For some strange reason the idea that soymilk was healthier for us was a concept I bought into. In fact, I even convinced my boyfriend to start buying Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea because I was under the impression it had more protein. Despite the fact that I personally can’t stand the taste of soy he continued to buy it until a friend questioned me on this concept; therefore, I dedicate my first post to him.
In a nutshell, soymilk has roughly the same amount of protein as milk, give or take a couple of grams (9 for milk, 7 for soy). One thing soymilk does have going for it is that it contains zero cholesterol so if you are watching your cholesterol because your doctor told you to, you will benefit from making the switch. The down side is that it may not contain some vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D and calcium. D is really important at any age, because it regulates calcium and phosphorus for good bone health. Don’t get me wrong some companies do add vitamin D and calcium to their soymilk but not all do so check the label! Check the label, check the label – don’t be a lazy shopper. Anyways, based on my research, Silk, So Good, and So Niceall add enough vitamin D and calcium to match their cow milk counterparts, but again be aware because some other brands do not add the full amounts. For instance, in one cup of 1% milk the daily value of vitamin D was 45% but in an unknown soymilk brand it was only 26%.
The take away message: unless your lactose intolerant or enjoy the taste of soymilk making the switch is not necessarily the “healthier” choice.
Dear lactose intolerants,
While researching this topic I came across an interesting piece of information that I would like to share with you. Apparently, recent studies have shown that nearly all individuals with decreased lactase production can tolerate ½ to 1 cup of milk with meals. Therefore, it’s unnecessary for many with lactose intolerance to greatly restrict their intakes of lactose-containing foods. Unfortunately, the consequence of eating too much dairy is intestinal gas, bloating, cramping, and discomfort, so I can appreciate why you would not want to experiment especially if you are out for dinner at a nice restaurant…but I thought I would let you know.