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Milk vs. Almond Milk

By Edited Dec 4, 2016 0 0

People often ask the question “Milk vs. almond milk. What's the best for me?”. Unfortunately a straight answer does not exist. There are numerous areas where both of these kinds of milk are similar, but there are also some fields of interest where the differences are substantial. Almond milk is one of the most healthiest alternatives to cow's milk for people with certain medical conditions, or people that are following certain diets.

Milk vs. Almond Milk

Medical conditions, allergies and lifestyle issues

There are numerous reasons why people choose not to drink cow's milk. Amongst them we can find conditions like lactose intolerance and allergy to casein. Vegans, some vegetarians and large groups of people also abstain themselves from dairy products so cow's milk isn't an option. For them the almond milk is a good choice. When it comes to almond milk there are some people suffering from nuts allergies, so for them this product won't be suitable.

 

Nutrition facts and health benefits

There are a lot of similarities and some differences in nutrition facts between the two kinds of milk. Let's start with some specific numbers – amounts of the most important nutrients in those products.

Nutrition values for 8 ounces (244g) of product:

Nutrient

Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat [911]

Comestible Almond Milk [912]

Homemade Almond Milk (almonds + water in 1 : 4 proportion, unfortified, unstrained (with almond flesh)) [913]

Calories 146

40

270

Total fats

8g

3g

23g

Total carbohydrates

13g

3g

10g

Sugars

13g

0g

2g

Proteins

8g

1g

10g

Vitamin A

5.00%

10.00%

0.00%

Vitamin D

24.00%

25.00%

0.00%

Vitamin E

0.00%

50.00%

62.00%

Vitamin B12

18.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Riboflavin

26.00%

0.00%

28.00%

Calcium

24.00%

20.00%

12.00%

Phosphorus

22.00%

4.00%

23.00%

Potassium

10.00%

0.00%

10.00%

Sodium

4.00%

8.00%

0.00%

 

Unfortunately this table describes only three options and does not exhaust all the possibilities. If you are dealing with different case you must check the proper data yourself. The most difficult case is when you prepare almond milk by yourself and strain it before drinking. Measuring the values by yourself in home is almost impossible.

When it comes to non-fat cow's milk some values are slightly different from the whole fat one. Of course there are no fats and probably the amount of sugar (and therefore carbohydrates) is lower. Make sure to check your products label.

Now when we have some numerical data we can discuss the values, name some similarities and differences.

Milk is great!

Calories

As you can see in the table the calories amount varies a lot between those three kinds of milk. Comestible almond milk is definitely the lightest in calories, and homemade is the most loaded with them. The reason behind that is the almond flesh in the milk. Almonds do have a lot of fats, so unstrained milk with its flesh is high in calories.

 

Major nutrients

There are a lot of differences between main nutrients amounts in the three kinds of milk mentioned. Comestible almond milk is lowest in fats (which is good), carbohydrates (and without sugar, which is great) and proteins (that's unfortunate). Homemade almond milk (with flesh) is totally different – it's pretty high in carbohydrates (but with low amount of sugar), the highest in fats and proteins among the three mentioned. You also might want to know that cow's milk contains mostly saturated fat and some cholesterol. Almond milk contains no cholesterol (because it's not an animal product) and only a little saturated fats (or none in the case of comestible one).

 

Vitamins and minerals

The situation with vitamins and minerals might look pretty odd – sometimes in comestible almond milk there is a lot of a certain nutrients and none of it in the homemade one, sometimes it's vice versa. The first reason behind that is that comestible almond milk is strained and therefore lacks of some vitamins and minerals found in the homemade almond milk with almonds flesh. The second reason is that comestible products are fortified with certain vitamins and minerals. The most important things to remember are: almond milk has A, D and B12 vitamins only when is fortified with them. You should also take note that almond milk has a lot of vitamin E which couldn't be found in cow's milk. Beside that comestible almond milk is high in sodium, low in phosphorus and contains no potassium.

 

Other issues

Some people aren't really interested in health issues and that's fine. They are just looking for a replacement for cow's milk in their daily cereals. Because of that most comestible almond milk products varies between one another in nutrition values. Some producers focus group are conscious consumers, others aim in satisfying people's taste buds. Therefore if you are looking for the healthiest product you need to go through the labels of the products. If you are just looking for great nutrition values you can skip flavored products. But if you are just looking for a milk product with a fancy flavor than flavored almond milk is a good choice for you.

 

Wrap up

As you can see there isn't a winner in the cow's milk vs. almond milk battle. Both kinds of milk have a lot of nutrients. In some areas differences are substantial, in others they are close to zero (e.g. both milk and almond milk do go bad). I would like to remind you, that there are some almond milk dangers and because of that almond milk isn't a perfect replacement for cow's milk, especially for children. Take note that there is a lot of variety on almond milk market. Because of that some of the products offer better nutrition values than others and if this is what you're looking for – you should check the labels carefully.

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Bibliography

  1. "Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat." SelfNutritionData. 27/10/2011 <Web >
  2. "Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Almond milk, Blue Diamond Unsweetened." SELFNutritionData. 28/10/2011 <Web >
  3. "Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Nuts, almonds." SELFNutritionData. 28/10/2011 <Web >

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