If you follow the keto diet, you probably know that dairy milk is not ketogenic and is not recommended on a low-carb or keto diet. This is because it contains a type of sugar called lactose that can take you out of ketosis.
You may have noticed that soy milk is a dairy milk substitute that is very popular. However, when it comes to the keto and low carb diets, soy milk and other soy products are highly controversial.
So it’s understandable that you’re confused and might be wondering if you can drink it if you’re on a low-carb or keto diet. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
What is soy milk?
Soy milk, or soya milk, is a plant-based drink made from soybeans and water. It has a cream color, a slightly sweet taste, and a creamy consistency. The mixture is a stable emulsion of egg white, oil, and water, which is traditionally a by-product of tofu production originating in East Asia.
It became popular in North America and Europe in the second half of the 20th century. Especially as manufacturing techniques advance.Manufacturers began producing soy milk that was similar in taste and consistency to dairy milk.
Today, people from many communities use it daily. Some brands may add additives, preservatives, and sweeteners to extend shelf life and flavor, so if you want to control what’s in it, you can make it yourself.
How do you make soy milk?
There are many recipes for making it at home, but most of them are variations on the following process:
To make it, you need to soak organic, non-GMO soybeans overnight in filtered water to soften. Then the mixture is placed in a blender for grinding. After grinding, let the mixture boil for 3 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. You’ll know it’s done when it creates a foam that rises.
After cooking, strain the mixture through cheesecloth or gauze to separate the milk from the ground soybeans. Then you will let the drained liquid simmer gently for a few minutes, and then let it cool. You can also add a pinch of salt, some vanilla seeds, or vanilla extract for extra flavour.
Soy Milk Nutrition Facts
The table below lists the nutritional information for 1 cup, or 244 grams, of soy milk. Keep in mind that some brands have different nutritional information, so be sure to read the label.
Is soy milk healthy?
Soy milk, along with other soy products, is highly controversial in the health and nutrition communities. There is a lot of research showing mixed results regarding the consumption of these products, leading scientists to have divided opinions.
It is a great source of potassium, and often manufacturers fortify the milk with vitamins A, B-12, and vitamin D, as well as calcium.
Numerous studies show that the consumption of soy products can lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Other studies show that soybeans and soy products contain a unique amino acid called arginine. Arginine helps lower blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Soybeans also contain isoflavones. A study shows that soy isoflavones can help lower blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure of 3 to 6 mmHg. Research also shows that they can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by up to 15%, as well as the risk of stomach, colon, and lung cancer. ( )( * )
Another study on the same chemicals shows that they may help lower insulin resistance and blood sugar levels in menopausal women.
However, the results on the blood sugar-lowering effects of soy are inconclusive, as some studies show no link between consuming it and its products and lowering blood sugar levels in healthy people and people with type 2 diabetes.
There is even more ambiguous research.For example, one study found that women undergoing fertility treatments who consumed soy isoflavones were 1.3 to 1.8 times more likely to give birth, but that was not the case in a study of men.
However, another study shows that a high intake of it can lead to a reduction in ovarian function and fertility.
In addition, soy and its products contain antinutrients that may impair the ability to properly absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Some ways to reduce the antinutrients in soy are to sprout, ferment, and cook it.
Another worrying problem is that a large percentage of soy is genetically modified.
Is Soy Milk Allowed on the Keto Diet?
One cup, or 244 grams, of soy milk contains 105 calories, 3.6 grammes of fat, 6.3 grammes of protein, and 12 grammes of total carbohydrates, of which 11.5 are net carbohydrates.
Just by looking at the nutritional information, you can see that just one cup of it is almost half the daily carbohydrate allowance for strict keto dieters. This doesn’t make it impossible to incorporate, as you don’t often consume a whole cup of it, but it does make it considerably more difficult.
In addition to macronutrients, soybeans belong to the legume family, and they are not keto-friendly. Moreover, there is no conclusive information when it comes to research on soy and its products. There are some studies that show its benefits, but there is also research that shows the opposite.
Also, most soy produced today is genetically modified, which is not recommended for consumption on the keto diet or a low-carb diet.
In general, soy milk is not strictly ketogenic, as it is made from a legume, has half the daily carbohydrate allowance of a strict keto dieter in one cup, and research shows mixed results about its health benefits. It is important to mention that consuming it and its products in moderation is not likely to cause any health problems.
However, whether or not you consume it is ultimately up to you.If you’re not on a strict keto diet or you’re on a low-carb diet and you want to consume soy, you can still do so in moderation.
If you use store-bought soy milk, make sure you buy the unsweetened kind and read the label carefully for any artificial additives and flavors. If you like to control what goes into your diet, you can easily make it at home.
It comes down to this:How many net carbs does soy milk have?
It contains 11.5 grammes of net carbs per cup, or 244 grams.Is soy milk keto-friendly?
No, it’s not strictly keto-friendly because it’s made from a legume.
Soy milk is vegetable milk made from soybeans. It originated in East Asia, but today it is one of the most popular non-dairy milks in the world. It has a slightly sweet taste, a brown color, and a creamy consistency that make it perfect for your coffee.
Unfortunately, it is not strictly ketogenic because it is made from a legume, and researchers and scientists have obtained many mixed results regarding its health effects.
While it is likely that small amounts of soy products have no harmful effects, the lack of conclusive information means they are not recommended for a strict keto diet.
Ultimately, it’s your choice, so if you want to consume it, you can. But always choose the kind that isn’t sweetened and check the label to make sure it doesn’t have any ingredients that aren’t good for ketosis.