Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Do Not Be Fooled by Bad Almond Milk

Almond Milk is great right?  Errr, right? Well, not all is exactly as you hear from the press and public.  Yes, almond milk is perfect for those who are suffering from lactose intolerance or a casein allergy.  It is great for those that are currently dieting or are suffering from other factors such as heart disease. And yes it is good for someone who is seeking an easy way to intake a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.  In fact, there are so many antioxidants found in almond milk that it has shown to reduce the risk of cancer and give off anti-aging properties.  So what exactly is the problem?

The problem is that most people have been sucked into the trap of believing what they hear from peers, the media, and other society figures.  Especially the big trap of .... advertising.  Yet you are still wondering why you are getting the vibe that almond milk is bad from reading this blog.  Well that is not exactly the point I am making. 

The real deal is that the majority of individuals do not do their own simple research.  When I am saying simple research, I mean SIMPLE RESEARCH.  Not internet digging or library going.  Simple Research means that the individual is doing something as simple as looking at the ingredients of the item that they just picked up and tossed into their shopping cart.  The ingredients that are clearly printed on each carton.  Where am I going with this??????

The fact is that majority of us have been tricked into drinking BAD Almond Milk because we did not do our own simple research.  We instead heard that almond milk was good and then went to the store and picked up whichever carton had the most appealing presentation or perhaps the better taste or well... was just on sale.  UH OH!  I am guilty....I fell for it too.  I instantly chose Almond Breeze a few months ago when I introduced almond milk and smoothies into my breakfast plan.  Why was I attracted to Almond Breeze for my first choice?  The nice blue box, the young and fun font that seemed new and not like the corporate and stiff-structured Sillk brand font, and one more thing...the stamp of Blue Diamond Almonds.  All of these are supposed to be valid shopping criteria, right? 

After a few months of purchasing the same almond milk brand I had made the sudden realizaton that I never looked at the ingredient list.  Which is something that I do regularly when shopping.  I looked closely and what to my eyes appear????? Carrageenan.  Yup CARRAGEENAN.  WHAT THE F**K was my exact expression in the grocery store.  I hadn't used my in-brainnly voice until I slapped my hand on my mouth as the looming shadows of several customers where on me.  How could this be?  I had heard over that one of the greatest benefits of switching from cow's milk to an alternative such as almond milk was that you were freeing your body from this exact ingredient.  So freaking annoying.

Carrageenan has been linked to severe inflammation in the body, in addition to ulcers and gastrointesinal cancer.  Urgh.  Of course there is a lot of controversy about this ingredient, people and organizations are split by a 50/50 fence.  But here is the dea.  When you are trying to make healthly choices for your body such as cutting cow's milk from your diet voluntarily in order to avoid carrageenan then you don't want to be let down to find that your alternative milk also suffers from having carrageenan in it.  Especially since there is no nutritional reason for it. If you don't understand just imagine how an autoimmune disease affects your body.  A lot of people suffer from inflammation as a result of their autoimmune issues.  Like me (joints, etc)!  So why would I want to add carragenan which activates the immune response when I already suffer?

So now what?!  Don't worry your pretty head.  You can still find GOOD Almond Milk.  For instance, Silk brand does have almond milk varieties that do not have the additive carrageenan.  Thankfully.  

Just remember to read your ingredient list everytime.  If it looks sketchy then check it out.  Everytime.

 Here is a helpful, though not fully up-to-date guide for selecting items that do and do not have carrageenan in them.  http://www.cornucopia.org/shopping-guide-to-avoiding-organic-foods-with-carrageenan/

With Angela O'





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