Almond "Mylk", Omega's and Sodium
If you know me, you know I don't like to advocate removing foods from ones diet unless completely necessary.
In this case, I'd like to you understand first and foremost that long life almond "milk" on the shelf is not a whole food therefore I don't recommend it and below is the breakdown of why.
A lot of my clients have a goal of feeling on top of their game, managing weight, changing body composition and generally feeling better.
As a Naturopath I follow the Naturopathic principles of - one of them being..
"Remove obstacles to cure"
Often it's the daily habits we become so used to that may need shifting or changing in order to reach our full potential and health goals.
You've probably had the best intentions switching to almond milk thinking it may be a healthier alternative, I just wanted to give you some education about why it may not be serving you the way you think it does.
I want to teach you to look at the labels and be informed about what you are putting into your body.
Firstly - if its sitting on the long life shelf and it lasts in your cupboard for months, then weeks in your fridge, you have to really ask yourself, if this is a "health" food - or better alternative?
Its mostly a processed food in my eyes!
Here's a breakdown of the nutrition panels of some of the popular supermarket almond milk brands - you can make up your own mind from there!
I'm concentrating below on the amount of almonds in the whole package, the sodium content (scary!) and the thickeners, stabilisers and oils!
Ingredients - 3% Almonds, Sunflower oil, Salt.
100mg of sodium per serve
Rice malt syrup, salt, water, organic activated almonds, (how much who knows?)
150mg Sodium per serve
2.5% Almonds, Tapioca Starch, Calcium Carbonate (ground limestone) , Carrageenan (salt stabiliser) , Emulsifier (Sunflower lecithin), "natural flavour"
129mg sodium per serve
3.8% Almonds, Calcium Phosphate, Sunflower Lecithin vegetable gum, "Natural Flavour".
90mg sodium per serve
Did you know the daily intake of sodium should be no more than 1500mg?
If you are eating packaged foods, store/cafe bought lunches, food out of a can (such as legumes), you need to be aware of how much sodium excess you could be having.
If you have some sort of "latte" 1-2 times per day you are probably having 4 servings of almond milk already for example - 400mg of your sodium could be coming from your hot drinks alone!
Why is sodium bad? - excess sodium raises blood pressure and is a burden to our arteries, it also makes us feel bloated and hold more water weight.
Excess also down regulates important minerals such as calcium and magnesium necessary for bone strength, proper nervous system support and smooth muscle contraction (think less cramps!). Less of these minerals mean less electrolytes - less electrolytes means dehydration!
The kidneys have trouble keeping up with excess sodium in the blood.
As sodium builds up, the cells holds onto water to dilute the sodium.
This increases both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volume of blood in the bloodstream.
Increased blood volume means more work for the heart and more pressure on blood vessels. Over time, the extra work and pressure can stiffen blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
OILS as THICKNERS
In our modern lives - we usually have high amount of omega 6 in our diet and often lacking in omega 3's.
If you are a client of mine you'll now understand why I ask you to add nuts and seeds to your meals Especially Flax, Walnuts and Chia! (ALL HIGH IN OMEGA 3)
OMEGA 6'S CAN BE FOUND IN - Sunflower oil, Vegetable Oil, Canola Oil, (found often in MANY packaged foods, including hummus which is store bought), Peanuts, soybean oil, cottonseed oil . . Pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are important chemicals in the immune system.
However, when we have too many omega 6 and not enough omega 3 - the imbalance can increase inflammation and inflammatory disease. Although omega-6 fats are essential, the modern Western diet contains far more omega-6 fatty acids than necessary and not enough Omega 3's.
How can we get more omega 3's? PICTURED ABOVE! Save this for later!
Examples, Seeds, Pepitas, sunflower, chia seeds, sesame seeds, nuts such as walnuts, - very high in omega 3 - linseed, almond, olive oil, seafood
Some Mylk alternatives may be making your own Almond milk and or Hemp seed milk!
Hemp seeds are a nutritional powerhouse!
Take 1/2 cup of hemp seeds to 500ml water and whizz in a good food processor
You don't have to strain, it will make instant milk!