Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why I Switched to Almond Milk

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Back in October, I switched from whole milk to almond milk. I use almond milk in my protein shakes as well as drink it alone. I am also starting to cook with it more over whole milk.

First, compared to whole milk I felt it was a better nutritional fit for me.

Whole Milk (8 oz)

Calories: 146
Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Protein: 8 g
Cholesterol: 24 mg
Carbs: 12 g

Almond Milk (Unsweetend; 8 oz)

Calories: 40
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Protein: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbs: 1 g

The only downfall of Almond Milk is that it has considerable less grams of protein than whole milk. However, I make this up with other sources of protein. 

Almond milk is proven to have high nutritional value. In fact, the only nutrient that is higher in whole milk than almond milk is protein. Almond milk also contains high levels of antioxidants. And almond milk is good for gluten - free diets. I am on a mission to reduce gluten as much as possible in my diet. 

One thing to avoid in almond milk is CARRAGEENAN. I researched this and this is what I found:
  • Carrageenan can cause inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and cancer. 
  • Carrageenan is used to cause inflammation in order to test anti-inflammatory properties in medications. 
  • Lab mice exposed to carrageenan for 18 days developed a glucose intolerance and impaired insulin action. This can lead to diabetes. 
  • Carrageenan is an irritant to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). 
  • Carrageenan can cause stomach problems. 
All of these are conditions I wish to avoid. I have found 3 brands of almond milk that do not contain carrageenan. They are:
  • Silk
  • Friendly Farms (Aldi's store brand)
  • 365 (Whole Foods store brand)
Why did I choose Almond Milk over Soy Milk?

Some people choose soy milk when cutting whole milk out of their diet. I, however, did not like the soy option. The cons of soy milk:
  • Soy compromises the body's ability to absorb protein and minerals. Soy contains protease inhibitors. These inhibitors block the enzymes that digest certain proteins. 
  • Soy contains high levels of goitrogens. Goitrogens prohibits the thyroid's ability to utilize iodine. 
  • Soy contains plant estrogens. These raise estrogen and lower testosterone. This can cause problems for those in the reproductive years. 
  • While most nutritional information is the same as almond milk (or close to it), soy milk does have twice as many calories as almond milk. 
  • Research is still being conducted on the relationship between soy and breast cancer. 

I made my decision based on the information I learned through research. You do not have to make the same decision as me. I feel that the pros of almond milk outweigh the "pros" of whole milk and soy milk. 


1 comment:

tiffany khyla. said...

I've been wanting to try almond milk so bad! Thanks for all of the info. Really helpful post.