Soy milk – health properties, advantages and disadvantages


Soy milk is a milk whose properties and nutritional value arouse much controversy Many people wonder if soy milk is healthy, is it good for children and infants, what are its advantages and disadvantages, everything because of the composition – it contains isoflavones Check what effect soy milk has on health, how much calories it has (kcal), what is its price, and what has been used in the kitchen.


Soya milk, or rather a soy beverage, is – technologically – an aqueous extract produced from soybeans or non-fat soy flour, which is a mixture of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Soy milk has traditionally been produced in China and other regions of East Asia, but its nutritional properties and value have been underestimated because it has never played an important role in the daily diet.

In Europe, soy milk appeared in the early twentieth century due to Li Yu-Ying, who lived in France, who in 1910 received a patent for its production, but it was of marginal significance for a long time, and is now gaining popularity due to growing interest in diets and diets .

Most often, soy milk is used by people on a dairy-free diet with lactose intolerance, allergy to casein, or vegetarians and vegans.


Soy milk – nutritional values, calories (kcal)

The content of nutrients in soy milk varies depending on the producer, but in general you can divide soy drinks into unsweetened and sweetened, enriched with calcium and vitamins A and D, as well as not enriched and in these categories to consider their nutritional value.

Unsaturated soy milk is the least caloric, the glass provides about 80 calories. This is less than in sweetened milk (131 kcal) and cow’s 3.2% fat (146 kcal).


According to scientists, soy milk is characterized by the best nutritional values of plant drinks replacing milk.

It is much more healthy to choose unsweetened soy milk than with the addition of simple sugars, whose consumption increases the risk of many diseases.

Soya milk, which has not been enriched with vitamins and minerals, is not a good source of calcium and vitamins A and D.

However, it provides significant amounts of folic acid and potassium, as well as vitamin B12. Often, however, it is stressed that the body can not use this vitamin derived from vegetable sources.

A very important component of soy milk is the soy isoflavones that are responsible for its effects on health.

In a glass of soy milk there are – according to various sources – from 6.2 mg to 30 mg of isoflavones.This is not much compared to soya beans, which portion (half a cup after cooking) provides 56 mg of these compounds.”



Soy milk – health properties

Soya milk is very controversial as a product made from soybeans The first thing to look at is the fact that the vast majority of soy currently cultivated (90% of world production) is genetically modified soy.

There is no doubt that this is a disadvantage, and the closer to nature, the better for our health.” If soy milk is not marked with a non-GMO symbol, we are sure that it was made from genetically modified soy.

Soy, and therefore also its products, is a frequent allergen among children and adults, including soy milk into the diet, it must be done in small portions and observe the body’s reactions.


Allergy to milk – what causes it? What are the symptoms of milk allergies?

Another complaint is the sweetening of soy milk. Because of its unattractive taste, manufacturers add large amounts of simple sugars, which in daily diet should not exceed 5-10% of the energy supplied, which for a typical diet of 2000 kcal means 25-50 g, while in a glass of soya drink contains 8-11 g of added sugars.

There is no unambiguous answer to the question of whether soy milk is healthy, you should stick to the principles of moderation and eat soy foods up to 3-5 times a week.

Do soy products actually cause cancer, lower testosterone levels in men, and disrupt thyroid function, as it is often repeated? The answer is not unambiguous, as is often the case with nutrition.

Isoflavones present in soy, and therefore in soy milk, are phytoestrogens, that is, they act similarly to estrogens – female sex hormones, which can actually affect the endocrine system, but research shows that it is necessary to eat a very large amount of soy products, basically impossible to eat even in a typical vegan diet.

So a healthy man will not lower his testosterone levels by drinking soy milk from time to time, just as eating normal soy will not affect the functioning of a healthy thyroid, or lower fertility.

One of the scientific studies showed that 100 mg of soy isoflavones are required to reduce ovarian function, and this amount is present in 16 glasses of soy milk with 6.2 mg isoflavones, but it can be said that in the case of already existing diseases with the endocrine system, soy and its preserves should be avoided.


Soy milk – is it healthy? Research results

A broad analysis of the clinical and epidemiological studies on the health effects of soy products published in the Nutrients magazine in December 2016 shows that:

soy reduces LDL cholesterol (by 4-5%) and the risk of heart disease if you consume at least 25 g of soy protein daily – but this is more than the standard Asian consumption

soy products reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women

eating soy in childhood reduces the risk of breast cancer, and eating soy in adulthood does not cause this protective effect

consumption of soy does not increase the risk of breast cancer and slightly reduces the risk of breast cancer and mortality from it – the results of research in this aspect are often contradictory and do not allow a hundred percent statement about the impact of soy isoflavones

there are no studies that would show that moderate consumption of soy isoflavones is unfavorable or completely safe in the course of estrogen-dependent cancers, including breast cancer

some experts suggest limiting the consumption of phytoestrogens including soy isoflavones by women at risk of developing breast cancer

soy isoflavones reduce the hot flush in some postmenopausal women

consumption of soy products slightly extends the menstrual cycle

soy products eliminate the negative effect of bisphenol A on female fertility

moderate consumption of soy products does not affect the quality of sperm

moderate consumption of soy products does not affect the level of testosterone and feminization of men.However, this happens with a very high intake of soy isoflavones – 360 mg per day, which corresponds to a 9-fold average intake of isoflavones by men in Japan

consumption of soy products does not affect the functioning of healthy thyroid gland.It decreases the absorption of drugs used in hypothyroidism, therefore, it is recommended to maintain at least a 4-hour interval between the consumption of soy products and the use of medicines


Soy milk – contraindications

Analyzing the results of scientific research, it can be concluded that soy milk and other soy products do not have a significant impact on health – neither positively nor negatively.

Most of the body’s reactions are associated with a huge consumption of soy products, which everyday food is simply impossible.

However, several groups of people should be mentioned that should pay attention to the presence of soy in their menu. People with hypothyroidism and taking medications should be at least 4 hours apart between drugs and soy foods, because they interfere with the absorption of these agents.

Men with markedly reduced testosterone levels should avoid soy in their diet. Similarly, people with estrogen-dependent cancers who have cancer of their type and are at risk.

However, it must be remembered that these are” exaggerated “recommendations, not supported by hard scientific evidence.


Soy milk and cow – which is healthier?

How does soy milk fall out of cow’s milk (3.2% fat, because it is considered by a modern dietician to be healthier than low-fat milk)?

In soy milk, there is a similar amount of protein as in cow’s milk, it is a vegetable protein, not as well digestible as animal, but still containing a lot of essential amino acids .The content of carbohydrates in unsweetened soy milk is 3 times lower than in other variants.

Soy milk does not contain lactose (milk sugar), which is poorly tolerated by many adults, hence it can be a replacement for cow’s milk.

It also contains less fat and does not contain cholesterol, but let us remember that the thesis that cholesterol has a strong influence on the risk of heart disease has proved to be a medical myth.

Most often on the western markets you can meet enriched milk, then it contains a similar amount of calcium and vitamin D in cow’s milk and twice as much vitamin A. It is worth noting that due to the lower phosphorus content in soy milk than twice in cow’s milk, calcium contained in it can be absorbed better because the process is not disturbed by phosphorus.

The products that provide well-absorbed calcium and vitamin D are important components of the diet to prevent osteoporosis, while the B vitamins are responsible for the state of the nervous system.

Posted on: November 15, 2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *