7 Major Side Effects of Almond Milk You Need to Know

  • The popularity of almond milk is on the rise as a preferable option for people with lactose intolerance and allergies.
  • Almond milk is an excellent addition to a low FODMAP diet and doesn’t trigger diarrhea. However, it may lead to some stomach discomfort.
  • Excessive consumption of almond milk may impact thyroid health due to the presence of goitrogens, sometimes leading to gastrointestinal issues.
  • Almond milk is low in calories and a good source of vitamin E but lacks protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

In today’s digital era, when our health consciousness and awareness about dietary choices have significantly improved, we can also notice a leap in the popularity of almond milk as a dairy milk alternative.

According to recent studies, there was a growth of 5.83% in the global almond milk market in 2022, so we are here to shed some light on the frequently asked questions about this product.

You may be wondering, “What are the potential almond milk side effects? Can almond milk cause diarrhea? Can it trigger any allergies?’’

We are here to delve into these pressing subjects and uncover the pros and cons of almond milk. Having these insights is crucial for making informed and sustainable dietary decisions.

Lactose Intolerance and Allergies

holding a milk and her tummy on the other hand

Almond milk is considered a dairy-free alternative to traditional types of milk. This characteristic makes almond milk good for you if you have specific dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance and allergies. Some of the symptoms of these conditions may include bloating, gas, and diarrhea, but since almond milk is lactose-free, it serves as an excellent substitute for those who experience these symptoms after consuming dairy products.

The mentioned problem, unfortunately, impacts many people around the world. Did you know that about 65% of people worldwide lose some of their ability to digest lactose as they age? Interestingly, this condition is most commonly detected in individuals of East Asian descent, affecting 70% to 100% of the population.

Nut Allergies and Cross-Contamination

Tree nuts are in the top eight most allergenic foods, responsible for 90% of food allergies. Allergic reactions to nuts can range in severity. In cases of hyper-sensitive children, even minimal traces of nuts can lead to grave symptoms. Mild reactions may manifest as swelling, skin rashes, stomach discomfort, or vomiting.

Depending on your vulnerability level, it is also possible to get an allergic reaction from trace amounts.

A related concern in many almond and nut production facilities is cross-contamination. Minimizing its occurrence is essential for overall food safety and quality. Nevertheless, instances of cross-contamination between almonds and other nuts can occur through shared equipment that hasn’t undergone proper cleaning.

Thyroid Function

thyroid function and problems

Following the growing curiosity about why you shouldn’t drink almond milk in specific cases and the potential impact of goitrogens on thyroid health, let’s look into how these naturally occurring compounds can affect the normal functioning of the endocrine gland.

The goitrogens can interfere with the hormone production of the thyroid. The three most common types of goitrogens are goitrins, thiocyanates, and flavonoids, which can be found in a variety of foods, including almonds. If consumed excessively, they have the power to block the iodine from entering the thyroid and reduce the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), leading to enlargement of the gland and several iodine deficiency disorders.

Digestive Issues and FODMAPs

Choosing the right milk for your low FODMAP diet can get a bit overwhelming when you’re standing in front of a supermarket shelf with multiple options. You should know that almond milk is certainly positioned high on the list of potential candidates, as FODMAPs make up only a small percentage of the milk.

For individuals struggling with bloating and gas concerned questions such as ‘’Is almond milk bad for you?’’ or ‘’Can almond milk cause diarrhea?’’, let us assure you that almond milk is a safe choice that doesn’t trigger diarrhea and is recommended as a way to cope with this symptom, especially if caused by IBS.

IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a functional condition that affects around 11% of the worldwide population, with a female predominance. A low FODMAP diet is proven to alleviate the symptoms of IBS, specifically bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Nutrient Deficiency Concerns

While almond milk offers several benefits, we have to recognize that it may not be able to fully replace nutrient-rich sources.

One cup of almond milk contains 24% of the DV (Daily Value) of calcium. With only 39 calories per cup, almond milk ranks low in calories. Therefore, individuals who rely solely on almond milk should ensure they take calcium from other dietary sources as well.

Almond milk is naturally lower in protein compared to cow’s milk, containing about 1 gram of protein per cup, while the latter typically has 8 grams or more.

And while almond milk is a heart-healthy source of monounsaturated fats, it still lacks the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon or walnuts. However, when it comes to vitamins and minerals, it can be an excellent source of vitamin E, with 110% of the DV per cup. Some fortified versions are rich in vitamin D and riboflavin as well.

So, is almond milk healthy? Almond milk has the potential to be a valuable component of a balanced diet. However, to ensure you consume all the essential nutrients, it’s crucial to maintain dietary diversity. A well-balanced diet provides the necessary energy to our bodies, helps us maintain a healthy weight, and prevents various diet-related illnesses.

Added Sugars and Caloric Intake

types of sugar

Like many flavored non-dairy milk alternatives, flavored almond milk often contains added sugars, mainly for taste enhancement. They contribute to extra calories and carbohydrates, leading to weight, dental, and other issues when consumed excessively.

However, if your main concern is ‘’Can chocolate almond milk cause diarrhea?’’, the answer remains negative.

The caloric intake from sweetened almond milk products can vary depending on several factors, including serving size, brand, and specific ingredients. On average, it can be anywhere from 60 to 100 calories per 1-cup serving of 240ml.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Gastrointestinal discomfort can be associated with specific dietary choices, such as the consumption of almond milk. Despite its numerous health benefits, almond milk can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal issues in certain individuals. This discomfort can manifest as bloating, gas, or an upset stomach.

Statistics from 2019 point to 2,276.27 million estimated prevalent cases of gastrointestinal issues worldwide. These conditions have unfortunately led to 2.56 million deaths.

Individual Sensitivities and Moderation

Individual tolerance and moderation in almond milk consumption are of paramount importance. While almond milk offers numerous benefits, including being dairy-free, low in calories, and suitable for vegans and lactose-intolerant individuals, it’s essential to recognize that reactions can vary.

As previously elaborated, some people may experience digestive discomfort due to almond milk’s FODMAP content, leading to bloating and gas. Others might be sensitive to goitrogens found in almonds, potentially impacting thyroid health. Additionally, individuals with severe nut allergies should avoid almond milk altogether.

As more scientific studies are conducted, the chances for enhancing our understanding of human nutrition diversity increase significantly.

Wrapping Up: The Almond Milk Dilemma – Balance for Health and Delight

Almond milk, a dairy-free alternative, suits many with dietary restrictions, but excess consumption may impact thyroid health due to goitrogens and cause stomach discomfort.

This article aimed to shed some light on these issues and answer some of the common questions, such as ‘’Can almond milk cause diarrhea?’’ or ‘’Can it trigger any allergies?’’.

Even though it’s a vegan-friendly and lactose-free option, being mindful of the potential side effects of almond milk is of vital importance.

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