Last updated: August 18, 2021

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This article is for those who like to keep in shape and for vegetarians and vegans - you too! If this product is new to you, we invite you to get to know all its qualities. It is a vegetable drink that is becoming more and more important in the Mexican diet because it is very healthy.

The dilemmas about which milk to buy used to come down to its fat content. However, nowadays there is a variety of dairy products that can easily confuse us. Vegetable, animal, fortified; sounds a bit complicated, doesn't it?

Not really! It is very easy to buy this product as it is very popular. In the following article we will show you everything you need to know about this product, the care and considerations you should take, where to buy it and much more. Don't miss it.




The most important things to know

  • Soy milk is a vegetable-based beverage made from soybeans. This legume contains all the necessary amino acids and is the most similar to cow's milk. However, it is not recommended under any circumstances as a substitute for cow's milk. It is ideal for lactose intolerant people as it has many benefits.
  • There are too many variables when it comes to plant milks. However, only two types can achieve similarity to cow's milk in one way or another. Both are an option for the lactose intolerant and mainly differ in the amount of hormones they provide; almond milk being much less.
  • Although most soy milks are good, you can choose the one that best suits your lifestyle, paying attention to the amount of sugar it contains. Its calcium content, especially if it is for children. You may also be interested in its origin and the additives it contains to thicken it to resemble cow's milk.

The Best Soy Milk: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about soy milk

As with any product that comes to "replace" another product we are used to, doubts and confusion arise. So that you can make a decision based on neutral information, we have created the following buying guide that will show you step by step how to differentiate soymilk and choose the one that best suits your diet.

The nutty flavour of soymilk goes perfectly with coffee or tea (Photo: marida/ 123rf.com)

What is soymilk and what are its benefits?

Soy milk is a beverage made by processing soybeans with water. This legume has all the amino acids that our body needs for proper digestion. For this reason, soymilk has many health benefits. However, it has been criticised for the contraindications it may have.

If you drink soymilk, you can support the growth and strengthening of babies and the elderly in particular. It aids the immune system, aids digestion and is able to lower triglycerides and cholesterol. It is highly rich in calcium, vitamin B, lecithin and magnesium, making it ideal for people who cannot tolerate animal protein.

Advantages
  • Ideal for diabetics
  • Suitable for lactose intolerant people
  • High content of calcium and magnesium
  • Product of vegetable origin
Disadvantages
  • Not to be consumed during pregnancy
  • May affect the endocrine system
  • Problems related to fertility in men
  • Consumption only from one year of age

Soy or almond milk - what should you look out for?

Although there is a wide variety of plant-based milks. Two types are the most popular because they are often prescribed to replace cow's milk. Although these drinks should not be used on a daily basis, nor should they replace breast milk, there are many benefits to be found in consuming them.

Soy milk. This is the most commonly consumed when there are problems processing cow's milk because it contains equivalent amounts of protein. Its caloric content is much lower and it is an excellent choice for diets. They are also fortified with calcium and vitamins.

Almond milk. Like its competitor, this milk is also ideal for lactose intolerant people. The big difference is that it does not contain the hormones that soy and cow's milk do. For this reason, as well as being healthy, it is ideal for people with acne. It is also commercially available fortified with vitamins and calcium.

Soy milk Almond milk
Calories (per cup) 80 34
Protein High content Low content
Fortified with Vitamin A, D and calcium Vitamin D, B12 and calcium
Minerals Potassium, magnesium Sodium, calcium

Although it is not real milk, it is a milky vegetable drink (Photo: Rawpixel/ pixabay.com)

Purchasing criteria

Industrial or reconstituted products tend to use only some parts of the raw material. That is why questions arise about organic milk, industrial milk, flavours, among others. In order to clarify this point, we have created this list that we hope will help you choose the best soymilk for your personal consumption.

Sugar

It should be noted that natural soymilk has no sugar content, therefore, its taste tends to be a little strong. We recommend that readers sweeten it with a natural product to their liking, such as honey. Always remember that it is not healthy to exceed 2.5 grams of sugar per 100 ml.

Flavoured milk. There are the typical ones such as vanilla or chocolate. They are very useful in case you can't stand the taste of natural milk, however, it should be noted that their sugar content can double or triple that of traditional cow's milk. We recommend their consumption on special occasions.

Industrial milk. As we have already mentioned, soymilk is not milk as such. It is a milky-looking drink. To achieve this appearance, stabilisers, oils and sugars are often added. Make sure that the added sugar content is as low as possible.

Calcium content

One cup of soybeans contains 25 mg of calcium

For adults, calcium intake may not be essential as it can be supplemented with other foods that contain calcium. For children, however, it is much more difficult to know and supplement their diets adequately. One 100 ml cup of soymilk contains approximately 25 mg of calcium.

Soy milk is a vegetable protein and is better absorbed by the body

If the milk is fortified with this mineral, it can reach 120 mg per cup. Depending on the origin of the product, it could be even more. When this is the case, soya milk fortified with calcium reaches the same percentage as cow's milk. Its absorption is more advantageous, as it is a vegetable protein and not an animal protein.

Fortified soymilk can reach the same mineral and vitamin content as cow's milk (Photo: Monchai Tudsamalee/ 123rf.com)

Source

With so much competition among soymilk producers, there is a search for a point of differentiation. This is why the origin of the soya beans from which the milk is prepared has become so important, although it is up to each individual to decide, the origins of soymilk can be from two types of crops:

Transgenic. This is the most popular and easy to find. If the label does not clearly state that it is an organic product, there is a good chance that it is GM. This means that pesticides have been used to keep the plant growing well, prevent pests and prolong its benefits for longer.

Organic. Organic production has become very popular because it promotes a self-sustaining style of farming that is beneficial to health, the planet and farmers. These milks are characterised by natural ingredients and contain no added sugar of any kind.

Additives

It is common for additives to be added to plant-based milks, all in an attempt to resemble cow's milk. Although it is impossible to find soymilk without additives, we recommend avoiding those that could potentially harm your health and choosing those that are less harmful to your digestive system.

Additives to avoid Prefer
Carrageenans Gellan gum
Diphosphates and triphosphates Guar gum
Calcium and potassium phosphates Tapioca starch

(Featured image source: Handmadepictures/ 123rf.com)

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