Sunday, June 21, 2015

Almond "Milk"

At the farmers market, I come across a lot of people who drink almond milk as their "milk" of choice. Reasons for this include: "It's healthier", "I'm lactose intolerant", and "I'm a vegetarian".

I have a hard time thinking of plant-based "milks" as milk but decided to check it out during one of my rare trips to the grocery store. Excuse the quality of the pictures, people were looking at me like I was a bit mad.
The first Almond milk I looked at was Almond Breeze by Blue Diamond. I buy their brand almonds from time to time. I didn't notice that it was chocolate milk until I looked at the pictures later. 
Here are the ingredients:

I am immediately struck by the sheer number of ingredients in this. Apparently, some chemistry is needed to make almonds and water taste and feel like some sort of milk. There are ingredients in this list that are downright unhealthy- notaibly Carrageenan and Natural Flavor. I urge you to do some more research on each of these. 

Carrageenan is a seaweed extract that has been linked to inflammation and even cancer. Natural Flavor is also misleading. The Code of Federal Regulations defines Natural Flavor as:

The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

The next "milk" I looked at was Silk Almond milk. Silk is the brand that started the fake milk trend by giving us soy milk. Don't even get me started on the negative health effects of soy.
Once again, this product is full of gums and Natural Flavor. I didn't get a good picture of the Nutritional information, but found it here:

240g (about a cup) has 60 calories, 3g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates, 1g protein. The added Calcium Carbonate gives it 45% of your daily requirement of calcium. 

I looked up goat milk on the same site and found:

244g (about a cup again) has 168 calories, 10g fat, 27mg cholesterol, 122mg sodium, 11g carbohydrates, and 9g protein. A cup of goat milk gives 33% of your daily calcium requirement without additives. 

Packaged almond milk is a manufactured food product, full of gums and natural flavor to give it the mouth-feel of milk with very little nutritional value. With only 60 calories, 3g of fat, and 1g of protein, don't expect it to keep you satiated from breakfast until lunch.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting article! Makes me want to go out and milk my goats :)

    ReplyDelete