Almond milk has been a popular milk substitute since the Middle Ages. It is made by mixing finely ground almonds with water and is low in calories and fat.
How Almond Milk Compares to Other Nut Milks
Almond milk contains ground almonds and water. It's a healthy alternative to cow's milk, and contains more vitamins and minerals than soy and rice milks. Many people who've tried almond milk prefer the flavor of almond milk to that of soy and rice milk.
Soy milk contains a lot of protein, but doesn't contain the high levels of vitamins and minerals found in almond milk, so it's often fortified with calcium and vitamin D to bring is nutritional quality more on a level with fortified cow's milk. Rice milk doesn't contain much nutrition at all, so it's usually also fortified with vitamin D, calcium and other nutrients. Both rice and soy milk are good milk alternatives for those who have milk allergies or are lactose intolerant, but you should buy manufactured rice and soy milk to insure that they're properly fortified with the vitamins and minerals you need.
Because almonds are naturally very nutritious, almond milk doesn't need to be fortified. You can make almond milk yourself at home, and it will have the same nutritional value as the almond milk available commercially.
Benefits of Almond Milk
Almond milk is great for those who are lactose intolerant, because it doesn't contain any lactose. Almond milk also contains no soy, so it's good for those who suffer from soy allergies. Because almond milk doesn't contain casein, a milk protein that's chemically similar to gluten, almond milk is appropriate for those who suffer from gluten allergies.
Nutritional Value of Almond Milk
Almond milk is one of the most nutritious milk substitutes available. It doesn't contain saturated fats or cholesterol, but it does contain omega-3 fatty acids, so it's very good for your heart. Almond milk is high in protein; the typical eight ounce serving of almond milk contains about one gram of protein. One serving of almond milk also contains about one gram of dietary fiber.
Almond milk is very low in calories; it contains only about 40 calories per serving, and it's low in carbs at only two grams per serving. Almond milk contains about three grams of fat per eight ounce serving, making its fat content equivalent to that of rice milk.
Almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals, so almond milk doesn't need to be fortified. Almonds contain vitamin E, manganese, selenium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fiber, phosphorous and calcium. The flavonoids in almond milk help prevent cancer and slow the signs of aging. The high levels of antioxidant vitamin E found in almond milk make it very effective in the prevention of cancer.
Because almond milk is low in fat and calories, and high in many essential vitamins and minerals, it is a great milk substitute for those who would like to lose weight. To help keep track of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that you consume each day, try using the nutritional tools on FitDay.com.