Almond Milk Also Has Upsides And Downsides
Though sustainability has become one of the biggest arguments against almond milk, concern about the thickeners used in the beverage has also brought it under fire.
The additive in almond milk is carrageenan, Castillo says. Carrageenan is used to thicken almond milk and prevent separation, but there are concerns that it may cause inflammation and damage in the intestines.”
Castillo and other nutrition experts feel that more research will help clarify the impact carrageenan has on the body. Though there are several studies that use animals as subjects, a review in the Food & Function Journal of existing studies also determined there isn’t enough evidence to determine the effects of carrageenan on the body.
Plus, since almond milk doesn’t offer the natural sweetness that oat milk does, it’s often sweetened. Whether you’re specifically monitoring your carbs or not, both Castillo and Modell always recommend opting for the unsweetened stuff.
That said, almond milk is still significantly lower in calories than oat milk, which is a plus if you want to limit how much of your daily calorie intake comes from beverages.
Plant Sources Of Calcium
Did you know that many plant foods are rich sources of calcium, such as leafy greens like collard greens, turnip greens and kale, as well as tofu and tempeh.
But in recent years, the evidence on soys benefits has weakened.
In 2011, for example, researchers from the University of Southern California gave 325 healthy, postmenopausal women 25 grams a day of either soy protein or milk protein. After three years, there were no strong data showing significant lowering of cholesterol among the soy group compared to the milk protein group.
Moreover, progression of atherosclerosis, evidenced by scans of the carotid artery wall, was the same for both groups of women.
Now certainly, youll be doing good things for your cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health if you drink soymilk instead of saturated-fat-rich dairy like whole milk, 2% milk, and 1% milk, not to mention cream-heavy concoctions like Frappucinos.
So if you enjoy fortified soymilk, and prefer its taste to nonfat cows milk, by all means keep enjoying it.
May Act As A Substitute For Breast Milk
Almond milk contains vitamins and minerals that are similar to those found in a nursing mothers breast milk. This is because it contains a considerable amount of vitamins C and D, as well as iron, which is very important for the growth and well-being of infants. It is also possibly rich in protein, making it a perfect substitute for food, just like other healthy foods like rice and soy milk.
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How To Keep Heart
Healthy lifestyle changes are clearly helpful in managing heart disease risk, but the doctors in our Facebook Live event all noted that its a lifelong process. A lot of this seems a bit daunting, notes Ader, but once you get into it, you realize youre exercising and eating right for a reason. It becomes a part of your life, and you feel better for doing it.
Canto emphasizes that with the right treatment and management, people with heart disease can live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. You can have a heart attack in your 30s and have multiple heart attacks in the course of your lifetime, have bypass surgery, have multiple stents, have your heart shocked, have a defibrillator, and then maybe later on a heart transplant, and lead a normal life with heart disease, says Canto.
And, adds Nandi, you have the power to be your own health hero. The most important point is that your health is in your hands, says Nandi. Youre not helpless.
*Canto is a consultant on the speakers bureaus for Amarin and other pharmaceutical companies.
How To Choose The Best Almond Milk
Most local grocery stores offer a variety of almond milks.
When choosing a product, be sure to look for an unsweetened variety. You can also select a type without added gums or emulsifiers if these ingredients are a concern to you.
Finally, if you follow a restricted diet, such as veganism or vegetarianism, and are concerned about your nutrient intake, choose almond milk that is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Homemade and some local options may not contain these nutrients.
To reap the most benefits, choose almond milk that is unsweetened, unflavored, and fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
To make your own almond milk, follow this simple recipe.
- 2 cups of soaked almonds
- 4 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Soak the almonds in water overnight and drain before use. Add the almonds, water, and vanilla to a blender and pulse for 12 minutes until the water is cloudy and the almonds are finely ground.
Pour the mixture into a mesh strainer that is placed over a bowl and lined with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Be sure to press down to extract as much liquid as possible. You should get approximately 4 cups of almond milk.
Place the liquid into a serving container and store it in your refrigerator for 45 days.
To make your own almond milk, add soaked almonds, water, and vanilla extract to a blender. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth and mesh strainer. Store the remaining liquid in your refrigerator for 45 days.
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Don’t Go Nuts In The Dairy Aisle We Have The Answers You’ve Been Looking For
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Today, more than ever, there is an abundance of alternatives to dairy. From milk to ice cream to cheese, it’s becoming easier to take traditional dairy products out of your diet. Whether youre lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy, or have just decided to live a dairy-free lifestyle, there’s no need to fear the dairy aisle of your local grocery store.
When it comes to milk, almond and coconut milk are the most popular and accessible. Even coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have added these non-dairy nut milks to their menus for their customers. While the differences between almond milk vs coconut milk may seem obvious, there’s more to it than just the ingredients. Knowing how theyre made, the nutrition facts, and benefits of almond milk vs coconut milk can help you make a choice that best suits you and your diet before you add your milk to your shopping cart or cup of coffee.
Facts And Statistics About Cholesterol
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 73.5 million adults in the United States 31.7 percent of the population have high levels of LDL cholesterol.
Fewer than one in three adults with high LDL cholesterol have the condition under control.
Less than half of adults with high LDL cholesterol are getting treatment to lower it, the CDC notes.
High cholesterol becomes more common as people age. Decade by decade, your cholesterol can edge upward:
- In their twenties, 22 percent of people have high cholesterol.
- In their thirties, 38 percent of people have high cholesterol.
- In their forties, 50 percent of people have high cholesterol.
- In their fifties, 62 percent of people have high cholesterol.
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What Is Good Cholesterol
HDL Cholesterol is considered as good cholesterol because HDL acts as a scavenger and carries LDL cholesterol away from the arteries back to the liver to be metabolized and secreted out of the body. A healthy HDL cholesterol level protects against heart attack and stroke. Foods usually present in a Mediterranean diet such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, whole grain oats, etc. are found to lower LDL and increase HDL.
Obstacles to getting good cholesterol
One convenient way of getting a daily dose of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids is nut milks such as almond milk. However, not all almond milks available in the market are nutritious due to: a) presence of junk ingredients such as gums, emulsifiers, oils etc. and b) lower number of nuts per serving. It is of utmost importance to look at the ingredient list and the nutrition label, especially if the intent is to improve the cholesterol profile in the body.
A solution for good cholesterol
One easy solution is Elmhurst® Unsweetened Almond Milk which is made with just two simple ingredients: almonds and water. It contains up to 4x more nuts than any other leading brand and has no added junk such as gums or emulsifiers. Elmhurst almond milk is loaded with heart friendly monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic and palmitoleic acids. The nutrients are available in their highly digestible form owing to Elmhursts unique HydroRelease technology.
Health Benefits Of Sweetened Almond Milk
Aside from higher sugar and calorie content, sweetened almond milk has benefits similar to those of unsweetened almond milk, including:
Substitute for cows milk. Cows milk can cause reactions in those who are allergic to it. Whole milk is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which arent heart-healthy. Cows milk can also cause stomach problems in people with lactose intolerance the inability to digest lactose. Sweetened almond milk can be a safe, lactose-free substitute.
Suitable for a vegan diet. Sweetened almond milk is acceptable on a vegan diet. Nut milk contains no animal products.
Rich in antioxidants. Sweetened almond milk is rich in vitamin E, containing about 6.74 milligrams per cup. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that helps to protect your body from the inflammation. It also boosts your immune system.
Fortified with nutrients. Commercially sold almond milk has added calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A, B2, D, and E. These nutrients protect your body in the following ways:
- Calcium strengthens your bones and prevents diseases.
- Vitamin D allows calcium to be taken up by the body and helps maintain bone health.
- Vitamin A helps maintain and protect your eye health.
- Vitamin B2 riboflavin helps you digest your food.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your body against oxidative damage.
- Iron protects your blood cells and prevents anemia.
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Does Almond Milk Cause Kidney Stones
Oat, macadamia, rice, and soy milk compare favorably in terms of kidney stone risk factors with dairy milk, whereas almond and cashew milk have more potential stone risk factors. Coconut milk may be a favorable dairy substitute for patients with chronic kidney disease based on low potassium, sodium, and oxalate.
Mayo Clinic Q And A: Dairy Milk Soy Milk Almond Milk Which Is The Healthiest Choice For You
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Ive always enjoyed drinking a glass of milk with most meals, but now there are so many options other than cows milk. Are plant-based milks, such as soy milk or almond milk, healthier options?
ANSWER: Cows milk and other plant-based beverages, including soy milk and almond milk, all can be healthy choices. However, there are wide nutritional differences, depending on the type of product and the brand. Generally, you can break down the benefits by reviewing the nutritional information for each beverage. Things that are important to focus on are fat content, protein, calcium and the amount of added sugars, if any, in each product.
In terms of fat content, skim milk has negligible amounts of fat, but the amounts of cholesterol-raising saturated fat increase stepwise with 1 percent, 2 percent or whole milk. This is important to pay attention to, as the American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to no more than 7 percent of calories in your overall diet. Soy and almond milks contain about 2 to 4 grams of fat per cup, but those fats are predominantly healthy, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Comparing protein content, dairy milk takes the protein title with a little over 8 grams per cup. Soy milk comes in a close second with about 7 grams per cup. Traditional almond milk lags behind with just 1 gram per cup. Of note, some newer nut milk varieties have added pea protein.
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Hemp Milk: No Cholesterol Low In Saturated Fat
Hemp milk is one of the newer options on the market. This milk comes from the seeds of the hemp plant , but it doesn’t contain THC the psychoactive ingredient in , which is a different variety of cannabis. With a flavor and consistency similar to almond milk, hemp milk is a good choice if youre watching your cholesterol levels, are lactose intolerant, or if you have milk or soy allergies. A 1-cup serving of hemp milk contains 80 calories, 1/2 g of saturated fat, and no cholesterol. Hemp milk is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, especially heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acid. It’s also a good and magnesium, both of which are essential for heart health, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Getting enough magnesium helps your heart keep a normal rhythm, and having too little can lead to arrhythmias irregular heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation.
Coconut Milk Vs Almond Milk: How Theyre Made
Two of the most popular lactose-free vegan alternatives to cows milk include almond and coconut milk.
- Almond milk, which is made from finely powdered almonds and water, has a sweet, nutty taste and a slight graininess to its texture.
- Coconut milk, on the other hand, is much richer and creamy as it has a lot more fat and calories than almond milk since its created from soaking powdered coconut flesh in water.
To make almond milk:
If you want to make almond milk yourself, we recommend soaking the almonds overnight, before crushing them. This way, they will be processed more easily. Youll find more tips here: How Do You Make Almond Milk? Easy Homemade Recipe
Note: Almond milk from the supermarket contains vitamins that are naturally occurring as well as vitamins that are added during the mixing process.
Coconut milk can only be made from brown coconuts, which have white flesh or meat inside their shell.
The good news is that the usual formula for both kinds of milk does not include any artificial ingredients, colorings, flavorings, or GMOs. When buying either milk, its still better to give the ingredients list a close look.
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What Are Your Numbers Hdl Ldl Triglycerides And Why They Matter
Your risk for cardiovascular disease is determined by a lipid panel, which is a blood test that measures your high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides. High cholesterol is defined as 200 milligrams per deciliter , according to the CDC.
When coupled with high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides can lead to a buildup of fat in the artery walls and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the AHA. Knowing these numbers is an important part of managing your cardiovascular disease risk.
Ader was diagnosed with high cholesterol and prescribed statins when he was in his early 30s, despite a fairly healthy lifestyle he ran, ate healthy, and didnt smoke prior to diagnosis. When he was in his early 40s, Ader, who has a family history of heart disease, had angina, or chest pains that occur when your heart muscles dont get enough oxygen-rich blood, and had to have a stent put into his heart.
He continued to stay physically active and tried to make his diet even healthier by cutting out red meat, limiting cheese, and switching to soy milk. Despite his efforts, Ader, who had a relatively stressful job working for an investment bank, had a heart attack when he was 49, on an international flight in the midst of an intensely busy business trip.
Benefit #: Weight Management
Plain almond milk without added sugars or flavoring contains 60 calories per each 8 oz serving size. This option works well for people looking to lose or maintain weight.
The low caloric content of almond milk causes less of an impact on our totally daily consumption of food calories. Some milk varieties contain more sugars than the cereal that they get combined with.
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What Is Sweetened Almond Milk
Almond milk is a dairy- and cholesterol-free plant-based milk. It’s made by grinding almonds with water, straining the liquid, and adding vitamins and minerals. It’s lactose-free and suitable for those who are vegan or have lactose intolerance. This nut milk is often fortified with calcium and vitamins A, D, and E.
Sweetened almond milk has added sweeteners, such as stevia, cane sugar, dates, maple syrup, or honey. You can buy sweetened almond milk in flavors like vanilla and chocolate. It may have stabilizers and preservatives to improve its shelf life.
Almond milk is available at grocery stores and markets, but you can also make it at home.
Are There Health Benefits To Drinking Commercial Unsweetened Almond Milk
Benefit 1: Almost no impact on your blood sugar level
NB: This applies to most of the unsweetened almond milks in Australian supermarkets. Two exceptions are Pureharvest and Coles organic unsweetened almond milk
Yes, drinking unsweetened almond milk has almost no impact on your blood sugar level. . This could be great news for people with type II diabetes who find it hard to control their blood sugar level. In my clinic, Ive seen the blood sugar level after 1-2 hours after breakfast not increasing that much when my clients replace cows milk with unsweetened almond milk thanks to its negligible amount of carbs. However, it is a case by case basis. If you dont have diabetes or your type II diabetes is well-controlled with healthy blood sugar fluctuation, regularly drinking cows milk is still a great option unless you want to find a plant based alternative to cows milk. If you are actually using insulin, it is better to consult your endocrinologist and dietitian when switching from cows milk to almond milk.
Benefit 2: No negative impact on your cholesterol level
As almond milk contains only a small amount of fat, the majority which is unsaturated fat, drinking almond milk has no negative impact on your cholesterol. If youd like to dig more into good and bad cholesterol, this article might help you.
Benefit 3: It doesnt have a significant impact on your blood pressure at all
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