Walking through the dairy aisle at your grocery store, you see so many different brands and types of milk products. And as you go through the different kinds of milk, you may wonder is almond milk Paleo?
This beverage could cause some confusion since the word ‘milk’ is used in the title. The traditional Paleo diet does not allow for dairy products likes cheese, yogurt or cows milk. The reason being that the Paleolithic people lived in a time before modern agriculture. So they would not have raised cows or goats with which to harvest milk and then in turn make cheese or yogurt with.
But you know what, while cow’s milk and goat’s milk are not included in the Paleo list of allowed foods, Almond milk is actually Paleo.
Why Almond Milk is Pale
So how does almond milk fall in the Paleo diet?
First, let’s find out what exactly almond milk is. Almond milk is created by soaking raw almonds in water until the almonds are soft and you’ve extracted the almond flavor into the water. This process turns the water white, creating a milky look and texture to it. This is where the beverage got its name.
So in reality, almond milk isn’t really milk like cow’s milk or goat’s milk is. Instead it is called ‘milk’ because of the appearance it takes when you’ve extracted the almond flavor from the nut. In short, the core ingredients of almond milk is the raw almonds (no salt or seasoning) and water.
This makes almond milk Paleo!
Some Clarification Needed
This is exciting for those of you looking for something to replace your beloved cows milk with. But before you add almond milk to your grocery list, there’s something else to consider.
You need to ask yourself what about the almond milk you buy in the grocery store? Is that Paleo?
Sadly, the store bought almond milk is often not Paleo. Many brands include flavorings, sweeteners, and added chemicals. They also often don’t contain the nutritional value that homemade almond milk does.
Most store bought almond milk are sweetened which means they have added sugar and more calories. There are some that are unsweetened but even those have been fortified by vitamins, calcium carbonate and other ingredient that were processed into the milk. All of which were not available before all the modern machinery and processing was available.
So if we are to be strict about things, most commercially packed almond milk is technically not Paleo. There a few, though limited, natural almond milk in store shelves that are Paleo however.
What to Do?
Homemaking your almond milk is your best option. And the process is very simple. You’ll want to take the time to be sure you purchase quality raw, and preferably organic almonds. There are many recipes out there that you can choose from. Many will give you the option to add sweeteners (natural) if you choose, like honey or stevia.
So you’ve decided to commit to the Paleo diet and you’ve determined that making your own almond milk is the best choice. Should you now be drinking almond milk day and night?
The truth is although almonds are great for you, they have fiber, vitamins, and monounsaturated (the good fat), they are still loaded with fat. So if you’re on the Paleo diet, or thinking of starting the Paleo diet in order to lose weight, you’ll want to practice moderation when drinking almond milk.
In conclusion, almond milk is definitely Paleo when made at home with simply raw almonds and water. When it comes to commercially available almond milk, chances are they are not Paleo though a limited few are. The key with almond milk is enjoy it, but make sure to do so in moderation.
For more Paleo friendly meals and tasty recipes, check out the Paleo Recipe Book.
Featured Paleo resources
Go back to Paleo Diet topic page