Soy milk is the most popular non-dairy milk alternative. Made from nutritiously dense soy beans, soy milk is naturally high in proteins, essential fatty acids and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Drinking soy instead of regular cow's milk provides your body with balanced nutrition without taking in the extra saturated fat and cholesterol associated with whole dairy. Soy milk is a drink of choice if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other propensities for heart diseases. It is also a wonderful weight loss aid. Including soy milk as a part of your healthy diet plan can help suppress your appetite and promote more efficient metabolism.
Calories and Carbohydrates in Soy Milk
The most apparent advantage of soy milk over cow's milk in terms of weight loss is its reduced calorie and sugar content. One average cup of whole soy milk contains about 80 calories, which is even lower than most skim milk. Soy milk also has more quality carbohydrates than dairy milk. Dairy is high in lactose which accounts for the 12 grams of sugar in each serving. Soy contains only half of this amount. The rest of the soy carbohydrates are dietary fiber. One cup of soy milk provides 3 grams of fiber which meets 12% of your daily fiber need. Increasing your fiber intake can help maintain the feeling of fullness and speed up the transit of food through your digestive tract. If you drink skim milk for weight loss, you can avoid the watery taste and get the added benefits of fiber by switching to unsweetened soy milk.
Soy Can Help Reduce Body Fat
Unlike milk fat which is highly saturated and prone to form deposits, soy fat is good for you. The monounsaturated fat in soy milk not only prevents increase of blood fat, it also inhibits your intestinal fat and cholesterol absorption. The phytosterol in soy also has this fat blocking function. In essence, having soy milk in your diet lowers your actual exposure to dietary fat. You can drink full fat soy milk or eat snacks or desserts made with soy milk without feeling guilty.
Soy milk is also loaded with fat-burning vitamins. One cup of soy milk contains 30% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of riboflavin and 50% RDI of vitamin B12. These two vitamins are both involved in energy production and are especially needed for fatty acid metabolism. Higher intake of these nutrients can help you burn off fat more efficiently which can be a tremendous help towards weight loss.
Build Lean Muscles with Soy Milk
Soy milk can deliver as much protein as dairy milk. Each cup of soy milk contains 7 grams of protein composed of all varieties of essential amino acids. In fact, soy protein is considered as one of the best sources of complete protein which provides all-around nutrition for healthy muscles, tissues and all your functional systems. Studies have shown that regular intake of soy products in addition to routine exercise can lead to reduced body fat and higher percentage of lean muscles.