10 Reasons to Never Ever Drink Soy Milk (2023)

7K Shares

Some lactose-intolerant folks drink it because they want a milk substitute. Some health-conscious peopledrink it because they think it is the “heart-healthy low fat option.”And some vegans drink it because they don’t want to drink cow milk.

But no matter what reason you have for drinking soy milk, it is not a valid excuse. Soy milk is not a food and has no place in anyone’s diet.

Soymilk Ingredients

Ironically, almost every ingredient in soymilkis cause for serious concern. Here are the ingredients in Silk Soymilk:

Soymilk (Filtered Water, Whole Soybeans), Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12.

What’s so terrible with this ingredient list? There are 10 reasons below!

1. Phytoestrogens in Soy

Soy is extremely high in phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that look like estrogen to the body. Does this mean that soy milk will disrupt your hormones? Perhaps, but studies are highly conflicting and likely biased by the soy industry.

Although studies showing the hormonal effects of consuming soy are controversial, play it safe rather than sorry. Consider the following research:

(Video) 10 Reasons to Avoid Soy Products in Your Diet

  • One study showed that infants consuming soy formula had concentrations of blood estrogen levels 13,000 to 22,000 times higher than normal estrogen levels. It is reasonable to theorize from this study that soy consumption does indeed wreak havoc on normal estrogen levels.
  • Numerous animal studies (here and here) show that soy phytoestrogenscan cause breast cancer. Studies (here and here) show that soy consumption increases the proliferation of potentially carcinogenic breast cells.
  • This list of studies from 1939 – 2008 shows various adverse effects of soy consumption
  • Researcher Kris Gunnars compiled an exhaustive and unbiased summary of soy research here and pointed out, “every study I looked at that showed beneficial effect, the study was either sponsored by the soy industry, or the authors had some kind of financial ties to the soy industry.” He also discusses that studies showing benefits of soy consumption are oftenobservational studies, which are often unreliable.

2. Phytic Acid in Soy

Soy contains high levels of phytic acid, a compound that reduces the absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc. As a result, soy milk also contains problematic amounts of this anti-nutrient.

In this thorough article on thephytic acid, author Ramiel Nagel explains:

Phytic acid is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially the bran portion of grains and other seeds. It contains the mineral phosphorus tightly bound in a snowflake-like molecule.

In humans and animals with one stomach, the phosphorus is not readily bioavailable. In addition to blocking phosphorus availability, the “arms” of the phytic acid molecule readily bind with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unavailable as well. In this form, the compound is referred to as phytate.

Phytic acid not only grabs on to or chelates important minerals, but also inhibits enzymes that we need to digest our food, including pepsin, needed for the breakdown of proteins in the stomach, and amylase, needed for the breakdown of starch into sugar. Trypsin, needed for protein digestion in the small intestine, is also inhibited by phytates.

3. Unfermented Soy is Not A Traditional Food

The one book that is responsible for completely changing the way I looked at nutrition was Dr. Weson Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Dr. Price was a dentist who, in the 1930’s, traveled the world to discover the secrets of healthy cultures.

From the Inuit in Alaska to the Maori in New Zealand, Dr. Price discovered that when tribes consumed the foodsthat their ancestors had eaten forcenturies, they produced strikingly healthyvirtually devoid of chronic disease, infertility and tooth decay.

Most interestingly,the traditional diets – although dependent on geography – followed a strict set of dietary laws. For example, certain animal products like liver and fish eggs were seen as sacred and vital to health. The takeaway rule from Dr. Price’s book is thatancient cultures intrinsically knew what to eat, and how to prepare it, for optimal health.

When it comes to soy, we need to look at how traditional cultures enjoyed this food. Traditional Asian cultures have consumed soy for thousands of years, but they intuitively knew how to minimize the anti-nutrient aspects of this legume. They would ferment soy into soy sauce, tempeh or natto. The fermentation process drastically reduces the phytic acid levels.

While fermented forms of soy are traditional foods, unfermented soy products are not.

(Video) Why I drink soy milk instead of regular milk.. (and you should too)

If soy milk was a truly nutritious and delicious way to prepare soy, you could bet thatgreat-great-great-great Chinese grandmothers would have raised their children on soy milk.

4.Genetically Modified Soy

As of this year, the US Department of Agriculture reports that 90% of soy grown in the US is genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto’s herbicide RoundUp.

These “RoundUp Ready” crops pose a serious threat to both human health and the health of the environment.

  • RoundUp Ready crops allow farmers to use even larger amounts of this toxic herbicide.
  • Concerning levels of glyphosphate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, is found on RoundUp Ready crops. Glyphosphate is linked to a number of serious health problems (source).
  • We lack any research showing that consumption of GMO foods is safe to eat in the long-term

Whenever you purchase a non-organic soy product, you support the industry of genetically modified soy.

5. Carrageenan

The term seaweed-emulsified legumejuice would be a more accurate label than soy milk. Carrageenan is a highly-processed seaweed that is added to most non-dairy milks and some other food products to create a creamy texture.

There are two types of processed carrageenan. One type is used to induce colitis in lab rats. The other type is supposedly safe for human consumption. However, food-safecarrageenanhas been found to cause inflammation and stomach problems (read more in my article about carrageenan here).

Many people find that consuming carrageenan causes digestive distress and pain. The reason that I first learned about the problems with carrageenan was because I discovered that consuming anything with this additive gave me intense heartburn.

6. Calcium Carbonate

When it comes to processed foods, the sum of the parts does not equal the whole. Just because a soymilk claims to have as much calcium as regular milk does not mean the body absorbs and utilizes the calcium from both items the same way.

Case in point: calcium supplementation raises the risk of heart disease (source). Why?

The body requires vitamin co-factors to use calcium properly. Vitamin K2 is the most important because it shuttles calcium into the bone. Without adequate K2, the body cannot use calcium and the calcium can create plaque in the arteries, raising the risk of heart disease (source).

(Video) Is Soy Dangerous? | Neal Barnard, MD

Whole milk from grass-grazing cows provides the saturated fats and vitamin K2 needed to absorb the calcium. In the same way, calcium-rich leafy greens smothered in grassfed butter offers theco-factors needed to absorb calcium.

Because soy milk completely lacks the vitamin cofactors required to use calcium, the added calcium carbonate is likely comparable to calcium supplements – it is more harmful than beneficial

7. Vitamin D2

The vitamin D that nature intended for us is D3. Vitamin D3 is the bio-avaiable form of the vitamin found in food sources such as grassfed dairy and cod liver oil. When we are exposed to sunlight, our bodies also produce the form of D3.

Vitamin D2 is a synthetic and isolated form of the vitamin and, as a result, is extremely poorly absorbed (here’s the study). It offers no viable benefit to the body and may actually be harmful (source).

Further,vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Mother Nature pairedfoods rich in vitamin D with the healthy fatswhich arerequired for the absorption of this nutrient. For example, yolks from pasture-raised hensare a good source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2. The beneficial saturated fats found in the egg yolksallow the body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.

8.Synthetic Vitamin A

The vitamin A added to soy milk (and other non-dairy milks) is synthetic and, as a result, lacks the vitamin co-factors.Remember, your vitamin is only helpful if accompanied by its co-factors.

While naturally-occuring (non-isolated, food-source) vitamin A only creates toxicity in uber-extreme doses, moderate overdoses of synthetic vitamin A can cause toxicity (read more about synthetic vs. natural vitamin A). This is because the body cannot assimilate the synthetic version of the vitamin, likely due to the lack of vitamin co-factors.

The body requires saturated fat and minerals to absorb vitamin A. This is why vitamin A is naturally found in sources rich in those co-factors, such as liver and egg yolks.

9. “Natural Flavors”

A company that lists “natural flavors” on their ingredient list is trying to hide something – and it could be anal secretions from a beaver.Let me explain…

“Natural flavors” can even mean various additives, even forms of MSG and artificial sweeteners.Castoreum is a secretion from the anal gland of the beaver that is often listed under “natural flavors” (with the FDA’s approval). It’s commonly used to replicate vanilla flavor (source).

(Video) Soy: Is It Helpful or Harmful?

Ifsomeone has chosen to drink soy milk because it is not an animal product, they may still be inadvertently consuming by-products of animals. I never purchase a product that has “natural flavors” on the ingredient list, and I recommend that you don’t, either.

10. It’s simply not Real Food!

Healthy eating can be simplified into four words: just eat real food. Butthis is easier said than done when we are surrounded by slippery marketing claims about “all natural” health foods.

Here are five questions that I suggest you ask yourself to determine if an item is real food:

  • Is it a product or is it a food?
  • Is it made with ingredients that humans have used for thousands of years?
  • Is this something thatyour great-grandmother would recognize as food?
  • Can you make it in your kitchen withgrocery store ingredients?
  • Is it advertised on TV?

When we ask these questions about commercial soymilk, the answers are:

  • Soymilk is a product, not a food.
  • Synthetic vitamins and unfermented soy beans were never used by traditional cultures thousands of years ago.
  • Nope! Great grandma would been utterly repulsed by the idea of drinking soybean juiceemulsified with seaweed.
  • Nuh-uh. Where can you get your hands on “natural flavors” and synthetic vitamins?
  • Yes! Soymilk is heavily advertised.

The only conclusion to make about soymilk is that it is not a real food.

What are healthy alternatives?

Try real milk! While I don’t recommend the highly processed milk from massive farming operations, unprocessedmilk is a time-honored food rich in vitamins, protein and healthy fats. Try to source milk from grass-grazing cows,which is vastly higher in nutrients (and it’s beneficial for theplanet when cows graze in pasture).

The best option is non-homogenized and non-pasteurized milk, which is highly digestible and rich in enzymes. Read about the safety of raw milk in my article here.

If you prefer a non-dairy option for milk, making your own nut and seed milks is easy and affordable. Homemade coconut milk – recipe here – is the best option due to the healthful fats and lack of phytic acid in coconut.

If you wish to use other nuts or seeds, I recommenda specific soaking process to help reduce the naturally-occuringphytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Try this recipe from Wellness Mama for soaked almond milk.

Do you love real food? Please help me spread the message thatsoy milk is not a real food!

(Video) Which type of milk is best for you? - Jonathan J. O’Sullivan & Grace E. Cunningham

FAQs

Why is soy milk not healthy? ›

Soy, it turned out, contains estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones. And some findings suggested that these compounds could promote the growth of some cancer cells, impair female fertility and mess with thyroid function.

What happens to your body if you drink soy milk everyday? ›

It's low in calories, high in protein, and rich in several vitamins and minerals — especially if fortified. Regularly drinking soy milk may improve your cholesterol levels, reduce high blood pressure, fight inflammation, and support weight loss or weight maintenance.

Is it OK to drink a lot of soy milk? ›

Because drinking a lot of soy milk can cause digestive disorders such as diarrhea, bloating and nutrients can not be absorbed. In addition, soy milk products often contain added sugar, and adding too much also causes the body to provide too much sugar, increasing the risk of diabetes.

Why is soy milk no longer popular? ›

So what happened to soy milk, the one-time go-to alternative for the lactose-intolerant and vegans? In short, its reputation for healthiness is not what it used to be. “Concerns about the health benefits of soy amongst health professionals dampened the demand,” says Emily Balsamo, a research analyst at Euromonitor.

Who should not drink soy milk? ›

People with breast cancer People with a history of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer should not drink soy milk. This may be because soy contains phytoestrogens, which act like estrogen and can make these cancer cells grow faster. 1.

Why do people avoid soy? ›

At the same time, soy is shunned by others for fear that it may cause breast cancer, thyroid problems, and dementia, though these claims have not been substantiated. Whether published in a popular press article or a well-designed clinical study, some debate about soy remains.

Is soy milk good for arthritis? ›

Can Soy Help My Joints? Soy is an excellent dietary addition for patients with joint pain. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, meaning it may reduce inflammation within the body. Inflammatory chemicals attack the joint tissues, leading to more fluid in the joints and cartilage damage.

How much soy milk a day is safe? ›

In summary, soy milk is very good, but women should not drink too much, should only use 500ml per day to provide enough nutrients and avoid affecting the body's health.

Which is healthier almond or soy milk? ›

Both are relatively healthy options for any plant-based or omnivorous diet. Soy milk is a little higher in calories, but it's also much, much higher in protein and antioxidants. Some find almond milk's taste a little more agreeable, but soy's texture is much more creamy and rich.

Is soy milk inflammatory? ›

Soy and its products have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, particularly in patients with diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases [12,13,14,15]. Due to the inflammatory nature of UC, consumption of soy products may affect UC disease symptoms as well.

Is soy milk healthier than regular milk? ›

Soy milk has added calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin and vitamin B12, but it does not offer the same nutritional value as dairy milk, which has 13 essential nutrients.

Is soy milk good for skin? ›

Soy contains antioxidant compounds known as isoflavones, which may play an important role in reducing the appearance of skin aging. So, adding soy-heavy foods like tofu and soy milk to your diet can help diminish signs of dullness and wrinkles, creating a smoother, more youthful-looking appearance.

What country drinks the most soy milk? ›

Eight of the top 12 soy drink consuming countries are Asian with Hong Kong residents consuming the most at 17 litres per year each, according to TetraPak data. Next were Singapore (almost 12l/day), Thailand (just over 10l/day), China (9.5l/day) and Malaysia (9l/day).

Do Japanese drink soy milk? ›

Soy milk is the second most popular dairy in Japan. It has long been a staple of the Japanese diet and it is not necessarily viewed as a substitute for cow's milk. An online survey conducted by My Voice in 2021 showed top reasons for consuming soy milk are health (51.4%) and nutritional value (44.3%).

Which country drinks soy milk? ›

Originating in China, it became a common beverage in Europe and North America in the latter half of the 20th century, especially as production techniques were developed to give it a taste and consistency more closely resembling that of dairy milk.

What milk is healthiest? ›

Which type of milk is the healthiest? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise that people choose fat-free or low fat milk instead of whole milk. This approach is to help keep a person's saturated fat intake to less than 10% of calories per day and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Is soy milk good for elderly? ›

Unlike many other dairy products, soy milk contains almost no cholesterol or unsaturated fat. Soy milk is especially beneficial for aging adults who have a family history of coronary heart disease.

Can soy milk mess up your stomach? ›

For those with lactose intolerance, soy milk may seem like a good swap. But be forewarned: Processed soy (which includes tofu) can cause serious puff. It has estrogen-like effects in the body, which contribute to bloating.

Does soy milk raise estrogen? ›

All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: At the end of the study period, estrone and estradiol levels were decreased by 23% and 27%, respectively, in the soymilk-supplemented group and were increased by 0.6% and 4%, respectively, in the control group.

Why is soy not good for males? ›

Concerns that the phytoestrogens (isoflavones) in soy may feminize men continue to be raised. Several studies and case-reports describing feminizing effects including lowering testosterone levels and raising estrogen levels in men have been published.

What is the fastest way to reduce inflammation in the body? ›

To reduce inflammation fast, limit your intake of sugar and processed foods. Perhaps, more importantly, though, pursue exercise, stress-reducing behaviors, a good night's sleep, and a diet full of colorful, anti-inflammatory foods.

What foods are inflammatory to joints? ›

Here are eight foods known to contribute to inflammation and the aggravation of your arthritis symptoms.
  • Sweets. Consuming too much sugar increases inflammation in your body. ...
  • Dairy. ...
  • Fatty foods. ...
  • Carbohydrates. ...
  • Tobacco and alcohol. ...
  • Advanced glycation end (AGE) products. ...
  • Gluten. ...
  • Additives.

Is soy milk good for high blood pressure? ›

Cardiometabolic benefits: Soy milk reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation markers in adults. Intake of soy milk has been found to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and inflammation markers in adults, according to a study conducted by researchers in Iran.

Should females drink soy milk? ›

There are many soy milk benefits for women. It's a good source of protein, and is often fortified with calcium. Soy milk's reputation regarding its health benefits for women has seesawed in the past few decades, but recent research indicates that soy milk is safe and actually healthy for most women to drink.

Is soy milk good for diabetics? ›

Unsweetened soy milk is another non-dairy milk that's suitable for people with diabetes. It contains 4.01g of carbohydrates, which is higher than flaxseed and almond milk but safe enough to avoid spiking your blood sugar levels.

What kind of milk is best for osteoporosis? ›

For osteoporosis prevention, patients with LI should consume fermented dairy products, lactose-free milk and non-dairy products that are a good source of calcium [72].

Which milk is best for lowering cholesterol? ›

The best dairy milk for people with high cholesterol is fat-free or skim milk. Plant-based milks, such as soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk, are cholesterol-free alternatives to cow's milk.

Which soy milk is best? ›

Top Brands:
  • Edensoy.
  • Pacific Natural Foods Unsweetened Organic Original.
  • Silk.
  • Trader Joe's Organic Soy Beverage.
  • WestSoy Organic Unsweetened Plain.
  • 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods Brand) Unsweetened Original Soymilk.

Which is healthier almond or soy milk? ›

Both are relatively healthy options for any plant-based or omnivorous diet. Soy milk is a little higher in calories, but it's also much, much higher in protein and antioxidants. Some find almond milk's taste a little more agreeable, but soy's texture is much more creamy and rich.

Is soy milk healthier than regular milk? ›

Soy milk has added calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin and vitamin B12, but it does not offer the same nutritional value as dairy milk, which has 13 essential nutrients.

Is soy milk inflammatory? ›

Soy and its products have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, particularly in patients with diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases [12,13,14,15]. Due to the inflammatory nature of UC, consumption of soy products may affect UC disease symptoms as well.

Why is soy not good for males? ›

Concerns that the phytoestrogens (isoflavones) in soy may feminize men continue to be raised. Several studies and case-reports describing feminizing effects including lowering testosterone levels and raising estrogen levels in men have been published.

Can soy cause joint inflammation? ›

Soy is an excellent dietary addition for patients with joint pain. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, meaning it may reduce inflammation within the body. Inflammatory chemicals attack the joint tissues, leading to more fluid in the joints and cartilage damage.

What milk is healthiest? ›

Which type of milk is the healthiest? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise that people choose fat-free or low fat milk instead of whole milk. This approach is to help keep a person's saturated fat intake to less than 10% of calories per day and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

What kind of milk is best for osteoporosis? ›

For osteoporosis prevention, patients with LI should consume fermented dairy products, lactose-free milk and non-dairy products that are a good source of calcium [72].

Is soy milk good for diabetics? ›

Unsweetened soy milk is another non-dairy milk that's suitable for people with diabetes. It contains 4.01g of carbohydrates, which is higher than flaxseed and almond milk but safe enough to avoid spiking your blood sugar levels.

Is soy milk good for cholesterol? ›

Although eating soy-based foods can slightly reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol level, the American Heart Association has concluded that soy doesn't significantly lower cholesterol.

Is soy milk hard to digest? ›

Soy is difficult to digest, which can cause gas, bloating and general discomfort.

What milk is best for arthritis? ›

Make sure you opt for low-fat milk to avoid consuming extra calories and saturated fat. Orange, tomato, pineapple and carrot juices are all high in the antioxidant, vitamin C, which can neutralize free radicals that lead to inflammation.

What foods cause arthritis? ›

5 Arthritis Trigger Foods to Avoid
  • Pasta. Wheat products — like pasta, bread, crackers, and bagels — may spell trouble for your joints, especially if you have rheumatoid arthritis. ...
  • Butter and Margarine. ...
  • Hamburgers. ...
  • Tomatoes. ...
  • Sugary Drinks.
31 May 2018

What soy does to the body? ›

Soybeans and soy foods may reduce the risk of a range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD), some cancers as well as improving bone health. Soy is a high-quality protein – one or two daily serves of soy products can be beneficial to our health.

What foods boost estrogen levels? ›

Phytoestrogens, also known as dietary estrogen, are naturally occurring plant compounds that may act in a way similar to that of estrogen produced by the human body.
...
links phytoestrogens to a variety of health benefits.
  • Flax seeds. ...
  • Soybeans and edamame. ...
  • Dried fruits. ...
  • Sesame seeds. ...
  • Garlic. ...
  • Peaches. ...
  • Berries. ...
  • Wheat bran.
14 Dec 2021

What does soy milk do to the male body? ›

The effect of soy milk for men

Helps reduce bad cholesterol in the blood: Soy milk contains saponins, isoflavones and proteins that help reduce bad cholesterol and prevent arteriosclerosis, reducing the risk of dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease.

What does too much soy do to a man? ›

Soy contains isoflavones, which are converted in the body to phytoestrogens, similar to human estrogen that occurs naturally in both men and women. Theoretically, a high isoflavone intake could stimulate production of estrogen and decrease production of testosterone, with one result being enlarged breast tissue.

Videos

1. The Myths Of Soy As A Health Food – Dr. Berg
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
2. Is Soy Bad for You?
(Dr. Josh Axe)
3. Nutrition Facts - Should children drink soy milk?
(Ana-Maria Temple, MD)
4. What I Eat In A Day || Starch Solution | Low Calorie Density
(Oat Malk)
5. POISON FOODS THEY KEEP TELLING YOU ARE HEALTHY - Beware of Soy, Milk, Corn and Fruit Juices
(Dr. Gus)
6. Is SOY BAD For You? (Real Doctor Reveals The TRUTH)
(Dr. Sten Ekberg)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rueben Jacobs

Last Updated: 12/01/2022

Views: 5658

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rueben Jacobs

Birthday: 1999-03-14

Address: 951 Caterina Walk, Schambergerside, CA 67667-0896

Phone: +6881806848632

Job: Internal Education Planner

Hobby: Candle making, Cabaret, Poi, Gambling, Rock climbing, Wood carving, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Rueben Jacobs, I am a cooperative, beautiful, kind, comfortable, glamorous, open, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.