- Almond milk has 39 calories, no sugar, and 50% of your daily vitamin D.
- Almond milk is made by soaking ground almonds in water and then straining the liquid.
- Almond milk benefits include building strong bones and containing high amounts of vitamin E.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Almond milk is the most popular plant-based milk option on the shelves, and that’s no surprise. Because it’s low in calories, lactose-free, and packed with essential nutrients, almond milk makes an excellent choice for people who are trying to
, have trouble digesting cow’s milk, or have given up animal products for ethical reasons.
Here’s what you need to know about the nutritional profile and many health benefits of almond milk.
What is almond milk?
Almond milk is made by soaking ground almonds in water and then straining the paste to eliminate any pulp.
Almond milk is naturally vegan, soy-free, lactose-free, and gluten-free.
Important: If you’re avoiding gluten always look for “gluten-free” on the label and check the nutrition facts to ensure the product doesn’t include any gluten-containing additives.
Unsweetened almond milk is also keto-friendly since it’s low in carbs. However, look out for sweetened versions, which contain added sugar that can jack up the carb and calorie count.
Almond milk can be found at most supermarkets. It is available plain, or in sweetened and unsweetened flavors like vanilla and chocolate, and can be used as:
- As a milk replacement in baked goods
- Added to cereal in place of cow’s milk
- For creamy oatmeal
- Added to smoothies
- Added to protein shakes in place of cow’s milk
- As a creamer or milk substitute in coffee
Almond milk nutrition
The following nutrition facts pertain to a one-cup serving of unsweetened almond milk. This information can vary depending on the brand and whether or not the product has added sugar.
Almond milk benefits
Here’s what to know about the benefits and how it compares to cow’s milk.
1. Low in calories
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For comparison, one cup of unsweetened almond milk has:
Important: Sweetened and flavored almond milk contains a higher calorie content — about 11.6 grams per cup.
2. Builds strong bones
Almond milk is comparable to cow’s milk when it comes to calcium and
Your body can’t make calcium on its own. Therefore, you must consume it through your diet, or your bones will become fragile and break more easily, says Andres Ayesta, MS, a registered dietitian and founder of Planos Nutrition.
Note: Research has yet to determine whether calcium and vitamin D from fortified beverages is absorbed as easily and effectively by the body as foods where it naturally occurs.
3. Low in sugar
While one cup of 2% cow’s milk contains 12.3 grams of sugar, one cup of unsweetened almond milk contains none.
“Sugar is a source of empty calories, meaning it provides no nutrients nor the ability to make you feel full,” says Ayesta. “This can lead to overconsumption and eventual weight gain. Consuming too much sugar has also been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,
mellitus, liver disease, and dementia.”
Important: Check the nutrition label before buying as sweetened almond milk can contain up to 21 grams of sugar.
4. High in vitamin E
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Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage-causing free radicals while also helping to maintain a healthy immune system and regulating inflammation, says Ayesta.
A 2015 study found a higher vitamin E intake was associated with a reduced risk of age-related cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that can compromise your vision. A 2013 review also found vitamin E supplementation is beneficial for promoting healthy brain aging and delaying cognitive decline in those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Potential downsides of almond milk
- Contains tree nuts, meaning it’s not suited for those with an allergy.
- Lacks protein, with only one gram per one-cup serving.
- Lacks B vitamins (unless fortified) like riboflavin or vitamin B12
- May contain additives including emulsifiers like lecithin and carrageenan. A 2017 test-tube study found carrageenan may negatively impact gut cells, but more research is needed.
Provided you opt for an unsweetened and fortified variety, almond milk is a healthy, low-calorie choice for those looking to limit their sugar and carbohydrate intake while also meeting their daily needs for calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
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