Is pistachio milk the new almond milk? A dietitian explains
PSA: pistachio milk is now available in Australia. But is it actually good for you? Our dietitian Melissa Meier’s opinion on the newest non-dairy drink.
If you’re an alternative ‘mylk’ kinda girl, you’ve probably cycled through all of the plant-based options on offer, looking for the best balance of taste and nutrition. Almond… soy… oat… macadamia… coconut… the list goes on and on. And now, there’s another mylk to add to the collection. It’s made with pistachios… and yes, it’s green!
Is pistachio milk good for you?
Pistachio milk sounds like a health food elixir – and indeed, anything with pistachios is bound to have some nutritional merit. Brimming with healthy fats to support your heart and brain as well as plant-based protein to keep hunger pangs at bay, pistachios tick a lot of nutrition boxes.
Pistachios also offer an antioxidant called resveratrol – and if that rings a bell, it’s because it’s the same antioxidant found in red wine. Aside from heart health, resveratrol is also anti-aging and fights against cancer. Pistachios contain arginine, too, an amino acid that keeps blood vessels nice and elastic.
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
That being said, pistachio milk is a bit of a different story. You see, pistachio milk (and any other nut milk, for that matter) contains only a minuscule amount of the actual tree nut.
The only commercially available variety of pistachio milk in Australia right now boasts a tiny three percent pistachio. Yes, t-h-r-e-e percent. Given the product is mostly water with some additives thrown into the mix, it doesn’t quite justify the hefty price tag.
In comparison to cow’s or soy milk (my top two dietitian-approved recommendations), pistachio milk is relatively low in muscle-building, hunger-busting protein.
While cow’s and soy milk offers around ten grams of protein per cup, pistachio milk packs only two in the same quantity.
But, it’s not all that bad. Pistachio milk can be fortified with calcium (read: calcium isn’t naturally occurring, but added to the product during the manufacturing process). The commercially available brand in Australia offers 200 milligrams of calcium per serve (250mL), and while that’s not quite as much as a cup of cow’s milk, it’s a very good starting point.
The verdict on pistachio milk
Pistachio milk wouldn’t be my top recommendation – it’s mostly water, and there are far more nutrient-dense options on supermarket shelves.
But, if cow’s or soy milk isn’t for you and you’re otherwise restricted in your milk choices, it could be the next best option, especially if it’s fortified with calcium.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practicing dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.