is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you

In general, 1 cup of milk, yogurt, or soy milk, or 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese Foods in the Dairy Group provide nutrients that are vital for health and. Soymilk can be a healthy addition to your diet, providing calcium and other nutrients often for fewer calories than dairy milk. But the nutrition varies. However, drinking too much, or drinking when hungry, and improper preparation of soy milk Soy milk is considered as a healthy food for the human body.

: Is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you

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Almond milk vs. soy milk: Which is better?

Almond milk and soy milk are the two most popular plant-based milk varieties on the market. What are the differences and is one better than the other?

Issues such as lactose intolerance, milk allergies, and the rising popularity of vegetarian, vegan, and low-cholesterol diets the food industry to introduce a range of plant-based alternatives to cow’s milk.

Almond and soy milk are both vegan, naturally lactose-free, and low cholesterol, but there are differences in their health benefits, nutrient content, and environmental impact.

In this article, we look at the different benefits and disadvantages of almond and soy milk.

Health benefits

Almond milk and soy milk are both healthful options in various ways. They contain different nutrients and may have varying benefits for people’s health, as discussed below.

Almond milk

Raw almonds have excellent health benefits, being a source of protein, key vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. The health benefits of raw almonds have helped boost the popularity of almond milk.

Almond milk has high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids. This type of healthful fat may aid in weight loss and weight management.

also suggests that monounsaturated fatty acids may help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) — which doctors also call bad cholesterol — in the body. Researchers have linked these fats to heart disease, obesity, and cancers.

Soy milk

Similar to almond milk, soy milk has a higher content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats compared with saturated fats. Saturated fats, which are in cow’s milk, contribute to high cholesterol and heart problems.

Along with containing healthful fats, soy milk is the only dairy alternative that offers a similar amount of protein as cow’s milk. The nutrient content in soy milk is comparable to that of cow’s milk.

Apart from its naturally cholesterol free and vegan properties, soy milk contains isoflavones. Research suggests that isoflavones are antioxidants, can reduce inflammation in the body, and may also have anticancer effects.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, consuming soy protein each day LDL cholesterol.


The following table from the United States Department of Agriculture compares the nutritional values of 240 milliliters (ml) of and in grams union savings bank com, milligrams (mg), or international units (IU):

Soy milk, 240 mlAlmond milk, 240 ml
Protein6 g1.01 g
Total fat3.5 g2.5 g
Carbohydrate12 g1.01 g
Dietary fiber1 g1 g
Sugars9 g0 g
Calcium451 mg451 mg
Iron1.08 mg0.36 mg
Magnesium41 mg17 mg
Phosphorus79 mgNo data available
Potassium300 mg36 mg
Sodium91 mg115 mg
Riboflavin0.425 mg0.067 mg
Vitamin A499 IU499 IU
Vitamin D120 IU101 IU

The nutrient content of different brands of almond milk and soy milk differ. Some have added sugar, salt, and preservatives. These additions may alter the carbohydrate content and the what time does sams open today in the milk.

Most brands of plant-based milk alternatives will also have added calcium and vitamin D to mimic the content in cow’s milk.

Uses of almond and soy milk

People can use soy and almond milk in similar ways. Many use them directly in place of dairy milk in cereal, oatmeal, coffee, tea, and smoothies. They can also replace a simple glass of cow’s milk.

Many people find the taste of almond milk more agreeable than that of soy milk. In some cases, the taste of soy milk may come through more strongly in cereals, drinks, or cooking compared with almond milk.

People can use almond milk and soy milk as a substitute for milk in baking. The lower levels of fat in these milk varieties compared with cow’s milk may lighten a cake recipe without altering the taste.

Plant-based milk may also change the consistency of desserts, and people may need to add larger amounts of the milk to recipes.


Alongside the benefits of soy and almond milk, people may also want to consider their disadvantages, as we discuss below.

Almond milk

Almond milk is low in calories and protein compared with cow’s milk and soy milk. When replacing cow’s milk with almond milk, people should make up the missing calories, protein, and vitamins from other food sources.

Some manufacturers add carrageenan as a thickener for nonfat foods and dairy replacements, including almond milk. Carrageenan has several side effects, the most common being digestive disturbances, ulcers, and inflammation.

To avoid additives in almond milk, try making almond milk at home. People can look online for a range of nut milk recipes, including recipes from registered dieticians.

Similar to the allergic reactions that the protein in cow’s milk causes, some people are allergic to almonds and should avoid drinking almond milk.

Soy milk

Although soy milk contains protein, some brands are deficient in methionine, an essential amino acid, due to the process manufacturers use to make soy milk. People may need to get this amino acid from other areas of their diet.

If a person does not get enough additional methionine, calcium, and vitamin D, soy milk may be a poor substitute for cow’s milk.

As with almond milk, some people may have an allergy to soybeans and should avoid soy milk.

Soy milk contains compounds that some people refer to as antinutrients. These natural antinutrients can reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients and impair the digestion of protein and carbohydrates.

The antinutrients contained in soybeans include:

  • trypsin inhibitors
  • lectins
  • phytic acids
  • indigestible oligosaccharides

Different manufacturing processes may reduce the presence of cognito brewery bangor michigan and enhance the nutritional value of soybeans. These processes require additional labor, work, and costs.

Environmental impact

Almond milk production may be taking a toll on the environment.

Almonds are a very water-intensive crop. According to the Office of Sustainability at the University of California San Francisco, manufacturers use 15 gallons of water to produce just 16 almonds.

Farmers produce an estimated 80 percent of the world’s almonds in California. The increased irrigation needs on these farms may have long-lasting effects on the environment in this drought-stricken region.

Farmers use pesticides to produce almonds and soybeans. The 2017 Agricultural Chemical Use Survey highlights the use of various pesticides on soybean crops. These pesticides may contaminate the water supply and can make drinking water more toxic.

What are other vegan alternatives to cow’s milk?

Today, consumers can choose from a variety of nondairy milk alternatives. Aside from almond and soy milk, other vegan foods that people can 1st financial federal credit union routing number into naturally lactose-free beverages include:

  • rice
  • cashews
  • coconuts
  • hemp seeds
  • oats
  • flaxseed
  • hazelnuts
  • macadamia nuts


Almond and soy milk are two popular vegan alternatives to dairy milk. They have different nutritional profiles and benefits for people’s health.

Soy milk contains added vitamins and minerals. In many ways, soy milk mimics dairy milk in the best way among the alternatives, but not everyone enjoys its taste.

Making homemade plant-based milk varieties can offer a sustainable alternative if a person uses pesticide-free ingredients.

People using plant-based milk products should be aware of the missing calories, macronutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are abundant in cow’s milk and be sure to make up these nutrients in other areas of the diet.


Soy Milk for Toddlers: Is it Bad?

If you want to know about soy milk for toddlers, if soy milk is bad for toddlers, or what kind of milk to give your toddler if they can’t have dairy, read this post to learn the pros and cons of soy milk for toddlers.

Soy Milk for Toddlers

You may have heard something about soy causing certain types of cancer, or soy contributing to unhealthy productive growth. Let’s look at the facts about soy milk.

Soy Milk Nutrition

Per cup, soy milk contains:

  • 80 calories
  • 7g protein
  • 3g total carbohydrates
  • 2g fiber
  • 0g added sugar
  • 4g fat
  • Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, and other vitamins and minerals

Soy milk is made primarily from water, soybeans, and some added vitamins and minerals.

Is Soy Milk Safe for Toddlers?

Compared to cow’s milk, it has similar nutrition stats. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends soy milk as an alternative to cow’s milk. There is no evidence to suggest any health risks from normal consumption of soy milk.

And, soy is a common non-dairy formula alternative for babies. The AAP has emphasized that literature reviews and clinical studies of infants fed soy-based infant formula raise no clinical concerns with respect to nutritional adequacy, sexual development, thyroid disease, immune function or neurodevelopment. Additional studies confirm that soy-based infant formulas do not interfere with normal immune responses.

Which other non-dairy milk is good for toddlers?

You have to be careful when choosing non-dairy milk for your toddler if you want to ensure they are getting similar nutrition that they would get from cow’s milk.

Many plant-based milks are low in protein, and may not be calcium fortified. This post talks about why you need to be careful when choosing almond milk for your child.

What if my child is allergic to cow’s milk? Is soy okay?

Your doctor may have recommended avoiding soy, particularly soy formula if you discover your little one has a cow’s milk protein intolerance (CMPI). Up to 50% of children affected by cow’s milk protein intolerance also develop soy protein intolerance if fed with soy-based formulas. Therefore, it is usually not recommended to use soy milk or soy-based formula. In addition, if you are breastfeeding a child with cow’s milk protein intolerance you will need to avoid both dairy and soy in your diet.

I typically first recommend pea milk like Ripple for toddlers as an alternative to cow or soy milk. It has similar nutrition to both cow’s milk and soy milk, but is an allergy-friendly option.

How much soy milk is okay?

The recommendations for milk are the same across the board, whether it’s cow’s milk, soy milk, pea milk, or something else. 16-20 ounces is the maximum I’d recommend, which is about 2-2.5 cups per day, for children ages 1 and up.

In general, aim for no more than 2-3 servings of soy foods per day. A serving of soy looks like:

  • 1/2 cup tofu
  • 1/2 cup tempeh
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame (soy beans)

Does too much soy lead to early puberty or negatively affect hormones in kids?

Soy contains isoflavones, which have estrogenic activity. Because of this, people have worried that soy affects hormones of kids and even causes early puberty. But the evidence we have so far suggests that soy does NOT have adverse hormonal effects in children or affect pubertal development. (See research here and here.)

As mentioned above, I still would aim to keep it under 2-3 servings of soy per day. We can’t make any definitive conclusions about the effects of soy without more extensive research. And that’s not a reason to be scared or avoid it altogether. However, it’s very difficult to conduct this type of research on kids. So it’s unlikely we will see a definitive answer here.

In general, the best way to protect your kids from any potential harm from any food would be to offer a diverse diet — meaning you switch it up and don’t serve the same exact foods day in and day out. That’s also a great way to make sure they get all the nutrients they need, too.

Wondering about cow’s milk?

Go to this post where I answer all the most asked questions about milk for kids – what kind, how much, can toddlers be healthy without it, and when is the best time for them to drink it?

Need a break from the stress of getting healthy meals on the table?

Check out my Dinnertime Survival Guide, a 6-week weeknight meal plan with healthy, kid-friendly meals that you can make in just 15 minutes. No prep ahead required!!


“IT'S CHALKY. It’s tasteless. Is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you the point?” Minh Tsai says confidentially, getting up close, almost whispering. “I don’t blame you for not loving it.”

Which is just about the last thing that I am expecting to hear as I’m standing on the humming floor of Hodo, Tsai’s bustling tofu-production facility in Oakland’s warehouse district.

Tsai leads me, in white jacket, hairnet, and scrubs, on a tour. I see the high-grade soybeans he uses (harvested exclusively from the American Midwest). I witness a process almost like cheese making that he has ingeniously adapted into a hybrid operation, part mechanical and part hands-on.

He tells me that Hodo ships approximately 50,000 pounds of tofu products each day. Along the way, The irregular at magic high school movie online doles out samples, pinching off pieces from the production line—tofu both firm and soft, tofu transformed into nuggets, tofu fashioned into chewy strips.

At one point, popping a taste of warm, fresh-from-the-vat tofu into my mouth, he offers up some tasting notes. Nutty, he says. Complex. For sure, the nuttiest, most complex firm tofu I’ve ever had.

But do I dare tell him that I don’t love it?

It tastes more like a substitute for something, I say. Tsai nods, undaunted, and takes me to the room where he makes yuba, the thin layer that forms atop the soy milk as it cooks, sort of like the skin that develops on a pudding.

Men's Health

“I call yuba the gateway drug for tofu,” Tsai says, using a small knife to cut into one of the rectangular pans of yuba that have been set up in rows, not unlike the developing pans in a photographer’s darkroom.

The process creates a tofu product that’s denser in proteins (21 grams in 3 is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you versus firm tofu’s 14). Tsai holds out to me what looks like a wad of chewed, dun-colored gum. The skin, almost half- way between solid and liquid, collapses into his palm.

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Go ahead, he says, offering me a taste. The implication is not lost on me: I am going to have you eating out of the palm of my hand.

And so he does. The yuba is not like any tofu I’ve ever eaten: luscious, creamy, more like a bundle of warm, freshly made mozzarella.

Tsai, smiling but dead-eyed, and sounding more like a futuristic tech titan than the maker of an ancient soy product, says solemnly: “So you have seen now what is possible.”

Alex Farnum

Why Tofu Is in Everything Now

I’m not a tofu hater. Hate implies disdain or animosity. I’m indifferent to the stuff. Tofu just is—neither good nor bad, neither memorable nor offensive. I don’t doubt this is a position born of ignorance, but I would argue that that ignorance is born of a lack of tradition, of context.

America has never been what you would call a tofu-making country even though Asian cultures have been producing it for more than a thousand years. Its history in the U. S. begins properly in the 1970s, says Tara McHugh, Ph.D., a food technologist and researcher at the USDA.

I’m not a tofu hater. Hate implies disdain or animosity. I’m indifferent to the stuff.

At this time, eco-consciousness was ascendant, when plant-based eating went from the margins to the mainstream. It was not deliciousness that accounted for its relatively rapid adoption in the U. S. It was politics.

Tofu was not meat. It did not come from factory farms. If you were looking to take a personal stand against agribusiness, if you wanted to abstain from the ills of carnivores, tofu was a convenient vehicle, a kind of culinary conscientious objection.

In this ideological context, it was almost unseemly to suggest that, well, tofu didn’t taste all that great. Flavor? How about the flavor of the resistance?

Since the ’70s, tofu making has become more widespread, so it is no surprise that the quality has become better and better.

Getty Images

And it’s turning up in fast-food burgers and milkshakes and even becoming, of all things, a processed foodstuff—Tofutti, a mass-market brand that makes dairy-free “ice cream.”

Not even the Internet-fueled rumor that the phytoestrogens in tofu would lead to a condition called gynecomastia (that’s man boobs to you and me) has slowed its reemergence. [See "Wait, Isn't Soy Bad for You?" at the end of this story for more information.]

“It’s time to take back tofu,” Tsai tells me over lunch the day after I met him at the factory.

Take it back?

“Take it back from the hippies and the politics,” he says.

In other words, if you regard tofu only as south florida state college panther central lackluster substitute for meat, if it is synonymous in your imagination with co-ops and communes, if you assume it to be solely the province of Asian cuisines, then Tsai’s asking you—yes, you—to open your mind so that he can then blow it.

“Let’s just make it delicious,” he says. “It is delicious.”

Getty Images

Tsai, a former investment banker and management consultant who started his tofu business with little more than a method and a story, began selling his handmade product at farmers markets in the Bay Area 15 years ago.

He refined his method, he told me, by tasting every brand he could get his hands on. It didn’t take him long to realize what was missing: flavors.

“I wanted to make a tofu that has flavors. To achieve flavors, I needed higher protein and fat in the soybeans.”

That meant developing a process whereby he could produce a much thicker soy milk. A thicker soy milk means a higher-protein tofu, which results in a richer, creamier flavor and a texture with more chew.


Hodo Soy Organic Five Spice Tofu Nugget, 8 Ounce -- 6 per case.



As of October 2018, the Hodo factory churned out 16 products, with more to come. During February of that same year, in San Francisco, he convened an event called Tofu Evolved.

Yes, a tofu symposium—only in San Francisco—where he spoke eloquently and passionately about tofu as a potential force in a food future that will be greener and cleaner.

Then, several months later, he changed the name of his company from Hodo Soy to Hodo—thereby removing from the brand any reference to the one ingredient without which tofu does not exist.

The change came in advance of a market push in which Tsai brought his line of packaged tofu products—among them yuba sesame noodles, tofu nuggets, and the same firm tofu blocks that, yes, Chipotle currently crumbles up into its vegan sofritas—to Whole Foods.

But how much of “new tofu” was hype? I decided to let my taste buds decide.

The Most Delicious Ways to Eat Tofu

In the days after touring the Hodo plant with Tsai, I do something I have never done—something I have never wanted to do: I gorge myself on tofu.

Alex Farnum

Now, I have gone on barbecue benders and burger benders, and I have spent weeks chasing the best pizza, kebabs, and chocolate-chip cookies. But I’ve never eaten tofu morning, noon, and night. Tofu fast food and tofu fine dining. I feel like I’m shooting some foodie buddy movie, with Tsai shotgun.

As eager as I am to see if, finally, I can be made to like tofu, Tsai is eager too.

Because if I do like it, then that means that maybe the vision he is banking on is not some dream, it is real.

Over the past few years, Tsai has cultivated relationships with some of San Francisco’s best and most ambitious chefs, and he has arranged, with my approval, a series of demo meals with his most ardent adopters to prove to me not just that a wide variety of applications is possible but also that tofu is not what I think it is. The chefs, for their part, are happy to play along.

Two bites in and I forget entirely that I’m eating tofu.

When I meet with Stuart Brioza, executive chef of the Progress, a modern-American restaurant in San Francisco, it’s a late-afternoon lunch between shifts.

With his staff in where to find ifsc code for hdfc bank in netbanking throes of dinner prep, the chef slips mischievously into the kitchen to show off his yuba game, taking the same thin, chewy sheets I’d sampled at the factory and accessorizing them with smoked black cod, spring peas, and a black-butter ponzu.

Two bites in is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you I forget entirely that I’m eating tofu.

Alex Farnum

I’m still trying to process just what it is I’m eating, because there is no mistaking it for a substitute, when this highly decorated executive chef who once lived and cooked in Italy makes a startling pronouncement.

Not only is his version of amatriciana, made with thin strips cut from Hodo’s tofu sheets, just as good as an amatriciana made with, say, pappardelle.

Not only is it a convincing substitute that surprises your palate, he says. No, Brioza says, his version of amatriciana made with yuba is, in fact, better.

I wrinkle my brow. “Seriously—much better,” Brioza insists. Because of the chew of the yuba and the texture; the way the Roman-inspired sauce, a rich, zesty mix of tomatoes, onions, and fnba cd rates (salt-cured pork), clings to it. He has a point.

Alex Farnum

Later that night, still buzzing from my eye- and palate-opening encounter with Brioza, I have dinner at Mister Jiu’s, a modern Chinese restaurant in the red-lantern-strewn heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Given the restaurant’s MO, I’m expecting more traditional preparations of tofu from chef and owner Brandon Jew.

And there are a number of them, but then, in the middle of the meal, chef Jew picks up Brioza’s pasta theme and explores it with the same passion.

If I didn’t know any better, I would assume the dish Jew sends to my table is a pasta, specifically maltagliati, the Emilia- Romagna classic of torn and irregular rags of noodle, here topped, lustily, with morels, duck egg, and garlic scapes.

Another night, I visit Nightbird, a cozy tasting-menu haunt in the Hayes Valley neighborhood. The chef, Kim Alter, is in league with Brioza and Jew, both in trying to open up their already adventuresome customers to the idea that yuba is not necessarily Asian and in turning to pasta as the preferred point of entry.

Alex Farnum

One of her favorite ways to make the connection visceral and immediate is to fry those same strips of yuba until golden, achieving a chewy-crunchy texture reminiscent both of pasta and snack chips, then dousing them with a variation on a Caesar dressing, made with miso, Parmesan, egg yolks, garlic, and Dijon. East meets West seamlessly, and thrillingly.

The chefs, it’s clear, adore yuba; I adore yuba. It’s hard not to. But yuba is only one part of the tofu universe.

Determined to prove to me that block tofu, the more traditional form you’re used to seeing in supermarkets, can also be a stand-alone product, Tsai takes me to James Syhabout’s Hawking Bird, in Oakland, a determinedly unslick fast-casual, fried-chicken-centric restaurant that looks out onto Telegraph Avenue.

Tsai stages a test of two sandwiches on the menu. One is a chicken sandwich, the other a slab of firm Hodo tofu that’s been fried to resemble a chicken sandwich.

“Well?” Tsai asks after I’ve downed several bites of each.

I’m surprised to hear myself say that I is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you the tofu to the chicken. Somehow the actual chicken gets in the way of the delicious fried exterior, while the tofu, being cleaner, does not.

Alex Farnum

Seeing me polish it off, Tsai is exultant.

To him, love of the sandwich is yet more proof of what he has been talking about for days, that tofu is not a substitute but the thing itself, that it need not be in an Asian dish to be tasty, that it can go high and low.

True enough, and yet what does it say, I wonder, that I only really like the tofu when I think I’m eating something else? I’ll take it, Tsai says. He smiles. “Baby steps.”

How to Cook With Tofu at Home

After my tofu crawl I’m determined to apply the lessons I’ve learned at home.

I make a decent dish with firm tofu, sesame oil, chopped cucumber and celery, rice-wine vinegar, and Sriracha. Thinking back to chefs Jew and Brioza, I heat up leftover marinara, tear in some yuba, toss everything, grate on some fresh Parmesan, add a few dollops of ricotta, drizzle on some olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

It’s good—and, for a second, I even entertain thoughts of making it for friends. Would I lie to them about what it is, or would I tell them, but only after letting them think it’s something else?

The latter, definitely the latter.

Baby steps.

—Todd Kliman is a James Beard award-winning food writer and author of The Wild Vine.

Wait, Isn’t Soy Bad for You?

Nope. It’s actually pretty good for you, according to the latest science. Here are three health benefits of the soybean.

Alex Farnum

1. It’s a good source of protein.

A half block of firm tofu contains 28 grams of protein. By comparison, 1/2 cup of chopped roasted my chase credit card application status breast has 22 grams. Among active people, those with higher intakes of protein, regardless of whether it was animal or plant based, had zions bancorporation news 35 percent lower risk of functional physical decline as they aged than those who ate the least protein, so found a 2018 study by Boston University researchers.

2. It may fight diabetes.

People who consumed more isoflavones, found in tofu and soy milk, had an 11 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t eat much, according to a 2017 study by Harvard researchers. One reason: Isoflavones may improve glucose tolerance and blood lipids, markers of diabetes.

3. It could protect your prostate.

Men whose diets included soy foods had a 29 percent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, found a 2018 meta-analysis in Nutrients. Again, thank isoflavones, such as genistein and daidzein, which the scientists think may disrupt the development of prostate cancer.

But what about low sperm count and man boobs? Back in the 2000s, a few small studies and rodent research suggested that the phytoestrogens in soy products could disrupt hormones. Several news outlets (including this one—our bad) may have overblown those findings.

“Such a link has never been substantiated in human studies,” says Qi Sun, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University. “I don’t think this is a concern at all,” Sun says.

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What happens to your body when you eat soy

Story highlights

  • One of the biggest benefits of eating soy is that it can replace foods that may compromise your health
  • There's not much evidence that soy itself produces health benefits
  • Soy contains isoflavones, which has the potential to disrupt estrogen-sensitive systems in your body
So what's the deal? Here's what you should know about the pros and cons of eating soy.

The Benefits of Swapping Hot Dogs for Soy

One of the biggest benefits of eating soy is that it can replace foods that may compromise your health, says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE. "If we are talking about soy in its whole form such as edamame, tofu and whole soy milk, then it is healthier than meat in the sense that soy provides an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals — without the cholesterol and saturated fat found in meat," she says.
It's the same rationale the Meatless Monday campaign uses to validate the claim that forgoing meat one day a week can lower your risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. You're probably (or, hopefully!) swapping out less healthful foods, such as red meat, in favor of plant-based foods. And while there's some evidence that soy might slightly lower your risk of heart disease, the effects are minor — but more on that below.

But Is Soy Really a Superfood?

Aside from the idea that eating more soy might lead you to eat less meat, there's not much evidence that soy itself produces health benefits. Claims that it lowers cholesterol, calms hot flashes, prevents breast and prostate cancer, aids weight loss and wards off osteoporosis are all based on preliminary research, inconclusive evidence or overstated claims according to a 2014 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health report.
For example, while the American Heart Association used to advocate eating soy as part of a "heart healthy diet," they have since backed off that recommendation because the data did not support such a claim, says Heather Patisaul, a developmental biologist at North Carolina State University who has studied the effects of eating soy. "For most people the benefits of soy on heart health are very small: a few cholesterol points but not much else," she notes.
In fact, an American Heart Association review of 22 randomized trials found that eating 50 grams of soy a day only lowers LDL (aka: bad) cholesterol by three percent. To put that in perspective, you'd have to eat one-and-a-half pounds of tofu or drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of soy milk a day in order to consume 50 grams of soy. And that's a lot of tofu, even for the most dedicated of soy fanatics.
Soy has a shadier side, too — most notably regarding the effect it may have on your hormones. That's because soy contains isoflavones — a type of phytoestrogren that mimics the effect of estrogen on the body. When you eat lots of soy, it has the potential to disrupt estrogen-sensitive systems in your body, including the reproductive system (which includes the brain, the is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you gland and the reproductive organs), says Patisaul. There have even been cases where women have eaten so much soy (think: 60 grams a day for a month) that they've temporarily shut down their menstrual cycle, Patisaul says. "The developing brain is also very sensitive to estrogen, as is the mammary gland and the heart," she notes.
It's the same argument you've likely heard against using plastic water bottles containing bisphenol A (BPA), except that soy is even more estrogenic than BPA, according to a review of research on the pros and cons of phytoestrogens by Patisaul and her team. Beyond that, the NIH states that soy's possible role in breast cancer is "uncertain" and advises that, "women who have or who are at increased risk of developing breast cancer or other hormone-sensitive conditions (such as ovarian or uterine cancer) should be particularly careful about using soy and should discuss it with their health care providers."
"Because everybody is different, it is impossible to know what the 'right' amount of soy is, but people can certainly go overboard," says Patisaul. "For people wanting to achieve a reasonably healthy protein intake without experiencing possibly negative effects of soy, there is no need to have soy at every meal or to replace all foods [like milk and cheese] with soy-based ones."
So should you give up soy for good? Not necessarily. Eating some soy can be a healthy way to cut back on meat while still making sure you're eating enough protein. But too much of a good thing has the potential to take its toll on your hormones and your health. "For healthy adults, I think about soy the way I think about things like sugar, alcohol and caffeine," says Patisaul. "Moderation is key."

Though recently surpassed in popularity by almond milk and oat milk, soy milk has been a popular plant-based beverage for decades in the US. While soy milk is a high protein plant-based milk alternative, is it really a healthy choice?

Whether labeled Soy Milk, Soymilk, Soy Plant-Based Beverage, or Soy Non-Dairy Beverage, there are many soy-based drink options available at local grocery stores and coffee shops.

Many soy-based beverages contain highly processed ingredients. This comprehensive guide details what to look for and what to avoid when choosing a healthy soymilk.

Healthy Soymilks:

  • Minimize added sugars
  • Are free of glyphosate residue (organic or non-GMO soybeans)
  • Avoid gums and other thickeners
  • Are free of carrageenan
  • Minimize sodium

Water will always be the first ingredient in soy milk.  The second and preferably only other ingredient will be organic or non-GMO soybeans.  However, most commercially available soymilks have relatively long ingredient lists. 

What to look for when choosing a healthy soy milk

1. Healthy Soy Milks Minimize Added Sugar

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Many soymilk brands contain high amounts of added sugar.  And watch out for vanilla flavored soy milk since they often contain more than a tablespoon of added sugar per cup serving!

Read more on recommended daily intake of added sugar and why you want to minimize added sugar consumption.

Recommendation:  If you want a sweetened soymilk, it is better to buy an unsweetened brand and add a small amount of your preferred sweetener.

2. Healthy Soy Milks Avoid Glyphosate Residue

healthy foods do not have glyphosate residue

The majority of soy (94% USA / 62% Canada) grown in North America is genetically modified to be herbicide tolerant (typically glyphosate, trade name Roundup®). (1) 

As a result, genetically engineered soy often contains glyphosate residue (read more about GMOs here).  In fact, when the USDA tested crops for glyphosate residue in 2011 they found 90% of all soy beans contained residual glyphosate.(2)

The safety of chronic, low-level exposure to glyphosate is not proven.  Therefore, it is advisable to consume organic or non-GMO soy to minimize possible glyphosate residue intake.

Recommendation: It is best to buy soymilk made with organic or non-GMO certified soybeans.

3. Healthy Soy Milks Avoid Gums and Other Thickeners

healthy foods should avoid gums and thickeners

Plant-based beverages often contain gums and other thickeners to prevent separation and improve a drink’s texture. However, these gums and thickeners are highly processed and can sometimes cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

Typical gums and other thickeners in diary-free milks include gellan gum and locust bean gum.

Gellan Gum.  Gellan gum is a polysaccharide (polymer of sugar) and soluble dietary fiber. It is manufactured by bacterial fermentation of glucose or other carbon sources such as corn syrup, lactose, whey protein, or soybean extracts. (3-5)

Locust Bean Gum.  Locust Bean Gum a polysaccharide extracted from the seeds of the Carob Tree. Also called carob bean gum, locust Bean Gum is a soluble dietary fiber that is fermented by intestinal microflora. (4, 6)

Recommendation: It is best to avoid foods that contain gums and other thickeners, as they are often highly processed.  However, occasionally eating small amounts of these additives is probably fine, unless you experience gastrointestinal discomfort or are following a specific diet.

4. Healthy Soy Milks Do Not Contain Carrageenan

healthy foods should not contain carrageenan

Carrageenan is a thickener manufactured from red algae seaweed and is widely used in processed foods. (3)

Carrageenan is listed as a “generally regarded as safe” food additive by the FDA and WHO. However, there is growing research that links carrageenan to inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowl disease. (7)

In late 2016, the National Organic Standards Board voted to prohibit the use of carrageenan in organic products.(8)   However, in 2018 the USDA decided to not implement the recommendation and carrageenan is still allowed in organic products. (9)

Recommendation: Avoid any soymilk that contains carrageenan.

5. Healthy Soy Milks Have Minimal Sodium

healthy foods are not high in sodium

Sodium, from salt and other food additives, can be found in almost any processed food.  Soymilk is no exception.

Salt is often added to enhance the flavor of non-dairy beverages.  Additionally, gums and thickeners added to improve the texture of soy milk often contain sodium.

More than 90% of us consume too much sodium each day according to the Dietary Guidelines of America. (10)   Read more on the recommended daily intake of sodium and why you want to reduce your daily sodium intake.

Recommendation: If you are on a reduced salt diet, make sure you avoid soy milks with high levels of sodium.

Which popular soy-based beverages are healthy?

We evaluated popular soy milks based on the following criteria. (11 – 19)

Criteria used to evaluate soymilk

healthy soymilk evaluation criteria

All information below is for a 1 cup serving.

Types of added sugar are red.   Thickeners, gums and carrageenan are bold.

Healthy soymilk options

The healthiest soy milks contain only two simple ingredients: water and organic soybeans.

However, many store-bought soy milks are not a healthy choice.  They are thickened with highly processed gums and most are sweetened with excessive amounts of added sugar.

Examples of healthy soy milks:

Most soy milks found in the grocery store have a long list of ingredients.  However, there are a few store-bought soymilks with minimal ingredients and no added sugar.

Edensoy Unsweetened Organic Soymilk

Eden Foods Organic Unsweetened soymilk nutritional information

Edensoy Unsweetened Organic Soymilk Ingredients: Purified water, organic soybeans

Reasons to consider Edensoy Unsweetened Organic Soymilk:

  • No added sugar
  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Now Foods Soy Milk Powder

Now Foods <a href=Us bank hours omaha ne Soy Milk Powder nutritional information" src="">

Now Foods Soy Milk Powder Ingredients: Organic soy milk powder

Reasons to consider Now Foods Soy Milk Powder:

  • No added sugar
  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Soy Plant-Based Beverage

pacific foods organic unsweetened soy plant-based beverage nutritional information

Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Soy Plant-Based Beverage Ingredients: Water, organic soybeans

Reasons to consider Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Soy Plant-Based Beverage:

  • No added sugar
  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

West Soy Organic Unsweetened Soymilk

west soy organic unsweetened soymilk nutritional information

West Soy Organic Unsweetened Soymilk Ingredients: Filtered water, whole organic soybeans

Reasons to consider West Soy Organic Unsweetened Soymilk:

  • No added sugar
  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Soy milks that are okay:

A few of the soy-based beverages we evaluated fall into the “okay” category. 

If you are okay with consuming a small amount of gellan gum or simple sugars, some of these soymilk options might work for you.

However, if you are following a particular diet which avoids gums or thickeners, you will want to avoid these soy-based beverages.

365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Unsweetened Original Soymilk

365 by Whole Foods Market organic unsweetened original soymilk nutritional information

365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Unsweetened Original Soymilk Ingredients: Organic soymilk (filtered water, organic soybeans), calcium carbonate, sea salt, organic natural flavor, gellan gum, organic locust bean gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12

Reasons to consider 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Unsweetened Original Soymilk:

  • No added sugar
  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free

Reasons why you may want to think twice about buying 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Unsweetened Original Soymilk:

  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Silk Organic Unsweet Soymilk

silk organic unsweet soymilk nutritional information

Silk Organic Unsweet Soymilk Ingredients: Organic soymilk (filtered water, organic soybeans), vitamin and mineral blend (calcium carbonate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, sea salt, gellan gum, ascorbic acid, natural flavor

Reasons to consider Silk Organic Unsweet Soymilk:

  • No added sugar
  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons why you may want to think twice about buying Silk Organic Unsweet Soymilk:

  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Simple Truth Organic Unsweetened Soymilk

Simple Truth Organic Unsweetened Soymilk nutritional information

Simple Truth Organic Unsweetened Soymilk Ingredients: Organic soymilk (filtered water, organic soybeans), calcium carbonate, sea salt, organic natural flavors, gellan gum, organic locust bean gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, Vitamin B12

Reasons to consider Simple Truth Organic Unsweetened Soymilk:

  • No added sugar
  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free

Reasons why you may want to think twice about buying Simple Truth Organic Unsweetened Soymilk:

  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Edensoy Organic Original Soymilk

edensoy organic original soymilk nutritional information

Edensoy Organic Original Soymilk Ingredients: Purified water, organic soybeans, naturally malted organic wheat and barley extract, calcium carbonate, kombu seaweed, sea salt

Reasons to consider Edensoy Organic Original Soymilk:

  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons why you may want to think twice about buying Edensoy Organic Original Soymilk:

  • Contains 5 grams added sugar per serving

Edensoy Extra Organic Original Soymilk

edensoy organic original extra soymilk nutritional information

Edensoy Organic Original Soymilk Ingredients: Purified water, organic soybeans, naturally malted organic wheat and barley extract, calcium carbonate, kombu seaweed, sea salt, vitamin E, beta carotene, vitamin D2, vitamin B12

Reasons to consider Edensoy Organic Original Soymilk:

  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons why you may want to think twice about buying Edensoy Organic Original Soymilk:

  • Contains 5 grams added sugar per serving

Soy milks to avoid:

Several store-bought soy milks are not healthy options.  They often contain too much added sugar or other additives that are best avoided in a healthy diet.

It is worth noting that not all soy-based milks categorized as “avoid” are equal. Some soy milk brands are free of additives, but contain more added sugar or sodium than can be considered a regular part of a healthy diet. Other soymilks contain highly processed thickeners and other undesirable ingredients.

The following soy-based beverages should be avoided or consumed only after thoughtful consideration. 

Great Value Organic Original Soymilk

great value organic original soymilk nutritional information

Great Value Organic Original Soymilk Ingredients: Organic soymilk (filtered water, organic soybeans), organic cane sugar, calcium carbonate, sea salt, natural flavor, gellan gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12

Reasons to consider Great Value Organic Original Soymilk:

  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Great Value Organic Original Soymilk:

  • Each one cup serving contains approximately 5 grams of added sugar. Added sugar is an estimate as Nutrition Facts label has not been updated with specific added sugar information.
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Pacific Foods Organic Original Ultra Soy Plant-Based Beverage

pacific foods organic original ultra soy plant-based beverage nutritional information

Pacific Foods Organic Original Ultra Soy Plant-Based Beverage Ingredients: Water, organic soybeans, cane sugar, gellan gum, locust bean gum, natural flavor, vitamin B2, sea salt, tricalcium phosphate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B12, vitamin D2, vitamin E

Reasons to consider Pacific Foods Organic Original Ultra Soy Plant-Based Beverage:

  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Pacific Foods Organic Original Ultra Soy Plant-Based Beverage:

  • Each one cup serving contains 7 grams of added sugar
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

West Soy Organic Soymilk Original

west soy organic soymilk original nutritional information

West Soy Organic Soymilk Original Ingredients: Organic soymilk (filtered water, whole organic soybeans), filtered water, organic brown rice syrup, sea salt

Reasons to avoid West Soy Organic Soymilk Original:

  • Each one cup serving contains approximately 11 grams of added sugar, almost a tablespoon of sugar and more than 50% of the daily recommended serving of added sugar for women

365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Original Soymilk

365 by WFM organic original soymilk nutritional information

365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Original Soymilk Ingredients: Organic soymilk (filtered water, organic soybeans), organic cane sugar, calcium carbonate, sea salt, natural flavor, organic natural flavor, gellan gum, organic locust bean gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12

Reasons to consider 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Original Soymilk:

  • Organic soybeans, so likely glyphosate free

Reasons to avoid 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Original Soymilk:

  • Each one cup serving contains approximately 6 grams of added sugar
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Simple Truth Organic Plain Soymilk

Simple Truth Organic Plain Soymilk nutritional information

Simple Truth Organic Plain Soymilk Ingredients: Filtered water, whole organic soybeans, organic sugar, calcium carbonate, natural flavors, sea salt, carrageenan, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12

Reasons to avoid Simple Truth Organic Plain Soymilk:

  • Thickened with carrageenan
  • Each one cup serving contains approximately 5 grams of added sugar

Soy Dream Original Enriched Soymilk

soy dream original enriched soymilk nutritional information

Soy Dream Original Enriched Soymilk Ingredients: Filtered water, organic whole soybeans, organic evaporated cane syrup, calcium carbonate, sea salt, carrageenan, vitamin E, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B12

Reasons to avoid Soy Dream Original Enriched Soymilk:

  • Thickened with carrageenan
  • Each one cup serving contains approximately 5 grams of added sugar

Pacific Foods Organic Barista Series Soy Plant-Based Beverage

pacific foods organic barista series soy plant-based beverage nutritional information

Pacific Foods Organic Barista Series Soy Plant-Based Beverage Ingredients: Organic soybase (water, whole organic soybeans), cane sugar, carrageenan, dipotassium phosphate, expeller-pressed canola oil, natural flavor, sea salt, sodium citrate

Reasons to avoid Pacific Foods Organic Barista Series Soy Plant-Based Beverage:

  • Thickened with carrageenan
  • Each one cup serving contains 6 grams of added sugar
  • One cup contains 240 mg sodium, the highest amount of all the evaluated soymilks

Common questions when choosing a healthy soy milk

Many additional questions can arise when trying to find a healthy soy milk.  Aside from a simple, clean ingredient list, there are few other things you may want to consider.

Is vanilla flavored soy milk healthy?

With only a few exceptions, vanilla flavored soy milk is most definitely NOT healthy.  When vanilla flavor is added to plant-based milks, excess sugar is also added.

Check out our comprehensive evaluation of vanilla flavored soy milk.

What about the vitamins in soy milk? 

Vitamins are added to the plant-based milks so the manufactures can claim that the plant-based beverage is a “good source” of these nutrients.

Commercial soy milks often contain vitamins including vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin E, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12 and calcium carbonate.

So, is it good to drink soy milk containing vitamins?  It won’t hurt you.  However, if you need to supplement your diet with specific vitamins, you are likely better off taking a high quality vitamin supplement.

What is the difference between shelf stable soy milk and refrigerated soy milk?

From an ingredient standpoint, there is very little difference between shelf stable and refrigerated soymilk. 

The biggest difference between a shelf stable soy milk and a refrigerated soy milk is how it is packaged. Shelf stable beverages are packaged in an aseptic (sterile) way so they can sit on a shelf without refrigeration until after they are opened.

What is dipotassium phosphate, and why is it in soymilk?

Dipotassium phosphate is a buffer, which helps keep a liquid at the correct acidity. It is added to soy milk help prevent curdling or separation when heated.

Many shelf stable soy milks contain dipotassium phosphate to protect the beverage during the aseptic packaging process.

Dipotassium phosphate is not considered potentially harmful and there is a reasonable amount of research available on its safety. (20)

However, if you are concerned about consuming phosphates in general, there are several soy milk options that avoid using this additive.

What is a Barista Blend Soy Milk?

Barista Blend soy milks are formulated to create an attractive foam on a cappuccino or latte.  Barista beverages tend to contain more fat and have minor formulation differences that help the plant-based beverage perform well in coffee drinks.

Just like any store-bought product, it is best to read the ingredients on something you are going to eat or drink.  You can always ask to see the soymilk carton before ordering your favorite coffee beverage.

What about antinutrients found in soy?

Soy contains compounds sometimes referred to as anti-nutrients. These compounds include trypsin inhibitors, lectins, phytic acids, and indigestible oligosaccharides.

Making soymilk from soybeans significantly reduces these anti-nutrient ingredients. Properly cooking soy significantly reduces the amount of anti-nutrients in soy-based foods.

Helpfully, some soymilk brands detail the steps they take to reduce anti-nutrients in their products. Eden Foods has a webpage that details the steps the company has taken to reduce and also measure the antinutrients in their soy-based products. (21)

Conclusions about choosing a healthy soy milk

When it comes to finding a healthy soy milk, simple clean ingredients are best.  Also, if you like a sweetened soymilk, consider buying the unsweetened version and adding a small amount of your preferred sweetener.

Check out these other product evaluations:

Pin article for later:


  1. Non-GMO Project, GMO acreage in 2018: Soy (link)
  2. USDA PDP Special Projects, Glyphosate, 2011 (link)
  3. Modeling for Gellan Gum Production by Sphingomonas paucimobilis ATCC 31461 in a Simplified Medium, Applied and Environmental Microbiology May 2006, 72 (5) 3367-3374 (link)
  4. Products, CPKelco Website (link)
  5. Re-evaluation of Gellan Gum as a Food Additive, EFSA Website, (link)
  6. Re-evaluation of Locust Bean Gum as a Food Additive, EFSA Website, (link)
  7. The Role of Carrageenan and Carboxymethylcellulose in the Development of Intestinal Inflammation, Frontiers in Pediatrics, 2017, 5: 96 (link)
  8. “Board Nixes Use of Carrageenan in Organic Food Production”, Food Safety News Website. 2016 (link)
  9. USDA Defies Advisors, Allows Carrageenan to Keep Organic Label, NPR Website, (link)
  10. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020, Eighth Ed.  (link)
  11. West Soymilk Website (link)
  12. Now Foods Website (link)
  13. Pacific Foods Website (link)
  14. Eden Foods Website (link)
  15. Whole Foods Website (link)
  16. Silk Website (link)
  17. Kroger Website (link)
  18. Dream Website (link)
  19. Walmart Website (link)
  20. Is Disodium Phosphate Bad for You?, Healthline Website (link)
  21. Sorting out Soy Confusion, Eden Foods Website (link)

It may not be as trendy as almond or oat milk, but soy milk may be healthier. So says a 2018 study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, in which researchers compared the nutritional profiles of four popular milk alternatives. Almond, rice, and coconut milk all lacked essential nutrients important for overall health, whereas soy did not, earning it the title of "healthiest milk alternative."

Despite the fact that it looks healthy nutritionally-speaking, soy milk still has a bad rap. Most notably, is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you are the poster child for genetically modified organisms (GMOs): 90% of the U.S. supply of soybeans are genetically engineered to be herbicide-tolerant, which allows farmers to use higher levels of carcinogenic herbicides when growing. Residues of these herbicides, namely glyphosate, are increasingly being identified in harvested plants and food products, according to experts.

To be fair, the jury is still out on both the pros and cons of the legume, so the best thing to take away from learning about soy milk is to treat it like you would any other food in your where can i find my account number for boost mobile eat it in moderation.

It may be one of the better milk substitutes, but that doesn't mean soy milk should be your only milk substitute. Feel free to put it in a rotation with almond, oat, hemp, and even dairy milk. Each beverage contains unique, health-promoting nutrients, and your body can benefit from sipping on all of them.

And when you're shopping for soy milk, our best recommendation is to stick with organic, non-GMO brands to minimize your risk of herbicide intake. Look for the USDA Organic label, which ensures that a food contains no GMOs and that the food has gone through residue testing to ensure there are no prohibited pesticides in the supply chain.

So, let's get to it: what can you expect to happen to your body when you drink soy milk? Read on, and for more on healthy eating, don't miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Woman flexing muscle in front of personal trainer

Take a look at all the milk substitutes out there and you'll see the same thing: they're all lousy sources of protein. While dairy milk contains eight grams of protein per serving, an alt-milk like almond milk contains one to two grams (and rice milk contains zero). Soy milk, on the other hand, is a good source of protein, with seven to eight grams per serving. Plus, soybeans are a complete source of protein, meaning it contains all nine amino acids—not something all plant-based sources of protein can claim.

RELATED:Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!

Mature woman suffering from pain in wrist at home

Calcium is an important mineral for bone health, and consuming enough calcium in your diet can lower the risk of osteoporosis and colon cancer. Dairy products are among the top sources of calcium in our diets, but they aren't the only way to get calcium.

Almost all soy milk is fortified with 30% of your daily value of calcium; however, an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that this type of calcium isn't as bioavailable to your body as the calcium in dairy milk. What that means is that the amount of calcium you see on the label isn't the amount your body will actually absorb.

This isn't unique to soy milk, according to the Harvard School of Public Health; most plant-based sources of calcium won't deliver as much calcium to your body as dairy products will.

As long as you're eating a balanced diet that contains many calcium-rich foods, you don't have to worry too much. But if you've been relying on soy milk is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you your calcium intake, consider adding other calcium foods to your diet.

Man with health problem visiting urologist at hospital

Surprising, but true: soy products are rich in antioxidants! Specifically, soy is a good source of isoflavones, such as genistein and daidzein, which have been linked to anti-cancer properties. Despite soy milk containing a lower concentration of isoflavones than other soy produces like tofu or edamame, a study published in Cancer Causes & Control found that men who consumed more than one cup of soy milk a day had a 70 percent reduction of the risk of prostate cancer compared to those who consumed less.

Nurse taking the blood pressure of elderly man

That same isoflavone mentioned earlier, genistein, apparently can do more than just lower your risk of cancer. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that when men and women with mild-to-moderate hypertension (high blood pressure) drank two cups of soy milk twice a day for three months, they saw a small but significant decrease in blood pressure compared to baseline and to those who consumed the same amount of cow's milk. The researchers attribute the blood-pressure-lowering effect to genistein, which they found to be in significantly higher amounts in participants after the intervention.

gut health

Lactose intolerance is extremely common, affecting up to 70% of people worldwide. To relieve the digestive distress you may encounter after consuming dairy products, you may consider finding an alternative! Say, soy milk? Soy milk is the milk alternative that's most nutritionally comparable to dairy milk and it just so happens to be lactose-free. Finding comparable, healthy substitutes to food intolerances is an easy way to promote better digestive health. So, too, is eating more of these 20 Foods That Relieve Your Gut Problems, Say Dietitians.

Olivia Tarantino

Olivia Tarantino is a senior editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more


Soy milk

Beverage made from soyabeans

Soya milk (simplified Chinese: 豆浆; traditional Chinese: 豆漿) also known as soy milk or soymilk, is a plant-based drink produced by soaking and grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture, and filtering out remaining particulates. It is a stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein. Its original form is an intermediate product of the manufacture of tofu. Originating in China, it became a common beverage in Europe and North America in the latter half of the 20th century, especially as production techniques were developed to give it a taste and consistency more closely resembling that of dairy milk. Soya milk may be used as a substitute for dairy milk by individuals who are vegan or are lactose intolerant.

Soya milk is also used in making imitation dairy products such as soy yogurt, soy cream, soy kefir and soy-based cheese analogues.[3][4] It is also used as an ingredient for making milkshakes, pancakes, smoothies, bread, mayonnaise, and baked goods.[5]


In China, the usual term 豆浆 dòujiāng (lit. "bean broth") is used for the traditional watery and beany beverage produced as an intermediate product in the production of tofu, whereas store-bought products designed to imitate the flavor and consistency of dairy milk, may contain a mixture of dairy and soy, are more often known as 豆奶 dòunǎi ("bean milk").[citation needed]

In other countries, there are sometimes legal impediments to the equivalents of the name "soy milk". In such jurisdictions, the manufacturers of plant milks typically label their products the equivalent of "soy beverage" or "soy drink."[citation needed]

Naming in the EU

In the European Union, "milk" by law refers exclusively to "the normal mammary secretion obtained from one or more milkings without either addition thereto or extraction therefrom".[6] Only cow's milk is allowed to be named "milk" on packaging, and any other milks must state the name of the respective animal: for example, "goat milk" or "sheep milk". The naming of soy drink as soy milk became subject of a 2017 court case before the Court of Justice of the European Union after a German consumer protection group filed an unfair competition complaint about a company describing its soya and tofu products as 'milk' or 'cheese'. The Court of Justice ruled that such designations cannot be legally used for purely plant-based products and that additions indicating the plant origin of the products (soy milk) does not influence that prohibition.[7]


The earliest record of soybean milk is on a stone slab of the Eastern Han dynasty unearthed in China, on which is engraved the situation of making soy milk in ancient kitchens.

A tofu broth (doufujiang) c. 1365 was used during the MongolYuan. As doujiang, this drink remains a common watery form of soy milk in China, usually prepared from fresh soybeans. The compendium of Materia Medica, which was completed in 1578 ad, also has an evaluation of soymilk. Its use increased during the Qing dynasty, apparently due to the discovery that gently heating doujiang for at least 90 minutes hydrolyzed its raffinose and stachyose, oligosaccharides which can cause flatulence and digestive pain among lactose-intolerant adults. By the 18th century, it was common enough that street vendors were hawking it; in the 19th, it was also common to take a cup to tofu shops to get hot, fresh doujiang for breakfast. It was already often paired with youtiao, which was dipped into it. The process was industrialized in early Republican China. By 1929, two Shanghai factories were selling over 1000 bottles a day and another in Beijing was almost as productive itself. Following disruption from the Second World Is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you and the Chinese Civil War, soy milk began to be marketed in soft drink-like fashion in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan in the 1950s.

Consumption of soy milk had spread to England by the 14th century.[14] Soymilk was mentioned in various European letters from China beginning in the 17th century. "Soy milk" entered the English language (as "soy-bean milk") in an 1897 USDA report. Li Yuying established Caséo-Sojaïne, the first soy milk "dairy", in Colombes, France, in 1910; he received the first British and American patents for soy milk manufacturing in 1912 and 1913. J.A. Chard began production of "Soy Lac" in New York City, United States, in 1917. Harry W. Miller—an American businessman forced to relocate his factory from Shanghai owing to World War II—was similarly compelled by the USDA and the US dairy industry to use the term "Soya Lac" rather than "soy milk".John Harvey Kellogg had been working with what he called "soymilk" at his Battle Creek Sanitarium since 1930, but was similarly compelled to market his acidophilus-enriched beverage as "Soygal" when it began commercial production in 1942.

A string of 40 court cases against Rich Products between 1949 and 1974 finally established that non-dairy "milks" and imitation dairy products were "a new and distinct food", rather than inferior and illegal knock-offs.Cornell researchers established the enzymelipoxygenase as responsible for the "beany" flavor of soy milk made in 1966; the same research established a process for reducing or eliminating the bean flavor from commercial products.[20] With Tetra Pakcartons extending its shelf-life, Hong Kong-based Vitasoy reintroduced soy milk to the US market in 1980 and brought it to 20 other countries within a few years.Alpro similarly began production in Belgium in 1980, quickly becoming Europe's leading producer. New production technology and techniques began to permit soy beverages with an appreciably more milk-like flavor and consistency in the mid-1980s.


Soy milk is made from whole soybeans or full-fat soy flour.[22] The dry beans are soaked in water for a minimum of three hours up to overnight depending on the temperature of the water. The rehydrated beans then undergo wet grinding with enough added water axis internet banking login give the desired verizon fios bill pay locations content to the final product which has a protein content of 1–4%, depending on the method of production.[22] The ratio of water to beans on a weight basis is 10:1 for traditional soy milk.[22] The resulting slurry or purée is brought to a boil to improve its taste properties, by heat inactivating soybean trypsin inhibitor, improve its flavor, and to sterilize the product.[22][5] Heating at or near the boiling point is continued for a period of time, 15–20 minutes, followed by the removal of insoluble residues (soy pulp fiber) by straining/filtration.[22]

Processing requires the use of an anti-foaming agent or natural defoamer during the boiling step. Bringing filtered soy milk to a boil avoids the problem of foaming. It is generally opaque, white or off-white in color, and approximately the same consistency as cow's milk.[22] Quality attributes during preparation include germination time for the beans used, acidity, total protein and carbohydrates, phytic acid content, and viscosity.[22] Raw soy milk may be sweetened, flavored, and fortified with micronutrients.[5] Once fully processed, soy milk products are typically sold in plastic bottles or plastic-coated cartons, such as tetrapaks.[5]


With soybean production increasing worldwide during the early 21st century,[3] and consumer interest in plant milks growing from demand in Asia, Europe, and the United States,[3][4][5] soy milk became the second-most consumed plant milk (after almond milk) by 2019.[23][24] Soy milk sales declined in the United States during 2018–19,[4][24] mainly due to the rising popularity of almond milk and loss of market share to the successful introduction of oat milk.[25]

According to market research in 2019, the worldwide market for soy milk was growing at an annual rate of 6%, and was forecast to reach $11 billion in total commerce by 2025.[26] Growth in consumption was due mainly to expanding the flavors of sweetened soy milks and uses in desserts, whereas unsweetened soy milk was being used particularly in Asia-Pacific countries as an ingredient in snacks and various prepared foods.[26]



A cup (243 ml) serving of a generic unsweetened commercial nutrient-fortified brand of soy milk provides 80 calories from 4 g of carbohydrates (including 1 g of sugar), 4 g of fat and 7 g of protein.[27] This processed soy milk contains appreciable levels of vitamin A, B vitamins, and vitamin D in a range of 10 to 45% of the Daily Value, with calcium and magnesium also in significant content.[27]

It has a glycemic index of 34±4.[28] For protein quality, one study gave soya milk a Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS) of 78% for infants, 99% for young children, and 117% for older children, adolescents, and adults, with the limiting amino acid for those groups being leucine, lysine, and valine respectively.[29] A DIAAS of 100 or more is considered to be an excellent/high protein quality source.[30]

  1. ^ abcCommonly added to plant milks, which do not naturally contain significant levels of the nutrient. Added to all three plant milks presented in this table.
  2. ^Vitamin A fortification is only required for skimmed milk in the US.
  3. ^Vitamin D fortification for dairy milk is mandatory in the US.


Manufactured, sweetened soy milk has an oatmeal-like, nutty flavor.[37] In acidic hot drinks, such as coffee, curdling may occur, requiring some manufacturers to add acidity regulators.[38]

Phytic acid

Soybeans, and soy milk in particular, contain phytic acid, which may act as a chelating agent and inhibit mineral absorption, especially for diets already low in minerals.[39][40]


Soy milk soup with salt and vinegar, along with vegetables and wontons.

Soy milk is a common beverage in East Asian cuisines. In Chinese cuisine, "sweet" soy milk is made by adding cane sugar or simple syrup. "Salty" or "savory" soy milk is often combined with chopped pickledmustard greens, driedshrimp, youtiaocroutons, chopped spring onions, cilantro, pork floss, and/or shallots, along with vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and/or chili oil. Both are traditional breakfast foods, served hot or cold depending on the season or personal preference. At breakfast, it is often accompanied by starchycarbohydrate-rich foods like mantou (a thick, fluffy kind of roll or bun), youtiao (deep-fried dough sticks), and shaobing (sesame flatbread). Japanese cuisine uses soy milk to make yuba and as an occasional base for nabemono. In Korean cuisine, soy milk is used as the broth for making kongguksu, a cold noodlesoup eaten mostly in summer. In many countries, soy milk is used in vegan and vegetarian food products and as a replacement for cow's milk in many recipes.[23][3] Soy milk is also used in making imitation dairy products such as soy yogurt, soy cream, soy kefir and soy-based cheese analogues.[3][4] It is also used as an ingredient for making milkshakes, pancakes, smoothies, bread, mayonnaise, and north carolina central university alumni goods.[5]

Ecological impact

Using soybeans to make milk instead of raising cows is ecologically advantageous.[41] Cows require much more energy to produce milk, since the farmer must feed the animal, which can consume up to 24 kilograms (53 lb) of food in dry matter basis and 90 to 180 litres (24 to 48 US gal) of water a day, producing an average of 40 kilograms (88 lb) of milk a day. Legumes, including the soybean plant, also replenish the nitrogen content of the soil in which they are grown.

The cultivation of soybeans in South America is a cause of deforestation[42] (specifically in the Amazon rainforest) and a range of other large-scale environmental harm.[43] However, the majority of soybean cultivation worldwide, especially in South America where cattle farming is widespread, is intended for livestock fodder rather than soy milk production.[42]

See also


  1. ^ abcde"Top 4 Trends Impacting the Global Soy Milk and Cream Market Through 2020: Technavio". BusinessWire. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  2. ^ abcd"2019 State of the Beverage Industry: Dairy category benefits from flexible consumers: New forms of alternative milks emerge". Beverage Industry Magazine. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  3. ^ abcdefAchla Bharti (25 August 2019). "The Growth Of Soy-Milk As A Dairy Alternative". Industry Europe, Focus Media Group Ltd. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  4. ^"Document 32013R1308: Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 Establishing a Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products.", EUR-Lex, Brussels: European Union, 20 December 2013.
  5. ^"Dairy names for soya and tofu face new ban". 14 June 2017. Is drinking a lot of soy milk bad for you 15 July 2019.
  6. ^The Forme of Cury, London, 1390.
  7. ^Raj Gupta (2014). "Soy milk: terrible or terrific"(PDF). ProSoya. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  8. ^ abcdefgJiang, S.; Cai, W.; Xu, B. (2013). "Food quality improvement of soy milk made from short-time germinated soybeans". Foods. 2 (2): 198–212. doi:10.3390/foods2020198. PMC 5302266. PMID 28239109.
  9. ^ abcClara Guibourg and Helen Briggs (22 February 2019). "Climate change: Which vegan milk is best?". BBC News: Science and Environment. Retrieved 25 October 2019.CS1 maint: zions bancorporation news authors parameter (link)
  10. ^ abAmelia Lucas (13 November 2019). "5 charts that show how milk sales changed and made it tough for Dean Foods to avert bankruptcy". CNBC. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  11. ^Emily Saladino (17 January 2019). "Got Milk Decision Fatigue? The Pain and Politics of Soy, Almond, Oat, and Cow's Milks". VinePair Inc. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  12. ^ ab"Soy Milk Market Size Worth $11.08 Billion By 2025; CAGR: 6.1%". Grandview Research. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  13. ^ ab"Basic Report: 16222, Soymilk (All Flavors), Unsweetened, with Added Calcium, Vitamins A and D", USDA Food Composition Database, Washington: US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2016.
  14. ^Atkinson & al. (2008) harvp error: no target: CITEREFAtkinson_&_al.2008 (help).
  15. ^Reynaud, Yohan; et al. (y) (2021). "True ileal amino acid digestibility and digestible indispensable amino acid scores (DIAASs) of plant-based protein foods". Food Chemistry. 338: 128020. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.128020. PMID 32932087. S2CID 221746468.
  16. ^Report of an FAO Expert Consultation, 31 March - 2 April 2011, Auckland, New Zealand, Food and Agriculture Organization, 2013, p. 43, ISBN 
  17. ^"Breastfeeding: Human Milk Versus Animal Milk".
  18. ^"Milk, human, mature, fluid Nutrition Facts & Calories". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  19. ^"Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat, with added vitamin D (FDC #171265)". Agricultural Research Service. United States Department of Agriculture.
  20. ^"Soymilk (all flavors), unsweetened, with added calcium, vitamins A and D (FDC #175215)". Agricultural Research Service. United States Department of Agriculture.
  21. ^"Beverages, almond milk, unsweetened, shelf stable (FDC #174832)". Agricultural Research Service. United States Department of Agriculture.
  22. ^Oat Milk Nutrition Facts (Report). Batavia, IL: Aldi.[full citation needed]
  23. ^Serena Ball (22 January 2021). "All the Non-Dairy Milks on the Market, Reviewed and Ranked". FoodNetwork. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  24. ^Brown, Mairi; Laitano, Francesca; Williams, Calum; Gibson, Bruce; Haw, Mark; Sefcik, Jan; Johnston, Karen (1 October 2019). "'Curdling' of soymilk in coffee: A study of the phase behaviour of soymilk coffee mixtures"(PDF). Food Hydrocolloids. 95: 462–467. doi:10.1016/j.foodhyd.2019.04.032. S2CID 145932645.
  25. ^Committee on Food Protection, Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council (1973). "Phytates". Toxicants Occurring Naturally in Foods. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. pp. 363–71. ISBN .CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  26. ^"How do phytates impact calcium absorption?". American Bone Health. 2011.
  27. ^"Livestock's long shadow – Environmental issues and options; Chapter 2, Livestock in geographic transition"(PDF). United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome. 2006.
  28. ^ ab"Soy is Everywhere". World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  29. ^"Environmental & social impacts of soy". World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 14 August 2015.


  • Atkinson, Fiona S.; et al. (1 Dec 2008), "International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values: 2008", Diabetes Care, 31 (12): 2281–3, doi:10.2337/dc08-1239, PMC 2584181, PMID 18835944.
  • Huang, H.T. (2008), "Early Uses of Soybean in Chinese History", The World walmart money card number Soy, University of Illinois Press, ISBN 978-0-252-03341-4.
  • Lawrence, S.E.; et al. (2016), "Preference Mapping of Soymilk with Different U.S. Consumers", Journal of Food Science, 81 (2): S463–76, doi:10.1111/1750-3841.13182, PMID 26677062.
  • Lei Ma Li, Bin; Han, Fenxia; Yan, Shurong; Wang, Lianzheng; Sun, Junming (2015), "Evaluation of the Chemical Quality Traits of Soybean Seeds, as Related to Sensory Attributes of Soymilk", Food Chemistry, 173: 694–701, doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.10.096, PMID 25466078.
  • Shi, X.; et al. (2015), "Flavor Characteristic Analysis of Soymilk Prepared by Different Soybean Cultivars and Establishment of Evaluation Method of Soybean Cultivars Suitable for Soymilk Processing", Food Chemistry, 185: 422–9, doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.04.011, PMID 25952888.
  • Shurtleff, William; et al. (2004), "Dr John Harvey Kellogg and Battle Creek Foods: Work with Soy", History of Soybeans and Soyfoods, 1100 BC to the 1980s, Lafayette: Soyinfo Center.
  • Shurtleff, William; et al. (2009), History of Miso, Soybean Jiang (China), Jang (Korea), and Tauco/Taotjo (Indonesia), 200 BC–2009, Lafayette: Soyinfo Center, ISBN 9781928914228.
  • Shurtleff, William; et al. (2013), History of Soymilk and Other Non-Dairy Milks, 1226 to 2013 (PDF), Lafayette: Soyinfo Center.
  • Shurtleff, William; et al. (2014), History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in China and Taiwan and in Chinese Cookbooks, Restaurants, and Chinese Work with Soyfoods outside China, 1024 BCE to 2014 (PDF), Lafayette: Soyinfo Center.

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