Why Carrageenan Makes Almond Milk Dangerously Unhealthy

If you’ve made the decision to skip cow’s milk in your morning coffee and swap it out for almond milk, then you should know the truth about that “healthy” almond milk and its main ingredient, carrageenan.

Many believe that almond milk is similar to coconut milk because it does not contain antibiotics, steroids, pesticides and estrogen. While this is true, it does contain one ingredient that is very concerning and has been linked to cancer. 

What is carrageenan?

If you look at the nutrition label of the almond milk in your refrigerator, there is a good chance that it contains carrageenan. Besides from being difficult to pronounce, it’s also difficult to digest. 

Carrageenans “are a family of linear sulphated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are used in many foods, including organic, to thicken and improve the texture of foods. Carrageenan also keeps ingredients from separating in liquids. Which if you think about it, can simply be solved by adding a “shake well” label.

Where can you find carrageenans?

  • Milk (including almond milk)
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Bread
  • Jelly
  • Lunchmeat
  • Yogurt
  • Soup
  • Nutritional drinks
  • Prepared foods

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How does carrageenan affect your health?

One issue with carrageenan is that it is not digestible and adds no nutritional value to your food. In addition, it is still bad for your digestive system because it causes inflammation.

It’s important to remember that inflammation is considered the root cause for many health issues, such as ulcers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer. When carrageenan is ingested, your body actually responds as if it has been infected with salmonella; symptoms ranging from belly bloat, to irritable bowel syndrome, to irritable bowel disease. 


Dr. Tobacman, a physician and scientist at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, has published 18 studies to address the effects of carrageenan. In laboratory studies in mice, it shows that carrageenan exposure led to glucose intolerance and “impaired insulin action”, which can lead to diabetes. In April 2012, she addressed the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and urged them to stop allowing the use of carrageenan. She explained that all forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation.

Bottom line

Many manufacturers have already taken notice and removed carrageenan from their products. There will be a vote in November, 2016 by the NOSB to determine the effectiveness of carrageenan. But for now, I advise my clients to avoid almond milk and stick with organic coconut milk

In conclusion, if you’re concerned about items that may already be in your home, check the nutritional labels. Also, the Cornucopia Institute has a handy buying guide to help you avoid organic foods with carrageenan.

Looking for more ways to get your whole family healthier, ways to use food as medicine, and gain more understanding of our health and food connection?

Check out my 30 Day Family Health Makeover here – a step-by-step guided online program that will show you how to reduce & reverse chronic illness.


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    Leann Forst, MBA, CHC, CEOC — Holistic Health Practitioner

    Leann is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Essential Oils Coach. She holds a Master’s degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University. Accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Leann is an award winning author of 2 books How to Get Your Kids to Beg for Veggies and 100 Ways to Lose Weight”.

    Born and raised as an Iowa farm girl, she moved to Texas in 1998 where she lives with her husband and 2 kids.

    As a wife of a brain cancer survivor, Leann has a special interest in anti-cancer nutrition and detoxification. She works with individuals and groups, and speaks regularly at hospitals, schools and organizations. Leann’s goal is to teach people how to attain optimal health by getting to the root cause of chronic and inflammatory conditions, while using healing modalities such as essential oils. Click here to get Leann’s free report, “37 Cancer Facts You Should Know…But Probably Don’t

    Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

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