If you can't drink cow's milk or you want an alternative, you might enjoy almond milk. Almond milk is made by pressing the juice from the nuts, and Silk is one widely available brand of the beverage. The Silk brand offers several varieties of almond milk, each with its own nutritional profile. Certain ones, for example, contain added sugar, while others don't. No matter which variety you choose, you'll get a good dose of key vitamins and minerals that support strong bones and other aspects of your health.
A cup of original Silk almond milk contains 60 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, none of which is saturated fat. This is one advantage over whole and reduced-fat cow's milk, which do contain saturated fat. Saturated fats aren't good for your heart and can raise your levels of bad cholesterol. Vanilla and dark-chocolate Silk almond milk each contain 2.5 grams of fat per cup, none of which is saturated. The vanilla has 90 calories per cup, and the dark chocolate contains 100 calories per cup. The unsweetened varieties contain about 30 calories per cup. All flavors of Silk almond milk contain 1 gram of protein per cup, which is less than than the 8 or 9 grams in a cup of cow's milk. That's about 2 percent of the 46 grams of protein women need each day, and about 1 percent of the 56 grams men require daily.
Calcium and Vitamin D
All varieties of Silk almond milk are excellent sources of calcium, which is crucial for strong bones and teeth. A cup of the original Silk almond milk contains about 45 percent of the 1,000 milligrams of calcium you need each day, and the same amount of calcium is found in the vanilla, dark-chocolate and unsweetened varieties. Silk almond milk also delivers about one-quarter of the 400 international units of vitamin D you need on a daily basis. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and promotes a healthy immune system.
Vitamins B-12 and E
A cup of any variety of Silk almond milk supplies half of the daily value of vitamin B-12, which helps your body make red blood cells and supports the health of your central nervous system. That same cup of Silk almond milk also supplies half of the daily value of vitamin E, which protects your cells from damage and helps your body use vitamin K properly.
If you drink the unsweetened varieties of Silk almond milk, you won't be getting any added sugar. Unlike cow's milk, which contains only natural sugars, the flavored Silk almond milks have added sugar. Too much added sugar can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that women get no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and that men limit their intake to 9 teaspoons or less each day. A cup of vanilla Silk almond milk, for example, contains 16 grams of sugar, which is about 4 teaspoons. A cup of dark-chocolate Silk almond milk has 17 grams of sugar, and a cup of the original contains 7 grams.
Silk Almond Milk in Your Diet
In terms of sugar content, the unsweetened Silk almond milk varieties are the way to go. If you don't like the taste of these, consider the light varieties. A cup of light original has 5 grams of sugar, and a cup of light vanilla contains 11 grams. If you're looking for ways to increase your protein and fiber intake, you might consider the Silk Protein + Fiber varieties. A cup of the original or vanilla Protein + Fiber contains 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, which is about 20 percent of your daily recommended intake.
- Silk: Almond Milk
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Calcium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin D
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B12
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin E
- American Heart Association: Sugars and Carbohydrates