Got Almond Milk? You’ve heard me say this before. When it comes to healthy bones I don’t recommend drinking milk. Yes, milk is high in calcium. But it’s also an acidic food that over time can lead to weaker – not stronger - bones.
Americans rely on milk for their bones thanks to a huge marketing push by the dairy industry. But studies are increasingly showing that higher dairy consumption is associated with a higher risk of broken bones.
That’s one reason why I pass on cow’s milk and have almond milk with my oatmeal in the morning. Of all the tree nuts,almonds have the highest levels of calcium. In addition, they’re a good source of magnesium and potassium – both important for strong bones.
Of course, you can buy almond milk at most supermarkets these days but here’s why it’s not such a good idea. Most almond milk is loaded with sugar. And too much sugar in your body will eventually leach minerals right out of your bones.
Another reason to avoid processed almond milk is that many brands are full of additives, stabilizers, preservatives and thickeners. For example, a common thickening agent added to almond milk to make it creamier is carrageenan. That’s a gummy substance made from red seaweed. It’s in almond milk made by Pacific Organics and Almond Breeze among others.
But here’s the thing. There are two forms of carrageenan – degraded and food grade. In animal studies, the degraded form of carrageenan has been proven to cause tumors. It’s classified by The National Research Council of the National Academy as a “possible human carcinogen.”
But the food grade form of carrageenan is not much better. According to the Cornucopia Institute, tests show that food grade carrageenan also contains some of the degraded form – in some cases as much as 25%.
Even the food grade carrageenan has been shown to cause inflammation, and colon cancer in animals. And when we consume the food grade carrageenan, it can breakdown and become degraded in our gastrointestinal tract.
No, thank you! I make my own almond milk because it’s easy to do and that way I know what’s in it. Here’s a great video with Dani Spies showing how you can make your own at home.
As you’ll see in the video, at the end of the process you’ll be left with fresh almond milk but also with almond meal or pulp. The pulp is actually all of the fiber from the almonds and contains both protein and fat. So don’t just throw it away.
You can spread the pulp on a cookie sheet and dry it out in the oven at low heat until you have a crunchy topping for your oatmeal or yogurt. I also like to use it as a binder instead of bread crumbs when I make black bean burgers or meatloaf.
Almonds, almond milk, almond meal – they’re all great treats for your bones.
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From my delicious bones to yours,