The great milk debate is becoming more and more spoken about, with all of the health risks and benefits being weighed viciously by health and nutrition professionals. One of the most popular milk alternatives is almond milk. Below we see how the two stack up against each other.
Facts About Almond Milk
1. How It’s Made
Almond milk can easily be made at home. The method used to make fresh almond milk is to soak almonds in water and then blend then in a blender or food processor with a sweetener and some water. The mixture is then strained using cheesecloth. In factory produced almond milk there are additional nutrients and protein added.
The protein that you get from a single glass of almond milk is 2 grams. You can increase the amount of protein by adding in a scoop of protein powder to your almond milk. You also get calcium, 30 percent of your daily need. Almond milk also provides vitamin benefits, providing you with half of your daily value of vitamin E, 10 percent of vitamin A, and 25 percent of vitamin D.
3. No Cholesterol
Almond milk is completely cholesterol free, making a great heart healthy milk alternative. Almonds have also been proven to reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease. The presence of potassium in almond milk is also a wonderful aid for your heart because it is a vasodilator which reduces the strain put on the muscle.
4. Breast Milk Substitute
The minerals and vitamins that are found in almond milk are extremely similar to the same ones found in a mother’s breast milk. Vitamin D and C and iron are all key components in the growth of babies, and are all found plentifully in almond milk. It is also rich in protein, making it a perfect substitute.
5. Skin and Eyes
Another part of the body that almond milk helps to improve is the skin. Almond milk contains vitamin E, which is vital in maintaining good skin health. Along with the vitamins, almonds contain antioxidants with greatly help to repair damaged skin.
The eyes also receive the gifts that almond milk have to offer because of vitamin A. Vitamin A is the key vitamin responsible for the health and function of the eyes. Consuming almond milk can help combat the stresses we put on our eyes daily with our phones, computers, televisions, and tablets.
Facts About Regular Milk
1. Linked To Cancer
Studies have shown that the consumption of cow’s milk stimulates cancer cells, specifically linked with prostate cancer and ovarian cancers.
Cow’s milk does provide a pretty impressive amount of nutritional value. One of the biggest dietary benefits is calcium. Calcium is very plentiful in cow’s milk, with 305 milligrams in just one cup. Calcium is very important for bone health, blood health, and our teeth. Choline is also found in cow’s milk, which is a nutrient that helps with memory, muscle development, and sleep.
3. Lactose Intolerance
Lactose, which is what milk is made up of, is the most common food allergy in the world. Majority of people’s digestive systems are not able to digest lactose properly, causing upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
4. Not Meant For Humans
Many people argue that cow’s milk is not designed for human consumption, but intended for the rapid growth of calves. This fact is supported with the evidence linking milk to serious health issues in humans. Obesity is thought to be such a problem in today’s world because we are raised from birth to drink plenty of milk.
5. Factory Contamination
90% of the worlds milk comes from dairy farms. These are facilities with hundreds if not thousands of dairy cows. Many people are unaware of the conditions in which these cows are kept, often developing infections in their utters from the equipment used to “milk” them. These infections affect milk quality, putting foreign bacteria into our drinking milk.
Differences Between Almond Milk and Cow’s Milk
1. Fat Content
The amount of fats that are present in a glass of cow’s milk is 2.4 grams while a glass of almond milk only has 1.5 grams. The amount of calories also differs, cow’s milk having 105 calorie per glass and almond milk on 40 calories.
2. Health Risks
The health risks that are associated with cow’s milk are still widely unknown, however the ones that have been established are no joke. Obesity, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer have been shown to be linked with the consumption of dairy milk. Almond milk has no known health risks associated, and many in fact many benefits.
Almond and cow’s milk are obtained in very different ways. Cow’s milk is pumped from a pregnant dairy cow, and then pasteurized in order to destroy any unknown contamination. Almond milk is simply blended almonds mixed with various sweeteners and water.
The cost of these two beverages depend greatly on the quality, but are drastically different. A half gallon of milk ranges from $1.00 to $2.00 dollars while a half a gallon of almond milk is typically around $4.00.