Choosing Healthy Soymilk
Soymilk is made by soaking dried soybeans in water, then grinding, heating and pressing them. The fluid is strained and packaged as “milk.” Among its many benefits, soymilk:
- Can substitute for cow’s milk in many culinary applications.
- Does not contain the milk protein (casein), which can increase mucus production and irritate the immune system in some people.
- Does not contain milk sugar (lactose), which can cause digestive distress in those who are lactose intolerant.
- Is a good source of protein – one cup contains four to 10 grams of soy protein.
When choosing soymilk, opt for a brand that is:
- Fortified with calcium – while soymilk is naturally a good source of calcium, it doesn’t have as much as cow’s milk.
- Organic – often non-organic soy crops are heavily treated with pesticides.
- Free of the thickening agent carrageenan, a seaweed derivative, which Dr. Weil has concluded may be harmful and irritating, especially to the intestinal tract in those with a history of IBS.
- Does not contain added sugar, or at least opt for a version with the lowest sugar content you can find as long as it meets the other criteria above.
Dr. Weil recommends 1-2 one cup servings daily.
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