Soy Bean Milk Products
Soy milk (also called
soya milk, soymilk, soybean milk, or soy juice) and sometimes
referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from
soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein,
it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them
with water. Soy milk contains about the same proportion
of protein as cow's milk: around 3.5%; also 2% fat, 2.9%
carbohydrate, and 0.5% ash. Soy milk can be made at home
with traditional kitchen tools or with a soy milk machine.
The coagulated protein from soy milk can be made into
tofu, just as dairy milk can be made into cheese.
Soy milk has about
the same amount of protein (though not the same amino
acid profile) as cow's milk. Natural soy milk contains
little digestible calcium as it is bound to the bean's
pulp, which is insoluble in humans. To counter this, many
manufacturers enrich their products with calcium carbonate
available to human digestion. Unlike cow's milk, it has
little saturated fat and no cholesterol.
Soy products contain sucrose as
the basic disaccharide, which breaks down into glucose
and fructose. Since soy doesn't contain galactose, a product
of lactose breakdown, soy-based infant formulas can safely
replace breast milk in children with galactosemia, a very
rare condition. Like lactose-free cow's milk, soymilk
contains no lactose, which makes it a good alternative
for lactose-intolerant people. For patients without conditions
that limit which sugars they can consume, there is no
evidence to support any sugar-related health benefit or
detriment to consuming soy milk instead of cow's milk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics
considers soy milk a suitable alternative for children
who cannot tolerate human or cow's milk, or whose parents
opt for a vegan diet. They find no medical benefit to
using soy milk instead of human or cow's milk.
Soy milk, like cow's milk, varies
in fat content, but the most commonly sold varieties have
less fat than whole milk, similar fat content to 2% milk,
and more fat than skim/nonfat milk.
Though it has been suggested that
soy consumption is associated with a reduction in low-density
lipoprotein ("bad cholesterol") and triglycerides,
a 2006 study of a decade of soy protein consumption found
no association between soy intake and health benefits
such as cardiovascular health or cancer rates, and no
benefit for women undergoing menopause. Soy was able to
replace animal protein, foods high in saturated fats,
and other sources of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Research has refuted claims that
soy affects sperm quality and bone mineral density.