Almond milk and soy milk are lactose-free, vegan alternatives to cow milk. Almond milk can be slightly grainy and is produced from finely ground almonds mixed with water. It has a third of the calories of soy milk. Soy milk, which is sometimes said to be chalky, is produced from soaked soybeans that are then ground with water.

Comparison chart

Almond Milk versus Soy Milk comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartAlmond MilkSoy Milk
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Source Almonds Soy beans
Lactose Lactose-free Lactose-free
Vegetarian Yes Yes
Vegan Yes Yes
Protein 0.42 g 3.27 g
Polyunsaturated fat 0.208g 0.961 g
Carbohydrates 6.67 g 6.28 g
Introduction Almond milk is a beverage made by soaking almonds and grinding them with water. Soy milk is a beverage made from soybeans. It is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water.
Magnesium 7 mg 25 mg (7%)
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.015 mg 0.060 mg (5%)
Flavor Sweet, nutty Unsweetened tastes a little sour
Calcium 188 mg 25 mg (3%)
Uses Drink raw , cooking, baking, desserts. Drink raw , cooking, baking.
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.177 mg 0.069 mg (6%)
Saturated fat 0 0.205 g
Popular Brands Silk, Blue Diamond. Silk, West Soy, Soy Dream.
Potassium 50 mg 118 mg (3%)
Health Benefits Low calorie, low fat, good for lactose-intolerant, dairy-allergic. Good for lactose-intolerant, dairy-allergic, helps relieve postmenopausal symptoms, prevent prostate cancer
Varieties Plain, vanilla, chocolate Plain, vanilla, chocolate, unsweetened
Sodium 63 mg 51 mg (3%)
Dietary Limitations Nut allergies – swelling, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, congested airway Soy allergy -- swelling, hives, diarrhea, vomiting; may counter chemo
Fat per 100 g 1.04 g 1.75 g
Calories per 100 g 17 54
Sugars 0 3.99 g

Nutrition

Almond milk has fewer calories than soy milk, 17 per 100 grams. It has 188 milligrams of calcium to soy's 25 milligrams. Almond milk is also a good source of riboflavin, a B vitamin, at 0.177 milligrams to soy milk's 0.069 milligrams.

Soy milk has more calories than almond milk, 54 per 100 grams. It has 3.27 grams of protein to almond milk's 0.42 grams. Soy milk is a good source of potassium at 118 milligrams to almond milk's 50 milligrams as well as magnesium, 25 milligrams to almond milk's 7 milligrams. Concerning fat, almond milk has no saturated fat, 0.625 grams of monounsaturated fat and 0.208 grams of polyunsaturated fat. It has 1.04 grams of fat total. Soy milk has 0.205 grams of saturated fat, 0.401 grams of monounsaturated fat and 0.961 grams of polyunsaturated fat. It has 1.75 grams of fat total.

Almond milk and soy milk are pretty even when it comes to carbohydrates and sodium. Almond contains 6.67 grams of carbohydrates and 63 milligrams of sodium. Soy milk has 6.28 grams of carbohydrates and 51 milligrams of sodium.

Health Benefits and Limitations

Almond milk is low calorie and low fat. It is good for people who are lactose-intolerant or dairy-allergic. However, people with nut allergies cannot consume almond milk. If they do, they may experience swelling, hives, diarrhea, vomiting and a congested airway, which can severely limit breathing.

Soy milk is also good for people who are lactose-intolerant or dairy-allergic. Some studies have also shown that soy milk helps relieve postmenopausal symptoms and prevents prostate cancer. Meanwhile, people with soy allergies cannot drink soy milk. If they do, they may experience swelling, hives, diarrhea and vomiting.

Uses and Flavor

Both almond milk and soy milk are great vegan options suitable to drink raw, or for cooking and baking. Almond milk typically comes in plain, vanilla, and chocolate varieties. Soy milk also comes in plain, vanilla, and chocolate varieties as well as unsweetened and occasional specialty flavors such as strawberry and nog. Almond milk users report it tastes sweet and nutty. Soy milk tends to taste a little sour if unsweetened, but sweetened or flavored soy milk masks this sourness.

Make Your Own

Both almond milk and soy milk are very easy to make at home - the key is to soak almonds or soy beans overnight in water. This video demonstrates how almond milk and soy milk can be made in a juicer.

The juicer used in the video above is the Omega VERT VRT330 Juicer, much as both soy and almond milk can also be made in a conventional blender.

Popular Brands

The most popular brands of almond milk are Silk and Blue Diamond. Silk, West Soy and Soy Dream are typical brands of soy milk.

Origin

Almond milk usage dates back to the Middle Ages. It was considered a staple in the medieval kitchen because it kept longer than cow's milk. Historically, it was also used to replace cow's milk during fast days. Almond milk did not become popular in the United States until the late 2000s.

People in China have used soy milk as far back as circa 25 to 255 A.D. Soy milk was not even mentioned in historical documents outside of China until 1704. A Dominican missionary to China, Domingo Fernandez Navarrete mentioned it in his book "A Collection of Voyages and Travels." Usage of soy milk outside of China, though, was rare before the 20th century.

References

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