What’s the difference between soy milk & cow’s dairy milk?

Lactose intolerant? Converted to soy milk because you think it’s healthier? Not sure whether to fear dairy or not? Get all the answers you need about the differences between soy milk & dairy milk to see which type you should be choosing…

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Cow’s milk

What’s the difference: in form?

Cow’s milk comes from the mammary glands of the cow.

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What’s the difference: in processing?

Cow’s milk is pasteurised so that any pathogens are destroyed before consumption. The milk is heated to kill bacteria, and then cooled quickly. Some people prefer raw milk as the process of pasteurisation tends to kill some of the vitamins and minerals in the product.

What’s the difference: in nutritional value?

Cow’s milk is naturally rich in protein (around 30-35g per litre), magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Lactose is also high in cow’s milk, which is a composite of glucose and galactose, giving the milk its natural sweetness. Around 40% of whole milk’s calories is the lactose. For centuries, humans have had trouble digesting lactose, as adults in the caveman era did not produce the enzyme, lactase, needed to digest lactose. Nowadays we can digest lactose, but there is still a good percentage of the population who struggle with lactose intolerance because the lactase enzyme slowly declines in productivity the older we get.

Soy Milk

What’s the difference: in form?

Soy milk is made from whole soybeans or soy flour, which are soaked and then ground down in water to produce a liquid milk. Whereas whole cow’s milk is all milk, soy milk is mostly water, at a ratio of 10:1 for water:soybean.

What’s the difference: in processing?

As soy milk comes from soybeans, no pasteurisation is necessary. Instead, the beans are steeped overnight, then heated to improve its flavour and sterilise the milk.

What’s the difference: in nutritional value?

Per 100ml, soy milk has 80 kcal, 4g carbs, 1g sugar, 4g fat, vitamins, calcium, magnesium and 7g protein. There is more protein in soy milk than cow’s milk, but soy milk tends to be fortified with more sugar and saturated fat, with a significantly reduced flavour profile than traditional milk.

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