Our family drinks almond and soy milk and I’ve always switched around getting vanilla and unsweetened. Recently I decided to look at the sugar content of our vanilla and chocolate milks in the fridge. I was rather surprised to see how similar they looked. It made me wonder just how much sugar we were consuming just from having a little milk. Especially for Elena who drinks 1-2 cups a day. As always I was surprised but not surprised on what I found out and have changed our standard milk purchases since. I’m fine with sugar when I expect it like in baked goods, chocolate and other desserts but hate to see such high amounts in daily meal staples.
I chose to compare a lot of common brands and brands from the stores I shop at (Trader Joe’s, Pick N Save, Target). While there are many many more types of milk this list is a good start. I summed up what I found and will show the breakdown below
The vanilla flavored soy milks I compared contained 30-42% of the calories from sugar. Yes, SUGAR alone. Even more surprising the original Silk soy milks still contain 22-24% calories from sugar. Even when you think you aren’t getting a flavored one sweetener is often added. The lowest choice in this category was Silk Unsweetened Organic Vanilla Soy milk which contained only 4% of it’s calories from sugar.
Even more surprising were the almond milks which contained 65-73% calories from sugar when they were vanilla flavored. All except the Silk Almond Milk Unsweetened Vanilla which contained 0% calories from sugar. To put it in perspective that’s more sugar than the two chocolate soy milks I looked at which had 57% and 37% calories from sugar. Also, the original Silk almond milk still contained 46% calories from sugar (more than the vanilla flavored soy milks I looked at). Wondering why the almond milks are so much higher? Part of the reason is that they are lower in calories so any sugar adds up quicker. I’m also guessing it requires more sugar to make it marketable for most peoples palates.
Before you grab your next container of soy or almond milk think about what you are choosing. If you want a vanilla flavor I recommend going with ones that are unsweetened vanilla to get less sugar. This means less calories which won’t fill you up as long so try having it with other whole foods.
Soy Milks -from least to most percent calories from sugar
- Silk Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Soy Milk: 80 calories, 1 g sugar (5% calories from sugar)
- Silk Soy Milk Original: 110 calories, 6g sugar (22% calories from sugar)
- Silk Organic Soy Milk Original: 100 calories, 6g sugar (24% calories from sugar)
- Trader Joe’s Organic Soy Milk-Vanilla (the non refrigerated big purple container): 130 calories, 14g sugar (21% calories from sugar)
- Trader Joe’s Organic Soy Milk-Vanilla: 90 calories, 7g sugar (31% calories from sugar)
- Simply Roundy’s Organic Vanilla Soy Milk :100 calories, 8g sugar (32% calories from sugar)
- Silk Soy Milk-Vanilla: 100 calories, 8g sugar (32% calories from sugar)
- Silk Soy Milk-Very Vanilla: 130 calories, 15g sugar (46% calories from sugar)
- Trader Joe’s Organic Soy Milk-Chocolate (the non refrigerated big brown container): 130 calories, 12g sugar (37% calories from sugar)
- Silk Soy Milk-Chocolate: 120 calories, 17g sugar (57% calories from sugar)
Almond Milk -from least to most percent calories from sugar
- Silk Almond Milk-Unsweetened Vanilla: 30 calories, 0g sugar (0% calories from sugar)
- Silk Almond Milk-Original 60 calories, 7g sugar (46% calories from sugar)
- Blue Diamond Almond Breeze-Vanilla: 80 calories, 13g sugar (65% calories from sugar)
- Roundy’s Almond Milk-Vanilla: 90 calories, 15g sugar (67% calories from sugar)
- Silk Almond Milk-Vanilla: 90 calories, 16g sugar (71% calories from sugar)
- Silk Almond Milk-Light Vanilla: 60 calories, 11g sugar (73% calories from sugar)