Do you know what’s in your Plant-Based Milk?
Lately I am noticing a lot of my clients buy plant-based milk. Almond milk is currently the most popular non-dairy milk sold in the United states. Others are choosing oat, coconut, rice, soy, cashew and the list goes on.If you haven’t read the ingredients in your brand you may want to.
Real almond milk should have two ingredients: Water and almonds.
NOTE: Two brands I’ve seen recently that contain only Almonds and Water are Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Almonds and Three Trees Original Almond Milk.
Unfortunately most store-bought Plant-Based Milk are full of processed ingredients including emulsifiers (thickening agents), sugar, sodium and other additives.
Emulsifier gums or thickening agents can include xanthan gum, locust bean gum, gellen gum, guar gum, carrageenan and others. They are used in processed food to prevent separation, thicken and improve consistency.
Emulsifiers are used in most processed foods we buy including these milks, salad dressings and ice cream.
I’d like to note the same goes with salad dressings it’s really hard to find a bottle without one or more of these additives. Have you ever noticed most bottled dressings don’t separate? Well that’s because that creamy, non-separated dressing is full of chemicals and additives, including emulsifiers. Don’t read the front of the bottle, read the ingredient list. If you are concerned about what you are consuming why not cook more at home 🙂 Try my recipe for three easy dressings you will love here: Three Must-Have Vinaigrette Recipe’s.
You will find a ton of information on the internet about how these additives are safe and not to worry. Others say in moderation. Some even say a couple are good for you. I tend to err on the side of naturopaths and holistic practitioners on this one. They caution the consumption of processed foods with these additives.
There are studies that are finding that emulsifiers are known to disrupt gut microbiota.
There is also research suggesting they can affect the brain. My stomach has been affected by these additives and I try to avoid them whenever I can. They can cause bloating and aggravate irritable bowel.
These studies just show even more, the importance of taking time to shop and cook for our families. Making food a priority to nourish our bodies and not just a grab-and- go, processed convenience.
There is something to say about cooking at home. Eating food you make yourself with whole fresh ingredients. Avoiding or limiting the use of processed foods. It will make a difference in your health and your life!