Milk alternatives have burst onto the market in recent years. This is mainly due to the rise of veganism, people caring for the environment and people being more conscious of where their food and drink comes from and being more conscious about their health. Health drinks offer a wide range of health benefits, and almond milk is one of the most popular and most readily available of the milk alternatives. Want to know more? Then continue reading!
Almond milk is considered a healthy substitute for cow’s milk since it is low in saturated fats and provides lots of protein and minimal calories. It doesn’t contain lactose, so it’s a perfect milk alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or those who suffer from skin problems which are made worse by consuming dairy. It doesn’t have any gluten in it either, so it’s good for coeliacs and those who are intolerant to gluten who can’t drink oat milk.
Are you interested in cutting down on your consumption of cow’s milk? Maybe to improve your health? Maybe to do your bit to help the environment? Well, whatever the reason may be, we’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide, where we have rankings of the best brands of almond milk on the market, reviews of these products, and lots of hints, tips and info so you can choose the best one for you. Ready? Then let’s get started!
- 1 First things first:
- 2 Ranking: The best brands of almond milk in the UK
- 3 Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about almond milk
- 3.1 What exactly is almond milk?
- 3.2 What are the health benefits of almond milk?
- 3.3 Which vitamins and minerals are found in almond milk?
- 3.4 Is every brand of almond milk healthy?
- 3.5 Can I use almond milk as a substitute for cow’s milk?
- 3.6 That’s great, but how can I add almond milk into my diet?
- 3.7 Why is almond milk recommended for weight loss?
- 3.8 What is the difference between almond milk and other vegetable drinks?
- 3.9 I’m diabetic: can I drink almond milk?
- 4 Buying Criteria
- 5 Summary
First things first:
- Almond milk is made from almonds and water. The almonds are usually roasted or blanched, then blended with water and sometimes sugar or even other things such as coconut water or rice, then strained. Almond milk can be used as a substitute for cow’s milk in cereal, smoothies, hot drinks, milkshakes, cooking or even baking!
- Since it’s made from nuts, the bad fat content is low. It is full of healthy fats, which are great for your skin. Moreover, almond milk improves HDL (good) cholesterol levels and reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
- Almond milk does not contain lactose or gluten, so it’s great for people who are allergic or intolerant to lactose or gluten.
- At the same time, it helps to improve digestion and provide high levels of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin E (natural antioxidant) and B vitamins.
Ranking: The best brands of almond milk in the UK
We’ve had a look at the different brands of almond milk on the market, analysed prices and customer reviews, and come up with this comprehensive list of the best in the UK. You can see each of our favourite brands of almond milk in the selection below, alongside a little description of each product. We’re certain that by the end of this ranking and this guide, you will have chosen the perfect brand of almond milk for you!
No. 1: Alpro Almond Original (1 litre)
First up we have everyone’s favourite plant-based alternative by the brand Alpro. It is the leading brand of plant-based products, and they make many things such as milk, yoghurt, even dairy-free cream! You know that you’ll be getting good-quality almond milk at a great price with this brand. As always, it’s 100% plant-based and naturally low in fat. It is the number one bestseller for almond milk on Amazon and it is very often on offer so grab one while you can!
What’s more, this milk has been made using lightly roaster Mediterranean almonds to ensure a naturally subtle taste. There tasty and nutrient-rich almonds have then been blended with water and extra vitamins to produce the classic taste of Alpro Almond. At only 22kcal per 100ml, you’re doing your health a favour with this amazing almond milk.
No. 2: Plenish Organic Almond Milk (8 x 1 litre)
Next up we have bestselling brand Plenish with their organic almond milk. This almond milk is for those who are very health conscious and want to make sure that they’re getting an almond milk of the highest quality because this one contains three times as many nuts as the average brand of almond milk, and none of the additives. It is also made using almonds which have been specially selected for being of fab quality, then pressed to perfection.
This milk is made from 100% organic almonds, sea salt and filtered water. That’s it. Yes, you read it right – it only has three ingredients! This milk contains no sugar, carrageenan, oil, soy, dairy or gluten. They’re bursting with plant goodness and Plenis ensure that you are getting the purest version of almond milk you possibly can, with nothing added which can do harm to your body like additives and sugar. What more could you want?
No. 3: Rude Health Organic Almond Drink (6 x 1 litre)
Rude Health is another household brand name, and every time you go to the supermarkets we’re sure you spot Rude Health’s plant-based milk in the aisle, since they come in a lot of varieties, and they are very popular, and this almond milk is no exception since it’s Amazon’s Choice for almond milk.
This is an organic almond milk drink without thickeners. Creamy crushed almonds are blended smoothly with rice, pure mountain spring water and a dash of cold-pressed sunflower oil to create the perfect potion which is this Rude Health drink. Rice is added because it brings its own natural silky sweetness, and it refreshingly sweetens the almond drink in the most natural way without sugar – perfect!
No. 4: Vita Coco Dairy-Free, Unsweetened, Delicious Almond Milk (6 x 1 litre)
Now we have Vita Coco Dairy-Free almond milk. This is unlike any other almond milk on the market since it is coconut and almond milk! Perfect for those who love coconuts and almonds, and who doesn’t? This is deliciously dairy and soy-free, an unimaginably creamy! This beautiful blend of creamy coconuts and amazing almonds is both delicious and nutritious, and of course, it has naturally occurring electrolytes and nutrients in every sip!
With the only ingredients being coconut water, coconut cream, almond paste and a stabiliser to make it thick, this is wonderfully natural and refreshingly tasty. You can add this milk to porridge, smoothies, cereal – you name it! This will be a sweet, nutty, creamy addition to anywhere milk usually goes – tasty!
No. 5: Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Milk (6 x 1 litre)
Last but certainly not least, we head over to the west coast of the United States, to the almond country that is California! This six-pack of almond milk by Blue Diamond is made by carefully blending the finest Californian almonds with water. This almond milk is wonderfully natural and is low in saturated fats at only 29 calories per serving and high in calcium, so it truly is a great alternative to cow’s milk.
This nutty milk product contains no added sugars, so it’s great for those who decide to change from cow’s milk to almond milk for health reasons. It’s made from all-natural ingredients too, so you know that you’re doing your health a world of good if you buy this fab brand of almond milk.
Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about almond milk
You’ve seen the best brands of almond milk on the market, now it’s time for the buying part. Almond milk is gaining more and more popularity among the most recommended nutritional foods on the market. The consumption of almond milk is led by those people who are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. If you’re interested in making the switch, we’ve put together this fab list of things we recommend that you think about before making your purchase. We’ve also got a list of the most frequently asked questions by people who are considering buying almond milk and we’ve answered them, so by the end of this section, any remaining doubts will be dispelled and any remaining questions will be answered. Perfect! Let’s dive right in.
What exactly is almond milk?
Almond milk, like other milk alternatives such as oat, soy or coconut, is not technically milk since it doesn’t come from a cow. These plant-based alternatives are made by grounding or blending the ingredient with water then straining it.
Almond milk is jam-packed with protein, vitamins and minerals, so it is a perfect substitute for cow’s milk. It is not only better for your health than dairy milk but drinking plant-based alternatives to milk is great for the environment, since a lot less water is used and a lot less carbon dioxide and methane, greenhouse gases which harm the environment and cause global warming, is produced.
The composition of each almond milk product will contain different minerals, vitamins and fats. Depending on the quality and proportion of all these elements combined, the nutritional value of almond milk will be different.
What are the health benefits of almond milk?
There are many benefits of almond milk, that can be summarised below:
- It’s made from 100% almonds – there are no added preservatives, no added sugar and no nasty additives.
- It’s low in calories – a lot lower than cows milk (even lower than skimmed and semi-skimmed milk, since these types of cow’s milk tend to be high in sugars).
- It improves heart health – almond milk increases the amount of good cholesterol and decreases the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood, which in turn improves the health of your heart.
- It improves digestion – the fibre in almonds and the high quantity of antioxidants protect the walls of the intestines and improves digestion.
Which vitamins and minerals are found in almond milk?
In general, all types of almond milk are a fab source of calcium. In fact, the amount of calcium in almond milk is greater than that of cow’s milk. Almond milk is also rich in minerals such as potassium, to help treat diarrhoea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal problems. It is also jam-packed with magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
As for vitamins, almond milk has vitamins D, A and E (a natural antioxidant) and some group B vitamins. Almond milk is rich in vitamin B2, which is essential for strengthening hair and nails. The following is the usual nutritional composition of 100 millilitres of almond milk:
|Minerals||Quantity (ml)||Recommended Daily Amount (%)|
Is every brand of almond milk healthy?
As with all foods, there are healthy and unhealthy brands, depending on the ingredients of each product. Hence why you should always be sure to read the ingredients and check the nutritional values of each almond milk carton you wish to buy, since some cheaper brands tend to have higher sugar levels and fewer vitamins and minerals than better brands. Organic almond milk is generally considered to be the best for you and the environment since it has the highest nutritional content and it will have been made with almonds which have not been treated with chemicals.
In general, the following aspects should be taken into account:
- Non-organic almond milk may have been treated with nasty chemicals which could cause harm to your body if consumed in excess.
- Some brands of almond milk have added sugars, which can reverse the benefits of consuming almond milk, particularly for those trying to lose weight.
Can I use almond milk as a substitute for cow’s milk?
The nutritional properties of almond milk make it an excellent substitute for cow’s milk and it even has several advantages over cow’s milk:
- Fewer calories
- Higher calcium content
- Fewer saturated fats
- No hormones
- Less sugar
- Higher nutritional value
- Lower levels of bad cholesterol
However keep in mind that for children under 3 years of age, it is recommended to use breast milk. If this is not possible, then speak to your doctor.
That’s great, but how can I add almond milk into my diet?
Due to its low-calorie content, almond milk can be consumed at any time of day, although it is best consumed in the morning. Drinking a glass of almond milk in the morning is a great way to activate digestive processes, which can help prevent problems such as constipation, inflammation and gas.
For breakfast, it is perfect to accompany almond milk with fruits and sugar-free granola. Also, don’t forget that this drink helps to hydrate the body, so it’s an all-round perfect drink to have!
Why is almond milk recommended for weight loss?
The low level of calories and high content of non-saturated fatty acids present in almond milk helps to facilitate weight loss.
Almond milk also contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of healthy fat that improves the health of the heart and improves the condition of your skin. This helps the body’s metabolic function, which is vital when trying to lose weight. Also, almonds are extremely rich in antioxidants, which contributes to fat burning and protein, perfect for growth and muscle definition.
What is the difference between almond milk and other vegetable drinks?
Although grouped under the same term, vegetable beverages are not all the same and do not have the same nutritional composition. Along with almond milk, some of the most popular plant-based milk alternatives are hazelnut milk, oat milk and soy milk.
They are all made in the same way though! And they’re all full of the benefits of the foods from which they were made. For example, soy milk is full of protein, oat milk is full of iron and zinc and hazelnut milk is full of proteins and minerals.
The nutritional information of each of these drinks will depend on the vegetable material processed and the minerals or vitamins retained after processing. A nutritional breakdown of each type of milk is explained below.
|Values per 100 ml||Whole Cow’s Milk||Almond Milk||Oat Milk||Soy Milk||Rice Milk|
|Protein||3, 3||0, 5||1, 3||3, 1||0, 2|
|Fat||3, 3||1, 2||0, 9||1, 7||1|
|Carbohydrates||5, 4||3, 4||6, 3||2, 4||9, 7|
I’m diabetic: can I drink almond milk?
Almond milk tends to have the least amount of sugar and carbohydrates comapred with other plant-based milk alternatives. It’s for this reason that it is recommended for diabetics. Among the different vegetable drinks that exist, almond milk is one of the best options for diabetics. In addition, minerals which are present in almond milk such as iron and vitamins A, D and E combat weakness and anaemia.
However, a diabetic should make sure to consume almond milk that has no added sugars or any other preservatives or additives as this could cause blood sugar levels to rise.
As we have explained throughout the article, there are a few things to keep in mind rather than just buying the most convenient almond milk. Most of these drinks are made without gluten and lactose, and with very low levels of sugar. There are however some products where sugars or other additives are added, which are not recommended.
The following purchase criteria can help you choose the right almond milk for you:
- Is the almond milk I want nutritionally beneficial?
- Does it contain gluten and lactose?
- Does it contain additives and sugar?
- Does it contain allergens?
- Where do the ingredients come from?
Is the almond milk I want nutritionally beneficial?
Almond milk should not contain more than 50 calories per 100ml. You should also check for one that is enriched with vitamins, minerals and calcium so that you get the most out of your drink. The levels of saturated fat and sugars should be low, as this ensures good digestion and an opportunity to lose weight.
Does it contain gluten and lactose?
In the majority of brands, almond milk does not contain lactose or gluten. But if you are allergic, intolerant or sensitive to these foods, then definitely check the label and the allergen information because depending on the severity of your intolerance or allergy, you may not be able to consume products which may contain traces of lactose or gluten. Normally though, plant-based milk alternatives are generally designed with vegans in mind, and since vegans don’t consume dairy products, most of the plant-based milk will not contain traces of milk.
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Does it contain additives and sugar?
Almond milk is naturally low in sugar however some brands sweeten the drink to improve the flavour. This completely breaks the nutritional composition of almond milk and should be avoided if you are looking to lose weight and improve metabolism.
Does it contain allergens?
As with gluten and lactose, some types of almond milk may contain allergens such as peanuts or soy. Those who suffer from food allergies of any kind should read the nutritional label of the product carefully to avoid any issues.
Where do the ingredients come from?
Most brands of almond milk contain 100% natural ingredients, which is why almond milk suits those who wish to have a diet based on natural foods. However, it is important to read the nutrition label carefully to see that the product does not contain additives or preservatives that may not be entirely natural.
Almond milk is a drink with a rich nutritional composition and numerous health benefits. It can replace cow’s milk and the low calorie and fat content is ideal for weight loss. This drink also helps to regulate blood cholesterol and improve digestion. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals, and tends not to have any allergens other than nuts, so it’s perfect for those who have allergies to gluten or milk.
Thanks for reading! And if you liked this ultimate guide and found it useful, leave us a comment and tell us which brand of almond milk is your favourite, and what your reason for switching to almond milk is: is it for health, the environment or something else? Let us know!
Also feel free to share the plant-based goodness on social media too, since we can all benefit from changing up our diet and going a little more plant-based!
(Source of featured image: Anawat Sudchanham: 50307518/ 123rf.com)