When it comes to nut milk, the most popular choice is almond milk. But is it really the best? Recently, macadamia milk has been making a splash. In fact, it was dubbed “Best Overall” Non-Dairy Milk of 2021 from Very Well Fit for its creamy taste. But is it a healthy choice, too?
Macadamia milk has fewer calories and less sugar than cow’s milk, with similar levels of calcium and vitamin D. It is one of the lowest carb options for plant-based milk, and it’s typically free of carrageenan. However, be sure to choose an “unsweetened” macadamia milk for the healthiest beverage.
Below, I’ll analyze how macadamia milk compares to other plant-based milks like almond milk and oat milk. We’ll look closely at sugar, carbs, calories, and more. I’ll also cover whether macadamia milk is good for weight loss and clearing acne.
Is Macadamia Milk Good For You?
Here are the six specific questions I’ll be answering about macadamia milk nutrition. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:
- What Are the Ingredients in Milkadamia?
- How Much Carbs and Sugar Does Macadamia Milk Have?
- Does Macadamia Milk Have Carrageenan?
- Is Macadamia Milk Good for Weight Loss?
- Does Macadamia Milk Cause Acne?
- Is Macadamia Milk Vegan?
1. What Are the Ingredients in Milkadamia?
As I write this article, there is only one “leading brand” of macadamia milk: Milkadamia. It seems like this brand has single-handedly spread this plant-based milk across the planet.
So let’s talk a close look at the ingredients in Milkadamia. What does it contain, other than macadamia nuts? Here are the ingredients for all five current flavors:
|Milkadamia Milk Flavor||Ingredients|
|Lightly Sweetened||Macadamia Milk (Filtered Water, Macadamias), Cane Sugar, Calcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Sunflower Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, Sea Salt, Gellan Gum, Vitamin D2.|
|Latte Da||Macadamia Milk (Filtered Water, Macadamias), Cane Sugar, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum.|
|Unsweetened||Macadamia Milk (Filtered Water, Macadamias), Calcium Phosphate, Natural Flavors, Pea Protein, Sunflower Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, Sea Salt, Gellan Gum, Vitamin D2.|
|Unsweetened Latte Da||Macadamia Milk (Filtered Water, Macadamias), Pea Protein, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum.|
|Unsweetened Vanilla||Macadamia Milk (Filtered Water, Macadamias), Calcium Phosphate, Natural Flavors, Pea Protein, Sunflower Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, Sea Salt, Gellan Gum, Vitamin D2.|
Here’s what I notice about these ingredients:
- Milkadamia has pretty clean ingredients. There are no processed oils, artificial sweeteners or colors, or unhealthy additives I recognize.
- Most flavors of Milkadamia are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. This helps you get your daily calcium and vitamin D, even without dairy milk.
- The worst ingredient is probably just cane sugar. If you pick a sweetened flavor, then it has cane sugar. As most people know, processed sugar is not healthy. It’s best to limit your moderation. The healthiest Milkadamia flavors are the unsweetened ones.
- Milkadamia’s “Latte Da” flavors don’t have vitamin D. And the sweetened “Latte Da” flavor doesn’t have pea protein like the other flavors, either. I don’t know the reason for these differences. But it doesn’t seem like a huge deal.
Overall, there’s nothing too bad in Milkadamia. Just be aware that the sweetened flavors will have added carbs and calories from cane sugar.
But how much sugar does Milkadamia have, really? Let’s look at that next.
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2. How Much Carbs and Sugar Does Macadamia Milk Have?
Macadamia milk is among the lowest-carb plant-based milks. The Unsweetened version of Milkadamia is keto-friendly, with less than 1g of total carbs and 0g of sugar. The Lightly Sweetened product has 7g of total carbs and 6g of sugar.
First, let’s look at the carb and sugar content in each of Milkadamia’s current products:
|Milkadamia Flavor||Serving Size||Total Carbs||Sugar|
|Lightly Sweetened||8 fl oz (240 mL)||7g||6g|
|Latte Da||8 fl oz (240 mL)||8g||7g|
|Unsweetened||8 fl oz (240 mL)||<1g||0g|
|Unsweetened Latte Da||8 fl oz (240 mL)||1g||0g|
|Unsweetened Vanilla||8 fl oz (240 mL)||<1g||0g|
Now, let’s look at something a bit more interesting.
Below is a table showing how macadamia milk compares to other plant-based milks when it comes to carbs and sugar. I’ve bolded the macadamia milks. The serving size here is 8 fluid ounces (240 mL):
|Plant-Based Milk||Total Carbs||Sugar|
|Rice Milk (Rice Dream Original)||23g||10g|
|Oatmilk (Oatly Original)||16g||7g|
|Unsweetened Rice Milk (Rice Dream)||11g||<1g|
|Soymilk (Silk Original)||9g||6g|
|Almond Milk (Almond Breeze Original)||8g||7g|
|Hemp Milk (Tempt Original)||8g||6g|
|Flax Milk (Good Karma Original)||7g||7g|
|Macadamia Milk (Milkadamia Lightly Sweetened)||7g||6g|
|Coconut Milk (Silk Original)||6g||5g|
|Pea Milk (Ripple Original)||6g||5g-6g|
|Unsweetened Soymilk (Silk)||3g||1g|
|Unsweetened Hemp Milk (Tempt)||1g||0g|
|Unsweetened Almond Milk (Almond Breeze)||1g||0g|
|Unsweetened Flax Milk (Good Karma)||1g||0g|
|Unsweetened Coconut Milk (Silk)||1g||0g|
|Unsweetened Cashew Milk (Silk)||1g||0g|
|Unsweetened Pea Milk (Ripple)||<1g||0g|
|Unsweetened Macadamia Milk (Milkadamia)||<1g||0g|
Here are my two big takeaways on sugar and carbs in plant milk:
- Macadamia milk is among the plant milks with the lowest carbs. Only coconut milk, hemp milk, pea milk, and other nut/seed milks can compare when it comes to low-carb plant milks. These are keto-friendly plant milks (when you get them unsweetened).
- The plant milks with the highest carbs are rice milk and oat milk. Even if you choose the unsweetened version of Rice Dream, it has more carbs than most sweetened plant milks.
3. Does Macadamia Milk Have Carrageenan?
Milkadamia does not have carrageenan. Other brands of macadamia milk, such as Nu Yu and Suncoast Gold, also appear to be free of carrageenan.
That’s the quick answer. But if this is the first time you’re hearing of carrageenan, let me give you some more context.
First, carrageenan is an emulsifier—so it’s added to products to improve the texture. It’s actually present in a bunch of vegan and vegetarian products, including some plant milks.
Carrageenan comes from red moss originally. But there is data showing that degraded carrageenan is a carcinogen, and that even food-grade carrageenan contains at least 5% degraded carrageenan. (source)
The most practical concern with carrageenan may be for those with gut issues. But various consumers have decided they’d rather just be safe and avoid it.
Luckily, when it comes to macadamia milk, it seems that carrageenan is not an issue. None of the macadamia milk brands I found contained carrageenan.
4. Is Macadamia Milk Good for Weight Loss?
Macadamia milk is a good choice for weight loss, as it is low in calories. Unsweetened Milkadamia has only 40 calories per cup. Lightly Sweetened Milkadamia has 60 calories per cup. This is less than half the calories found in 2% cow’s milk.
I’ve found that probably the #1 most important concept for weight loss is calorie density. The key question to ask is: How many calories does this food have by weight or by volume? (source)
You want to choose foods that will fill you up without many calories. For this reason, foods high in fiber and water tend to make great foods for weight loss. The water and fiber fill you up—without adding calories.
So what is the caloric density of macadamia milk? Is it high or low? Well, let’s compare it to a bunch of other plant-based milks—and then to cow’s milk.
Below is a table showing the calories per serving (8 fl oz / 240 mL) for various unsweetened plant milks. I’ve bolded macadamia milk, so you can see where it fits in:
|Plant-Based Milk||Calories Per Serving|
|Unsweetened Pea Milk (Ripple)||80|
|Unsweetened Soymilk (Silk)||80|
|Unsweetened Hemp Milk (Tempt)||80|
|Unsweetened Rice Milk (Rice Dream)||70|
|Unsweetened Macadamia Milk (Milkadamia)||40|
|Unsweetened Coconut Milk (Silk)||40|
|Unsweetened Almond Milk (Almond Breeze)||30|
|Unsweetened Cashew Milk (Silk)||25|
|Unsweetened Flax Milk (Good Karma)||25|
As you can see, macadamia milk is in the middle of the pack. It’s only got half the calories of soy milk, pea milk, or hemp milk… But it still has 60% more calories than flax milk or cashew milk.
Interestingly, macadamia milk seems to be the highest-calorie nut milk (from the ones I checked). If you really wanted to maximize your weight loss, maybe cashew milk or flax milk would be better.
But let’s remember the bigger picture: Real cow’s milk is typically 100+ calories per cup, depending on how much fat it contains. Two-percent cow’s milk is around 120 calories, while full-fat milk is over 150 calories.
Meanwhile, even if you use Milkadamia’s Lightly Sweetened option, it’s only 60 calories per cup—around half that of real cow’s milk.
So, compared to cow’s milk (even skim milk), macadamia milk is lower in calories. This means switching from cow’s milk to macadamia milk may help with weight loss.
5. Does Macadamia Milk Cause Acne?
Macadamia milk does not typically cause acne. It is one of the plant-based milks lowest in carbs, and it is also low in inflammatory omega-6 fats. However, large portions of sweetened macadamia milk with sugar could cause an insulin response leading to acne.
Generally speaking, real cow’s milk is one of the worst possible foods for acne. In fact, acne researcher William Danby once referred to milk as “‘nature’s perfect food’ for the creation of acne.” Yikes!
There are actually multiple reasons why cow’s milk often causes acne. But it mostly has to do with the huge insulin response that milk causes. For those with acne-prone skin, insulin spikes are often a key culprit.
Because milk is so bad for acne, switching to any plant-based milk will likely help with acne. But how does macadamia milk compare to other plant-based milks for acne?
Macadamia milk is one of the safest choices for acne. Part of the reason is what we already covered above: Unsweetened macadamia milk is one of the lowest-carb plant milks.
Many people find that a low-carb diet—or at least a low-glycemic index diet—is helpful for their acne. This is likely because it helps reduce the size and frequency of insulin spikes.
But there’s another reason why macadamia milk is a good choice for acne-prone people. It’s this: Unlike some other plant milks, macadamia milk is low in omega-6 fat.
Omega-6 fats are essential in our diet, but today most people eat too many. That’s because vegetable oils are added to so many products. Most people have a skewed omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. And that can cause inflammation.
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition—so we want to eliminate inflammation to fix acne! That usually means cutting excess omega-6 fats from your diet, and adding omega-3s.
I write more about how to clear acne (as a vegan) in this massive blog post. But if you just want the short version: Yes, macadamia milk should be safe for acne-prone skin. Just choose unsweetened macadamia milk to reduce any insulin spikes from sugar.
6. Is Macadamia Milk Vegan?
Macadamia milk is considered vegan. It is sourced from macadamia nuts, not dairy milk. No other animal ingredients are added to any leading brands of macadamia milk.
Generally, all plant milks are made to be vegan. This makes sense, as vegans make up a big part of the market for plant milk. It would be a foolish business idea to sell a non-vegan plant milk.
I would only be cautious about the vegan status of plant milks that have added DHA (a form of omega-3s). In that case, check if the DHA is from fish oil or algae oil. Algae oil is vegan, but fish oil is not.
- Is macadamia milk lactose free? Macadamia milk is generally free of all lactose and dairy ingredients. It is made from macadamia nuts, not cow’s milk. Check the specific product for any allergen warnings regarding the possibility of cross contact or trace ingredients.
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