Doesn’t it seem like whenever you find yourself on the road towards vibrant glowing health, something in the media pops up saying ___________ (insert hyped up food here) is no longer good for you or __________ causes cancer?
It’s not that “they” can’t make up their mind, it’s simply the nature of research in that it’s always advancing (or some big-wigs come in and pay for some bias research – wait, what? Who said that?) Point being, research is always moving forward in multiple directions and with that comes the nitty-gritty facts. All it takes is a single fear mongering headline to say something like “Kale is bad for you” for us to lose our marbles and throw out all of our luscious greens, when in actuality, the study linked to the headline actually shows that kale, being a cruciferous vegetable, may be harmful in cases of hypothyroidism. Does that mean we all have to say “To hell with kale!”? Not quite.
When beginning your health journey, I’m a big advocate of opting for the lesser evil, but with the intention of always striving towards optimal health. I’m not a “cold turkey” kind of gal and I’m sure there’s quite a few people out there who might feel the same. So when my friend approached me to tell me she’s switched from cow’s milk to store-bought almond milk, I wasn’t so quick to criticize (Note: Food shaming isn’t cool guys). But I will always always suggest a healthier alternative.
See, the thing is that, even though store-bought almond milk doesn’t have the negative effects of cow’s milk – the pro-inflammatory properties, antibiotics, lactose (which a large portion of the population is intolerant to, making it a common food allergen) and the calcium-leaching effects leading to bone loss – conventional almond milk still comes with it’s setbacks:
(Filtered Water, Almonds), Pure Cane Sugar, Vitamin/Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Zinc), Gellan Gum, Carrageenan, Potassium Citrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavours, Sea Salt.
… To name a few. Not sure what that all means? Let me break it down for you:
Pure Cane Sugar – Be it raw, “pure” (what does that mean anyway?) or organic, sugar is still sugar. The chemical composition of pure cane sugar is the exact same as refined sugar and is metabolized the same way refined sugar is as they are both broken down into glucose and fructose, affecting blood sugar levels and raising insulin levels which comes with it’s negative side effects.
Calcium Carbonate – Evidence suggests that Calcium Carbonate (chalk or limestone) is not a biologically appropriate form of calcium for human metabolism, as opposed to it’s counterpart in it’s chelated form such as calcium citrate which is much more readily absorbed and utilized within the body.
Gellan Gum – Acts as a bulking agent and though in small amounts it may not be harmful, studies show that it can pose a risk in higher, more frequent doses.
Carrageenan – An additive used as an emulsifier in almond milk for their gelling, thickening and stabilizing properties. It is harmful to the digestive system and has been known to trigger an immune response (similar to when your body has been invaded with pathogens like Salmonella) resulting in inflammation and potentially ulcers and bleeding.
Natural Flavours – … aren’t so natural after all. In fact, “Natural Flavours” in themselves can contain anywhere from 50 to 100 ingredients. This goes for any product on grocery store shelves that is misleading customers into thinking they are also “all natural” when in actuality, the term means nothing in terms of it’s quality. These Natural Flavours actually consist of mass amounts of synthetic laboratory concoctions which can lead to diseases and disorders. I think we can do without that in our almond milk, can’t we?
Now what if I told you that you could sip away on your own fresh homemade almond milk that requires only 2 whole ingredients? True story! It goes a little like this …
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 3 cups filtered water
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender for 30 seconds, or until most almonds are blended.
- Pour blended ingredients into a large bowl through a nut milk sac/cheese cloth.
- Pour strained ingredients into a 1L bottle
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before consumption (to enjoy the crisp fresh taste!)
What’s your favourite way to enjoy almond milk?