Soy Milk v. Almond Milk: Which is better?

| 6/14/2011 12:39:26 PM

S.McCabeI’ve recently heard about the dangers of processed cow’s milk, and since then I’ve been looking for a healthier alternative to this everyday drink. There are many milk substitutes available on the market right now. I wasn’t sure which one I should use, so I decided to try three different versions—soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk—to pick which one I liked the best. 

6-14-11 milk
Milk substitutes are more expensive than cow's milk, but they are generally healthier for you.
Photo by Mowie Kay/Courtesy

Immediately I could rule out rice milk (it tasted a bit like water to me). However, both soy milk and almond milk had a pleasant taste and consistency, so I found myself stumped. Which one should I choose?

Soy milk and almond milk are both loaded with health benefits:

• Soy milk is lower in calories, saturated fats, sugars and carbohydrates than cow’s milk, and it is completely cholesterol-free. It is also a good natural source of fiber and protein, which can bulk up your muscle mass help you feel fuller longer. Soy milk contains isoflavones, natural chemicals similar to estrogen. These isoflavones may help decrease the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and high blood pressure. I thought the soy milk had a thick, sort of “beany” taste.

• Almond milk contains fewer calories and less fat than cow’s milk, and it is free of cholesterol and saturated fats. Levels of vitamin E, manganese and selenium are also high in almond milk, all of which are incredibly beneficial to your health. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, manganese helps break down consumed food into energy, and selenium improves your reproductive and immune system as well as your thyroid function. While soy milk is not a great source of calcium, almond milk has 30 percent of your recommended daily calcium intake. Almond milk tasted lighter and more nutty than the soy milk.