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“Almond Milk: Pros and Cons”

We increasingly hear and see ads for almond milk but what is the real story behind it?  Its nutty and creamy taste make it a popular alternative to non-organic dairy products and drinks made from soy beans.  Vegans and those with milk allergies appreciate an alternative but some question whether the price of almond milk makes it a reasonable choice, and whether its nutrients are as readily absorbed as those in cow’s milk.  Almond milk doesn’t provide enough protein to be a direct substitute for those products.  So, be sure that you get adequate protein from other sources.  Commercially available almond milk is often enriched with vitamins A and D, as well as calcium, to make it appear to be more like regular milk.  Almonds do not provide similar calcium levels as cow’s milk.  But, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions that people absorb the nutrients in cow’s milk and milk products better than they do those in plant-based milks. In other words, dairy foods may offer better bioavailability of its nutrients than plant foods.  The AAP recommends that even families with milk allergy issues should experiment with yogurt and hard cheeses, in order to find calcium-rich foods that don’t cause allergic reactions.  Still, other public health organizations, such as the California Department of Public Health, consider fortified plant-based milks legitimate calcium sources.

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