Can Almond Milk Cause Diarrhea?

Some individuals may experience digestive system problems such as diarrhea from almond milk consumption. In this article, we will cover causes and remedies.
Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN

Written by Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN. Updated on December 19, 2022.

Almond milk is a healthful nut-based alternative to dairy products. It is composed of ground almonds and filtered water. To enhance its consistency and shelf life, it may contain extra starches and thickeners.

Some individuals may experience digestive system problems such as diarrhea from the consumption of almond milk.

The main reasons underlying this situation may be due to intolerances, allergies, and additives added to almond milk.

You can think that this may be due to lactose intolerance. In this article, we’ll talk about how almond milk can upset your digestive system and cause diarrhea.

What Is Almond Milk and What Are Its Benefits?

Almond milk is a popular, nut-based beverage that has grown in popularity over time.

Almond milk has a mild flavor, thus many individuals prefer it to other plant-based milk choices. It may be substituted for dairy milk and may be found in coffee, oatmeal, rice pudding, and baking recipes.

Almond milk can be created by soaking, crushing, and filtering raw almonds. In commercial almond milk, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin E, and vitamin D may be added to increase the nutritional value of the beverage.

It is beneficial for individuals who cannot or prefer not to consume animal-based milk such as cow’s milk, but many others drink it simply because they enjoy its flavor.

It is a helpful choice for individuals who are unable or choose not to consume animal-based milk, such as cow’s milk.

However, if you experience diarrhea after consuming almond products such as almond milk, you can focus on 3 points:

  • Almond intolerance
  • Almond allergy
  • Carrageenan content

Also, although you can freeze almond milk, you can expect it will change its structure after thawing. However, it shouldn’t be the cause of diarrhea. The same goes for freezing most other plant-based milks, such as soy milk.

Almond Intolerance

Food intolerance is defined as the reaction of the digestive system to a substance in consumed food.

A substance in food cannot be digested or broken down correctly by the digestive system of the person. This irritates the digestive system and causes damage.

The cause of food intolerance is the lack of enzymes or the inability to digest the substance in the food.

Almond sensitivity is a form of nut intolerance that can result in digestive discomfort after eating almonds. A sensitivity to almonds might have a negative influence on your quality of life.

Mealtimes may become a hassle, and the symptoms can be exhausting and upsetting.

Almond milk may seem like a simple substitution for those who suffer from lactose intolerance; however, drinking almond milk may contribute to the digestive troubles that these people already have.

If a person has a food intolerance, it may occur when the person eats that food for the first time. What influences food intolerance is the amount of food.

When the food that causes intolerance is consumed in low amounts, it is accepted by the body, while it can cause discomfort in higher amounts. Symptoms of food intolerance:

  • Stomach pain, stomach cramps, burning sensation in the stomach
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gas, cramps, and bloating in the stomach and intestines
  • Headache, irritability, weakness, fatigue
  • Diarrhea

Using the findings of a food sensitivity test, you may undertake an elimination diet and determine which foods you should avoid and which are suitable replacements.

Causes of Almonds Intolerance

Almond sensitivity may result from the digestive system’s inability to properly digest the nut.

It can elicit an inflammatory response from IgG antibodies, which may result in unpleasant bodily feelings such as bloating or cramping.

How Is Food Intolerance Diagnosed?

Food intolerance can be diagnosed with an elimination diet or a food intolerance test.

To detect problematic foods in the elimination diet, suspicious foods are completely removed from the diet under the control of a doctor or dietitian, and then these foods are added back to the diet one by one.

By examining the symptoms, it can be understood which foods cause food intolerance.

In the food intolerance test, people are tested for sensitivity to many substances such as fungi, dyes, drugs, foods, and their diets are arranged according to the results of this test.

To avoid food sensitivity symptoms, take caution to read food labels and avoid consuming the following foods:

  • Raw almonds
  • Almond spread
  • Almond meal
  • Desserts and pastries with nuts
  • Marzipan
  • Gluten-free foods (which often use almond meal or flour)
  • Trail Mix

A sensitivity to almonds is distinct from an allergy to almonds, although some symptoms may appear similar.

Almond Intolerance Treatment

The only treatment for food intolerance is removing the food that causes the intolerance from the diet or consuming it in amounts the body can tolerate.

Almond Allergies

Changing from animal-based milk to almond milk may result in a different allergic reaction. Almonds, along with walnuts, cashews, and pecans, top the list of allergen-causing foods. Moreover, roughly half of peanut-allergic individuals are also allergic to tree nuts. These allergies typically last a lifetime.

The symptoms of a food allergy can be mild or quite severe. Food allergy symptoms:

  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting
  • Skin itching, rash, hives
  • Swelling of the tongue, throat, or eyes
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, the sudden feeling of faintness
  • Low blood pressure, dizziness

Almonds also cause anaphylactic reactions, which occur more frequently than other types of allergic reactions. It is a serious condition and a doctor should be consulted.

How Is Food Allergy Diagnosed?

In the diagnosis of food allergy, the levels of IgE antibodies produced by the body in response to the allergen are measured.

So, how is the allergy test done, which plays an important role in making the diagnosis?

Respiratory tests, which give specific responses to foods, and allergy tests from blood and skin are performed. After the food is consumed, the blood of the person is taken and IgE levels are checked.

In the same way, the kits containing the suspected nutrients are applied to the skin; Results such as burning, redness, itching, and rash are observed.

It is of great importance that the results of all tests are examined by a specialist physician and that the food allergy test is interpreted correctly.

Almond Allergy Treatment

The only treatment for food allergy is food allergy test treatment, that is, removing the food that causes the allergy from the diet.

Suspicious side effects in instant almond milk: Carrageenan

Numerous commercial almond milk may contain additives including sugar, salt, gum, lecithin, flavors, and carrageenan.

Particularly carrageenan appears to be one of the most prominent causes of digestive system issues following the consumption of almond milk.

What Is Carrageenan?

Essentially, it is a component produced from red seaweed that is frequently employed as a thickening agent in a wide variety of processed products.

Even though carrageenan sounds natural and is technically derived from a plant source, it is not good to take on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this particular kind of carbohydrate is also indigestible.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, carrageenan is usually regarded as safe, which is why it is a permitted ingredient in the United States.

However, according to a 2017 study that appeared in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, carrageenan may affect gut health by causing intestinal inflammation, as well as other potential undesirable side effects.

This necessitates examining the ingredient list of the goods you purchase or searching for a “carrageenan-free” label.

In 2016, the Organic Standards Board agreed to ban any items containing carrageenan, therefore any almond milk with the USDA Organic seal does not contain the controversial ingredient.

Carrageenan has the potential to cause inflammatory bowel illness. According to studies, it can induce symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Blood and mucus in stools

Therefore, individuals with inflammatory bowel illnesses must exercise caution. Consult a doctor if you develop any of these symptoms.

Having said that, make sure that you read the lists of ingredients and choose items that are as pure as possible.

Almond Milk and Lactose

Almond milk is lactose-free by nature, making it an excellent choice for those with lactose sensitivity.

Since it is naturally devoid of lactose, almond milk is an excellent substitute for those who may have difficulty digesting dairy products containing lactose.

People who suffer from lactose intolerance have a condition that prevents them from easily digesting lactose, a type of sugar that can be found in dairy milk.

A lack of the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for converting lactose into a form that is easier to digest, is the root cause of this condition.

There is a possibility that this shortage is brought on by aging, heredity, or a range of medical disorders.

There are many different unpleasant symptoms that might be brought on by intolerance. According to several studies, those who are lactose intolerant can also have the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Gas formation

Lactose is the natural sugar that is found in animal milk, however, almond milk does not contain any lactose.

Because many people may experience lactose intolerance, plant-based alternatives also allow people to enjoy foods that may contain milk by replacing the ingredients with plant-based milk.

Should Those With Milk Allergies Also Avoid Almond Milk?

A milk allergy is an immunological response to one of the several milk proteins. Typically, it is caused by the alpha S1-casein protein found in cow’s milk.

Milk allergy and lactose intolerance are frequently misunderstood because they have similar symptoms. However, the two circumstances are vastly different.

Lactose intolerance occurs when the intestines lack the enzyme (lactase) necessary to digest lactose, a milk sugar.

As a dairy-free product, almond milk lacks the proteins and sugars that lead to a milk allergy and lactose intolerance, respectively.

Since almond milk is derived from plants, it is naturally dairy-free which makes it vegan-friendly. It is suitable for most individuals who desire or need to restrict dairy consumption.

However, it is unsafe for anyone with tree nut allergies.


Almond milk is a healthy and nutritious plant-based milk that can replace animal-based milk.

The vegan diet avoids dairy products and almond milk is the best alternative to animal milk in every way.

Indeed, in some cases, it can disturb the digestive system and cause symptoms such as diarrhea. Among these conditions, intolerance, allergies, and carrageenan, a preservative in packaged milk, may play a role.

Almond milk is lactose-free, meaning the symptoms cannot be caused by lactose intolerance. Individuals who are allergic to milk can consume almond milk, the relationship between the two is more than each others.

However, excessive consumption is not recommended and it is a good idea to consult a healthcare professional for symptoms.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

Read more about our process and team.