This article is reviewed by a team of registered dietitians and medical doctors with extensive, practical clinical and public health experience.
Is Almond Milk Good For Weight Loss? Should You Drink It 2023?
Almonds are recognized as a nut that helps with satiety and brain power. From this nut, we can obtain products like almond milk and almond flour. These are very useful for individuals that need to follow a low-carbohydrate diet. Also, drinking almond milk may be a good addition for people interested in cutting calories, particularly if you consume dairy throughout the day or have lactose intolerance. Read on to know if almond milk is good for weight loss.
Is Almond Milk Good For Weight Loss?
No-sugar-added almond milk can be part of a lower-calorie diet. If consuming milk daily, changing to drinking almond milk will help you save calories throughout the day, compared to skim milk. Including unsweetened beverages daily is a good way to have diet quality and help you lose weight. When starting your weight loss journey, make sure you are also practicing combining calorie restriction and physical activity.
How Do Non-Fat Milk And Almond Milk Compare?
One cup of unsweetened almond milk contains:
- Calories: 39
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Calcium: 482 milligrams (37% Daily Value, DV)
- Vitamin E: 17 mg (113% DV)
While 1 cup of skim milk offers:
- Calories: 84
- Protein: 8 grams
- Fat: 0.3 gram
- Carbohydrates: 12 grams
- Calcium: 325 milligrams (25% DV)
- Vitamin A: 157 micrograms (17% DV)
- Vitamin D: 108 International Units (22% DV)
Skim milk contains more variety of essential nutrients compared to almond milk. Although almond milk contains fewer calories and carbohydrates than milk, regular skim milk has more protein. This is the biggest pro for cow’s milk, which could help with satiety. In addition, skim milk’s content of carbohydrates makes it an option for fueling and giving you energy.
If you need to follow a lower carbohydrate diet for diabetes management or trying to lose weight, the better option is to drink almond milk. It can be considered a drink or a milk substitute for recipes, helping cut down on calories and carbohydrates in your dish. Although skim milk can still be an option for people with diabetes, it is important to note it has more carbohydrates, which can add up if added to a full meal.
Choose unsweetened, since sweetened almond milk can have around 10 grams of sugar (two teaspoons). If you consume 3 cups a day, it adds up to 30 grams per day, half the daily limit of 6 teaspoons. If you want to use the sweetened almond milk option, limit it to once a day to control your added sugar intake.
So if almond milk has fewer nutrients than skim milk and very little protein content, does almond milk help you lose weight? It does. If consuming milk daily, changing to almond milk will help you save calories throughout the day, compared to skim milk. Including unsweetened beverages daily is a good way to assure diet quality and help you lose weight. When starting your weight loss journey, make sure you are also combining calorie intake restriction with physical activity.
To achieve weight loss, make sure to cut back on around 500 calories per day to help you lose around 1-2 pounds per week. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins daily. Choose healthy starches, and include whole grains for more fiber every day. Avoid sugary beverages to help you avoid added sugar. Finally, perform some physical activity every day, at least 150 minutes per week to help with losing weight. All these are key to promoting weight loss.
Other Health Benefits Of Almond Milk
A decrease in the group of bacteria, Bacteroidetes, and an increase in Firmicutes is seen in obesity. Almonds themselves have the potential to improve the ratio of good gut bacteria over bad with their prebiotic content. Whether almond milk has the same effect has yet to be proven.
Although a study in rats showed that almond milk affected the balance of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, regular almonds still may be the best option compared because of their fiber and polyphenol content. The fiber will feed the bacteria, and polyphenols may help protect from cellular damage.
The vitamin E content of almond milk may act as a protector against oxidative stress in the body. This fat-soluble vitamin inhibits the production of free radicals, which can damage cells in our body. Oxidation has been associated with aging, cancer, and the development of chronic diseases.
The oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol, or LDL-C) in our bodies is what leads to inflammation and causes cardiovascular disease. When this inflammation occurs, it leads to a buildup in the arteries, which could lead to heart disease.
Vitamin E in almond milk may also function as a skin protectant with its antioxidant role. Studies suggest vitamin E can protect the skin from sun damage.
Besides being rich in vitamin E, almond milk may be fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Both may be protective of bone demineralization, supporting bone health. Calcium is an essential nutrient that is part of your bones and also participates in muscle contraction, along with other body functions. Vitamin D is also important since it helps you absorb calcium from foods.
Before making any dietary changes, consult with your medical doctor or a Registered Dietitian, particularly if you have any allergies or medical conditions that require a diet.
How To Use Almond Milk For Weight Loss
Weight-loss almond milk can be used straight as a dairy substitute in recipes or as a drink. Although its flavor and consistency are not comparable to regular milk, almond milk can still serve as an alternative.
Drink As A Milk Alternative
If substituting your cow’s milk with almond milk products, consider using a brand fortified with calcium and vitamin D. This way, you still get the bone benefit from this low-calorie count drink.
Top Your Cereals
Pour over your cold cereal or hot cereal. You can also use almond milk to either prepare your hot cereals (i.e. cream of wheat and oatmeal), instead of water. Then add other toppings like nuts or seeds, and mix in nut butter or dried fruit for added flavor. Make it sweet with your choice of sweetener. (Stevia has the lowest glycemic index, compared to artificial sweeteners).
Use As A Creamer
Although not as thick as milk, almond milk can still be an option to add to your coffee or tea. Just add it in directly or heat and foam your milk for added texture to your drink.
Include In Smoothies Or Shakes
Use It In Cooking
Almond milk can be used as an alternative to your creamy sauces or to any recipe that requires milk. If used in baked goods, it might be good to find a recipe, just in case it is not a 1:1 substitution to milk or requires other ingredients.
Use it to make chia pudding or regular pudding and treat yourself while on your weight loss journey.
Almond milk, similar to other plant-based beverages, can be used in various ways and in multiple recipes. Try it in your next recipe or your favorite dairy-containing dish.
The Bottom Line
Almond milk can be a tool to help you achieve your weight management goals. Although it is not a magic pill, it is a way to include a flavorful lower-calorie beverage in your everyday. You can Incorporate almond milk into a lower-calorie diet to help you shed pounds. With its versatility, it can be useful to lower calories in many meals.
Compared to skim milk, it does have fewer proteins that otherwise would help keep you full longer. Make sure if you use it daily, secure an additional protein source like nuts, nut butter, or lean proteins. However, you can still obtain some good nutrients from almond milk. The most benefit will come from choosing unsweetened almond milk to maintain the quality of your diet.
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