It’s been a staple for those who are vegetarian, vegan and lactose intolerant, and it’s been around since the 1970’s. But for nutritionists, it goes in and out of favor. Which leaves many who look at expensive almond milk and wonder, is soy milk good for you or what? The question is more complex than an initial yay or nay. At first look, soy milk has many of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that traditional cow’s milk has. But it isn’t for everyone. Still, for most people the benefits outweigh the costs. In terms of calorie content, depending upon the flavor, it is low in calories. You can get one that’s high in flavor while still low cal. Plain soy milk is about 100 calories per serving. If you get lite soy milk it’s around 70 calories per serving. A serving is one cup. For the vanilla or chocolate varieties you’re talking 129 and 141 calories per cup.
Soy milk is rich in protein and generally fortified with vitamins and minerals. One cup of soy milk offers seven grams of protein. It has one gram of dietary fiber, eight grams of carbs and four grams of fat. Soy milk is full of vitamin A and D, potassium and calcium. It also has omega-3 fatty acids which protect the heart, clean out blood vessels and ease inflammation. The one thing about soy is it may play with the endocrine system. It contains phytoestrogens, a plant-based hormone that can mimic the female hormone estrogen in the body. For men with low testosterone for instance, this may decrease it even farther. For most people however soy milk as with all soy products, when eaten in moderation is nutritious and heart-healthy. Regular cow’s milk of course has dangerous fat and can increase the HDL or “bad” cholesterol in certain people. Soy milk however does not.