glass of almond milk with various almost scattered beside it
Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
June 5, 2024 ·  4 min read

9 Reasons You May Want To Avoid Drinking Almond Milk

For vegans, people with dairy allergies, or anyone who dislikes regular cow milk, today is a great day to be alive. There are so many milk alternatives and they are becoming increasingly available in coffee shops and restaurants. Grocery stores are stocked with varieties like soy, oat, rice, and coconut milk. Plus, many health food stores have an even larger selection, including walnut, hemp, and pea milk. But one type seems to tower over them all in terms of popularity: almond milk. However, popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to quality. Although almond milk can be delicious and versatile, it may not be ideal for everyone depending on their food needs. Here’s an honest look on almond milk.

The Pros of Almond Milk

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Let’s start with the positives. Almond milk is made from whole almonds, or almond butter, and water. It contains fewer calories than cow’s milk and less fat, while being a natural source of vitamin E. It can be enjoyed as a one-to-one substitute to dairy milk when it comes to cereal, smoothies, baked goods etc. However, there are some potential caveats to keep in mind.

Read More: Almonds are out. Dairy is a disaster. So what milk should we drink?

Lacks protein

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Protein is crucial for the body, especially when it comes to bone structure, enzyme production, and muscle growth. A cup of cow’s milk contains 8 grams but almond milk contains only one. But if you want a dairy-free alternative high in protein, soy milk contains 7 grams per cup.

Low in nutrients

Despite almonds being considered a superfood, their nutrition value does not transfer to their milk version because it is made up of mostly water. One cup contains only 39 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein, as previously mentioned. For better nutrition, you can look for almond milk brands that contain 7–15% almonds or are fortified with various vitamins and minerals. Alternatively, you can opt for other non-dairy milk alternatives like soy, pea, or oat.

Unsuitable for infants

Baby feeding from a bottle
Photo: Lucy Wolski

Because almond milk is low on nutrients, it is not enough to sustain an infant’s growth. In fact, cow’s or plant-based milks may prevent iron absorption for babies under one year of age. Experts advise feeding infants only breastmilk or formula until they turn 4 to 6 months, which is when they can start on solid food. Parents who don’t want to feed their child dairy should consult their pediatrician for recommendations for non-dairy baby formula.

May contain additives

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Processed almond milk can have additives like sugar, salt, gums, lecithin, and emulsifiers. The latter ingredients are considered safe although some people choose to avoid them. Meanwhile, the negative health effects of too much sugar has been well-documented. Therefore, it’s better to choose unsweetened versions of non-dairy milk.

Read More: Is Oat Milk a Scam?

Unsuitable for people with allergies

As most people can assume, almond milk (along with hazelnut milk, walnut milk, cashew milk, etc.) is not suitable for people with nut allergies.

Not environmentally friendly

Almond tree close-up
Photo: Konevi

People who choose to avoid dairy products due to environmental concerns might want to rethink their almond milk. When it comes to a product’s environmental impact, there are four factor to consider: greenhouse gas emissions, land use, freshwater use, and eutrophication (the pollution of ecosystems with excess nutrients). Compared to rice, oat, and soy, almond milk uses considerably more freshwater.

Not good in coffee

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There are many types of almond milks and not all are good for coffee. Some brands are not suitable for coffee or tea because the milk components split when poured into hot liquid. It may also fail to foam as well as cow’s milk. So make sure you use barista-syle almond milk or creamier non-dairy milks like coconut or oat.

Difficult to cook with

Moreover, if an almond milk splits in coffee, it’s likely to do the same when cooking. In fact, heating certain types can turn them bitter. Therefore, you should add almond milk toward the end of the process if you’re adding it to the soup or the like, or find a almond milk brand — or other non-dairy milk — better suited for your chosen recipes.

Read More: As Icky as It Sounds, Cockroach Milk Is a Thing and it’s Apparently Three Times More Nutritious than Dairy Milk


  1. “The 9 Best Nondairy Substitutes for Milk.” Healthline. Daisy Coyle, APD. January 17, 2018
  2. “Is Almond Milk Good for You?Very Well Health. Kathi Valeii. January 23, 2024
  3. What You Need to Know When Choosing Milk and Milk Alternatives.Cleveland Clinic. November 10, 2021
  4. 11 Reasons You May Want To Avoid Drinking Almond Milk.Daily Meal. Jay Wilson. December 20, 2022