What's In Your Nut Milk?
Nut milks have flooded the market ever since we started using almond milk as an alternative to cow's milk in our coffee. These days we have nut milks from every nut you can think of. Whatever nut milk you are currently enjoying you, want to make sure you check the ingredients because not all nut milks are made the same.
If you haven't switched already, here's why you should
We all know the dairy industry has been in deep trouble for quite some time. My own desire to switch to a plant based diet started many years ago when I read "Diet For a New America" by John Robbins, heir to the Baskin Robbins fortune.
Instead of taking over the family business, John Robbins went on a quest to write about and detail the moral, economic, and emotional price we pay as a result of consuming animal products. He also explains why consuming animals is not necessary for a well rounded diet. Diet for a New America has become one of the most important books on vegetarian diets. It was nominated for a pulitzer prize in 1987. Since its publication in 1987, meat and dairy consumption has fallen drastically.
In 2006 I read "The China Study" written by T. Colin Campbell. He has done extensive research on the affects of diet on our health and has clearly shown how consuming animal products plays a role in autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, prostate cancer and vitamin D deficiencies. This book is the most comprehensive study on nutrition ever conducted. Part of what Mr. Campbell outlines in the book is how consuming dairy in particular can lead to cancer tumor growth. What was so poignant about the research was in multiple, peer reviewed animal studies, researchers discovered that they could actually turn the growth of cancer cells on and off by raising or lowering doses of casein, the main protein found in cow's milk. With evidence based research and long term data captured from all over the world, the results are eye opening.
Great Alternatives To Dairy
Nut milks are a great alternative to dairy. Almond, soy, cashew, walnut, coconut - the possibilities are endless. But with all these options, how do we know which brands are the best in terms of quality? Where are the ingredients sourced? Which brands are non GMO and free of pesticides? Which are certified organic?
Cornucopia.org Does The Work For You
Cornucopia.org is a great non profit that does all the research for you. They do a deep dive into which companies give you the best products. The website states "Through research and investigations on agriculture and food issues, The Cornucopia Institute provides needed information to family farmers, consumers, and other stakeholders in the good food movement."
From plant based milks, to organic eggs, to toothpaste, Cornucopia.org breaks down the best companies to choose from and includes scorecards. The more natural and sustainable a product is, the higher the score. In addition, if a company does not disclose where their product is being sourced or leaves out important information, they will score poorly.
All Almond Milks Are Not Made The Same
Have you checked the ingredients in your plant based milk? The amount of fillers and chemicals used by some of the biggest brands are downright awful . When choosing a good quality nut milk, make sure you choose products with no more than 3 ingredients.
Check the ingredients
One of the most popular brands of Almond milk, Almond Breeze has some of the most suspect ingredients.
Almond milk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Carrageenan, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2 And D-Alpha-Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).
"Natural Flavor" is anything but natural. And Carrageenan has been linked to intestinal inflammation and cancer. Eww.
The almond milk with one of the best ratings is Three Trees.
Ingredients: Filtered Water, Organic Almonds.
That's it! Just like making it at home.
Almond milks with high scores:
Eden Soy organic
Westsoy organic unsweetened
Almond milk with the worst scores:
Note that with some brands, the added flavoring is what causes it to receive a weak score. And when a product is not organic it's less likely to have a high score. For example Eden Soy scored high for organic, unsweetened but not as high for not organic and sweetened.
Whatever your nut milk preference make sure you are well informed of the ingredients. Check the labels, make sure it's organic and doesn't include any added sugars, fillers or other junk. Just the nuts!