Is soy milk healthy? This is a common question most people keep asking themselves lately. Soy milk is known by many as a replacement drink for people who are lactose-intolerant. It’s a popular dairy substitute in the West and has also been a traditional beverage in Japan, China among other parts of Asia. Even though some people choose to take soy milk because they are lactose sensitive, others consume it for ethical or health reasons like reducing cholesterol. But, is soy milk healthy?
Soy milk health benefits tend to be very controversial, partly because just like milk, soy is a popular food allergen. But, it has been accepted that soy milk is a suitable alternative to cow milk – it’s believed that soy milk is healthy than dairy milk. This post will answer the question “Is soy milk healthy?” and offer insights on this food.
What Is Soy Milk?
This is a plant-based drink that’s produced when soybeans are soaked, crushed, boiled and filtered. Soy milk is a quality emulsion of water, oil, and protein. Since it’s solely made from soybeans, this products is completely dairy-free, the main reason why it’s preferred by most vegans.
Soy milk has been a staple East Asian cuisine for the past few centuries but it has gained its popularity even in North America and Europe over the last decades. This can be attributed to the new production techniques that were invented to give soy milk consistency and taste that closely resembles dairy milk.
So, can everyone take soy milk and is soy milk healthy? Other than being an ideal dairy alternative for many, soy milk contains wholesome nutrients that can offer multiple health benefits provided you aren’t allergic to soy. Keep reading to know more about soy milk.
Items that Contain Soy
Products and foods that often have soy milk include:
- Imitation dairy food.
- Breaded foods.
- Breadcrumbs, crackers, and cereals.
- Meal replacements.
- Infant formula, nutrition supplements, follow-up formula for toddlers and kids.
- Mexican foods like taco fillings, chili, and tamales.
- Hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP), hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HPV), and hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP).
- Meat products that have fillers like burgers as well as prepared ground meat products.
- Nutrition supplements.
- Vegetarian dishes.
- Sauces such as shoyu, soy, teriyaki, tamari, Worcestershire.
- Stews like in gravies.
- Simulated meat and fish products such as vegetarian burgers, imitation bacon bits, surimi.
There are also other possible soy milk sources like:
- Chewing gum.
- Baked products and baking mixes.
- Minced hams and canned tuna that’s mixed or seasoned with different ingredients for flavor.
- Beverage mixes like lemonade and hot chocolate.
- Snacks like soy nuts.
- Milled corn.
- Spices and seasoning.
- Frozen desserts.
- Dressings, marinades, and gravies.
- Soy pasta.
Dangers of Soy Milk
- Soybeans, even those that are grown organically, contain antinutrients naturally like trypsin inhibitors, phytates, saponins, soyatoxin, phytoestrogens, and goitrogens. Through traditional fermentation, antinutrients like these are destroyed, allowing your body to enjoy a wide range of nutritional benefits. The dangers of soymilk are outlined below:
- Phytates (high phytic acids) – they reduce the assimilation of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and copper. Diets with high phytic acid can cause growth problem in kids.
- Phytoestrogens – soy milk contains these plant compounds that resemble human estrogen that block the normal estrogen. This disrupts endocrine function, increases the risk of breast cancer, and causes infertility.
- Trypsin inhibitors – these components interfere with protein digestion and can cause pancreatic disorders.
- Hemagglutinin – this is a clot-promoting substance that’s known for causing red blood cells to clump, rendering them incapable of absorbing and distributing oxygen to the tissues.
- Goitrogens – these are potent agents which block thyroid hormone synthesis and may cause thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism.
- Manganese and aluminum – soy foods have high quantities of aluminum and this is toxic to your kidneys and the nervous system.
Are there Benefits of Soy Milk?
Even though soy milk has multiple dangers, it still offers various health benefits. They include:
- Lowering blood pressure and curing hypertension – soy milk can treat hypertension – it lowers both the diastolic and systolic blood pressure. It also assists diabetics who face kidney-related issues control their blood pressure.
- Treating type two diabetes – due to its low-fat content and high calcium, soy milk is a suitable non-dairy option for those who are in diabetic meal plans. It lowers cholesterol hence preventing cardiovascular problems. Soy milk needs to be taken moderately since excess carbs and proteins can mess up the diet plan.
- Accelerating weight loss – soy milk contains fiber that has a substantial effect on the LDL cholesterol levels, body weight, and body mass index. This is helpful in the treating excess lipid levels, hypertension, and obesity. If taken with a low-fat diet, soy proteins decrease weight while retaining muscle mass in obese people.
Hopefully, this review has helped you answer the question “is soy milk healthy.” Despite the above-discussed dangers, soy milk still offers benefits that can’t be ignored. Feel free to share any insights you have below.