I have two questions.
1. I drink almond milk. Someone told me that the almond concentrates toxins before being picked. Hence, Almond milk being a highly concentrated amount of almonds in liquid form is therefore highly toxic. Is there any truth to this?
2. I have read that red wine provides numerous health benefits and that drinking one drink per day for men is healthier than no alcoholic drink per day. What amount, if any, red wine, should I be drinking daily? – Mike
- Mycotoxins (from fungus) exist as “unavoidable contaminants” in nut and grain products. Aflatoxin B1 is on the list of human carcinogens. That’s why the US has a regulatory system for aflatoxin monitoring and control by sampling and analysis. In addition, US growers have active programs in place to minimize aflatoxins in the orchard. Aflatoxins from almonds are reduced by peeling and roasting/cooking prior to milk production. So it would be extremely rare if someone got sick from it through almond milk. Actually, the amount of almonds in a half-gallon container are less than you might eat raw… just under a handful!
- Red wine’s primary beneficial phytochemical is resveratrol, found in the grape skins (that’s why there’s not much in white wine). The amount found in red wine may be no more than that from red and purple grape juices, plus the content depends on the variety and growing region. Drinking red wine may be incidentally related to a reduction in risk of heart disease and cancer, but so does eating more produce such as grapes, blueberries, cranberries, peanuts, pistachios, and cocoa. Note that populations with higher red wine consumption exhibiting lower cardiovascular disease also consume a Mediterranean style diet. To answer your question, if you are a drinker maintaining a healthy weight, then having a daily glass of red wine (instead of beer or liquor) is fine.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
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- Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences “Aflatoxins: Occurrence and Health Risks”
- Food Safety Watch “Aflatoxins”
- The Relation Between Dietary Flavonol Intake and Coronary Heart Disease Mortality: A Meta-analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Huxley RR and Neil HA. 2003. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Aug;57(8):904-908.
- Flavanoid Intake and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of US Adults. ML McCullogh, et al. 2012. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Feb; 95(2): 454-464.