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Does Almond Milk Break a Fast? Essential Fasting Tips
Intermittent Fasting

Does Almond Milk Break a Fast? Essential Fasting Tips

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on July 14, 2022
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4 min

It’s critical to know what might interrupt an intermittent fast if you want to maximize your efforts, whatever your reasons for fasting.

does almond milk break a fast

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People practice intermittent fasting worldwide for an abundance of health benefits, from weight loss to blood sugar management and improved brain health.

It entails a fasting period with fasting hours ranging anywhere between 8–40 hours in which you abstain from food. And while some intermittent fasting methods strictly prohibit the consumption of any number of calories, others have a little wiggle room.

Some allow a small number of calories from low-calorie foods. The approach you take often depends on the goal you want to achieve. For instance, if you’re practicing intermittent fasting for ketosis, you may break a fast while still maintaining ketosis.

Aside from snacking, individuals typically consume a small dose of calories from calorie-containing beverages to reduce hunger. But drinks are just as capable of breaking a fast, even those with important nutrients.

Keep reading as we discuss whether almond milk breaks a fast.

Does Almond Milk Break a Fast? 

Yes, almond milk does break a fast because it contains calories. In terms of traditional fasting, anything containing calories breaks a fast.

However, the intermittent fasting method has been adapted over the years with various modifications. You can consume some calories without limiting the benefits that fasting brings.

So, if you’re happy to modify the intermittent fasting approach, you may be able to enjoy this milk in small quantities.

What amount of almond milk breaks a fast? 

If you’re following a strict fast, you will need to avoid almond milk entirely because it has calories. But if you’re willing to bend the rules with a modified approach, a splash of almond milk won’t hurt in moderation. 

Some say as long as you remain below 50 calories during a fast, the fasting benefits will still pay off. With approximately 40 calories in a cup of unsweetened almond milk, you will quickly use your calorie budget.

Do other types of milk break your fast? 

Whole cow’s milk contains the most calories of all milk. It’s also the highest in fat. If you’re going to drink milk in your fasting window, it’s best to choose plant-based over cow’s milk.

Nut milk and other alternative milk such as soy, oat, rice, and coconut milk have fewer calories. They will technically break your fast but shouldn’t sabotage your fasting efforts in limited quantities.

There are several varieties of almond milk, including sweetened, unsweetened, store-bought, and homemade. It’s best to choose a natural one if you’re going to drink milk during a fast.

Sweetened vs. Homemade Almond Milk

Whether almond milk will sabotage your fast depends on the type of milk you’re drinking and how many calories it contains. You want to drink it without triggering an insulin response.

Making nut milk from scratch is an excellent way to track exactly what goes into it. Many people make delicious almond milk using dates, maple syrup, and artificial sweeteners. However, these ingredients significantly increase your sugar and calorie intake, breaking your fast. 

To maintain your fasting state, make almond milk using just almonds and water. 

When purchasing from the store, always choose the unsweetened version over sweetened almond milk, which contains added sugars that may raise insulin levels. 

A homemade recipe with clean ingredients is the best almond milk to consume in your intermittent fasting window.

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Almond Milk: Pros and Cons

If you’re going to drink almond milk during an intermittent fasting plan, it’s worth knowing the advantages and disadvantages of this nut milk.

Pros

#1 Low in fats and calories

One cup of unsweetened almond milk contains just under 40 calories. It has 1g of protein, 3.43g of carbs, and 2.5g of healthy fats. 

You can drink a cup during your intermittent fast without exceeding the 50-calorie rule.

Unsweetened almond milk can be part of a healthy keto diet, as it is low in carbs. The sweetened variety, however, is too high in carbs and sugar. 

#2 High in vitamins and minerals 

Drinking almond milk can be a good way to introduce nutrients into your diet, whether in your eating window or on rare occasions during your fasting window.

It is naturally rich in vitamin E, an essential antioxidant that can potentially reduce the risk of certain conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. 

#3 Suitable for people who don’t tolerate lactose

People with lactose intolerance cannot fully digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. Consuming lactose with this condition leads to various digestive issues, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Almond milk is the perfect alternative to cow’s milk for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk.

It is naturally dairy and lactose-free, which means those following the plant-based diet can also drink it.

Cons

#1 Low in protein

One cup of unsweetened almond milk has only 1g of protein, despite the high protein content of almonds.

Most of almond milk’s content is water. It also has little calcium, unlike cow’s milk. That said, many plant-based milk brands supplement almond milk with calcium and vitamins A and D.

#2 It may cause digestive issues

Although almond milk is a highly-nutritious source, it may cause gastrointestinal problems in some people. 

Many manufacturers add carrageenan, a thickening agent used to preserve food and drinks. Unfortunately, some research links the additive with digestive problems, including bloating and inflammation.

Always check the label when buying plant-based milk to ensure they are carrageenan-free.

Will Coffee With Almond Milk Break a Fast?

While black coffee with zero sugar is best (containing approximately 5 calories per cup), a splash of almond milk shouldn’t harm your fast. 

You shouldn’t go overboard and consume copious amounts of coffee with almond milk. Remember that even a single calorie breaks a fast. We suggest enjoying it as a small treat on your coffee break from time to time to ensure you still get the perks of fasting.

You can try to make a well-known bulletproof coffee during your fast. It boosts your metabolism and satiates you at the same time.

Word From Nutritionist

Almond milk is a highly nutritious beverage. It contains several vitamins and minerals and is vegan, dairy-free, and lactose-free.

Depending on the intermittent fasting method you practice and the eating pattern you follow, it’s possible to have small quantities of almond milk without damaging the positive impact of fasting.

Although almond milk will break your fast as it contains calories, you can still reap the benefits if you’re mindful about what you put into your body.

Whether you want to lose weight, promote fat burning, or gain control of your blood sugar, intermittent fasting can help.

Be cautious about drinking almond milk and other nut milk during a fast. Technically, you should avoid all calories, but if you’re keen to have something, there are some safer alternatives.

For instance, black coffee and herbal teas have such a low amount of calories that, while they break a fast, they don’t harm the benefits.

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting means food abstinence for a fixed period. So, consuming almond milk will, technically, break a fast. 

Most intermittent fasters play it safe and drink calorie-free water or extremely low-calorie beverages. If you want to drink almond milk in moderation, always opt for the unsweetened version.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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