Cow Milk versus Soy Milk

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Before examining the pros and cons of cow versus soy milk, it is important to understand why people might not be able to consume one or either of these options.  If a person is lactose-intolerant they will probably need to seek a dairy-free milk alternative.  Yet if someone cannot tolerate soy then they might want to seek another type of milk such as rice, almond, or even cashew milk.  For people who do not have any sensitivities or allergies, they can consider the multitude of reasons why a person might ponder whether they want to consume cow or soy milk.

Got Milk?

Needless to say cow’s milk has been around for a very long time and is a staple in countless households.  Milk is more than just something to pour over your cereal; it is a nutritional powerhouse that delivers essential nutrients and benefits to people of all ages.  If you are counting calories, there are leaner alternatives available to whole milk such as skim, 1%, and 2%.  Even these options deliver protein, Vitamin D, phosphorous, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-12, and calcium yet they also deliver cholesterol despite the removal of saturated fat.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is comprised of crushed soybeans, protein, water, and oil.  It has no calcium but is rich in Vitamin B-6 plus has ten grams of magnesium, phosphorous, riboflavin, and 25 percent of a person’s daily thiamin.  Soy milk is also very lean with a one cup serving containing just 80 calories and light soy milk usually contains just 50 calories.  This beverage is also cholesterol free, making it a good option for those who are concerned about this particular health issue.  Soy milk is becoming more widely available by the day, but is still nowhere as accessible as dairy milk.  It can also be more expensive, especially the organic varieties.

Other Considerations

Though soy milk is lower in calories, dairy milk is a better alternative for those who are trying to lose weight.  Both varieties have been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, despite the fact that dairy milk does in fact contain cholesterol.  A review published in 2014 found that dairy products, including yogurt and cheese, are associated with reduced risk of heart disease.  The authors of this study even suggested that full-fat dairy products may protect against heart disease thanks to their saturated fats.  Remember, not all fats are created equal and some are in fact very healthy for you.  Another study published in 2007 found that soy milk helps to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is “bad” cholesterol.

Building Muscle

Both dairy and soy milk contain enough complete protein to build muscle if you frequently weight/resistance train.  They are sources of essential amino acids yet the whey protein found in cow’s milk appears to be more effective in promoting muscle gain.  If you are lactose-intolerant or sensitive, it is possible to seek other dairy-free protein sources to supplement your training.  There are countless options out there to provide great results without causing unpleasant consequences.

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