We’ve all seen the alternative option on coffee shop and restaurant menus. Almond milk is nothing new but why is everyone so obsessed with this “superfood” trend?

Vegans and the lactose intolerant have been drinking the stuff for years, but actually, how much better is almond milk for us than cow’s milk – if at all? Sure, plant milks are a versatile, wonderful alternative to dairy milk for anyone who doesn’t tolerate milk or is reducing their animal food intake for dietary or animal ethic reasons. However, should you replace cow’s milk with almond milk as a healthier option if you are none of the above?

Fact is, there is really no substitute for cow’s milk. It packs the nutrient punch. Cow’s milk is one of the original farm-to-table superfoods. It ticks a lot of the nutritional boxes. This naturally nutrient-rich food includes Vitamin B for energy, high quality protein for lean muscle and bone building, as well as calcium and phosphorous potassium. Research show that young kids who drink only almond milk would be more than twice as likely to be deficient in Vitamin D.

So, is almond milk the best plan-based milk to choose? It can be a great plant-based option for those avoiding cow’s milk, but a 2017 study found that soy milk, not almond milk, is the healthiest plant-based milk.

Why then is almond milk growing so rapidly in popularity and what are the perks? Almond milk is one of the top-selling plant-based milks because of its rich texture and flavour. It is mild with a hint of nuttiness and a creamy mouthfeel. It lends itself well to soups, sauces, dressings, baked goods and smoothies. It’s easy to digest and is definitely low in calories and fat. Almond milk is also naturally high in Vitamin E, a disease fighting antioxidant. Also, this plant-based milk is easy to produce. Almonds are soaked in water and then put into a blender with more water. The liquid is strained with a cheesecloth and, voila, the milk remains!

However, although almond milk can be used as a milk substitute for kids allergic to cow’s milk or for vegan families, it’s important to know that almond milk has only 1 gram of protein per serving compared to cow’s milk (or soy milk) which has 8 to 10 grams of protein per serving. When kids drink a lot of almond milk without other sources of dairy products, their diet may be lacking in important nutrients needed for growth and development.

So, if your family doesn’t drink cow’s milk, it is important to work with a dietitian to ensure that you are receiving other sources of healthy protein, calcium and Vitamin D. In other words, as long as your family is otherwise following a healthy diet including fruit, veggies, wholegrains, protein and dairy products; almond milk will be a fine addition.

The bottom line: Although some manufacturers fortify almond milk to better resemble the nutritional content in cow’s milk, plant-based beverages are not an exact substitute for cow’s milk. It simply is not that nutritionally dense.

Source: www.womanshealthmag.com, www.bodyandsoul.com.au, www.huffingtonpost.com, milkilife.com, meicalnewstoday.com, www.outsideonline.com, sharecare.com, www.foodunfolded.com, www.health24.com, healthline.com, facty.com

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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.