Does Almond Milk Break A Fast? [Intermittent Fasting Tips]
Updated: Feb 3
If you're adding almond milk into your morning coffee or tea... is this breaking your fast and ruining your results? The answer ultimately depends on a few factors: the type of almond milk and the amount that you're using.
Today, I'm breaking down the deets of whether or not almond milk in your morning tea/coffee will break your fast!
What Type Of Almond Milk Are You Using?
Are you making it from scratch? Are you buying it from the grocery store? Is it the "original" or the unsweetened variety? If you're making it from scratch, you obviously have much more control over what is going into your almond milk, which is always a good thing. Almond milk made from scratch has two ingredients: almonds and water. Maybe a little sea salt. Some people will also add dates into their almond milk which will significantly drive up the sugar content.
If you're grabbing your almond milk at the grocery store, make sure to check out the ingredients label. Often times the "original" version of almond milks already contain added sugars. These added sugars will cause an insulin response and therefore break your fast. Always specifically opt for the UNSWEETENED almond milk, especially if you plan on using a small amount during your fasted state.
The almond milks that will ALWAYS break a fast will be:
Homemade almond milk with added sweetener (such as dates, honey, maple syrup, etc.)
Sweetened, flavored or "original" store bought almond milk
The Amount Of Almond Milk Matters
Now we're down to the two best options of almond milk: unsweetened from the store and homemade using just almonds and water (perhaps a little salt as well). From here, the AMOUNT you're using also matters.
One of the main perks of Intermittent Fasting is naturally reducing the frequency that the fat storing hormone, insulin, is secreted.(1) This allows your body to naturally turn on fat burning, aka lipolysis. While fasting, insulin is not secreted and therefore fat burning is turned on. When looking at what breaks a fast and shuts off fat burning, it's crucial to consider what will cause insulin to go up.
The amount of insulin someone will produce in response to carbohydrates or protein will vary, but a good rule of thumb is to stick to less than 1g of carbohydrates and 1g of protein during your fasted state so as not to break a fast. Fat doesn't have a significant impact on insulin levels and therefore can be used during your fasted state with this method of fasting in mind. If you are following a fast for therapeutic or religious purposes, then any food or drink (other than water, in most cases) will break your fast.
With this in mind, let's take a look back at almond milk. (Note: depending on the brand you use, this information may vary GREATLY. Make sure to check the nutrition facts for the almond milk that you use.)
Does Adding Almond Milk To Coffee Break A Fast?
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk comes in at around 2.6g fat, 1.4g protein and 1.4g of carbohydrates.
In order to make sure you're in the clear of under that 1g of both protein and carbs, then you will want to aim for no more than 1/3 cup of almond milk during your fasting period.
If you are adding almond milk into black coffee, you can typically be safe with up to 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk. However, if you are opting for a latte using almond milk, this typically requires at least 1/2-1 cup of almond milk and therefore will likely break your fast. When using almond milk in your coffee with Intermittent Fasting, stick to 1/3 cup or less.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition