Turns Out, Almond Milk Isn't What You Think
First we reported that kale isn't all it's cracked up to be. Now almond milk's in the firing line. What's next, white bread and sausage sandwiches being declared a superfood?
Almond milk manufactures Blue Diamond have this week found themselves at the centre of a lawsuit as their almond milk apparently only contains 2% almonds. The rest, apparently, is water, sugar, carrageenan and sunflower lecithin. None of which really feature on any health food hit lists.
Of course, almond milk has to have a lot of water in it to give it a fluid consistency, but as the lawsuit lays out, customers expect the almond content to be more than 2%. The prosecutors are arguing it's false advertising - but it's worth noting that their competitor, Alpro's Unsweetened Almond Milk has the same low almond content.
Nutrionist Kamilla Schaffner of My London Nutritionist, told us, "It's not uncommon for producers to claim their products have health benefits, when the product only contains minimal amounts of the advertised ingredient. The legislation in this area is still very ambiguous
Much of the vitamin benefits Blue Diamond claim will have come from an artificial fortification process to enrich the milk with more nutrients.
Kamilla added "Almond milk itself is a great alternative to cow's dairy, especially for people wanting to manage their cholesterol levels."
If you do buy almond milk, make sure you get label savvy and check that sugar isn't listed in the ingredients in a sneaky way (for example, as glucose syrup, sucrose, maltose, dextrose or fructose). The best bet though is to make your almond milk yourself at home, says Kamilla.
"Soak almonds overnight in water, and then the next day blend them in a high speed blender and drain the liquid through a muslin cloth. This way, the almond content is very high and you don't have any additives and preservatives lurking in your morning bowls of cereal or a cup of coffee. But who has time for that? That's another question."