Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Almond Milk: Why Drink It?

If you've been clean eating for a while now, then you know it's better to use Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream, almond milk instead of regular milk, and Ezekiel bread instead of wheat, but do you know why? I think it's really important to not only eat clean, but know why you do what you do. Over the next few weeks I'll do my best to explain some of the reasoning behind the food choices we make. Today we'll have a quick chat about almond milk.

Many people look to milk alternatives only if they are lactose intolerant, meaning the body doesn't produce enough of the lactase enzyme which is responsible for digesting the lactose (sugar) in milk. This was the case for me, but as it turns out cutting regular milk out of your diet can be very beneficial whether you are lactose intolerant or not. The biggest reason to make the switch is because of the sugar. To keep belly fat at bay, I try to keep my sugar intake under 30 grams a day, including any fruit I may eat. Sugar is the number one culprit for belly fat, so if you are struggling in that area it may be something to look in to. Even skim milk has 12g of sugar per 8 ounces... that's more than 1/3 of what I have in an entire day just in 8 tiny ounces!

You don't have to worry about missing out on the vitamins you get from cows milk, because almond milk is full of calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium just to name a few. You're also not consuming any sugar, and less than half the calories of skim milk. (Just make sure you're buying the unsweetened version.) I won't lie, Almond milk took some time for me to get used to. At first it just tasted a little funny to me, and I would rather not do milk at all than have it. But, as I started incorporating it in little bits here and there, it started to grow on me, and now, well I think the picture speaks for itself :)


My favorite brand is Blue Diamond, Almond Breeze and I always get the unsweetened vanilla. It's great for oats, baking, protein shakes, coffee, and of course chugging straight out of the carton which I admittedly do at least once a day. I love it! 

Do you drink a milk alternative or stick with cows milk? 

21 comments:

  1. Hi,

    You mentioned keeping fruit intake to a minimum, I do the same - mostly having them post workouts, esp after a heavy lifting session. which would you recommend are best post workout? I used to do apples but I found it gave me quite a bloat. I then switched to dextrose (2:1 ratio with whey) but would really rather obtain my sugars from natural sources instead.

    Your thoughts would be much appreciated :)

    Thanks,

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    1. Really any fruit is going to be okay post workout because your body needs those sugars and quick carbs to replenish glycogen. Banana seems to be the most popular because it makes protein shakes taste yummy :) Berries are also great and so is grapefruit.

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    2. ok cool thanks :)

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  2. Hahaha, love the picture! I was the same, took a bit with the almond milk mostly because I love regular milk so much, but I use it for everything! Very versatile and a plus because my lactose intolerant husband finally loves it too! I don't drink it normally though.

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  3. I LOVE my almond milk! Lately I've been sipping Earths Own Unsweetened as it has less sodium than Almond Breeze, but I'll take what I can get sometimes. Its amaze balls in my shakes! YUM!

    You are so cute! LOL

    xxoo

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  4. YES! Almond milk! I usually buy unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze but occasionally get the Original and the Chocolate, both unsweetened of course.

    I recently picked up a case of Pacific sweetened almond milk cause it was such a great buy and my husband loves it on his cereal so that is good.

    I also sometimes buy Coconut Dream, mostly for baking.

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    1. I haven't tried the coconut, but I want to !

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  5. Yes I love blue diamond! I use it in my smoothies and it encourages me to drink them more because it tastes great!

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  6. LOVE Almond milk- the only thing I don't love it the price- it's more than a gallon of milk for only a half gallon

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  7. Is there any difference between the refrigerated almond milk and the shelf stable kind? I've seen both at the store and wasn't sure if one was more or less processed than the other, or if there was any significant difference in the macros.

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    Replies
    1. No, as far as I know they're the same :)

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    2. My sons pediatrician said to avoid the ones on the shelf, only buy the refrigerated stuff...we were taking so much in while we were there, I never asked why...

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  8. I completely cut out dairy about 2 years ago (w/ an occasional yogurt or cheese on a pizza). I rotate my "dairy" between almond, rice, and organic soy milk. I've had all original, vanilla, and chocolate flavours(sweetened and unsweetened). I try to stick to unsweetened for the most part. When I first switched over, I really didn't find it that big of a deal and was OK with it from the start.

    However, I've never drank it straight out of the carton. LOL

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  9. Great post! :) Do you count your pre and post workout meals for your sugars? Also, do you count sugars from raw veggies? I have been trying to keep mine down but am always at about 60-70 grams including pre/post and veggies... for your next WIAW do you mind including your pre and post workout meals so we can see how you keep your sugars so low? Thank you so much!!! Always love your posts :)

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    Replies
    1. I do pre and post workout fruits... It's the only time that I eat fruit. I don't worry too much about vegetables, but I do keep in mind veggies like carrots and tomato are going to be a little higher in fruit. Unfortunately, I don't feel comfortable posting my complete nutrition plan because it would be giving away too much of James' plan. If you're in the group feel free to send me a PM and I will let you know there :)

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  10. That's hilarious - I do the same thing! My husband doesn't drink almond milk, so I feel like it's okay for me to chug it from the carton every now and then (which is really every time I take it out of the fridge). I used to be a little ashamed that I did that because it wasn't very ladylike, but now I feel like I'm in good company. =P

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  11. Great intro - it's so important to know WHY we're eating or avoiding what we do, rather than following advice blindly. I look forward to more posts like this!

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  12. Thanks for this post! I started eating clean about 3 months ago and cut back on dairy.. Over the last 2 weeks I started using milk in my coffee again - this post was a great wake up call and a reminder to use almond milk vs. regular milk. I actually didn't know regular milk had so much sugar.. Wonder if that's why i've felt like crap the last few weeks .... I don't LOVE almond milk, I really don't even like it, but I can tolerate it okay. I buy the SILK unsweetened vanilla.. only bc it's usually on sale at my grocery store.

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    Replies
    1. Keep drinking it... it's an acquired taste :)

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  13. I love that you are posting this information. Me and my kids have made the switch and they prefer it over regular milk. Keep up the awesome website I love it!!!

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