Soy milk, almond milk, what's the difference?

Are you as confused as 90% of people today about the difference between almond milk, soy milk and regular milk? Lucy and I are here this week to help you understand the difference between these different milks and what the health benefits are. Soy and almond milk are the number one milk substitutes for people that have casein allergies, lactose intolerance, diabetes or heart diseases. Like anything else each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Even though almond and soy milk are used as a replacement for milk for people with milk allergies soy and almond milk also have their own allergens. Soy allergies are more common and more serious in children. Some of the allergic reactions to soy milk are swelling, hives, diarrhea and vomiting. You should not drink almond milk if you have allergies to peach or a tree nut allergy. Almond milk has similar allergic reactions however; almond allergies may lead to congestion of air ways. If you have any problems absorbing iron, you should check with your doctor about drinking soy milk as it has the ability to inhibit iron absorption.

Now that we scared you from ever drinking almond and soy milk we are going to tell you the reasons FOR enjoying them. Although almond milk is higher in fat content then soy milk, it has less starch. So in terms of calories, almond milk is usually where the dieters turn. If you get unsweetened almond milk it can contain as low as 40 calories per cup. Soy milk can carry almost double that amount. But almond and soy milk fat are good for you. The fat in these milks are a mixture of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which help with cholesterol and blood pressure reduction, in addition to protecting you against cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

Soy milk will help you stay fuller longer because it has more protein. One cup of soy milk can contain almost 7 grams of protein compared to only 4 grams in almond milk. Both of these milks also contain more fiber depending on the richness of the milk. Soy and almond milk are also great ways to get your vitamin b. Higher intake of vitamin b will help you raise your basal metabolic rate so you burn more fat and calories. So the next time you are in the store, opt for a change once in a while and pick up some almond or soy milk! For more information, contact the Wayne County YMCA at 253-2083, or on the web at