Skim Milk vs. Almond Milk: Which Is Healthier?

We have many choices regarding milk selection, including non fat options like skim milk. Choosing almond milk serves as a similar alternative to the fat free skim option, though it does bring up the dairy versus non dairy debate. Many people choose almond, soy or rice milk to avoid the lactose found in skim milk and other fat varieties. However, almond milk also poses problems for those allergic to the snack nut.

Skim and Almond Milk Comparison

Skim milk has a low caloric content, much like almond milk. Both of these choices have less than 100 calories per every one cup serving. Skim milk and almond milk each contain less than 200 mg of sodium and under 10 mg of cholesterol per serving as well.

Each contain abundant amounts of calcium, vitamin A and many other nutrients.

The Simple Differences

Compared to skim milk, almond milk has only 7 grams of sugars compared to the 12 grams in the dairy option. One cup of plain almond milk contains about 30 mg more of sodium than skim milk, however.

Along with most other dairy milk choices, the fat free skim milk option has around 8 grams of protein per serving size. Almond milk has only 1 gram or protein per each identical serving of 1 cup.

Almond milk does contain slightly higher levels of iron than skim milk, though it does fall short in the categories of Vitamin A and Vitamin C plus calcium too.

Several people choose skim milk due to its near fat free nature. Almond milk has 2.5 grams of total fat. The skim choice serves as a good option for those looking to strictly limit fat consumption in their diet.

Health Value Comparison

The lactose containing skim milk option often gets avoided by those with lactose intolerance problems. Statistics show that more individuals have lactose problems compared to those with almond allergies. This gives the skim option a negative check mark in the compatibility category for a large number of consumers.

One major difference between dairy milk and almond milk involves protein and B Vitamins. Since almond milk only has 1 gram of protein per each serving, dairy milk serves as a much more practical protein source with 8 grams of the macronutrient per serving. Skim milk also contains more riboflavin, folate and Vitamin B12 than the almond alternative.

The main difference that separates the two in the health debate lies within their sugar and carbohydrate contents. Skim milk contains 12 grams of sugars, which accounts for all 12 grams of carbs found in each serving of the beverage. Almond milk only has 8 grams of carbohydrates per serving, 7 grams coming from low glycemic sugars and 1 gram from fiber.

Most people tend to pick skim milk over other dairy milk alternatives because of its protein content and because of its fat free nature. Even though there are benefits from the protein and B Vitamins found in skim milk, there are sugars present. Therefore, if you do make skim milk your milk of choice, drink it in moderation.


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Posts By Sequoia
  • sue mcclain

    I like the almond milk by silk Taste Great.

  • Linda

    I like the Silk Almond Milk. Taste great and I like the consistency (thicker) in my meal shakes.

  • big D

    I don’t know how anyone could consider Almond milk an alternative to lactose-free skim milk with only 1 gram of protein per serving in the almond milk. I drink 4 or 5 glasses of milk a day, that’s 32-40 grams of protein compared to 5 grams in almond milk. So dairy milk has almost twice the sugar– it has 8(EIGHT!) times the protein.Plus a bunch of other things likd vit A and C. I wish almond milk had more protein–I’d love to drink it but I just can’t justify it.

  • Caroline riedel

    I drink milk for calcium. How does almond milk compare to dairy milk in calcium content?

  • Jill

    The Silk brand unsweetened almond milk has 45% of the daily calcium. I just did a one week trial with the Silk almond and found that my coffee no longer satisfied me the way it did with real milk. I found I need the protien in the dairy milk to feel satisfied by my coffee. The protien loss simply is not worth the calories saved.

  • Dave

    I drink milk for calcium, not protein. Almond milk has about 50% more calcium than regular fat free skim milk. So, if you want protein get it from food like normal people.

  • susan

    if you think about milk consider the fact that our creator designed milk for the calf to transition from its mother to eating grass.We humans are the only species to drink the milk from another animal which is really crazy if you think about what you are doing.I could go on for hours about why milk is not the choice drink that our government and dairy industry wants you to believe it is.You were designed in such a fashion to use the qualities that God gave you your brain to think things out with enough common sence to come to some logic. May all of you be blessed

  • Joe

    This is bunk, don’t believe the lies. Skim milk has 90 calories a serving, no fat whatsoever, and tons of protein. Don’t believe the “God didn’t mean you to drink that” garbage…calfs are made of the same stuff we are. There is calcium in milk too. Buy a calcium supplement and feed your kids skim milk, for goodness sake people!! Too much Oprah and not enough common sense.

  • Kim

    Amen Susan!!!!! I am trying to convey this to my whole family and all of my friends. A lot of them get it, but some of them don’t!

  • Karen

    @Joe, if you read the bible (Leviticus 11:1-47) it’s clear on the foods that are considered unclean, and the cow is one of them. I think it is obvious that humans and calfs are NOT “made of the same stuff”, but if you require scientific proof that is easily obtained by researching the internet, and better yet, medical journals at your local public library. If your concern is making sure your children get enough calcium, there is an abundant source of calcium in a long list of fruits and vegetables. I understand that on the surface skim milk seems like a viable choice, but you have to understand a few thinks about skim milk. First of all, cow’s milk is not naturally fat-free which means to remove the fat it has to be highly processed; this in turn makes it very difficult for the body to digest. Also, all animal protein (a/k/a casein protein), as in milk, is scientifically proven to be linked to of cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. So, again, if you want to increase your families calcium intake try incorporating leafy greens, tomatoes, oranges, soybeans (soymilk), etc.. This way they’re getting all the calcium they need as well as a number of other vitamins and minerals… naturally!!! Best of luck to you and your family!!!

    @Susan… I second that “Amen” from Kim!!!

  • lauren

    I drink Unsweetened Coconut and Vanilla Almond milk by Blue Diamond for only 45one calories per one cup serving. I always found it to be a delicious alternative especially because my family has been buying 1% and 2%I rather than skim. Then I read something about how a study showed greater fat loss in people who drank cows milk v alternative milk. So I came here. This isn’t very helpful to me though, they were right about the protein but as far as everything else, the vitamins and other nutrition facts either matched up or where better in the alternative milk (once more with the exception of protein and vitamin c which can be found in fruits anyway). I read the protein is very health in milk though hence my confusion on which is better. Is the protein found in cows milk really the deciding factor?