Can You Be Allergic To Almond Milk But Not Almonds?

Tree nut allergies are relatively common in developed nations and almond allergies rank high up the list. But what if you’re fine with almonds yet almond milk sets you off? Can you be allergic to almond milk, but not almonds? As usual, it’s not as simple as you might think. Let’s dive in and find out …


Can You Be Allergic To Almond Milk But Not Almonds?

 Yes, you may think you’re allergic to almond milk but not almonds however it’s important not to confuse an allergy with an intolerance. If you’re not allergic to almonds then it’s highly unlikely you’re allergic to almond milk. But it could be down to the food additives in there. 


Watch: Petra from Nutrition Refined making delicious homemade almond milk.

(it’s worth spending a little time on Petra’s website for some great recipes)


Could It Be Intolerance But Not An Allergy?

People with an allergy to almonds are unlikely to ever go near almond milk, for obvious reasons. The symptoms of tree nut allergies range from mild to life-threatening and can be very scary.

An almond allergy is due to your immune system reacting to what it thinks is a foreign substance and the symptoms can be as benign as a tickly throat through to sneezing and skin rashes with the most extreme reaction being anaphylaxis.

But a bloated feeling after almond milk is more likely to be a symptom of an intolerance as opposed to an allergy.

Almond milk intolerance is a digestive issue and tends to manifest itself with symptoms like stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and bloating, as already mentioned.

So if you experience symptoms like these after drinking almond milk but you can eat almonds without any problems then an allergy is unlikely to be your problem.


Food Additives Are Likely The Culprit

Most commercial almond milk products contain additives to help improve the behaviour and consistency of the drink. It’s common practice to add an emulsifier, for example.

The problem with most nut milks is separation of the product during storage.

A glass of almond milk on a wooden chopping board scattered with almonds, other nuts and seeds with some dates on there too. Unlike cow’s milk, the almond alternatives to dairy are simply a blend of nuts, water and often an oil like rapeseed along with improvers to combat the separation, or ‘splitting’.

Carrageenan periodically hits the headlines on this subject matter. In my article, “Can almond milk mess up your stomach?” I look a little deeper at this common food additive and why you may be intolerant to carrageenan as opposed to almond milk.

There are other additives commonly used in almond milk and other dairy free milks which may disagree with you. Soy lecithin is another emulsifier which some people struggle with. Again, I look at this additive in my article linked above.

Of course you could be allergic to the additives but not the almonds. There’s a remote chance you have a carrageenan allergy which appears to be slightly more common in those with ‘Alpha-gal Syndrome’. We’re talking about a tiny subset of a small percentage of people though.

If you have any concerns about food allergies you should work with your healthcare provider to rule out these extremely rare conditions before coming to any conclusions.


You Could Try Homemade Almond Milk

One way to work out if you’re having a reaction to the additives is to make you own almond milk. This way you can control exactly what goes into the product.

It’s really easy to make a small batch of almond milk if you have a half decent blender and some straining cloth or nut milk bags. We used to make it all the time and it is delicious!

You want to soak your almonds overnight and give them a really good rinse to reduce the phytic acid and tannin content. Then just chuck them in the blender with some water and a little salt to taste. Maybe a date or two for sweetness.

Whizz up your almond milk and check the consistency adding more water if needed. Once you’re happy, strain the liquid from the pulp using a muslin cloth or a nut milk bag.

Voila! A delicious and nutritious almond milk which I guarantee you will taste 100 times better than even the most expensive commercial offerings out there 🙂

If you’re fine with eating almonds then it’s highly unlikely homemade almond milk will cause you any problems. You can be fairly sure it’s the commercial additives which are the culprit.


As Plant-Based Grows Ever More Popular

We may be hearing about these allergies more now because so many people are moving away from meat and dairy and switching to these commercial replacement products.

Making up a fresh batch of almond milk with a blender. As an aside, dairy is actually a really common allergen even though it is pushed heavily to the consumer. But we’re not talking about that in this article.

Be under no illusions though. Commercial dairy-replacement products are usually classed as UPF or ‘Ultra Processed Food’ and it’s probably good advice to limit your consumption.

The homemade route is an ever more popular choice and if you’re really serious about removing dairy from your diet, as vegans do, then it’s way more economical to invest in a nut milk maker machine.

These fantastic gizmos take all the effort out of the process and you can just enjoy the end product without the elbow grease!

For the vegan family I’d say a nut milk maker could be one of your best investments. A bowl of muesli with freshly made, premium almond milk is just out of this world!


I hope this article has helped you answer your question today. If you have any thoughts to share please go ahead in the comments below. Please also share this with your friends. It all helps.

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Thanks for reading and have a peaceful day.




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