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6 Reasons You Should Make The Switch To Almond Milk
If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, you probably already know about the joys of almond milk, but for those of you who are trying to decide which is the better choice for you, as well as for the planet, then this article will help clear things up for you.
If you haven’t heard, cows, well … dairy cows are some of the worst offenders when it comes to global warming. They emit tons of methane gas and need lots of grain and water, not to mention, they put out far more fertilizer than we can use!
Also, if you aren’t drinking organic milk, that means that you might be consuming as many as 60 different types of hormones and antibiotics in every glass.
With the wide selection of alternative milks now on sale at the supermarket, even deciding which one to choose can be difficult. Almond milk is one of the best alternatives (although hemp and coconut milk are also very nutritious!). Did you know that almond milk is even mentioned in books from medieval times? It’s true! Almond milk is not some New Age nut milk, nobility in medieval times preferred almond milk to cow’s milk!
You don’t have to purchase that expensive almond milk from your local supermarket either. We are going to list a terrific recipe at the end of this article so you can make your own healthy almond milk right at home!
Let’s look at the top 6 reasons you might want to reconsider drinking cow’s milk and opt for almond milk.
1. Full of Healthy Fat
Unlike cow’s milk, almond milk is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are super good for your heart. Cow’s milk is mostly saturated fat. Although low fat milk contains very little saturated fat, it’s still there. Saturated fat has been shown in study after study to be a leading contributor to heart disease. There are some studies that show that a high intake of dairy products leads to a lower risk of obesity, but it’s safe to say that saturated fat is something you want to avoid.
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2. Cholesterol Free
Has your doctor told you that your cholesterol levels are too high? Then drinking almond milk should be a no-brainer. To lower cholesterol levels and give your heart a helping hand, drink almond milk, which is high in monounsaturated fats. The American Heart Association says that these types of healthy fats are associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart attacks. Almond milk has no saturated fat and absolutely no cholesterol.
3. Compare the Carbs
For those of you on a low carb diet, you should know that cow’s milk is much higher in carbohydrates than unsweetened almond milk. Regular cow’s milk has 12 grams of carbs in one 8-ounce glass. This is due to the natural sugar in milk, called lactose. One cup of unsweetened almond milk has less than 1 gram of carbs! Now keep in mind that many commercially made almond milks do contain sugar, which can increase the amount of carbs in one cup to 16 grams of carbs. Opt for unsweetened almond milk and make staying on your low carb diet easier and tastier than you thought possible.
4. Low Calorie Drink
For those of you who are watching your weight (and who isn’t?), you will be happy to know that unsweetened almond milk has half the calories of regular cow’s milk. Please note that almond milk does not have as much protein as cow’s milk, but as long as you get your protein from other sources, this shouldn’t be a problem. Eating a balanced diet is the key!
5. What’s That About Protein?
Cow’s milk is much higher in protein than almond milk, no doubt about it. Protein is a vital part of the diet because it provides your body with the building blocks of lean muscle mass, healthy weight management, and even helps your body to burn extra calories. Whole cow’s milk or even skim milk has 8 grams of protein. Compare this to the 1 gram of protein in almond milk. However, you can purchase protein-enriched almond milk, which should snag you about 5 grams of protein. As we mentioned, however, getting all your protein from one source is not a good idea anyway. Aim to consume a balanced diet for the best health.
6. Almond Milk Might Prevent Cancer
Well, here is something cow’s milk can never claim! In fact, the journal Nutrition and Cancer found that drinking almond milk can prevent prostate cancer while cow’s milk stimulated the growth of cancer cells due to its high estrogen level. This is due to the hormones cows are fed to keep them producing more milk for a longer period of time. Almond milk has the opposite effect and was shown to suppress cancer cell growth by as much as 30 percent!
If you do choose to buy store bought almond milk, look for a brand that has added protein but no added sugars. Many almond milks are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals.
However, if you would like to make your own natural almond milk at home, take a look at the following super easy recipe!
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Make Your Own Almond Milk
- 1 cup of raw almonds
- ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- Coconut sugar, agave syrup, or stevia to taste (optional)
You will need a layered cheesecloth or milk nut bag for this recipe. You can find both at any health food store.
Soak the almonds in water overnight. Drain. (By the way, this water is terrific for your houseplants!) Put the almonds and 4 cups of water in your blender and blend on high for about 2 minutes. Add your other ingredients. Mix again for another few seconds. Pour the almond milk into your milk nut bag or cheesecloth and strain well into a clean container. Enjoy!
Your almond milk will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. You might want to think about saving the leftover almond pulp by putting it on a cookie sheet and dehydrating it in your oven. Use the lowest temperature setting for two or three hours or until it is completely dry. This is called almond meal and it can be used in many recipes.
If you haven’t tried almond milk, you really should! Once you start drinking it, you will never want to go back to cow’s milk ever again!