Carrageenan – a seaweed ingredient common in low-fat and non-dairy milks – might not be as healthy as it sounds.
Most folks see a seaweed on the ingredients list and assume that it’s healthy. After all, some seaweeds are super nutritious and even make a delicious, healthy snack, right?
A release from the Cornucopia Institute explains that carrageenen is linked to intestinal inflammation and that the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the additive as a “possible human carcinogen.” Cornucopia Institute also reports that:
Individuals suffering from chronic gastrointestinal symptoms have reported that their symptoms disappeared when they cut carrageenan out of their diets.
Companies use carrageenan as a thickener and stabilizer. It gives non-dairy and low fat dairy products a pleasant, creamy texture and keeps them from separating.
Not all low-fat and non-dairy milk products contain carrageenan, and Cornucopia Institute is maintaining a list of organic products that do and do not contain this additive. Is your favorite milk on the list? If not, a quick read through the ingredients on the packaging will tell you whether it contains carrageenan.
Image Credit: Carrageenan in Milk photo via Shutterstock