Almond milk is a lactose-free, cholesterol-free milk alternative made from soaked, ground almonds. Almond milk has long been used as a cow's milk substitute for vegans and people sensitive to lactose but is now gaining popularity among all milk consumers as a healthy alternative to dairy. It has a light, nutty, slightly sweet flavor that is easy to drink on its own or used as a substitute in recipes. Not quite ready to give up your dairy? Here are a few health benefits of trying almond milk.
Nutrient dense: Almonds are known for their nutritional excellence, and, when extracted in the form of almond milk, create a nutrient-dense beverage. Almonds are high in vitamins B and E as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, among others. One serving is a great way to get a boost of vitamins!
Heart healthy: Cow's milk (1%) contains 12 mg of cholesterol per cup according to the USDA. Cholesterol is linked to heart problems, including heart disease. However, cholesterol is absent from almond milk, making it a more heart-healthy drink option. In fact, the monounsaturated fat in almond milk may help lower bad cholesterol.
Low in calories: Almond milk contains fewer calories per cup than cow's milk. Many brands of almond milk have as few as 30 calories per one cup serving. It's a great alternative to dairy milk to assist with weight management!
Lactose free: Almond milk is a lactose-free beverage for those who have difficulty digesting lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. Lactose intolerance is very prevalent in the United States; almost 65 percent of the population has a decreased ability to digest lactose after infancy. Almond milk serves as a tasty substitute for those unable to drink cow’s milk.
Almond milk is not suitable for those with a nut allergy or for infants. Be sure to keep in mind that almond milk does contain less protein than cow’s milk, so it is necessary to supplement protein in other parts of your diet. Also, stay away from high-sugar almond milks. The dark chocolate flavor may be tempting to try, but it also packs a sweet punch in grams of sugar per serving!
Almond milk is now widely available in many large grocery stores in a variety of brands. Find it in refrigerated half-gallon cartons or tetra packs in the natural foods aisle. For the ultimate healthy DIY, try to make your own almond milk at home. The Kitchn has a great, easy-to-follow recipe that explains the soaking, blending, and straining process to make the best homemade almond milk. You may also see almond milk served at your favorite restaurants and coffee shops. Dunkin Donuts has just added almond milk to its menu for health conscious and non-dairy drinkers!