
- Energy: 25.0 calories
- Dietary fiber: 0.0 grams
- Net carbs: 5.3 grams
While cows milk has almost twice as much sugar as conventional almond milk, it also has more fat. Thus, it comes to fat to net carbohydrate ratio of 0.62.
Shockingly, this is a better value than that of almond milk. Unless it is specifically labeled as unsweetened, almond milk is not ideal for the keto diet.
However, you can ultimately distinguish sweetened from unsweetened almond milk just by looking at the nutritional values.
Whats The Difference Between Almond Milk And Cow Milk
Although they share a similar name, almond milk and cow milk are quite different in nature. Cows milk is a nutrient-rich liquid produced by the mammary glands of dairy cattle, while almond milk is an imitation milk made by blending water with almonds and straining the mixture to remove the solids and create a liquid. Cows milk is available in different formats including whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk, and lactose-free milk, while almond milk is available in unsweetened, sweetened, and flavoured varieties. Historically speaking, cows milk and dairy products have been consumed across various cultures, while almond milk and other plant-based milks have been more recently introduced in Western culture as alternatives for individuals who can not consume cows milk for health reasons and/or choose not to consume it for personal reasons.
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Is Vanilla Almond Milk Keto
100 grams of unsweetened vanilla almond milk from the supermarket provides approximately the following nutritional values :
- Energy: 16.7 calories
- Dietary fiber: 0.4 grams
- Net carbs: 0.4 grams
In terms of nutrients, the unsweetened vanilla almond milk hardly differs from the classic unsweetened version. In our example, the vanilla option scores with a higher fat content and a better fat-to-net carbohydrate ratio.
However, the sweetened variant from the same manufacturer would give us a completely different result with just under 6 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres .
Nonetheless, we should look at the list of ingredients for the unsweetened option as well. In any case, we may be interested to know where the vanilla flavor comes from.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture database, the vanilla almond milk in our example consists of the following ingredients :
- Calcium carbonate
When a product naturally contains less fat, something else must be added to maintain the taste and creamy consistency. These necessary additives fundamentally alter the nutritional profile of barista almond milk.
There are often numerous stabilizers, emulsifiers, and potentially harmful preservatives, and sometimes even highly-processed vegetable oils.
Such food additives can affect carbohydrate and fat metabolism, so they are significantly involved in the development of obesity .
Are Smoothies Low Carb
Many smoothies out there, especially the ones you buy from smoothie shops, are not low carb as they are made from fruit, usually with added sweeteners.
I personally think that fruit sugar is okay, but I know a lot of you internet friends are doing the low carb thing so a SUGAR FREE SMOOTHIE situation just sort of seemed in order.
Even though Im a fruit smoothie inclusivist a healthy strawberry watermelon smoothie or mango avocado smoothie is totally my jam I am feeling VERY 100 about this no carb smoothie because it tastes like a swirly-twirly, frosty and CREAMY peanut butter cup or keto chocolate peanut butter fat bomb!
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If Youre Following The Targeted Ketogenic Diet
Besides the SKD, there are other types of keto diets you can choose. One is called the targeted ketogenic diet . The TKD is best suited for those who have been keto for a while and know their bodies well. The TKD is better for active people who need a little extra workout energy. This includes the consumption of 20 to 50 grams of net carbs up to an hour or after exercise. This would be an ideal time to consume almond milk.