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How Do I Choose the Best Almond Milk?

By Brandon May
Updated May 17, 2024
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You can find many dairy-free milk alternatives, like almond milk, at grocery stores that cater to specific dietary needs and taste preferences. If you are trying to avoid sugar, it might be best to choose an almond milk that is either low in added sugar or devoid of added sugar all together. Sometimes, stomach upsets may be a concern when dealing with commercial thickeners, so avoiding a dairy-free milk that contains guar gum or other food grade thickeners may be a wise choice. Milk made from almonds might also need to be lower in calories if attempting to lose weight, so choosing a light version of this milk may be best for these purposes.

Almond milk beverages often contain added vitamins and minerals to compensate for the natural vitamins missing compared to dairy milk beverages. Since these vitamins are considered safe for most individuals, try to choose a dairy-free milk that contains a slightly higher amount of nutrients. By looking at the nutrition panel located on the back of most commercially sold almond milks, it is easy to compare the amount of nutrients in any given drink. If a commercial almond milk turns out to be a poor option due to allergies or other health concerns, it is possible to make almond milk at home by blending together almonds and water and straining the milk through a fine mesh sieve.

It might also be a good idea to avoid commercial almond milk that contains food grade thickeners if you suffer from a delicate digestive system. These thickeners give the milk a creamy texture, like whole milk or heavy cream, and are identified by the names of guar gum, xanthan gum and sunflower seed lecithin. Although these can upset some people who experience poor digestion, these thickeners can be consumed safely by a wide majority of the population. If you suffer from any other allergies, like to chocolate or vanilla, it is best to avoid flavored almond milk, as well.

Many milk alternatives contain added sugar to make the drink more palatable and to mimic the natural sugar found in traditional dairy products. If you suffer from any blood sugar imbalances, from pre-diabetes or diabetes, then choosing an almond milk without sugar might be the best choice. This ensures that blood sugar will not release dramatically after consumption, a problem very common to many store bought beverages. Choosing a sugar-free version might also help with calorie control, as unnecessary calories are eliminated when sugar is taken out of the beverage.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By andee — On Jun 28, 2012

I love a big glass of chocolate milk, but did not care for the chocolate flavored almond milk for some reason. We have a local dairy that makes chocolate milk with European chocolate and I think I have been spoiled by that taste.

I was expecting a chocolate flavor that was sweet and bold and the chocolate almond milk didn't taste like that. If I am going to drink almond milk, I prefer it to be plain, but with a little sweetener in it.

I am glad they have so many dairy-free alternatives available. Until a few years ago, the only options that were readily available were plain milk or chocolate milk. Now you also have a choice of soy, rice and almond milk.

By LisaLou — On Jun 28, 2012

I made the switch from skim milk to rice milk, and then started using almond milk. The almond milk is my favorite and I think it has a sweeter taste to it than rice milk.

I really like the vanilla flavored almond milk and think it is much healthier for me than regular milk. I have never been much of a milk drinker and would usually just use it for cereal.

I have found that I am using almond milk in more ways than I used regular milk. The almond milk has nutritional benefits that are also not found in skim milk.

Every dairy-free alternative I have tried I have liked, but I see myself sticking with the flavored almond milk for a long time.

By golf07 — On Jun 27, 2012

I bought a large bag of almonds in bulk and decided I would try making my own almond milk. It was more work than I realized it would be, and I don't think I really saved any money.

The milk also doesn't last very long and it needs to be used up in a few days for the best taste. I soaked the almonds I was going to be using overnight. This way when I put them in the blender they were soft.

It doesn't really take very long, you just have to make sure it is blended well and then I poured it through some cheese cloth to make sure it had a smooth consistency.

It was kind of a fun thing to try, but I have found it much easier to just grab a carton of almond milk at the store. I am the only one in my family who likes it, so one carton will usually last me quite a while.

By honeybees — On Jun 26, 2012

I have noticed the number of calories in unsweetened almond milk is about half compared to those that are sweetened. Since I am always calorie conscious, I thought I would try the unsweetened almond milk for only 35 calories a serving.

I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I couldn't get used to the flavor of this. If I used this on my cereal, I ended up pouring some honey in with it so it was sweeter. So much for trying to save on calories!

When I ran out of the unsweetened almond milk, I went back to the regular kind. I figured I could work off that extra 35 calories some other way than drinking almond milk that didn't have any flavor.

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