Soy milk

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Overview

Soy milk is an alternative to dairy products and has long been a traditional drink in China, Japan and other parts of Asia.

Some people choose to drink soy milk because of lactose intolerance suffer or are sensitive to lactose, while others choose it for ethical reasons (such as interest in animal welfare and reduce environmental impacts) or health reasons (such as the desire to reduce cholesterol intake or eat healthier).

The health benefits of soy milk is controversial because soy is a very important food allergen. However, it is generally accepted that soy milk is a healthy alternative to cow’s milk.


Contents

1. Overview
2. Soy milk versus cow’s milk – fat and proteins
3. Fortified soy milk versus unfortified soy milk
4. Soy milk versus cow’s milk – hormones


Soy milk versus cow’s milk – fat and proteins

Largely because of advertising campaigns conducted by companies in the dairy industry, many people erroneously assume that any milk is healthy. However, only milk that has less fat or no fat is accepted as healthy by the medical community.

Unlike cow’s milk, the soy is naturally lower in fat. Normally, soy milk contains up to 2% less fat and in addition, it has no saturated fat.

Because it is made from vegetable matter, soy milk does not contain cholesterol, while cow’s milk has about 20 mg of cholesterol per cup. An adult should not exceed 300 mg of cholesterol daily but many people consume more, with high levels of cholesterol but also cardiovascular problems.

Soy milk has higher levels of protein than the cow’s milk. Although some sources believe that soy milk protein is an incomplete protein, difficult to digest, this is not true. Soy milk protein is a complete protein and is easily to digest.


Fortified soy milk versus unfortified soy milk

When used as a substitute for cow’s milk, unfortified soy milk is low in vitamin B (especially B12) and calcium. For this reason many brands of soy milk are fortified with B group vitamins and calcium, and vitamins E and D.


Soy milk versus cow’s milk – hormones

As with cow’s milk, there is some controversy about the hormones present in soy milk. Cow’s milk contains, naturally, estrogen and progesterone. Cows are both milked when they are pregnant and when their body’s hormone levels are high.

Some studies have related the consumption of cow’s milk with different types of cancer and sexually precocious puberty. In addition, it was demonstrated in some studies that milk obtained from cows treated with growth hormones trigger certain cancers.

Soy milk contains naturally isoflavones. It works similarly to estrogen. Isoflavones are phytoestrogens, or plant-derived compounds with estrogenic activity.

Currently there is no conclusive evidence in one direction high consumption of these compounds may lead to either lower the risk but its growth to develop breast cancer. It is questionable abnormally high consumption of isoflavones but regular consumption of soy milk and other sources of isoflavones is considered healthy.

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