For people who are lactose-intolerant and are not advised to take dairy products, a popular alternative is almond milk. Its nutty taste and creamy texture are preferred by consumer over other plant-based milk types for both drinking and cooking. In the United States, it toppled the popularity of soy milk in 2013. On the flip side, however, there are also disadvantages attributed to drinking this milk. Let’s find out what supporters and critics of almond milk have to say:
List of Pros of Almond Milk
1. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Advocates for drinking Almond milk claim that this plant-based product is higher in healthy minerals and vitamins than other milk products. Apart from not containing cholesterol, it also does not have lactose. It is concentrated with potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, phosphorus, selenium and calcium, among others.
Supporters of this milk product posit that it is also a good source of Vitamin E which is not only good for the skin, but also, is an effective antioxidant. This is because it contains flavonoid that aids in lessening the number of free radicals inside the body. These qualities protect the body from degenerative diseases that can come with type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
3. Good for the Heart
Since this milk substitute is low in fat and calories, with only 40 calories and around three grams of fat per serving, it is healthy and does not contribute to obesity which can lead to hypertension and consequently heart conditions. It also does not contain cholesterol and high in omega-3 fatty acids that are important for a healthy heart.
List of Cons of Almond Milk
1. Poorly Absorbed
Critics of fortified almond milk argue that although it is rich with calcium naturally, plant-based milk products are not absorbed completely by the body as opposed to the absorption of dairy products. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this makes dairy milk better in offering bio availability in terms of nutrients.
2. Might Not Be Safe for Babies
People skeptical about the intake of Almond milk say that it does not really offer the nutrients found in breast milk and formula milk. That said, it is not recommendable to give it to infants without consulting a pediatrician. Moreover, it is a tree nut and is not advisable for people who are allergic to it. If an infant is allergic and is accidentally given Almond milk, the baby can have a fatal allergic reaction. Symptoms can range from red spots on the skin to difficulty in breathing.
3. Affects Thyroid Hormone Levels
Almonds and almond milk products are sources of tyrosine which may aggravate a migraine headache. Also, it is not healthy and safe for patients with thyroid conditions. Apart from this, Almond milk brands that are produced commercially might have soy as fillers that can also affect thyroid hormone levels.
Almond milk is nutritious and might be more palatable than other milk products. However, it might not be healthy for some individuals who have allergies that can be triggered by drinking almond drink. The best way to enjoy this milk product or any almond product, for that matter, is to know its pros and cons as well as ensure anyone who will drink it does not have medical conditions that can be affected with its consumption.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.