(NEW YORK) — Almond milk’s popularity is soaring. People are using it for their cereal and lattes, and they’re feeding it to their children.
But just how beneficial is it? ABC News’ Becky Worley chatted with nutritionist Maya Feller.
“The perception is that you’re drinking a big handful of almonds and getting all those benefits,” Worley said, to which Feller replied: “Well, I don’t know that to be true. Many almond and nut milks are reconstituted … so I don’t even know how many nuts are in the actual milk.”
Feller compared almond milk to one serving (one cup) of skim milk, which contains 8 grams of protein and no added sugar. An equal serving of almond milk has one gram of protein.
“It is not the superstar you thought it was,” Feller said.
In the almond milk versions labeled “original,” there were 7 grams of added sugar per serving. When Worley said she thought “original” meant “unsweetened,” Feller replied: “No, don’t be fooled. Original, does not mean unsweetened … it just means that it has not been flavored with anything else.”
While almond milk does contain Vitamin E, milk is loaded with Vitamin D and with calcium.
The added sugar may be the biggest problem with almond milk. Vanilla-flavored almond milk — a popular choice for use in lattes — contains 16 grams of added sugar per serving. Feller compared the sugar content to that found in a juice box.
ABC News reached out to the California Almond Board, which said in a statement: “Almond milk offers a dairy-free, soy-free, lactose-free alternative,” adding: “Almond milk isn’t high in protein, so if you want protein from almonds, you’re better off eating a handful as a snack.”
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