Which milk substitute is right for you?
Soy milk may not be the tastiest milk substitute, but its nutritional value is hard to match. This drink has been around forever — its first American reference dates back to 1896, for Soybut has been consumed internationally for centuries – delivering high doses of vitamin A, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium and zinc, according to a 2018 report featured in the Journal of Food Science and Technology. Depending on the brand you buy, it contains between 80 and 120 calories, 3 to 8 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 to 12 grams of protein per serving. Plus, it’s low in fat, with just 2.5 to 6 grams per cup. As it does not contain dairy products, it is safe for people who are lactose intolerant.
With its mild flavor, soy milk goes well in most recipes and can be a healthy addition to protein shakes, smoothies and raw desserts. The downside is that it contains genistein and other isoflavones, a class of compounds with estrogen-like effects, for example. research paper 2016 published in the journal Nutrients. These flavonoids protect against inflammation, cancer, and oxidative stress, but they can also throw your hormones out of balance. In some cases, isoflavones can increase cancer risk and suppress immune function. However, further studies are needed to confirm these results.
To stay on the safe side, enjoy this drink in moderation. Remember that even the healthiest foods can cause problems when eaten in excess. Ideally, alternate soymilk with other beverages to get more nutrients in your diet and provide variety.