Food & Drinks

What Makes Soy Milk The Most Nutritious Plant-based Milk? 

The almond milk latte you have been sipping might be delicious. But one of the research pieces suggests that the drink also has some leading disadvantages. When they went deeper into the subject, they found that the nutritional profiles of 4 famous alternative milk, especially soy milk, consist of more wholesome nutrients than rice, almond, and coconut.  

It is often quoted that plant-based milk is marketed as an appropriate and wholesome alternative. In order to find out more, researchers at McGill University investigated nutrient labels of unsweetened rice, soy, and almond milk, coupled with coconut beverages available in groceries.  

They stated that cow’s milk is still balanced and wholesome and offers an accumulated amount of fat, protein, and carbs. On the other hand, soy milk has been a famous option in the industry for nearly four decades and is the closest to cow’s milk regarding the whole nutrient balance. It also has the most considerable protein levels of all alternative options ever studied, with approximately 6-11 grams/8-ounce serving.  

That said, soy nutrition comprises phytonutrients called isoflavones, which have been shown to induce cancer-fighting properties. There are better alternatives than this one. But, for some people, it’s just the beverage they were looking for.  

What Is Soy Milk? 

You might have been suggested by several vegan enthusiasts around you to get on the soy regime. Isn’t it? In this case, it’s always advised to begin with the basics. Soy milk is one of the plant-based non-dairy beverages that is a famous alternate option to cow’s milk. The beverage is made from soybeans. Additionally, several brands, like Silk, happen to fortify their milk with minerals and vitamins, like calcium and Vitamin D.  

It does not end here. Soy milk provides a creamy texture, culinary diversity, and a full nutritional profile, comprising much-needed omega-3 fatty acids. This also includes flavonoids that can exert anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cardioprotective properties.  

Apart from soy milk’s wholesome profile, several factors contribute to its popularity. What if you’re moving away from dairy products or do not like the taste of cow milk? Alternatively, you can also be lactose intolerant or have various other milk allergies. In that case, how will you blend traditional milk into tea, coffee, or cereal? This is when soy milk comes into the picture. As per the studies conducted by Mayo Clinic, intolerance can also lead to multiple uncomfortable gastrointestinal side effects, including gas, bloating, and diarrhea. That is why experts recommend consuming plant-based milk.  

Soy Milk Nutrition Facts You Must Know 

To begin with, there are several types of soy milk products and forms on the shelves, and the amount of added sugar and calories differ with every good. As a result, always check the fact label on the brand you purchase. This is because the nutrition facts can vary significantly. Moreover, according to the USDA, a single cup serving of unsweetened soy milk tends to have the following nutrients:  

  • Fat: 4.9 grams 
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g 
  • Calories: 100 
  • Calcium: 380 milligrams (mg) 
  • Fiber: 2 g 
  • Protein: 7 g 
  • Sodium: 96 mg 
  • Iron: less than 1 mg 
  • Potassium: 289 mg 
  • Vitamin D (D2 + D3): 453 international units (IU) 

Soy Milk vs. Multiple Milk Alternatives 

You might be thinking about how soy milk distinguishes itself from other milk-based beverages, like plant-based and dairy-based milk. In brief terms, here’s the comparison.  

Dairy Milk vs. Soy Milk  

Of every plant milk, soy is the most nutritionally similar to low-fat cow milk. Going by the USDA 2020-2025 guidelines, it is also included in the dairy category. One of the experts refers to soybean as an edible bean. With all nine vital amino acids, soy milk beverage is an ideal protein source and is relatively balanced and wholesome in carbs and fats. 

Other Plant-Based Milk vs. Soy Milk 

In more accessible terms, soy milk bests almond milk regarding protein levels since traditional almond milk has fewer calories. More so, it offers only 1.6 grams of protein. Moving on, a few added almond milk proteins utilize pea protein to elevate the entire protein content. However, you are requested and recommended to check product labels to verify such information.  

Oat, rice, and coconut milk products are various other options. Almond, oat, and rice milk have fewer protein levels per serving compared to soy milk. Based on Califia Farms studies, coconut milk can offer 4 grams of fat per single cup serving and has no protein content.  

Potential Advantages of Soy Milk 

People’s opinions might vary on how cow milk is compared with alternative milk. But here are some potential advantages of incorporating soy milk into your grocery. 

Nutritious option 

Many prefer cow milk and various dairy products, such as yogurt. That is because it provides you with abundant calcium. However, research states that plant-based milk is rich in protein levels and only comprises minor traces of saturated fat. 

Soy Milk Can Battle Specific Diseases 

If you’re a dairy user, you might argue this point. But, it’s imperative to know that plant-based goods like soybean are correlated to lower diabetes risk, heart issues, lower blood pressure, body weight, and bad cholesterol, as per studies by Harvard Health. Even though more research needs to be initiated, some research pieces state that soy milk can alleviate cancer risk and osteoporosis. Plus, the beverage can also relieve menopausal symptoms.  

For instance, one clinical study stated that genistein could reduce cancer risk and complement anti-cancer medication. Yet another research concluded soy isoflavones could alleviate bone loss that can contribute to osteoporosis.  

What’s the recommended amount of soy milk? 

While talking about soy milk, rest assured that if all the guidelines are followed religiously, you’re at par. The AICR suggests a user consumes moderate soy amounts, i.e., one to two servings of soy milk, tofu, and nuts. They also recommend drinking 1 cup of soy milk blended in your morning smoothie.  

How to select healthy soy milk? 

There are some factors before you drink soy milk. The first point is to look for an unsweetened product. The sweetened version can comprise approximately 5 grams of sugar in every serving or probably more. If you wish to experience a little flavor, go for the unsweetened vanilla flavor. If the product is within your budget, consider going organic. 

The verdict 

As already discussed, soy milk is one of the healthy, plant-based milk beverages that can easily fit into any diet. Moreover, the product is naturally low in calories and fat and provides more protein levels compared to other plant-based goods. To avail yourself of the nutritional benefits of soy milk, consider unsweetened soy milk fortified with minerals and vitamins.  

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