When it comes to the vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that almond milk contains, there is no doubt about the fact that almond milk is good for you. The issue that some people have with organic forms of almond milk is that it can contain carrageenan. A common thickening agent that has zero nutritional value, carrageenan is derived from red seaweed plants. In its degraded form, it is thought to be a carcinogen in the digestive tract. The undergraded form, which is used in food products, has for a long time thought to be safe. Now some researchers aren’t so sure.
Carrageenan Is Thought To Cause Inflammation
When the digestive tract is consistently inflamed, a person’s risk of developing cancer somewhere within the tract is thought to be higher. Carrageenan has been found in some research to cause inflammation, so a diet that has this thickening agent in it could cause chronic inflammation that would potentially increase the risk of cancer forming. For those with inflammatory bowel conditions, the risk of cancer developing with carrageenan consumption is even higher. It can be found in yogurt, ice cream, and many types of almond milk.
It’s Often In Organic Almond Milk
Did you know that carrageenan can be added to organic almond milk products… even if the carrageenan isn’t organic itself? Some researchers even believe that food grade carrageenan can degrade in the digestive tract to the more dangerous form that has shown cancerous effects in animals. Though the research on this product is preliminary at best and somewhat conflictive, it is understandable to be concerned about consuming large amounts of this ingredient with your almond milk on a daily basis. Why would anyone want to drink something that might end up giving them cancer one day? Drinking almond milk is about becoming healthier, right?
Are There Alternatives?
Not every company produces almond milk with carrageenan. If you are concerned about consuming it yourself, be sure to look at the ingredient labels of the brands that your store carries. A specific example of a major brand that does not include carrageenan is Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk. Another alternative is to make your own almond milk at home:
- soak your almonds in water overnight;
- then blend the almonds after they have soaked for a minimum of 8 hours; and then
- strain what you’ve blended to have your own homemade almond milk!
What Kind of Almond Milk Is Right For You?
Whether you choose to make almond milk at home or you purchase it from the store, almond milk is good for you. If you are concerned about carrageenan and wish to avoid it, be sure to find a brand that doesn’t include the ingredient. That way everyone can enjoy the many health benefits of almond milk without having to worry about whether or not the product could make them sick some time in the future.