Are You Nuts for Using Almond Milk?

Dietary trends come and go as quickly as the seasons lately, it seems. Maybe you’ve tried the “paleo diet” or the “raw food”, where you’re told to eat like our ancestors who lived to the ripe old age of 25. Then again, you may have chosen to focus on “gut health” or “brain health” with your latest diet. Heck, maybe the company you work for has built a gym in the office, a hot new trend among corporations – or – in an effort to get you out of the gym, they sign you up to “volunteer” for a “boot camp” fitness program once a year.

Whatever the latest trend may be, it can also be labelled a fad: An interest followed with exaggerated zeal. And, as we all know, a fad will fade as quickly as your summer tan does, once autumn rolls around.

Is Nut Milk Even Healthy?

One of the hottest nutrition trends to come along in some time is nut milks: so-called “milk” made from almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts. While this trend may be understandable for those who are lactose intolerant (lactose is the sugar in dairy), it makes little to no sense for anyone else. Based on price alone, about $2.49 – $2.99 for 2% a gallon of dairy milk vs. about $10.69 for a gallon of almond milk, finding another alternative makes the most sense.

You should also consider these facts about the “nutritional benefits” of almond milk:

  • A 48-oz. jug of almond milk containing roughly 39 cents worth of almonds, plus filtered water and additives, retails for $3.99, while offering about 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. Cashew milk is about the same.
  • By comparison, a single ounce (28 grams) of real almonds – you, know, the kind you actually eat – also contains six grams of protein (about an egg’s worth), along with three grams of fiber (a medium banana), and 12 grams of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (half an avocado).
  • And then there’s this: “Given that it takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow a single almond in [drought-stricken] California, where 80 percent of the world’s almonds are produced, drenching the finished product in yet more water seems insane.” (MotherJones.com)

To sum up; except for those with a lactose problem (and there may be better alternatives for you too), consuming nut milk offers no nutritional advantage over dairy milk and is far more expensive. So, if you’re the kind of person who likes to “get what you pay for”, then yes, you are nuts for using almond milk.

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