The top 4 ingredients in plant milk alternatives you need to watch out for
I have fully come to the terms that I am “that girl” that will ask the barista at the coffee shop if I can read the back of the almond milk carton to scan through the ingredients - and I’m proud of it!
If you’re like me and love inspecting food labels and reading through ingredient lists (no? just me?) than you’ve probably noticed the array of questionable and unpronounceable ingredients that are often found in conventional plant-based milk.
We all know the harmful effects that dairy can have on our health, but how harmful are these additives found in our favourite alternatives?
I wanted to break down the top four most common ingredients to steer clear from and why you should.
1. Processed Sugars (sometimes hidden as cane juice, rice syrup, sucrose, maltose, dextrose)
I think that we can all agree that a little less sugar in our lives is never a bad idea. Refined sugar, in particular, is almost immediately absorbed in the bloodstream, resulting in blood sugar levels to skyrocket - leaving us with a dreaded sugar crash and usually craving for more. Whenever possible, opt for pure maple syrup or raw honey, which are loaded with nutrients rather than empty calories.
2. Natural Flavours
Essentially a cop-out for companies to not list hidden ingredients, which can be anything from refined sugars to forms of MSG or GMOs, and even animal by-products. A good general rule of thumb is that if a company isn’t transparent enough to disclose all their ingredients, those ingredients are probably not very good for you.
3. Gums (gellan gum, xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan)
Not exactly the chewing kind. Usually used as a binder, thickener, or an emulsifier, gums are formed through the fermentation of sugars, often derived from top allergen foods such as corn or soy, and are highly processed. When ingested, they can disrupt intestinal microflora and increase bacterial overgrowth, resulting in gas, bloating, and pain- especially with those of us already struggling with a sensitive gut. Over consumption of foods or additives that put stress on our gut can often lead to increased gut permeability, which allows toxins and undigested particles to leak through the intestinal wall, often disrupting our immune system, nervous system, and skin. In short: protect the gut at all costs.
4. Refined Oils (canola oil, sunflower, oil, vegetable oil)
The making process of these oils often involves refining and bleaching at super high temperatures, usually with the use of chemical solvents, giving them very high inflammatory properties. Not to mention the crops used are almost always genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides - which are also extremely damaging to our gut.
At NutMeg, we are all about providing you with not only the yummiest, but also healthiest non-dairy milk option for you and your body. More often than not - less is always more. :)
All the love,