Definitely stop drinking almond milk
It’s full of additives and sugar and has a huge carbon footprint
It’s delicious. It sounds natural. It tastes really good in a flat white. Waitrose sells more cartons of almond milk than it does soy, so you know all the best people are drinking it.
And certainly, it has experienced a sharp rise. It is in vogue, it is the new milk, it defines the lactose replacement element of the clean living #blessed lifestyle. Bloggers like Deliciously Ella preach about its health benefits and the wholeness of almond milk – but the important thing to remember is that she makes her own. If you buy almond milk in a shop, you should be aware of what you’re drinking.
Remember the additives and sugars
When something is billed as healthy or a superfood, it’s easy to look past the fine print. “Almond milk brands on average contain very small quantities of ground or powdered almonds – often as little as two per cent,” says Leo Pemberton, a dietician from the Harley Street Clinic.” Brands like Almond Breeze have as little as two per cent Almond content, while others companies don’t list theirs.
Eaten on their own, almonds are a healthy source of good fats, protein, soluble fibre and minerals – notably Vitamin E. But this is heavily diluted when the almonds are processed. “Fat soluble vitamins and calcium are added as well as water and usually refined sugar along with other ingredients to bulk out the milk,” Leo adds.
He continues: “As a milk substitute, it fails to replicate the levels of protein and fat soluble vitamins contained in cow’s milk. Unless it is unsweetened it may also be helping you over the limit for your recommended added sugars especially if taken multiple times a day.” Cutting back to the “unsweetened” version might reduce the sugar content, but it doesn’t make the milk any more natural.
Almonds leave a huge carbon footprint behind
Research suggests it can take as much as five litres of water to grow one almond. Then there’s all the water almond milk is bulked up with. Huge amounts of almonds are shipped from the US or Australia, while some are still grown in Europe. They’re shipped around the world and packaged.
It can be really expensive
Have you seen how much it costs? Prices range from £1.50 at its cheapest to pushing £4 for some of the more organic brands.
Other milks exist. There’s soy, oat and hazelnut to name just a few, all with their own additional benefits and drawbacks. If you want to drink almond milk, the best way is to always make your own. Soak them in water overnight, drain, add more water, blend and strain.