My thoughts on Almond Milk vs. Soymilk

A lot of discussion has been going on lately about the controversies of soy and how overly processed it has become.  Most especially, soy products available in America verses soy products in Asian countries.  The point being brought up is that soy products in America are severely overly processed and not any better for you than other processed foods. While the soy products available in Asian countries are not as processed providing better healthier options.

Another point that has been brought to light is the amount of hidden soy in products.  When you take the time to read ingredients, you’ll notice the hidden soy.  Soy shows up a lot as either straight soy, soybean oil, and soy protein isolate for example.  It’s very interesting and when you are invested in your health and well-being, it’s paramount that you know what you’re putting into your body.

Hidden soy is new to me and something that I’m currently researching and trying to get a better handle on.  Other than soymilk, my soy intake is pretty low.  However, with hidden soy, that leaves me feeling less in control of what I’m ingesting.  I want to be in charge of how much soy I take in and not leave it up to companies to hide in their products.

I decided to test out some almond milk.  I know others who use it and like it and while I didn’t think it would replace soymilk in our house, I was willing to check it out.  I’m open to new options and products.

I bought some Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk to give it a try and to compare to my current staple, Silk Vanilla Soymilk.  First I did a comparison of nutritional info and ingredients.

Almond Breeze Vanilla Almondmilk Ingredients

Almond milk nutritional info

Almond milk ingredients

Almond milk ingredients

Soymilk Ingredients and Nutritional Info

Soymilk Ingredients and Nutritional Info

Please click on the pictures to see the lists more clearly.  Looking at the nutritional info and comparing:

Calories: Almond milk 90 vs. Soymilk 100

Fat: Almond milk 2.5g vs. Soymik 3.5g

Saturated Fat: Almond milk 0g vs. Soymilk 0.5g

Polyunsaturated Fat: Almond milk No Listing vs. Soymilk 2g

Monounsaturated Fat: Almond milk No Listing vs. Soymilk 1g

Sodium: Almond milk 150mg vs. Soymilk 95mg

Sugars: Almond milk 15g vs. Soymilk 7g

Protein: Almond milk 1g vs. Soymilk 6g

Calcium: Almond milk 30% vs. Soymilk 30%

Both have their good and bad points.  What I’m personally looking for in a drink is good fats, low sugars, calcium, and a decent amount of protein.  Almond milk is not delivering that to me.  Almond milk scores low in those areas and the fact that it doesn’t even list mono or polyunsaturated fats at all is a little disconcerting.  And check out that sodium content per serving.  Yikes!  The only thing that is even is the calcium percentage but that’s not enough to sway me.

I don’t care for the saturated fat content of the soymilk.  Even at .5g that’s per serving, so more than a cup and you’re taking in a good bit of saturated fat.  While I don’t drink much in one day, my husband has two full glasses (not servings, but glasses) with dinner almost everyday.  That’s more saturated fat than I’d like him to be taking in.  I’m not sure how to combat this just yet.

Rice milk is out because I think it tastes nasty and it makes me gag.  Almond milk is just not a viable option for us because it’s not bringing anything to the table that I’m looking for other than calcium.  That’s lovely but what about protein and good fats? Right now almond milk seems like empty calories to me.

This means I need to keep researching and finding out what my choices are.  I’d like to not have to go back to cow’s milk even if we bought organic because that doesn’t mean a whole lot.  I would want free range, hormone and antibiotic, grass-fed cow’s milk.  Can I find any around here?  Maybe.  The search goes on.

These are just my thoughts and observations on these two products.  If you like almond milk then drink it!  I thought it would be interesting to compare the two and thought that you might be interested in the results.  If I can find some cow’s milk that fits my requirements, I’ll compare that to soymilk as well.

26 thoughts on “My thoughts on Almond Milk vs. Soymilk

  1. thanks for the comparison! everyone has been going on and on and on about almond milk, but its stats really don’t seem that impressive, esp with the extra sugar in there! i wonder how unsweetened plain almond milk would compare (or is all almond milk sweetened vanilla flavor?) hmmmm … the search goes on! maybe i should buy a different milk for each day of the week to make sure i don’t drink too much or too little of one kind, haha.

    • Sarah, For sure there is unsweetened. I bought the vanilla since it’s vanilla soymilk we drink, I figured vanilla vs. vanilla would make a better comparison. I’ve thought about trying unsweetened soymilk, perhaps it’s time I give it a go.

  2. You mean hormone free and antibiotic free milk right? ;)

    It’s too bad you can’t just buy it from a dairy farm or a small farm that has milk cows that don’t have all that crap in them. It’s so stupid. Although I would for sure only buy pasteurized milk.

  3. I drink unsweetened vanilla almond milk (Natural Pacific Foods brand from TJ’s) and the sugar content is 0 grams.

    I used to really like soy milk but I’m so turned off by how much it’s processed. I didn’t realize that it’s not as processed in Asian countries, maybe I should look into some Asian markets that I live around to see if they carry it! Thanks!

  4. I buy the 8th Continent light orignal unsweetened soymilk, which has no saturated fat. It still has a slightly sweet taste, and we all love it on our cereal. Use the unsweetened vanilla almond milk in my coffee or if I am making something else that already has soy in it, so I don’t double up.

    I just keep both in my fridge, along with organic yogurt and organic cottage cheese and alternate between what I use with my cereal.

    • LovIN Sarah, I do need to check out some other brands of soymilk. I’ve had 8th continent before and it wasn’t bad. I’ll have to do some research and see what I can find for a good price. We currently get the Silk in bulk (3 half gallons) at Sam’s for pretty cheap.

  5. I use unsweetened almond milk, not to drink straight up but for cooking purposes. I like that it has a pretty neutral flavor but still adds a bit of creaminess to the dish.
    I heard raw milk is awesome, but it’s so hard to find a trustworthy one.

  6. Ellen says:

    i drink unsweetened living harvest hempmilk. it definitely beats almond milk in terms of protein, and i don’t drink soy for health reasons so it has it beat there. it’s also a good source of omega-3s!

    70 cal/5g fat/4g protein/40% calcium

  7. I like Ellen’s idea of hemp milk! I’ll have to try that.

    I switch between almond and soy milk…but I definitely need to pay more attention to that choice. My almond milk is high in sugar and lacking much else.

    Keep us posted if you do anything new in the milk department!

  8. Almond Breeze does make a vanilla unsweetened almond milk, and it tastes quite good. I’ve never actually tried the sweetened myself, but you might want to give that a go. Also, just because they don’t list mono- and poy- unsaturated fats doesn’t mean they aren’t in there. Companies are not required to list those, but can choose to do so.

    • Marianne, that’s an interesting point. Though I don’t see why companies wouldn’t post that info, it’s healthy fats that are good for the body! Share it!

  9. Sunita says:

    I used to buy store bought almond milk (Almond Breeze) but the day I made homemade almond milk, I never looked back. It’s really very easy to make and taste better in my opinion.

  10. I switched to unsweetened almond milk just based on this – hadn’t really thought about the sugar content of it before. Thanks for the info!!

  11. persephone says:

    I just saw the movie Food, Inc. and have learned that 90% of soybeans in the US are genetically modified.

  12. Betsy says:

    We’ve come to think our 16 year old daughter is lactose intolerant. She’ll only drink soy milk if it’s chocolate, but I’m wondering what the hemp milk tastes like. When I think of hemp I think of things like burlap! Lol.

  13. Terika says:

    I recently have eliminated soy and dairy from my diet because my newborn is allergic to both. I tried Almond milk< liked it, but was saddened to see that one of the ingredients listed is SOY LECITHIN. The ubiquity of soy in the American diet is scary for someone with a child that was hospitalized for an allergic reaction to soy. I have been reading about hempmilk and aam going to try it tomorrow.

  14. Marcus says:

    I would *guess* the reason there is less protein is that almonds are more expensive than soy and so less are used in the production of almond milk than soy is in the production of soymilk, because almonds are certainly high in protein.

    Comparing sugars is kind of silly because neither soy beans or almonds have sugar to speak of, so the sugar you are looking at is how much is added. I believe you should be able to find unsweetened versions of both. I am looking into switching from soy to almond, or at least to partially switch because of the controversy that’s come out about soy and thyroid function.

  15. Sennet says:

    Thanks for the comparison. We switched to soy just yesterday but while speaking to friends, they said they liked almond best. I think soy wins nutrional value hands down!

  16. tony says:

    there is a new version of soy ORGANIC milk maybe that’ll work but marcus has a good point of bringing this up of thyroid function or malfunction i should say to soy milk now that is scary i’ll just switch to hemp milk to be safe …

  17. Rocho says:

    What about carrageenan? Im more concern about that.I have been reading some research studies and the impacts on the GI tract…read some about it. The FDA has report some concerns about the use of carrageenan but the industries will have to use some other new agent… any thoughts about that? I also heard about the high content of estrogen in soy milk is it true?
    Take care everybody…

  18. joseph says:

    Has anyone looked into how soy products alter womens estrogen?? And men for that matter?
    I dont drink soy milk because of what it can cause.
    Soy milk is not a safe alternative as people would believe.

    • Joseph, The best advice is for everyone to research the issue and decide what works best for them. Some avoid soymilk and others are picky about which soymilk they drink.

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