Soy milk was designed to provide a lactose free version of dairy products like skim milk. Even though the soy variety does come close to dairy milk in many categories, skim milk remains as the superior choice based off of nutritional content and health benefits.
Soy and Skim Comparison
Both of these milk choices contain high levels of calcium and Vitamin A. Each have a moderate amount of protein per serving size as well. The sugars in soy and skim milk carry low glycemic loads, meaning they do not suddenly spike insulin levels. This helps regulate a healthy blood sugar level, while maintaining proper metabolic function.
Skim milk and soy milk contain B Vitamins like riboflavin and folate. These vitamins help regulate normal muscle function, repair and growth.
Soy and skim milk options contain limited amounts of cholesterol and fats. Skim milk contains only traces of fat. This provides the reasoning behind the 0 grams listed on the back of the nutrition facts label; though the label will still show that about 4 of the total 90 calories come from fat.
Minor Skim and Soy Differences
Soy milk contains no Vitamin C, while skim milk contains about 4% of our daily recommended value. Skim milk also has one more gram of protein than soy milk. Skim milk falls short of the soy option’s iron content, but remains ahead in the categories of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and calcium.
Soy milk has far more Vitamin B12 compared to skim milk. This nutrient helps us gain energy from our food sources while metabolizing food calories into useable muscle power. The soy option also contains more folate than the dairy alternative, a nutrient that plays a similar role in our bodies.
Soy milk contains nearly 30% of our daily value of Vitamin D, while plain skim milk contains none of this nutrient. Many companies sell Vitamin D enriched skim milk choices, though.
Health Benefit Debate
The key difference that makes skim milk a healthier and safer choice stems from the debate circling around the soy ingredient. Soy milk and products containing soy have shown to disrupt hormone production and function in both male and female consumers. We greatly depend on our hormonal balances to help us make daily decisions and carry our normal functions.
Soy products have also gained negative attention after studies attempted to prove their carcinogenic effects on test patients. Some studies showed that soy consumption increased the likelihood of women to develop breast cancer, while other similar studies proved the exact opposite results.
This uncertainty has made several consumers weary of the soy product, making skim milk and other milk choices the easier choice. In time, more research will prove whether or not soy poses long term health risks and side effects. However, as of 2010, many people feel as though a lack of information causes them to avoid soy products.
Skim milk does face negative feedback, as well, since it contains a high amount of lactose. People who are lactose intolerant generally choose the soy, almond or rice milk option instead of dairy milk varieties.