Food Fight: Almond Milk vs. Cashew Milk

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The varieties of dairy-free milk alternatives continue to expand, and the newest kid on the shelf is cashew milk. Find out how this nutty beverage stacks up against its almond-containing counterpart.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is made from a blend of almonds and water. Solid pulp is removed, and ingredients, including locust bean gum and salt, are added to thicken, enhance flavor and maintain freshness. It has a creamy texture and distinct nutty essence.

One cup of unsweetened almond milk contains 30 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram each of protein, carbohydrate and fiber. Each cup contains 160 milligrams of sodium, whereas a glass of cow’s milk has 125 milligrams. Some brands are fortified with additional nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D, but it’s worth checking labels, since some have significantly less than others. There are also numerous flavors of sweetened almond milk, but the calories can jump to 90 for the same 1 cup, thanks to the added sugar.

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is made in same fashion as almond milk, with similar flavor and thickening agents; we came across one brand that contained some almond butter! Cashew milk also has a thick and creamy texture but an earthier flavor than almond milk.

One cup of unsweetened cashew milk contains 25 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of fiber, and 1 gram each of protein and carbohydrate. Many brands are also fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and are available in higher-calorie sweetened flavors.

Winner: Draw! It comes down to a flavor preference in this case. Choose unsweetened nut milk and you can’t go wrong.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.