Why I Always Read The Label When Buying Almond Milk

Almond Milk 2- Sequins and StrawberriesAlmond milk 1- Sequins & Strawberries

Spot the carragreenan!

 The worst thing is when you are trying to be healthy and think you are doing the right thing for your body, only to find that a product that is being advertised as healthy really isn’t! It always really upsets me because it feels like the food industry is just tricking its consumers instead of just being honest with them. 

That’s how I’m feeling about almond milk right now. We have been led to believe that it is so great for you and to add it to everything possible instead of regular milk. I especially would try to use it since I am lactose intolerant. Well imagine my disbelief when reading the ingredients and it clearly lists “Carrageenan”. My first thought was that can’t be what I think it is, but no I unfortunately was correct. 

Here we are drinking almond milk to try to better our health when in reality we’re doing just the opposite. Who in their right mind would think it was okay or normal to put that into the almond milk, especially because it’s not in every brand so we know it’s not needed. After doing some research here is what I found.

The first thing that comes up when you search “carrageenans” in google is, “Carrageenans or carrageenins are a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.”

So you probably think if seaweed is natural it’s probably not too bad. But when I researched farther I found this:

“Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” explains veteran carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Chicago. She says the food ingredient irritates by activating an immune response that dials up inflammation. Her previous work showed a concerning connection between carrageenan and gastrointestinal cancer in lab animals, and she’s involved with ongoing research funded through the National Institutes of Health that is investigating carrageenan’s effect on ulcerative colitis and other diseases like diabetes.”

Some reports make it out to be worse than others but when it comes down to it, carrageenan at a minimum is just used as a thickening agent and adds no nutritional value. At the worst people see bad side affects, such as rashes, digestive issues, inflammation, and other health issues. And while I won’t normally do these types of post, I felt it was worthwhile to share what I had found since I’m sure other people feel the same way too.

If you are looking for a brand that doesn’t have carrageenan in it, my sister gets one from Whole Foods called 365.  Ps-Sorry about the iPhone photos, I felt weird bringing my full on camera into the grocery store and I sure wasn’t wasting $5 on an almond milk I wasn’t going to drink. Hey, if I want to eat unhealthy I’ll have Swedish Fish or something, not something I thought was healthy!

Are you an almond milk drinker? How do you feel about carrageenans being added to it?