Commercial vegetable milk has a thickness that you don’t get at home due to the substitution of nuts by carrageenan. (Then I explain a natural way of getting a thickness milk)

Before I begin to speak of carrageenan let’s make a little history of the almond milk.

Almond milk is a healthy drink endorsed by many nutricionistaspor its nutritional benefits. Known since the middle ages, almond milk has been gaining in popularity in recent years, since it has become more affordable. Almond milk is traditionally made from almonds and water.

However, many brands commercially almond milk contain a substance called carrageenan. Carrageenan is made from red algae and is added to the almond milk to thicken and stabilize liquids.

How is the almond milk?

Almond milk is made by mixing almonds and water, then strain the mixture sometimes adding sweeteners.
In 2014, the almond milk surpassed in popularity to soy milk. The almond milk contains about 90 calories per cup (250 ml). Saturated or cholesterol has no fat and is lactose free. Almond milk contains half of the daily requirements of vitamin E and a good dose of vitamin D, but contains very little protein. With its creamy flavor, similar to walnut, almond milk is a good alternative to milk in the coffee and cereal. Low calorie content makes it a good food diet and those who are lactose intolerant.
People who regularly consume milk of almonds are advised to be sure to get enough protein from plant or animal sources.

Problems with commercial almond milk

With sales exceeding $ 854 million in 2014, the almond milk is becoming a substitute for the standard milk. One of the problems with the commercial almond milk is that it contains only 2% of almonds. In fact, some of the labels of commercial varieties lists more sweeteners than almonds in the mixture. Labelling law currently allows companies to use additives instead of nutritious almonds that consumers expect.

Harmful effects on health with carrageenan

Carrageenan has been shown to cause numerous health problems, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Research has shown that exposure to carrageenan may cause ulcers in the colon and possibly even contribute to gastrointestinal cancers. In 1972, the Food and Drug Administration USA (FDA) considered a restriction of carrageenan in the diet, but no regulation was put in place, which means that manufacturers are free to use this product at its discretion.

First used as a food additive in the 1930’s, the carrageenan is also used as a laxative, a treatment for peptic ulcers, and paste in teeth, deodorant, pesticides, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. In 1959, was awarded to carrageenan seal GRAS (generally regarded as safe). Combines easily with milk protein and has been used as a substitute for fat in food. It can be found in the cottage cheese, whipped cream, ice cream, prepared for infants and processed meats.

The nutritional benefits of almond milk

Almond milk is a drink without lactose which serves as a healthy alternative to cow’s milk. It contains the same health benefits that almonds, containing nutrients such as vitamin E, riboflavin, protein and fiber. Almonds also help with heart health, since they contain monounsaturated fats, which are good for the heart. Research has shown a reduction of 45 percent in the risk of heart disease by replacing saturated with vegetable milk fat dairy products.

I therefore encourage you to do the vegetable milks at home. They are very easy to do and at all times controlais which carry, without us surprises that may affect our health.

It is true that the homemade vegetable milks are more liquid than the commercial but try to add 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds. You’ll see how this amazing superfood will give a  thicker milk due to mucilage, a gelatinous substance that releases to be in a liquid. In addition you will enjoy all the nutrients and properties, which are many.

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