Almond milk sounds like the healthy, natural answer for all these questions, but is the safest?
Most cartons of almond milk contain a dangerous ingredient called carrageenan. Carrageenan is a food additive, derived from red seaweed, included in the ingredients of many dairy and non-dairy products. It is added as a thickener and fat substitute, but provides zero nutrients.
In many scientific studies, carrageenan is linked to causing inflammation. Though this may not sound so worrisome, Dr. Andrew Weil, the integrative medicine pioneer, warns, “We know that chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and cancer.”
If this ingredient has been linked to causing colon cancer in lab rats, why is it found in so many organic products?
In fact, Dr. Joanne Tobacman, physician/scientist at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, has been studying carrageenan for more than 10 years and conducted many studies using human tissue, rather than lab rats.
Her studies conclude that carrageenan causes various cancers and digestive disorders. And the most disturbing part: she presented her research at the National Organic Standards board meeting in May 2012, but carrageenan lobbyists retaliated, claiming carrageenan is harmless. She was ignored by the FDA and USDA.
The secret about carrageenan is out. But it may be a long time before the FDA finally decides to remove carrageenan from the U.S. food supply. In the meantime, here are some ways to avoid carrageenan: