Almond Milk is
a Delicious Non-dairy Milk. Why Does it Taste so Good?
If you are looking for a beverage to drink, almond milk is not the best
choice for weight loss. Stick with water, tea, or other natural
no-calorie beverages. But let's compare two different
brands of almond milk
to see if they are good to use on our breakfast cereal. If you haven't
this before, these are
basics of what we look for on nutrition labels.
The front of the package doesn't tell us much except that it contains
60 calories per serving. We have to look at the back of the carton to
find out the important stuff.
- The Nutrition Facts label says that
the product is 42% fat, or 25 fat calories out of 60. That is quite
high in fat. We like to see 10% fat in a weight loss product.
- There are 150 mg of sodium in a 60-calorie
serving. That is very high.
It should be 60 mg or less.
- It contains only 1 g fiber per serving. It
would be good to see 3 or 4 g. So far, this product doesn't look too
good. Let's look at the ingredient list.
After water, the first item on the list is evaporated cane
(sugar.) There is more
sugar in this milk than almonds. Other
ingredients listed that we try to avoid are:
For more information about carrageenan and vitamin A palmitate, see our
explanation of ingredients
to avoid in a milk substitute.
But there are even more
chemicals in this product:
of these ingredients may be harmless and some are not. The point is,
this product is not made of whole plant foods. It is a chemical soup.
Let's see if our second almond milk is any better.
- Tricalcium phosphate is probably in there to
calcium content of the milk, or maybe to make it look white.
- Potassium citrate might be included as a
buffering agent to keep it at
the right pH (we are not chemists and we don't know for sure why it is
- Soy lecithin is a non-toxic emulsifier, made
from soybean oil.
Pacific Almond Milk
front of this carton, as usual, doesn't tell us much except that it is
the low fat original and it is all natural. But is it really?
learn from the Nutrition Facts label that this milk is 36% fat (25
calories out of 70.) Better than our first milk but still pretty high
- There are 140 mg of sodium in a 70-calorie
serving. That is double the
amount that we consider acceptable.
- A serving contains 1 g fiber, the same as our
don't have to spend much time looking at this ingredient list. It is
nearly identical to that of our first milk, except for the addition of
In all honesty, we can't recommend either one of these milks, no matter
how good they might taste. One reason is because they are both
sweetened. In fact, they contain more sugar (by weight) than almonds!
unsweetened almond milks?
Unsweetened Almond Milks
Update September 2011:
reading the comments below by website visitors about unsweetened, fat
free almond milks, we were fascinated. Since almonds are 77%
we wondered how food companies were able to make fat free milk
We spent some time at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, reading
the label on every unsweetened
almond milk we could find. We ignored all sweetened milks. We were
looking for several things:
We found five brands of unsweetened milk:
Foods 365 Brand
Calories Per Serving
|Percent Calories From
- These unsweetened almond beverages are all highly
processed foods. They do contain
almonds and water, but they also contain gum thickeners and
unnecessary supplemental vitamins and minerals. Some contain "natural
which are highly refined extracts of some natural food. (MSG is
considered a natural flavoring.)
- They are all high fat products. The lowest in
fat is the Almond Dream
at 60% calories from fat.
- The Whole Foods brand is the only one that does
not contain carageenan.
- All contain vitamin A palmitate.
Maybe there are almond milks that are actually fat
free and that meet our criteria. We were not able to locate one. Take
your calculator to the
store, read and analyze labels and look for a better product.
If you are not allergic to soy, here
is the nutrition information on a good natural soy milk. It
is 44% fat, which is better than any of these almond drinks. It is made of simple, wholesome ingredients.
milk substitute you decide on, use it sparingly. Put a little on
your cereal in the morning, but don't use it as a beverage if you are
trying to lose weight. Or you can save money and make
your own milk from our easy rice milk recipe.