True Cellular Formulas Team - Feb 13, 2023
You Won’t Believe How Many Almonds are Actually in your Almond Milk...
Many pursue alternative dairy products in the name of their health, but since the non-dairy industry has boomed, so have the cheap, corner-cutting products. Today we explore some of the top con’s in the nut milk industry, which brands are the worst offenders, and what you can drink instead.
The Rise in Non-Dairy Milks
Sales of nondairy milk have risen 61 percent since 2012, so there’s no doubt that people are pursuing alternatives to animal milk.1 The survey highlighted that the two big reasons for the switch were that individuals didn’t tolerate dairy or wanted to avoid animal products, but more than half said it was because they believed it to be healthier than cow’s milk.1
Marketing, especially greenwashing, has propelled plant-based milk into fashion as a healthy alternative to real dairy, but is it? Whether or not you tolerate dairy, the debate on nutrient density shows real milk as the clear winner. As a whole food (raw and unpasteurized), it contains unprocessed vitamins and minerals straight from nature.
Plant-based milks with high nutritional profiles are derived from synthetic, cheap additives. But for the most part, they are typically void of most of these nutrients because they are made mostly of water.2
It shouldn’t be surprising that many nut milk products contain added water, but how would you feel if you paid a premium price for a carton of up to 98% water? Popular alternative milk company Blue Diamond Growers (makers of Almond Breeze) is currently facing a lawsuit due to false advertising. The company insinuates that it is made up mostly of almonds. In reality, their almond milk contains only 2% almond and mostly water, sugar, carrageenan, and sunflower lecithin.3
The lawsuit states that “upon an extensive review of the recipes for almond milk on the internet, the vast majority of the recipes call for one part almond and three or four parts water, amounting to 25-33% almonds”.3 So when it comes to the almond milk on the shelves, shouldn’t it more accurately be called almond-flavored water?
Unfortunately, most plant-based milks on the shelves contain little to no of the ingredient they insinuate is the bulk of their product. Companies like Consumer Report lab test hundreds of products to rate them based on nutritional score, sensory score, and vitamin and mineral content compared to cow’s milk… and the results are grim.4
Many plant-based milks use buzzwords like “all-natural,” “vegan,” and “unsweetened,” most of these products contain a wide range of inflammatory and gut-disrupting ingredients. The more the plant-based milk tastes great or is thick and sweet like cow’s milk, the more likely it contains nasty and cheap additives. No plant-based milks will ever be as naturally nutritionally-dense as organic, grass-finished, unpasteurized, raw milk… but some are worse offenders than others regarding toxicity.5
The Naughty List
- Silk Almondmilk Unsweetened
- Silk Coconutmilk Original
- Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original Reduced Sugar
- So Delicious Organic Coconutmilk Beverage Original
- Planet Oat Oatmilk Original
- Oatly Oat-Milk Original
- Silk Organic Soymilk Unsweet
- Edensoy Organic Soymilk Original
- Silk Soymilk Original
- Westsoy Organic Soymilk Unsweetened Plain
The Good List
- Malk Organic Almond Malk Unsweetened, and Vanilla
- Malk Organic Coconut Malk Unsweetened
- Malk Organic Oat Malk Original, Vanilla, and Chocolate
- New Barn Organic Almondmilk Unsweetened
- Elmhurst Milked Almonds Unsweetened
- Elmhurst Unsweetened Oat Milk
- Elmhurst Unsweetened Cashew Milk
- Elmhurst Unsweetened Hazelnut Milk
- Mooala Organic Almondmilk Original
Detoxing from Sugar, Carrageenan, and Sunflower Lecithin
As we have explored, many of these milk alternatives contain mostly ingredients that are not actually the star ingredient. The other ingredients that make the “milk” flavourful, frothy, and thick are actually, for the most part, toxic.6 Thickeners, gums, artificial flavors, cheap and synthetic vitamin additives, and colors create inflammatory responses in the body and have been linked to health concerns ranging from IBS to cancer.7-8
In the short term, if you are exposed to plant-based milk you know to contain problematic ingredients, you can rely on TrueCarbonCleanse™, a gut-detoxifying supplement you can use to buffer the impact of toxins. This binder contains activated carbon, powerful humates (humic and fulvic acids), Cleanoptilite™️ (clinoptilolite - zeolite crystals), and other gut detoxifiers that can attach to and eliminate toxins.9
To help undo past exposure to toxins like the kinds found in many plant-based milks on the markets, you can rely on CytoDetox®, a potent liposomal zeolite clinoptilolite with fulvates. CytoDetox supports the removal of environmental toxins like heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, and biotoxins at the cellular level, safely and 100% naturally.10
Although many people drink plant-based milk as a “healthy” alternative to dairy milk, the reality is that most of these vegan milks contain an array of health-disrupting ingredients and almost none of their alleged star ingredients. Lawsuits highlight that some contain as little as 2% almonds, leaving the rest to water, thickeners, sweeteners, and fillers.
- Warren, Rachel Meltzer. “Are Plant Milks Good for You?” Consumer Reports, www.consumerreports.org/plant-milk/are-plant-milks-more-healthful-than-cows-milk/.
- “Going Nuts about Milk? Here's What You Need to Know about Plant-Based Milk Alternatives.” American Society for Nutrition, 23 Aug. 2020, nutrition.org/going-nuts-about-milk-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-plant-based-milk-alternatives/.
- Nicki. “Almond Breeze Almond Milk Only Contains 2% Almonds, Claims False Advertising Lawsuit.” Foodnavigator, www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2015/07/22/Almond-milk-only-contains-2-almonds-claims-lawsuit-v-Blue-Diamond.
- “Milk & Milk Alternatives.” Silk Almondmilk Unsweetened Milk & Milk Alternatives Review - Consumer Reports, www.consumerreports.org/products/milk-milk-alternatives-200224/plant-milk-200228/silk-almond-milk-original-unsweetened-398058/.
- “Milk & Milk Alternatives.” Milk & Milk Alternatives Ratings & Reviews - Consumer Reports, www.consumerreports.org/products/milk-milk-alternatives-200224/plant-milk-200228/view2/.
- Jason Bourne. “Plant Based Milk: How to Choose the Healthiest Option.” Gene Food, 31 Jan. 2023, www.mygenefood.com/blog/my-quest-for-the-perfect-milk-alternative/.
- Tobacman, J K. “Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments.” Environmental health perspectives vol. 109,10 (2001): 983-94. doi:10.1289/ehp.01109983
- Rinninella, Emanuele et al. “Food Additives, Gut Microbiota, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Hidden Track.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 17,23 8816. 27 Nov. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijerph17238816
- “Activated Charcoal.” Activated Charcoal, www.poison.org/articles/activated-charcoal.
- Mastinu, Andrea et al. “Zeolite Clinoptilolite: Therapeutic Virtues of an Ancient Mineral.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 24,8 1517. 17 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/molecules24081517