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What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Almond Milk

Is this plant-based milk worth the hype? We asked the experts.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman
almond milk poured in cereal on white counter

Nut milk and other plant-based milks have become hyper-popular in recent years. From almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, and even chia milk, there are a wider variety of plant-based milks at many grocery stores with all different kinds of taste. Almond milk, which sits alongside soy milk as one of the original plant-based milk alternatives, is many people's first foray into the non-dairy game. But is almond milk worth the hype—and the money? And what really happens in your body once you drink almond milk?

As with any food or drink, there are benefits and drawbacks of regular consumption. We spoke to nutritionists to get to the bottom of it, so you can sip your plant-based milk with confidence. Here's what they had to say if you drink almond milk (or even use it in cereal or smoothies), and for more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1

You'll get hungry more quickly.

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Almond milk is lower in protein, calories, carbohydrates, and fat than most dairy milk and other plant-based milks.

"Although almonds are an okay source of protein, you're basically taking all of that out in the processing," says Abby Langer, R.D., owner of Abby Langer Nutrition and author of Good Food, Bad Diet.

Almond milk is approximately 98% water, so while almonds themselves are quite nutritious, almond milk is much less so. This lack of nutrients can make you hungrier faster. To increase the satiety factor of your meal or snack, Langer recommends adding another source of protein and fat to your smoothie, cereal, baked goods, or whatever else you're using almond milk for—like one of these 20 Top Peanut Butters.

2

You could start breaking out—or your skin might clear up.

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Almonds are very high in estrogen, which can lead to hormonal breakouts in some people. The chances are rare, since the concentration of almonds in almond milk is so low, but if you deal with hormonal acne and only drink almond milk, it could be making the issue worse.

On the other hand, dairy milk can lead to inflammation of the skin, so when you make the switch to almond milk, you could notice that your skin clears up a bit.

Here's What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Almonds Every Day.

3

You won't deal with dairy-related GI issues.

One of the biggest benefits of almond milk is that it's dairy-free, so if you have a lactose sensitivity or intolerance, this could be a good alternative. Folks with lactose intolerance often deal with unsavory gastrointestinal problems, like cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. Making the switch to almond milk can help.

However, Langer advises checking the ingredients for carrageenan, an ingredient added during processing to achieve a creamy milk texture, as it can cause similar GI issues for some people.

Here are The 8 Best Almond Milks to Buy, According To Nutritionists

4

You'll get a boost of vitamins.

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Most almond milk in the grocery store is fortified with necessary vitamins like vitamin D and calcium.

"These vitamins may be hard to get in your diet without dairy," says Langer. If you're planning on making homemade almond milk, just be mindful that you'll need to find other ways of getting enough vitamins to support a healthy lifestyle.

5

You could be consuming more sugar than you think.

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Almonds are low in sugar so that means almond milk is low in sugar too, right? Not quite. Many store-bought almond milk varieties include hidden added sugars. Langer advises opting for unsweetened, unflavored varieties to avoid any extra sweet stuff.

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Sarah Madaus
Sarah is a health and wellness journalist based in New York City. Read more
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