Most people know what chocolate milk is, but there's a dairy-free option made with soybeans called chocolate soy milk, that many people are unaware of. There are many reasons for choosing soy milk over dairy milk, with the main reason being dairy allergies. Other people have dairy sensitivities and still others prefer the benefits of soy to dairy.
What Is Chocolate Soy Milk?
Soy milk contains no dairy products and consists of soybeans. Chocolate soy milk contains soybeans, filtered water, evaporated cane juice, cocoa, sea salt and natural flavors. It contains 5 grams of protein per 8 ounces, and 3 grams of fat. There is zero cholesterol and 21 grams of sugar per serving. Both regular and chocolate varieties are good for those who otherwise cannot tolerate dairy milk.
Benefits of Chocolate Soy Milk
If you're allergic to dairy products or sensitive to them, the main benefit is being able to eat cereal or enjoy a glass without having to worry about repercussions. Vegans also turn to soy-based products such as chocolate soy milk. Other benefits include no cholesterol, good taste and contain the added vitamins and minerals that regular dairy milk has.
Regular dairy chocolate milk contains 10 grams of fat and 30 mg of cholesterol per 8 ounces. Soy milk contains half the fat and no cholesterol, which is a huge benefit.
Soy milk also contains isoflavones, which have similarities to estrogen. Isoflavones have been proven to help in the prevention of some cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis.
What’s Bad about Chocolate Soy Milk?
There are a couple of downsides to the chocolate soy milk, with the biggest being the amount of sugar found in the beverage. A whopping 21 grams of sugar per cup can add up very quickly to empty calories, and turn into fat. Therefore, it's not a product that should be consumed several times per day. There is a light chocolate soy milk available that contains 14 grams of sugar per 8 ounces, which is a bit better, but it also only includes 3 grams of protein. Soy milk, like dairy milk, has reduced protein when the fat content is lowered.
Those who are in the soy milk business advertise it as being healthier than dairy milk, but there's no proven evidence to date that soy in the form of milk is any healthier than dairy milk. Soy milk also doesn't supply B12 like cow’s milk, so there are some downsides to soy milk in general.
The main benefits of soy milk are most felt by those who are allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant. It's also beneficial since it contains isoflavones, but again, chocolate soy milk is high in sugar. Consuming it every day is not necessarily a positive step in the right direction. The light version of the beverage would be better, but is still quite high in sugar if consumed daily.