It’s now America’s favorite alternative to dairy milk by a massive margin, easily overshadowing choices like soy milk, coconut milk and rice milk. According to Nielsen, almond milk sales grew by 250 percent between 2011 and 2016.
Cow’s milk is as American as apple pie, but as plant-based diets continue to become more mainstream in our culture, many have abandoned it. Almond milk looks and tastes similar to cow’s milk, and almonds have long been associated with a plethora of health benefits. But is the healthiness of almond milk grossly overestimated by the general public?
When it comes to almond milk brands, White Wave is king. The company—which produces both the Silk and So Delicious lines of almond milk—did nearly $94 million of almond milk sales in 2016. That makes them the most popular almond milk company in America.
With that, let’s dive into the nutrition facts for Silk Original Almondmilk. A one cup serving contains 60 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 35mg of potassium, 8 grams of carbohydrate, less than a gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein. It also contains 45% of your daily calcium, 25% of your daily vitamin D and 20% of your daily vitamin E.
Silk Organic Original Almondmilk possesses almost identical nutritional facts (albeit with significantly less calcium). Silk Unsweetened Almondmilk also possesses similar nutritional facts, but with 30 calories, 0 grams of sugar and less than a gram of carbohydrate per serving.
Such varieties of almond milk contain significantly less calories than cow’s milk (a cup of whole milk contains 148 calories while a cup of skim milk contains 83 calories). If you simply begin using a cup of unsweetened almond milk with your morning cereal in place of a cup of whole milk, you’ll instantly cut out 826 calories a week.
High amounts of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin E are all pluses. Calcium is crucial for building strong bones and maintaining healthy heart, nerve and muscle function. Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health, but it also has a big impact on athletic performance (and many people are unknowingly deficient in it). Vitamin E helps prevent plaque from developing inside your arteries and helps the body make red blood cells.