Is almond milk really healthy? In the quest to feel our best, many are reaching for almond milk as a healthier alternative to cow’s milk, but is almond milk good for you? Almond milk has impressive health claims such as enriching our diet with essential vitamins and minerals, boosting complexion, and supporting overall wellbeing. So, it is no surprise that almond milk is one of the most popular nut-based dairy alternatives.
Almond milk contains less sugar and fewer calories than cow’s milk, as well as being lactose and dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free. Katie Morley, a qualified Nutritionist at Plenish says, “Almond milk is nutrient-dense, high in vitamin E, and has fewer calories than cow’s milk. If you do switch to a dairy-free alternative, choose a brand with a shortlist of ingredients so that you can be sure it isn’t filled with sugars, gums, or oils”.
If you are interested in ditching dairy milk and making the switch to almond milk, keep reading to find out what this delicious dairy alternative can do for you.
What is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a liquid made from blended almonds and, unlike cow’s milk, contains no dairy or lactose. It has a nutty flavour and creamy texture like traditional milk, which is why it is a popular choice for those who are lactose-intolerant, dairy-free, or vegan.
What is the nutritional value of almond milk?
Almond milk is nutrient-dense, and one cup of Plenish Almond milk provides:
Fat: 7.75 grams
of which saturates: 0.5 grams
monosaturates: 5.25 grams
polysaturates: 1.5 grams
Protein: 3.25 gram
Carbohydrates: 1 gram
of which sugars: 0.5 grams
Fibre: 1.75 grams
Vitamin E: 100% of RDA (recommended daily intake)
Biotin: 18% of RDA
Copper: 42% of RDA
In a nutshell, almond milk has a high vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) content whilst containing little to no saturated fat, cholesterol, or carbohydrates. This makes it particularly appealing for those who have diabetes or are following a low-carb diet such as keto or paleo.
How To Choose The Right Almond Milk?
When making the switch to almond milk, it is important to consider that not all almond milks are created equally. With so many food companies jumping on the dairy-free bandwagon, much shop-bought almond milk is heavily processed with a lower nut to water ratio, plus a lot of ingredients such as oils, gums, fillers, refined sugar, and preservatives.
The best bet for your health is almond milk that contains simple ingredients with no additives or refined sweeteners.
That is why Plenish Almond Milk is designed to be as pure and natural as possible. It is unsweetened, contains up to 3 times more nuts than other brands, and is made with just three ingredients: almond milk, filtered water, and a pinch of sea salt.
Unlike most brands, Plenish Almond Milk is free from oils, gums or added sugar, giving you great taste without compromise.
What Are The Top Health Benefits Of Almond Milk?
Low in calories
Many people ask “Is almond milk good for weight loss?” Naturally low in calories, almond milk is a great option for anyone watching their weight. For example, Plenish Almond Milk contains 26% fewer calories than semi-skimmed cow’s milk.
However, not all almond milk is made in the same way and heavily processed varieties with added sugar, oils, and additives can be highly calorific. Where possible, it is best to opt for almond milk made with only natural ingredients to reap maximum health benefits from this dairy-alternative milk.
Low in sugar
Unsweetened almond milk is very low in sugar and carbohydrates in comparison to cow’s milk. For example, Plenish Almond Milk contains 0.2g sugar and 0.4g carbohydrates per 100ml while the same amount of semi-skimmed cow’s milk contains 4.7g sugar and carbohydrates. This means a glass of Plenish Almond Milk contains 96% less sugar than semi-skimmed cow’s milk!
Thanks to almond milk’s low sugar and carbohydrate content, several studies have linked it with improving blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. It has also been found to be useful for prediabetics by helping to improve insulin sensitivity.
While the sugar and carbohydrate content can vary across different brands of almond milk, unsweetened varieties, like Plenish almond milk, are also safe to consume on ketogenic or other low-carb diets.
No cholesterol or saturated fat
Almond milk is free from cholesterol and saturated fat whilst being rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which helps to protect your heart by lowering levels of bad cholesterol in the body. What’s more, its high omega-3 content helps to boost cognitive function.
High in Vitamin E
If you’re looking for dairy-free milk that doubles up as the ultimate skin-glowing supplement, then consider almond milk your new best friend.
One cup of Plenish Almond Milk contains over 100 per cent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant for your skin’s health as it helps to fight off free radicals, which play a large part in the ageing process. This means swapping cow’s milk for almond milk can help to reduce wrinkles and promote glowing, youthful skin.
Natural Source of Calcium
While it does not provide as much calcium as cow’s milk, almond milk does offer a natural source of calcium to contribute towards your recommended daily amount on top of other calcium-rich plant-based foods. Click here for some of our favourite plant-based calcium food sources.
To match the calcium content in 1 cup of cow’s milk (310 mg calcium), you would need to drink around 8 cups of Plenish almond milk per day. On average, adults need around 700 mg of calcium per day, which on top of almond milk, you can easily get from a variety of plant-based sources.
To give you an example of what a calcium-rich plant-based diet looks like, it would go a bit like this: adding a cup of almond milk and a cup of spinach into your morning smoothie (1 cup of almond milk provides 6% of your RDA of calcium, while spinach provides you with over a third of your RDA of calcium). Adding a couple of tablespoons of tahini to your lunch will also increase your calcium intake by another 128 mg. We love drizzling tahini on salads, into quinoa or rice or using it in a salad dressing. It is also a staple ingredient in hummus, which provides a double shot of calcium from chickpeas and tahini. A couple of tablespoons of hummus with veggies as a snack or as a side to your main meal is a sure-fire way to boost your calcium levels. For a calcium-rich dessert, chia seed pudding is an excellent choice. In just ¼ cup of chia seeds, you’ll get around 29% percent of your RDA. Here’s one of our favourite chia seed pudding recipes. So, you can see that with a few mindful food choices, it is pretty easy to achieve optimum calcium levels throughout the day.
If you are tracking your calcium levels for medical reasons, we recommend opting for a plant-based calcium supplement with added vitamin D since both nutrients work together to promote healthy teeth and bones.
Dairy-free, Vegan, Naturally Lactose-Free
Since almond milk is entirely plant-based and dairy-free, it is an excellent option for those following a vegan diet. It also offers a delicious lactose-free option for those who are lactose-intolerant or allergic to milk.
How long does almond milk last?
Most ready-to-buy almond milk undergoes a process called ultra-heat processing (UHT), which is a way of eliminating any bacteria that is present. This means the almond milk can last longer without going bad, even when stored at room temperature. However, once opened, it is recommended to refrigerate and consume within 5 days. Alternatively, homemade almond milk tends to last only 4-5 days, though it is often best to consume fresh.
How To Use Almond Milk?
Like regular milk, almond milk is very versatile and easy to add to your diet as it can be used as a milk replacement in so many ways.
Some of our favourites include pouring over cereal, blending into smoothies, adding into coffee or tea, as a milk replacement in healthy baking and cooking, or simply as a fresh glass on its own.
Check out our go-to almond milk recipes here: