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One Major Side Effect of Drinking Almond Milk
Says Dietitian By Lekhak February 02, 2022
A controversial beverage additive most likely causes this stomach issue.
Almond milk has swiftly become a household staple, especially as people shift away from traditional cow's milk and toward dairy-free, plant-based alternatives.
Almond milk is, in fact, the most popular non-dairy milk due to its lovely texture and mild nutty flavour. That's hardly unexpected, given how versatile and tasty it is, as well as how low in calories, carbs, and fat it is.
Despite all of the beverage's health benefits, it did have some disadvantages. One of the most common adverse effects of drinking almond milk, according to experts, is stomach pain, which is likely due to an additive called carrageenan.
According to Gina Keatley, CDN, a certified dietitian nutritionist at Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy in New York City, "much commercial almond milk contain additives such as sugar, salt, gum, lecithin, and flavors." "As an addition, carrageenan can induce GI distress," she adds.
So, what exactly is carrageenan? It's a thickening agent extracted from red seaweed that's found in a variety of processed foods. Even though carrageenan sounds natural and is technically produced from a plant, that doesn't mean it's good for you to eat regularly. Unfortunately, this form of carbohydrate is also difficult to digest.
Carrageenan is generally considered safe by the FDA, so it is an allowed additive in the United States. However, according to a 2017 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, carrageenan may harm gut health by inducing intestinal inflammation, among other adverse side effects.
Other studies have found a link between carrageenan and digestive problems such as inflammatory bowel disease and poor blood sugar control. It may cause gastrointestinal ulcers, according to some evidence.
However, for every study that emphasizes carrageenan's adverse GI effects, another refutes these findings. As a result, unless more human studies are completed, the verdict on this substance may still be out. If your stomach hurts after drinking almond milk, or if you have a digestive issue like IBS, Chrohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis, it's best to stay away from licorice extract goods. Those with a sensitive stomach may have trouble tolerating the addition as well.
That means reading the ingredients list on any foods you purchase or seeking a "carrageenan-free" label. Fun fact: In 2016, the Organic Standards Board agreed to ban carrageenan from all goods; thus, any almond milk with the USDA Organic label is clear of the questionable additive.