This holds true for Almond Milk as well. That is why I don’t drink it anymore. It is impossible to find any clean almond milk. I have made my own and it’s not hard but I’m just too lazy to do it on a regular basis.
If you are lactose intolerant or follow the Paleo diet, you more than likely use alternative milk sources. Rice, hemp, almond or coconut milks.
For me, I settled on coconut milk for my coffee and baking. I was even more excited when coconut creamer came out. I used to LOVE Coffeemate creamer in my coffee and found this to be a good alternative.
However, my excitement came to an end one morning when I chose to turn the carton around and read the ingredients. You see, as a holistic health coach I am aware that getting healthy and losing weight goes beyond just diet and lifestyle. I know that toxins play a huge role in our overall health and that they lurk everywhere.
I was conscious of environmental toxins in cleaning and health products and always buy organic, grass fed, etc. However, I didn’t pay too much attention to the ingredients in my “healthy” foods. Till that one morning when I turned the carton around to read the list.
As you can see from the picture below, my coconut milk (and the creamer) had a lot more in it than just coconut milk. Why? Why were all these extras added in? I haven’t done much research on the reason, but I ended up switching to canned coconut milk. As you can see, it only has two ingredients. I am still not happy about the guar gum, but it doesn’t upset me the way it does for some.
Back of coconut milk carton.
Coconut milk in a can.
*side note* – when buying canned products, please always make sure you purchase BPA free cans.
This brings me to the point of this post. I was shopping at Whole Foods this week and I noticed on the “milk” shelf that there was a new coconut creamer in town. From the packaging it sure looks tasty and it took me back to my hazelnut coffemate days. I picked it up, turned it around to read the ingredients and quickly put it back.
Check out the picture below and you tell me if it looks healthy. I have added arrows to the ingredients that are suspect, but let’s break them down.
Back of coconut creamer carton.
Dried Cane Syrup – not so bad, but it is a sugar and a refined one at that.
Titanium Dioxide – the following comes from the Enviornmental Working Group web site. “Titanium dioxide is an inorganic compound used in a range of body care products such as sunscreens and makeup. It appears to have low skin penetration but inhalation is a concern.” Why is this even in our food??
Dipotassium Phospate – ”is a corrosion inhibitor that, along with being used in consumer products, is also an additive to various food products such as non-dairy creamers, where it helps balance the acidity of the coffee. Dipotassium Phosphate helps keep contents fresh and prevent the erosion or rusting of a can or dispenser. We know there are concerns about phosphates and their impact on waterways and surface water. However, Dipotassium Phosphate is used in low concentrations to limit the concentrations of total phosphate being used in SC Johnson products and potentially released to surface waters.”
You can read more here, and it seems somewhat safe, but do we really want to be ingesting something that keeps cans from rusting?
Carragennan – a commonly used food additive, is linked to colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and higher rates of colon cancer. The Organic Cosnumers Association is working hard on getting this banned from our foods.
Guar Gum– a type of fiber extracted from guar beans and used as a thickening agent in foods. Though it is not harmful to our bodies and studies show it may help in a variety of illnesses, it also can cause digestive distress to many. If you experience this, you may want to try products without this ingredient.
I have not checked any other milks to see what their ingredients list are, but I encourage you to be your own detective and read labels.
There are many recipes all over the web on how to make your own nut milks and they really are easy to do. There really is no reason why something that is supposed to be healthy for us is chock full of unhealthy stuff.
Do you make your own milks or know of any good recipes? Please share below.
To your health,