Almond milk or soy milk: which is better?

In recent years, the spread of veganism has had a major impact on the food industry, with quite a few plant-based alternatives to cow’s milk appearing on the markets.

Almond milk and soy milk are vegan, lactose-free and low in cholesterol. However, there are some differences in what health benefits they provide, which nutrients they contain, and how their production affects the environment. These types of milk have both advantages and disadvantages.

Benefit for health

Both almond and soy milk contain various nutrients and are beneficial in their own way.

Almond milk

Raw almonds are exceptionally healthy and are a source of protein, essential vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. It is because of the health benefits of raw almonds that almond milk has become quite popular.

Almond milk has a high level of monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help with weight loss and weight control. Research also shows that monounsaturated fatty acids help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, which doctors call “bad cholesterol.”

Soy milk

Like almond milk, soy milk contains more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than saturated fats. Saturated fats, found in excess in cow’s milk, contribute to high cholesterol levels and heart problems.

Importantly, soy milk is the only alternative to cow’s milk that contains the same amount of protein. In general, the nutrient content of soy milk is comparable to that of cow’s milk.

Soy milk also contains isoflavones, which studies show are antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body and have anti-cancer effects.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, consuming soy protein every day can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Nutritional value

To compare the nutritional value of almond and soy milk, take a look at this table compiled by the USDA.


Soy milk (240 ml)

Almond milk (240 ml)








6 g

1,01 g


3,5 g

2,5 g


12 g

1,01 g

Alimentary fiber

1 g

1 g


9 g

0 g





451 mg

451 mg


1,08 mg

0,36 mg


41 mg

17 mg


79 mg


300 mg

36 mg


91 mg

115 mg





0,425 mg

0,067 mg


0,15 mg

0,15 mg


0,04 mg

0,03 mg


Keep in mind that the nutrient content of different food brands will be different. Some manufacturers add sugar, salt and preservatives to their milk. These additives can change the amount of carbohydrates and calories in milk.

Many plant-based milk manufacturers also fortify it with calcium and vitamin D to mimic cow’s milk more.

Uses of almond and soy milk

Generally, almond and soy milk are used in a similar way. Both of these types of milk can be used when cooking cereals, added to tea, coffee, smoothies or just drink.

However, many people rate the taste of almond milk as more palatable than the taste of soy milk. Also, in some dishes, the taste of soy milk may be stronger.

Almond or soy milk can be safely used in baking instead of cow’s milk – they will make it lighter and less caloric. But when preparing desserts, you need to take into account that vegetable milk may need a little more than cow’s milk would be required.


We’ve covered the benefits of almond and soy milk, but don’t forget that they also have their downsides.

Almond milk

Compared to cow’s and soy milk, almond milk contains far fewer calories and proteins. If you choose almond milk, try to make up for missing calories, protein, and vitamins from other food sources.

Some manufacturers add carrageenan, which is used as a thickener for low-fat foods and milk substitutes, including almond milk. Carrageenan has several health side effects, the most common being indigestion, ulcers, and inflammation.

If you don’t trust manufacturers and want to consume natural almond milk, try making it at home. Recipes on the Internet will help you with this, among which you can find recipes from certified nutritionists.

Finally, it is important to consider that some people are allergic to almonds. Of course, in this case, the use of almond milk will be contraindicated for you.

Soy milk

Although soy milk is rich in protein, some brands may be deficient in the important amino acid methionine due to manufacturing techniques, so you may need to get it from other areas of your diet. It is important that you get enough methionine, calcium and vitamin D with soy milk, otherwise it will be a poor substitute for cow’s milk.

Soy milk contains compounds called antinutrients that can reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients and impair the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates. Various manufacturing techniques can reduce the amount of antinutrients and increase the nutritional value of soybeans, but this is usually a rather labor intensive and costly process.

As with almond milk, some people may be allergic to soybeans and should avoid drinking soy milk.

Environmental impact

The production of almond milk can have a significant impact on the environment. The fact is that almonds are a very moisture-intensive culture. It takes 16 liters of water to grow just 15 almonds, according to the UC San Francisco Center for Sustainability.

About 80% of the world’s almonds are produced on farms in California. The increased need for irrigation on these farms could have long-term environmental impacts in this drought-stricken region.

When growing almonds and soybeans on farms, pesticides are actively used. The 2017 Agricultural Chemical Use Review highlights the use of various pesticides in soybean crops. These pesticides can pollute water sources and make drinking water toxic and unfit for consumption.

Let’s summarize!

Almond and soy milk are two popular vegan alternatives to cow’s milk. They vary in nutrient content and benefit people’s health in different ways.

Soy milk contains more vitamins and minerals and mimics cow’s milk in many ways, but not everyone likes its taste.

Almond milk will be most beneficial to your health if you make it yourself at home.

Whichever type of plant-based milk you prefer, keep in mind that it is often quite low in calories, macronutrients, minerals, and vitamins, so they must be consumed along with other foods.

Try to take into account all your preferences and the characteristics of your body in order to choose the plant-based milk that is right for you!

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