Soy milk

Benefits of Soy Milk

Soy milkSoy milk is a plant based drink that is made of soy beans. It is a traditional drink in Asia. The drink is used a lot when cooking vegan recipes. Soy milk became popular in the Western world because of its many health benefits. Nowadays, soy milk can also be made at home with a soy milk machine. Many drink it as enjoyment, but the health benefits make soy milk more attractive to consume.


The roots of soy milk lay in China. Soy milk was discovered by Liu An. There is, however, no historical evidence that proves that An discovered soy milk. The drink started to develop itself after the rotary millstone was used to grind wheat. This discovery was made around 1365. Soy milk was not used very often until the 1800’s. Around that time, people discovered that heating the milk will make it easier to digest. One of many reasons soy milk became so popular is because lots of people from East-Asia traditionally do not consume animal or dairy products. Soy milk was a great replacement for cow milk. The first soy milk that was produced in the Western world was called Soya La in 1931. The company who made Soya La was Madison Foods in Tennessee in the United States. It was called Soya La because other dairy industries made sure Madison Foods was not able to call it Soy Milk.

Taste and Preparation

Traditionally, soy milk has a rich taste of beans. This is still the case in East Asia. However, in the Western world, this was not accepted. When flavoured soy milk was discovered, it became more popular. In a Western supermarket, soy milk is therefore now available in many flavours such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and the original flavour. Some producers make the flavoured milk thicker so it feels more like cow milk when being exposed to its texture. By adding flavours and thickeners to the product, the originated beany flavour is eliminated and the difference between cow milk and soy milk becomes less intense. There are many different ways to prepare soy milk. One way to make soy milk is to soak the soy beans in water overnight. After the beans are completely soaked, the beans have to be grinded with enough added water to have solid content. At this point, a puree is created. This puree needs to be heated for 15-20 minutes to enhance a rich flavour. Soy milk is easy to make at home. To make 1 litre of soy milk, 125 grams of soy beans is needed. The first step is to soak the beans in water. If you use hulled soy beans, the soaking time is about 10-16 hours. If you use cracked soy beans, the soaking time is 6-8 hours. After the beans are soaked, heating them is optional. Heating the soy beans will help remove the beany flavour in the milk. Grinding the beans with 1 litre of water in a blender is the next step. Finally, the milk needs to be boiled. After this, your milk is ready for consumption. Flavouring the milk is an optional last step. This is dependent on personal taste.

Lactose free milk vs Soy milk

If you are lactose intolerant but still want to drink milk, soy milk and lactose free milk are great alternatives for dairy milk. There is a difference between the two. Lactose free milk is cow’s milk but the lactose is removed from the milk. Soy milk is liquid from the soy plant. If you have a cow milk allergy, lactose free milk is not considered to be a good alternative. Lactose free milk still contains proteins that cause allergy signs such as facial swelling, vomiting and nausea to rise up. When you have a cow milk allergy, it is very important to drink soy milk cautiously. Soy milk is a product that has a high allergic potential.

Weight loss

If losing a couple of pounds is on your to do list and you drink dairy milk, soy milk can be an extremely essential alternative for dairy milk. Soy milk contains less sugar than dairy milk. Dairy milk contains 12 grams of sugar per cup while soy milk only contains 7 grams of sugar per cup. If you consume soy milk instead of dairy milk on a daily basis, less sugar will enter your body which is great for weight loss. Another great advantage is that drinking soy milk gives you more fibre so you have a full feeling for a longer period of time. This advantage makes sure you will eat less in a day. This extra protein source also makes sure that you muscle mass maintains. Loss of muscle mass makes it harder for the body to burn calories, which in turn makes it more difficult to lose weight.

Lowering risk of cholesterol

An important difference between soy milk and dairy milk is the amount of cholesterol in one cup. Soy milk can be a beneficial addition to an individual’s diet caused by the soy isoflavones that soy milk contains. Not only do these soy isoflavones promote weight loss, they also lower the risk of LDL  cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the ‘’bad’’ Isoflavones are antioxidants in our body that protect cells and DNA against oxidation. Another reason that soy milk lowers the risk of cholesterol is because of the fats in soy milk. Forty percent of the calories in soy milk are from fats. However, these fats are the healthy unsaturated fats a body needs to produce. Unsaturated fats are the key to weight loss and lower cholesterol levels. Saturated fat are mostly found in dairy milk. Saturated fat is linked to weight gain and higher cholesterol levels.

Environmental impact

The difference between the environmental impact of soy milk and dairy milk is huge. Dairy milk takes a lot more energy to create. Making dairy milk incurs costs such as raising the cow and feeding the cow. Feeding one cow can lead up to 24 kilograms of food in dry matter and 90 to 180 litres of water per day. Cows also produce lots of waste. Dairy production is therefore not as energy-efficient as soy milk production.


Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1997x
Added: 18-08-2016 23:25
Last modified: 28-08-2016 23:25

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