Cashew milk has exploded in popularity as a plant-based, dairy-free milk alternative. Made from blended cashews and water, cashew milk delivers the creamy texture of dairy without the lactose. This nut milk is praised for its mild sweetness, subtle nutty flavor, and versatility in recipes. But with countless cashew milk brands now available, how do you choose one that fits your dietary needs and flavor preferences?
In this comprehensive guide, we analyze and rank the top 15 cashew milks based on their total sugar content. Whether limiting added sugars or carbs, or simply seeking an unsweetened variety, discover the best low-sugar cashew milks for your healthy lifestyle.
|Rank||Brand||Sugar per Serving||Key Features|
|1||Pacific Foods Unsweetened||0g||Organic, no added sugar, creamy|
|2||Califia Farms Unsweetened||0g||Just cashews & water, no additives|
|3||Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened||1g||Unique process, ultra-smooth|
|4||Silk Unsweetened||1g||Trusted brand, subtle nutty flavor|
|5||So Delicious Unsweetened||1g||Non-GMO verified, thick and creamy|
- Unsweetened cashew milks contain 0-1g total sugar per serving, purely from cashews.
- Added sugars come from ingredients like cane sugar, rice syrup, etc. Check the label.
- Unsweetened varieties are best for limiting sugar intake on low-carb, keto, or diabetic diets.
- Look for short, simple ingredients lists with no added sweeteners.
- Cashew milk is far lower in sugar than dairy milk (12g per serving)
- The creamy texture comes from the cashews themselves, not thickeners.
- Choose organic when possible. Pacific Foods and So Delicious are top organic brands.
- Elmhurst 1925 uses a unique HydroRelease method for ultra-smooth cashew milk.
- Unsweetened cashew milk works beautifully in smoothies, coffee drinks, cereals, and baking.
A Breakdown of Cashew Milk Nutrition
First, let’s look at why cashew milk is nutritionally comparable and even superior to dairy milk for many people. The following table compares the macros and calories of one cup of each:
|Nutrition Facts||Cashew Milk||2% Cow’s Milk|
With just 25 calories per cup, cashew milk is far lower in calories and carbs than dairy milk. It has less sugar and fat, while still providing protein, healthy fats, and nutrients like vitamin E, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper. The creamy, mild taste comes from the cashews themselves without any need for added sweeteners.
For anyone limiting sugar intake, watching calories, following a vegan, keto, or low-carb diet, or with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, cashew milk ticks all the nutritional boxes. Now let’s dive into how cashew milks compare based on sugar content.
How Much Natural Sugar is in Cashew Milk?
Plain unsweetened cashew milk contains around 0-1 grams of naturally occurring sugar per serving. This comes from the small amount of fructose found within the cashews themselves. There are no added sugars.
In contrast, dairy milk has around 12 grams of the milk sugar lactose per serving. Other plant-based milks contain naturally occurring sugars in small amounts, like almond milk (less than 1 gram) and oat milk (1-2 grams).
So unsweetened cashew milk is one of the lowest sugar options when it comes to plant and dairy milks. But watch out for “original” and sweetened varieties that add extra sugar in the form of cane sugar, agave, brown rice syrup, or other sweeteners. Let’s see how the top brands compare.
Top 15 Cashew Milks Ranked by Sugar Content
1. Pacific Foods Unsweetened Original Cashew Milk – 0g Total Sugar
With absolutely 0 grams of sugar per serving, Pacific Foods lands at #1 for cashew milks lowest in sugar. This unsweetened variety uses only organic cashews and filtered water. The smooth, creamy texture rivals dairy without any added sweetness. It’s perfect for smoothies, baking, and pouring over cereal.
2. Califia Farms Unsweetened Cashew Milk – 0g Total Sugar
Tied for the #1 spot, Califia Farms Unsweetened Cashew Milk also contains 0g total sugar. The simplicity of cashews and water gives it a light nutty flavor, making it ideal for savory recipes. No added sugars makes this a great choice if limiting sugar and carbs.
3. Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Cashew Milk – 1g Total Sugar
With just 1 gram of sugar per serving, Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened earns the #3 ranking. Its unique HydroRelease method for making nut milks removes the oils while retaining the creamy texture. The ingredient list contains only cashews and water for an ultra-rich, nutty milk that rivals dairy.
4. Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk – 1g Total Sugar
Silk’s Unsweetened Cashew Milk takes the #4 spot with 1 gram of sugar per serving. The subtly nutty flavor comes from cashews blended with water and a touch of sunflower lecithin. This creamy milk alternative has no added sugars and is also dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan.
5. So Delicious Unsweetened Cashew Milk – 1g Total Sugar
Landing at #5 is So Delicious Unsweetened Cashew Milk, also containing just 1 gram of sugar per serving. Made from cashews and filtered water, this smooth, creamy milk has no added sweeteners. It’s certified vegan, gluten-free, Non-GMO Project verified, and kosher.
6. JOI Unsweetened Cashew Milk Concentrate – 1g Total Sugar
Our #6 spot goes to JOI Unsweetened Cashew Milk Concentrate with 1g sugar per serving. As a shelf-stable concentrate, you can create fresh cashew milk at home by mixing with water. This gives you full control over consistency and cuts down on packaging waste. With just one ingredient – cashews – it’s perfect for limiting added sugars.
7. PlantCo Organic Cashew Nut Milk – 1g Total Sugar
PlantCo Organic Cashew Nut Milk takes #7, also containing 1g sugar. Made simply from organic cashews and purified water, this unsweetened milk has a rich, velvety texture. It’s vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and carrageenan-free, perfect for many diets.
8. Forager Project Dairy-Free Cashew Milk – 2g Total Sugar
With 2 grams of total sugar per serving, Forager Project’s cashew milk comes in at number 8. This unsweetened nut milk uses just organic cashews and filtered water for a subtly sweet, ultra-creamy taste. It’s versatile for drinking, recipes, or lattes.
9. Nutty Life Vanilla Bean Unsweetened Cashew Milk – 2g Total Sugar
Nutty Life’s Vanilla Bean cashew milk contains only 2g sugar, ranking #9 on our list. A touch of vanilla adds flavor without extra sweetness. This milk alternative is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and carrageenan-free. Shake before enjoying its creamy texture.
10. Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Organic Cashew Beverage, Unsweetened – 2g Total Sugar
With 2g sugar per serving, Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Cashew Beverage comes in at #10. This affordable unsweetened milk simply contains filtered water, organic cashews, and sunflower lecithin for thickness. The ingredient transparency makes it a solid choice.
11. MALK Unsweetened Cashew Milk – 2g Total Sugar
MALK Unsweetened Cashew Milk takes the 11th spot with 2g total sugar. Smooth and creamy, this dairy-free milk uses ethically-sourced cashews and natural spring water. It contains no gums or emulsifiers. The clean taste works for drinking, cooking, or in your morning latte.
12. Trader Joe’s Organic Unsweetened Cashew Beverage – 2g Total Sugar
Trader Joe’s Organic Cashew Beverage comes in at #12. With only 2g sugar per serving, the short ingredients list contains filtered water, organic cashews, and sunflower lecithin. This affordable nut milk has a subtly nutty flavor and luscious texture.
13. Oatly Oat-Cashew Blend – 3g Total Sugar
Oatly’s Oat-Cashew milk alternative contains 3g total sugar per serving, ranking 13th on our list. The blend of oats and cashews offers a creamy, latte-like texture with a hint of sweetness. It steams beautifully for coffee drinks.
14. Elmhurst 1925 Milked Cashews – 5g Total Sugar
Elmhurst 1925 Milked Cashews is the first lightly sweetened cashew milk on our list, with 5g total sugar per serving. In addition to cashews and water, it includes organic cane sugar for a subtly sweetened nut milk. The HydroRelease method gives an ultrasmooth mouthfeel.
15. Silk Cashew Milk Original – 7g Total Sugar
And rounding out our list at #15 is Silk Cashew Milk Original with 7g total sugar. While it contains cane sugar, brown rice syrup, and other natural sweeteners, it has less added sugar than many original or vanilla dairy milks. The creamy texture makes it ideal for smoothies or cereals.
Now that we’ve explored the top low-sugar cashew milks based on total sugar content, let’s dive deeper into the pros, cons, and distinguishing factors of each variety.
Cashew Milk Brand Breakdowns
Here is a more detailed overview of the top five lowest sugar cashew milk brands, including the key features that earned them their rankings:
1. Pacific Foods Unsweetened Cashew Milk
Pacific Foods’ Unsweetened cashew milk tops the list with 0g sugar per serving. What makes this the #1 low-sugar choice?
- Organic cashews – Only high-quality organic and fair trade cashews are used, free of pesticides.
- No added sugar – Contains absolutely no added sweeteners or sugars.
- Smooth and creamy – The cashews blend into a rich, dairy-like texture without extra thickeners.
- Subtle nutty flavor – The cashew taste shines through without being overpowering.
- Versatile uses – Perfect for cereals, oatmeal, smoothies, or even savory recipes.
- Vitamins and minerals – Provides nutrients like vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
- Dairy-free and vegan – Suitable for vegan, dairy-free, or low-carb diets with zero sugar.
With the cleanest label possible and a deliciously unsweetened nutty flavor, Pacific Foods Unsweetened Cashew Milk is the clear choice for limiting sugar intake.
2. Califia Farms Unsweetened Cashew Milk
Sharing the top spot nutritionally is Califia Farms’ Unsweetened cashew milk, also containing 0g total sugar. Here’s what makes it rank highly:
- Two simple ingredients – Contains only raw cashews and water for an uncomplicated milk.
- No added sugars – Totally unsweetened with no cane sugar or other sweeteners.
- Subtly nutty taste – The cashew flavor remains light, not too bold or sweet.
- Low-carb and keto-friendly – No added sugars makes it ideal for low-carb, keto, or diabetic diets.
- Dairy-free and vegan – Suitable for those avoiding dairy or animal products.
- Smooth mouthfeel – Rich and creamy without using gums or thickeners.
- Nutrients – Provides healthy fats, plant protein, magnesium, potassium and iron.
With zero grams of sugar from start to finish, Califia Farms’ version is perfect if you want an unsweetened cashew milk free of sugar or additives.
3. Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Cashew Milk
Our #3 ranked low-sugar cashew milk is Elmhurst 1925’s Unsweetened variety at just 1 gram of sugar per serving:
- Minimal ingredients – Contains only raw cashews and water.
- Unique process – Uses a HydroRelease method to extract the creamy cashew milk while maintaining nutritional integrity.
- Ultra-smooth texture – Has a rich, lactose-free creaminess without thickeners or gums.
- Subtly sweet cashew flavor – The nuttiness shines through without added sweetness.
- No added sugars – Totally unsweetened with no cane sugar, agave, etc.
- Versatile uses – Delicious in smoothies, baked goods, coffees, and pouring over cereal.
- Vitamins and minerals – Nutritious levels of phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper.
- Dairy-free and vegan – Suitable for specialized diets with just 1g naturally occurring sugar.
With an impressively rich, creamy texture rivaling dairy and only 1 gram of sugar, Elmhurst’s unsweetened cashew milk appeals for low-sugar needs.
4. Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk
Ranking #4 is Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk with 1 gram of sugar per serving. Here are the notable features:
- Two main ingredients – Contains cashews and filtered water.
- Small amount of sunflower lecithin – Added for thickness and emulsion.
- No added sweeteners – Free of cane sugar, stevia, and other sugars.
- Subtly nutty taste – Lets the light cashew flavor shine.
- Smooth and creamy – Provides a luxurious mouthfeel and latte-like froth.
- Vitamin fortified – Has added vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin A.
- Dairy-free and vegan – Suitable for specialized diets with just 1g naturally occurring sugar.
- Trusted brand – Silk is a leader in dairy-free beverages.
As a trusted brand, Silk’s cashew milk hits the marks for an unsweetened nut milk with just 1 gram of sugar coming straight from the cashews.
5. So Delicious Unsweetened Cashew Milk
Our #5 lowest sugar cashew milk is So Delicious Unsweetened, also containing just 1 gram of sugar per serving:
- Minimal ingredients – Only cashews and filtered water.
- No added sweeteners – Totally unsweetened with no sugar or syrups.
- Subtly nutty flavor – Lets the cashew taste shine without overpowering sweetness.
- Thick and creamy texture – Rivals the richness of dairy milk.
- Verification seals – Certified vegan, Non-GMO project verified, gluten-free, and kosher.
- Vitamins and minerals – Provides magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium and more.
- Trusted brand – So Delicious is dedicated to dairy-free foods.
With the simplicity of cashews and water plus a luscious texture, So Delicious Unsweetened Cashew Milk makes the list for containing only naturally occurring cashew sugars.
Now that we’ve covered the top five low-sugar cashew milks in detail, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about sugars and sweeteners in these plant-based milk alternatives.
Cashew Milk Sugar FAQs
What is the difference between natural and added sugars?
Natural sugars come straight from the original food itself, like the small amounts of fructose found in cashews. They give foods their innate sweetness. Added sugars are extra sweeteners put in during processing and production, like cane sugar, agave, rice syrup, etc. They boost sweetness beyond a food’s original taste. For the lowest sugar cashew milks, look for varieties with 0-1 grams of total sugar, which comes naturally from the cashews. Steer clear of “original” or sweetened milks boosted with added cane sugar, rice syrups, and other extra sweeteners.
Does unsweetened cashew milk have any sugar?
Plain unsweetened cashew milk contains 0-1 grams of naturally occurring sugar per serving, but no added sugars. This minute amount comes from natural fructose intrinsic to cashews. So unsweetened cashew milk has no added sweeteners and barely any innate sugar.
How can you tell if a cashew milk has added sugars?
Read the ingredient list! Added sugars can hide under names like cane sugar, brown rice syrup, agave, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, sucrose, etc. Any ingredients along these lines indicate added sweeteners, meaning extra sugar content.
Which is healthier: sweetened or unsweetened cashew milk?
Nutritionally speaking, unsweetened cashew milk is healthier overall since it doesn’t contain any added sugars. The small amount of natural cashew sugar provides just enough sweetness for most people without unnecessary extra sweeteners. But for some, lightly sweetened varieties may provide more flavor and enjoyment.
Is cashew milk sweeter than almond milk?
Unsweetened cashew and almond milks have about the same subtle sweetness, around 0-1g sugar per serving. But many original or vanilla almond milks contain added sugars making them sweeter than plain cashew milk. Be sure to compare labels to find unsweetened varieties of both.
In conclusion, cashew milk offers a nutritious and versatile dairy-free alternative for those seeking a low-sugar option. Its nutritional profile, including lower calories, reduced sugar, and healthy fats, makes it an excellent choice for various dietary needs, including vegan, keto, and low-carb diets, as well as for individuals with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. When it comes to choosing the right cashew milk, the rankings provided in this guide can help you select a product that aligns with your specific preferences and dietary requirements. Whether you opt for the sugar-free varieties or those with minimal added sweetness, cashew milk opens up a world of culinary possibilities without the guilt of excessive sugar intake.