Almond milk is a creamy, nutty-flavored beverage that has been consumed for hundreds of years. It has become a popular staple for those wishing to avoid dairy and is available at many grocery stores in a variety of flavors and brands. You can also easily make it at home by soaking, grinding and straining raw almonds.
Compared to Cow’s Milk
Almond milk is lower in both fat and calories than reduced-fat cow’s milk. One cup of vanilla-flavored and sweetened almond milk contains about 90 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, compared to the 120 calories and 5 grams of fat in 1 cup of cow’s milk. These numbers vary greatly by brand and type, as plain almond milk can be as low as 30 calories per serving. Additionally, because almond milk is not an animal product, it contains neither saturated fat nor cholesterol. Therefore, almond milk may be an appropriate milk substitute for those on a heart-healthy diet where saturated fat and cholesterol must be avoided. However, almond milk is higher in carbohydrates than cow’s milk and only offers 1 gram of protein per cup compared to the 8 grams present in 1 cup of cow’s milk.
Many almond milk products are supplemented with vitamins A, D and B-12, so they provide a significant percentage of your recommended dietary allowance for those nutrients. One cup of almond milk contains 500 IU of vitamin A, 100 IU of vitamin D and 3 micrograms of vitamin B-12, which fulfills 100 percent of your B-12 requirements and roughly 20 percent of your vitamin A and D recommendations for the day. Vitamins A and D are important for maintaining a healthy immune system, and B-12 is an essential nutrient for critical functions in the body such as blood cell formation and DNA synthesis.