Benefits of Soy Milk
As the taste of commercial soy milk improves more and more people are drinking it as enjoyment. But many people drink soy milk for the added health benefits. So what are the benefits of drinking soy milk as compared to cow's milk?
Benefit 1: Soy milk contains only vegetable proteins
Vegetable proteins have the advantage that they cause less loss of calcium through the kidneys. A diet rich in animal (and dairy protein) creates a higher risk for osteoporosis.
Benefit 2: Soy milk contains no lactose
About 75% of the world population cannot tolerate lactose. Some ethnic groups are more affected than others. For example, 75% of Africans and 90% of Asians have lactose intolerance.
As an additional benefit, soy milk contains the prebiotic sugars stachyose and raffinose. These prebiotic sugars boost immunity and help decrease toxic substances in the body.
Benefit 3: Fewer people are allergic to soy milk.
Only 0.5% of the children are allergic to soy milk, whereas 2.5% is allergic to cow's milk.
Benefit 4: Soy milk reduces cholesterol
The saturated fats in cow's milk are unhealthy and increase your cholesterol. The protein in cow's milk has no benefits for the cholesterol. Soy protein can decrease cholesterol levels. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration of the US) confirms that soy protein, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart. The FDA recommends incorporating 25 grams of soy protein in your daily meals.
Benefit 5: Soy milk contains no hormones
Cow's milk contains natural hormones (from the cow) but also synthetic hormones, which can influence the good working of our own body. The synthetic hormone rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) increase milk production by as much as 20%.
Benefit 6: Soy milk does not cause insulin dependent diabetes
Although no consensus exists among scientists, some studies have shown an association between drinking cow's milk in early life and the development of insulin-dependent diabetes. This association does not link with soy milk.
Benefit 7: Soy milk is rich in isoflavones
The presence of isoflavones is the most important and unique benefit of soy milk. Each cup of soy milk contains about 20 mg isoflavones (mainly genistein and daidzein). Cow's milk does not contain isoflavones. Isoflavones have many health benefits including reduction of cholesterol, easing of menopause symptoms, prevention of osteoporosis and reduction of risk for certain cancers (prostate cancer and breast cancer). Incidents of these cancers are very low in countries with high intake of soy products, including soy milk. Isoflavones are also antioxidants which protect our cells and DNA against oxidation.