Almond Milk Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Almond milk nutrition

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman  

Almond milk is considered a healthy food by many because the beverage is made from almonds, a highly regarded superfood. But there are ingredients other than almonds in many brands of almond milk, and several different kinds that you can buy. Each variety provides slightly different nutrients and health benefits.

But typically, almond milk is low in carbohydrates, calories, and fat, and provides some protein. It also offers vitamin E and, when fortified, provides calcium.

Nutrition Facts

One cup (8oz or 240ml) of unsweetened almond milk provides 39 calories, 1g of protein, 3.4g of carbohydrates, and 2.5g of fat. Almond milk is a great source of calcium and vitamin E. This nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 30
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Sodium: 189mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3.4g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Calcium: 482mg
  • Vitamin E: 16.6mg

Carbs

There are just 3.4g of carbohydrate in unsweetened almond milk. Carbs provide four calories per gram, so 12 of the 39 calories in unsweetened almond milk come from carbohydrate. However, if you buy flavored or sweetened varieties, the carbohydrates and calories in almond milk increase (all stats below from the USDA for 1 cup of milk).

  • Sweetened almond milk: 93 calories, 16g carbohydrate
  • Vanilla almond milk: 80 calories, 14g carbohydrate
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk: 30 calories, 1g carbohydrate
  • Unsweetened chocolate almond milk: 51 calories, 3g carbohydrate
  • Sweetened chocolate almond milk: 123 calories, 23g carbohydrate

Unsweetened almond milk has a glycemic index (GI) of 25 making it a low glycemic food. As a reference, foods with a GI of 55 or below are considered low glycemic foods. One cup of almond milk generally contains 4 to 7 almonds, depending on the brand. 

Fats

There are 2.5 grams of fat in almond milk. Each gram of fat provides nine calories so there are just over 20 calories from fat in unsweetened almond milk. Most of the fat (about 1.5 grams) in almond milk comes from monounsaturated fat while a small part (about 0.5 grams) comes from polyunsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are considered "good" fats because they may help increase HDL cholesterol levels in the blood and boost heart health.

The fat in almond milk does not change substantially based on the flavor. But brands with higher fat content will typically be creamier due to the higher quantity of almonds used per cup of milk.

Protein

You'll get just one gram of protein in a cup of almond milk, regardless of the flavor that you buy. Protein helps your body build and maintain muscle. Eating foods with protein also helps your bones, cartilage, skin, and hair stay healthy. 

One cup of cow's milk provides about 8 grams of protein, regardless of its fat content (whole, skim, 1%, etc.). However, some brands offer almond milk varieties with added vegan protein for a more nutrient-dense beverage.

Vitamins and Minerals

A cup of almond milk provides several important micronutrients. For example, you'll get about 482mg of calcium, or about 45% of your recommended daily intake if you follow a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

All of the calcium in almond milk is added by the producer; it doesn't naturally occur in almonds. For reference, one cup of cow's milk provides about 276mg calcium, or about 28% of your daily needs.

A cup of almond milk also provides more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E (15mg for adults on a 2,000-calorie daily diet). Vitamin E plays an important role in cell metabolism.

Calories

One serving of unsweetened almond milk delivers approximately 39 calories, but the total calorie count will differ based on brand, flavor, and whether it's sweetened or unsweetened.

Summary

Almond milk is a great non-dairy milk alternative that delivers healthy amounts of calcium and vitamin E. It's a lower-calorie milk option, and is low in fat, carbohydrates, and sugars.

Health Benefits

The micronutrients in almond milk provide several health benefits. Almond milk also provides a nutritious substitute for people who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy and cannot consume cow's milk.

May Boost Heart Health

Almond milk is an excellent source of vitamin E, providing more than 16mg per one-cup serving. Vitamin E is believed to protect against oxidative stress, which may boost heart health and help protect your body against certain diseases including cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.

Improves Bone Health

A single serving of almond milk delivers 482mg of calcium, and research has shown that calcium helps you to maintain strong bones. It is also important for proper muscle contraction and nerve function.

May Help Prevent Autoimmune Disease

With nearly 20% of your recommended daily value of vitamin D in one serving, almond milk may also be efficient in preventing autoimmune disease. Research has found that vitamin D can be powerful in fighting chronic diseases as well as autoimmune disorders.

May Support Skin Health

The vitamin E in almond milk may help keep skin healthy. This vitamin has been linked to improved skin health thanks to its ability to fight solar radiation by fighting free radicals.

Allergies

If you have a tree nut allergy, you should not consume almond milk (or any other nut milk such as cashew milk, etc.). However, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, if you do not have a nut allergy, it is safe to consume almond milk in the presence of someone who does have a nut allergy.

Adverse Effects

Note that almond milk is sometimes made with additives, including sweeteners, flavoring, and other ingredients. The almond milk you buy at the grocery store may contain:

  • Calcium carbonate: a supplement that boosts the calcium content of almond milk
  • Sunflower lecithin: a fatty substance extracted from sunflowers added to help with emulsification
  • Potassium citrate: a food additive that helps regulate acidity

Always check the nutrition label and ingredients list on store-bought almond milk to make sure you're aware of all additives.

Varieties

Flavored and sweetened almond milk varieties often contain added sugars. You'll see these listed in the ingredients as "cane sugar," "honey," or as another sweetener. Nutrition experts recommend limiting consumption of added sugars to maintain a healthy body weight and blood sugar levels.

Storage and Food Safety

Some brands of almond milk need to be refrigerated from the time of purchase. Shelf-stable varieties do not require refrigeration until after they are opened. Look at the carton to see how you should store the almond milk you buy.

The best way to store almond milk is in the refrigerator until its best-to-use-by date. If you freeze almond milk, unwanted ingredient separation is likely to occur.

How to Prepare

You can use unsweetened almond milk as a milk substitute in most recipes (some minor changes in baking time and use of thickening agents may be needed if you are baking). Use a 1:1 ratio—the same amount of almond milk as regular milk. Opt for the unsweetened, plain variety to avoid additional ingredients and changes in taste.

Almond milk can be a great addition to your morning smoothie. If you usually add dairy milk or water, try using almond milk instead to change the flavor and nutrition profile.

Recipes

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11 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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