Nutrition

What Are The Health Benefits Of Almond Milk?

Written by Chloe Thurston


Almond Milk


Most people are born with the ability to digest lactose (the major carbohydrate which is found in milk). However, 75% of the population lose this ability, whilst others can continue throughout adulthood (Mattar et al, 2012).

 

Lactose is a disaccharide that is abundant in milk and is the essential source of nourishment for newborns. Once inside the intestine it is hydrolysed into glucose and galactose by the enzyme lactase. However, in some groups of individuals there is a reduction of lactase activity (Misselwitz et al, 2013).


clean almond protein shake


Diagnosis

 

To diagnose lactose intolerance, an elimination diet is used followed by a lactose intolerance test. This means that the person needs to avoid dairy for a certain period of time and then consume a certain amount of lactose again. The test measures the blood sugar levels before and several times after drinking a lactose solution to find out whether the body is breaking it down or not. Another test that can be done is the breath test. This is to measure the amount of hydrogen contained in your breath, which is normally higher in those with lactose intolerance (Marton et al, 2012).

 

If a child or an adult has to avoid cow’s milk, then you need to be aware that it may still be present in foods such as:

 

Milk

Milk powder

All types of cheese

Butter

Margarine

Yoghurt

Cream

Ice cream

 

Food labels that list any of the ingredients below also contain some cow’s milk:

 

Casein

Hydrolysed casein

Skimmed milk

Skimmed milk powder

Milk solids

Non-fat milk

Whey

Milk sugar solids

Lactose

 

The following are examples of processed foods, which may contain milk:

 

Cereals

Soups

Baby foods

Processed meats e.g. sausage

Pasta

Pizza

Instant mashed potato

Sauces and Gravy

Baked goods

Pancakes and batters

Ready made meals

Pudding and custard

Cake, biscuits and crackers

Chocolate


almonds


Benefits of Almond Milk

 

#1 Lactose free – made from almonds and not cows milk

#2 Lower in calories compared to regular milk (60 compared to 122 calories per cup)

#3 Antibiotic and hormone free

#4 No cholesterol or saturated fat to help with heart health

#5 Good source of calcium

#6 Contains 50% of the recommended vitamin E

#7 Low in carbohydrates

#8 Has 1g of fibre per serving to help with digestion

#9 Suitable for vegetarians

(Packer, 2014)


Remember to check the labels first!

 

If you or your child is allergic to cows milk, it is likely that the same effect will occur with both sheep and goat’s milk. Your body is still going to recognise the milk proteins and react the same way towards them. Milk intolerance is common and some of those who are intolerant to cows milk may still be tolerant to goats’ milk or sheep’s milk, due to factors other than milk proteins. You should always check with a medical advisor before hand.

 

Soya milk available in supermarkets are unsuitable for children under 12 months

In children over 12 months, soya can be used during weaning. This includes being a drink or put into recipes. (Allergy UK, 2016)


References

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.


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