Soymilk vs. Cow’s Milk – Which is Best?

Choosing a plant-based milk is undeniably in the best interest of the nation’s 9.2 million dairy cows. And the evidence is mounting that going vegan is one of the best decisions we can make for our planet.

But what about your health? As vegans, vegetarians, and generally health-conscious people, we want to be sure we’re getting all the macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals we need.

If you have ever wondered how plant-based milks compare to cow’s milk from a nutrition standpoint, keep reading!

Nutritional Comparison:

The analysis below compares the nutritional merits of an 8 oz. serving of plain/unsweetened soymilk with 8 oz. of 1% fat cow’s milk.

soy milk vs cows milk

With less of the bad stuff and just as much of the good stuff, soymilk comes out on top in this nutritional comparison!

Soymilk has just 80 calories, less than half a gram of saturated fat, no cholesterol, just 1 gram of sugar, and 7 grams of heart-healthy soy protein per serving.

Meanwhile, the same size glass of 1% cow’s milk has nearly 30 percent more calories, three times as much saturated fat, 12mg of cholesterol, 13 grams of sugar, and about the same amount of protein.

Both glasses provide 300mg of calcium.


If soy isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other dairy-free, plant-based milk options, each with their own unique flavor and nutritional profile.

  1. Check out our extensive guide to plant-based milks to find one that fits your needs and preferences.
  2. Or make your own almond (or other nut/seed) milk in just a few minutes!

Looking for alternatives to cheese, yogurt, and other milk products? Check out this post for more great tips on ditching dairy!

Image Credit: 1 – sweetbeetandgreenbean, 2 – seedlinggirl/ashley cox, 3 –  Hadleygrass is asparagus