Almond milk vs. Whole milk, what is the difference? Is Almond Milk healthier for you compared to the most common milk out there, cows milk? The most popular alternative plant-based milk available in the dairy aisle, Almond milk, is the precursor to the ever classic soy milk.
While it tastes nothing like milk and has the mild taste of, well, almonds, the simple fact that it is plant-based has catapulted the alternative milk choice to every coffee shop and natural market all over. It is hard not to walk into your corner coffee bar and see almond as the top latte milk choice.
Plant-based kinds of milk gained popularity with the rise of veganism and sustainability awareness. Many commercial boxed milk, including Almond milk, can be stored at room temperature for more extended periods creating longer shelf life and less waste.
Along the way, many people found that plant-based milk products were a convenient alternative for those who may suffer from lactose allergy or intolerance, have specific dietary restrictions, or simply wanted a longer-lasting milk option to put on the shelf versus whole milk, which must be kept refrigerated at all times.
Almond milk, What makes it unique?
Almonds are naturally high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, but almond milk is generally fortified nowadays with many common vitamins and minerals.
While almond milk does not contain calcium or Vitamin D, two vital nutrient sources, many people often find they can easily replace or supplement these missing nutrients through various food sources, making almond milk a viable source for almost any diet.
Without a doubt, Almond Milk is healthy for you if you suffer from lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. You still obtain many of the essential nutrients the body needs while avoiding over 400 fatty acids from one glass of milk. Besides, almond milk does not contain even-chain saturated fats in whole milk, which may not be conducive to special diets.
What about whole milk?
What about whole milk by comparison? What makes whole milk so different? Whole milk has been an American diet staple for over 80 years. It has been considered a standard in almost every household and something we don’t think about as we grab essentials from the grocery store. Many people will always remain traditionalists and choose whole milk over almond milk.
While almond milk may contain a specific chain of fats, a critical few are missing, including saturated fats and some fats are seen by the health community as ‘bad,’ including even-chain saturated fats, which contain heavy fats.
What about my diet?
While many of us have been taught that milk leads to strong bones and teeth, many people have discovered via food research, recipe experimentation, and experience that it is unnecessary to have milk to obtain the nutrients needed for a strong body.
Many vegans, vegetarians, and those with dietary restrictions have full-filled diets and healthy bodies without whole milk or dairy. While full of healthy fats, there are also unhealthy fats in milk that may not bode well for some on fat-restricted diets.
In the end, drinking whole milk or almond milk is a personal choice and depends primarily on the type of lifestyle you live and your health restrictions, including your own unique dietary needs.
Many people also make their milk considerations based on environmental factors. There is no wrong or right in terms of what you choose to mix in your coffee. Ultimately, almost any milk you drink will not provide the complete nutrition your body needs but are excellent supplements to a well-rounded diet.