Is Almond Milk Bad for the Environment? 5 Experts Opinions!

Milk has always been considered the powerhouse of calcium, riboflavin, potassium, and many other nutrients. Today, when people are turning to plant-based eateries, milk products in their industries are also putting all stops to bringing plant-based products for individuals.

With the immense rise of plant-based milk like almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, and rice milk, individuals are finding a healthy alternative to cow’s milk.

But, why Almond milk?

Almond milk is one of the best vegan products. Its exotic flavor and thick texture is the reason that makes it popular amongst people nowadays.

However, since it’s a processed beverage, you may be hit with a question- will it be healthy or not?

Answering this question, today, with this guide, we will be exploring some of the ins and outs of consuming almond milk. And whether almond milk is bad for the environment or not.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

Almond Milk

Almond milk is generally plant-based milk because it is extracted from the organic almonds plant. It is made of ground almonds and water, including other ingredients, to make it preservative and increase shelf life.

However, almond milk can also be produced at home. All you have to do is blend the almond and water and strain it to remove the pulp. With this process, you get a smooth milk liquid.

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Photo by Austin Wilcox on Unsplash

If bought from the stores, you may find certain ingredients in almond milk, which increase their life, flavors, and thicken the milk.

Almond milk is majorly preferred by those people who are chosen to be vegan 1or who are allergic to lactose ingredients or products.

Almond milk is similar to dairy production when it comes to nutritional benefits. Following are some of the nutrients and vitamins in almond milk.

Note- For those who want to eat less calorie food, almond milk is one of the best alternatives. It contains fewer calories, which eases the person to maintain their health.

  • Calories: 39
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Soluble Fiber: 0.5 grams
  • Vitamin E: 110% of the Daily Value
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Calcium: 24% of the Daily Value
  • Carbs: 3.5 grams
  • Vitamin D: 18% of the Daily Value
  • Potassium: 4% of the Daily Value

Being a natural source of Vitamin E, Almond milk is highly rich in healthy fats.

Moreover, it also contains other vitamins like calcium and vitamin D, which are equally crucial for bones and teeth.

How to Make Almond Milk at Home with 5 Easy Steps?

Well, making your almond milk at home is an enticing idea, but only if you are aware of the following steps. They are sometimes processed or sweetened, making almond milk bad for the environment and health. It’s not rocket science, but you need to follow the below steps to conduct the process hassle-free:

To make the almond milk of your choice at home, all you need is just two ingredients, that is, almonds and water.

  1. Don’t forget to add a blender and milk bag to your checklist.
  2. If you make almond milk for one glass, then soak two cups of raw almonds overnight in the freshwater. Add the soaked almonds with water in a blender and blend until the mixture is milky and creamy.
  3. Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag and drain in a large bowl.
  4. Squeeze out the unwanted moisture and rinds of the almonds.
  5. Moreover, you can use thickeners to increase the thickness of your homemade milk.

The milk can be kept for five days maximum in the refrigerator as it is naturally made.

Moreover, love hair coloring?

Pros of Almond Milk to our Health

Almond milk is rich in various nutrients and vitamins. So, now, let us explore some of the health benefits of almond milk.

  • Almond Milk is Low in Sugar

Most people eat too much-added sugar unintentionally. For instance- in the form of desserts, drinks, and sweeteners, they forget to think about their health.

Many plant-based milk alternatives are flavored and sweetened. Almond milk also contains sugar. However, you can go for sugar-free almond milk too.

  • Almond Milk is High in Vitamin E

Vitamin E is majorly known for eye and skin health. Moreover, it plays a vital role in protecting against heart diseases and other harmful conditions.

  • Almond Milk has low Carbs.

Another very advantageous side of this category is that almond milk can also be found unsweetened. Almond milk is naturally low in carbohydrates when compared to dairy milk.

However, alternative milk and products can be high in sugar in commercials.

What happens is that added sugar can be smoothly absorbed by the blood, which can cause an imbalance in sugar levels and other health problems.

A study shows that individuals consuming tea or coffee without almond milk are found with less type 2 diabetes.

  • Almond Milk Denies

    High Calories

Unlike any other product, almond milk contains low calories (30 to 60 calories), with several vital nutrients and vitamins. People who are calorie conscious should consume almond milk to maintain their calorie rate effectively.

Moreover, you can also try other plant-based milk if you have chosen to be vegan. Almond milk is also a good alternative that supports a healthy vegan diet for individuals.

  • Almond Milk is a Lactose-Intolerance Product

Are you allergic 2to Lacto ingredients? Do you avoid dairy products? Well, if your answer is Yes, then plant-based milk is one of the best choices for your diet. Almond milk is a lactose intolerant product.

Unlike regular cow’s milk or dairy milk, plant-based milk like coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk, almond milk, and several other kinds of milk are good options.

Adding any of these milk alternatives, you can complete the deficiency of several nutrients in your body, which you cannot accomplish with dairy products.

Note- If you are also allergic to nut-based milk, then, unfortunately, almond milk and other nuts can be the wrong choice for you.

Cons of Almond Milk to Your Health

Is almond milk bad for the environment or health? Let’s check it out with the following drawbacks of consuming almond milk.

  • Absence of protein

Knowingly, unlike almonds, whole milk is high in protein. However, on the other side, Almond milk provides only 1 gram of protein per cup, which is merely insufficient for your diet, which makes almond milk bad for the environment and your health.

Protein is a healthy source for functioning in several body functions like hormone production, muscle growth, enzymes, skin, and bone structure.

Beans, lentils, seeds, tofu, and hemp seeds are some of the plant-based food items that are high in protein levels.

Moreover, if you are nonvegetarian, eggs, fish, and chicken are other protein-rich food sources.

  • Not a Good Supplement for Children

One of the reasons why almond milk is bad for the environment is that young children below one year strictly avoid consuming cows or other plant-based milk. This is because it avoids iron prevention which is not worth it for the children.

Such young children are mostly preferred for drinking milk ( breast milk) as it is the most nutritious food for infants below one year. Otherwise, if the child is allowed a bit of solid food, go ahead!

After the child passes six months, they can have water, especially boiled water, as a good supplement of nutrients.

Besides soy milk, plant-based drinks are low in several healthy nutrients like protein, fat, calories, and other vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin D, and calcium. Hence, plant-based milk is slightly unhealthy in terms of nutritional value.

You should consult your preferred doctor about which milk and food they should be given for more information.

  • Additives are Harmful

Is Almond milk bad for the environment? If you have processed almond milk, you may intake certain additives supplements, such as sugar, salt, gums, flavors, and lecithin.

Emulsifiers 3and gums are used to increase the thickness and texture of the milk. No worries, as they are safe, nevertheless you do not have to consume them at a high value.

Carrageenan4, one of the added supplements in almond milk, may affect your gut health. This makes almond milk bad for the environment as well as health. Therefore, it’s always suggested to make your almond milk at home, or if you have processed milk, then consume it in small quality. However, you can find additive-free almond milk too.

Other sweetened flavors are also added to the processed almond milk for soft flavor and sweetness. But, these additives are high in sugar levels, which can risk weight gain, cavities, and maybe other harmful diseases.

You can also find processed but unsweetened and unflavored almond milk in the stores.

Does Almond Milk make any Impact on your environment?

Is there any environmental impact due to almond farming? Knowingly, plant-based milk like almond milk plays a crucial role in impacting the environment. If seen, dairy milk requires natural resources to raise cattle to produce milk.

However, on the other hand, plant-based milk like soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, and different alternative kinds of milk does not require anything besides water, soil, and global warming potential. It is a clean and safe method to produce milk naturally for environmental concerns.

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Image by Rezky Patriya from Pixabay

Moreover, the almond industry initiates growing more plants and trees, which further impacts greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide ( a source of global warming), and international demand.

Growing almonds help reduce global warming (carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas). Still, on the other side, they can become a huge concern about water usage, which makes almond milk bad for the environment. ( majorly oat milk, soy milk, and almond milk) Almond trees/ almond crops take up a lot of water for almond milk production.

On the contrary, Hemp5, pea, and coconut trees use less water. People choosing to convert to plant-based milk consumers may be a better option for environmental impact and greenhouse gas prevention (global warming potential)

Compared to other productions, Almond production is suggested to be a high water consumption plant-based milk, amongst any other plant-based product. Moreover, the cultivation took nine times more land to cultivate a good amount of almonds for healthy milk.

Groundwater is a source of drinking water consumed by the vast majority of the cultivation procedure.

Around 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California, which has resulted in drought-stricken California for several years. Therefore, almond milk should not be cultivated in massive amounts regarding environmental facts. So, is almond milk bad for the environment?

Also, pesticide use residues of nine different categories on almonds have been found, out of which five are toxic to honey bees, and are threatening to the environment.

How to choose the best Almond Milk for you?

You may find several varieties of almond milk in the store, which can be a confusing situation for you! Therefore, the following are some quick tips on finding the best almond milk for you without a hustle-bustle. Let’s go ahead.

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Image by Lisa Redfern from Pixabay

Sweetened almond milk is bad for the environment, and can be harmful to your health. Therefore, always look for the unsweetened version of the milk. Moreover, find almond milk, which is gums-free.

You can go for processed almond milk with added additives. However, non-additive processed almond milk is always best for your health.

Finally, if you are a health freak, go for almond milk with a high Vitamin D or calcium concentration.

Putting it all Together,

If you want to go dairy-free, then Almond milk can be one of the excellent plant milk varieties to cover all those nutrients you are used to with dairy milk.

Well, almond milk has varieties, so always go for unsweetened varieties that are free from additives like gums and thickeners.

Almond milk is naturally low in carbs, calories, and sugar levels. Hence it becomes a good source of nutrients for health-conscious individuals.

Moreover, dairy milk has more protein levels than almond milk. So to mitigate this situation, you can have animal feed like fish, chicken, eggs, organic soybeans, or organic oats to maintain the protein levels. If not, you can go for several almond supplements like almond butter, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Which milk is most environmentally friendly?

  • Plant-based milk has a smaller impact on water and land as well as carbon emissions when compared to dairy milk. Overall, soy, oat, hemp, and pea milk are more eco-friendly choices than almond or rice milk. To help strengthen your environmental decisions, choose plant-based milk that comes in a recyclable container.
Q. Why cow milk is better than almond milk?
  • The added sugar and preservatives in some almond milk increase the calories and fat per serving while not delivering the calcium, vitamins A and D, and other nutrients found in dairy milk.
Q. Is almond milk OK to drink every day?
  • Bottom line: Almond milk is high in vitamin E and contains healthful fats. Drinking it regularly may benefit your heart.
  1. Marrone, Giulia, et al. “Vegan diet health benefits in metabolic syndrome.” Nutrients 13.3 (2021): 817. ↩︎
  2. Zhang, Yuan, Feng Lan, and Luo Zhang. “Advances and highlights in allergic rhinitis.” Allergy 76.11 (2021): 3383-3389. ↩︎
  3. Kim, Woojeong, Yong Wang, and Cordelia Selomulya. “Dairy and plant proteins as natural food emulsifiers.” Trends in Food Science & Technology 105 (2020): 261-272. ↩︎
  4. Pacheco-Quito, Edisson-Mauricio, Roberto Ruiz-Caro, and María-Dolores Veiga. “Carrageenan: drug delivery systems and other biomedical applications.” Marine Drugs 18.11 (2020): 583. ↩︎
  5. Cerino, Pellegrino, et al. “A review of hemp as food and nutritional supplement.” Cannabis and cannabinoid research 6.1 (2021): 19-27. ↩︎

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Author

Tripti Bhainsora

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