• Home
  • Guides
  • Is Soy Milk Good for You? Benefits, Calories, and More

Is Soy Milk Good for You? Benefits, Calories, and More

Soy milk has an important place, especially in plant-based nutrition. In this article, we will discuss soy milk's impacts on your health, as well as its nutritional content, how it goes bad, and more.
Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN

Written by Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN. Updated on November 24, 2022.

Soy is a legume that originates from Asia and is very popular to be consumed today. Soy milk is a milk derivative made from soybeans.

Since it is plant-based and offers various health benefits, soy milk has an important place, especially in plant-based nutrition. It’s often used as a dairy-free alternative for coffee, breakfast oatmeal or cereals, rice puddings, baked goods, curries and so on.

Along with almond and oat milk, soy milk is one of the most popular plant-based nut milks.

You may be curious about soy milk’s purported health benefits and its scientific basis. Also, you could be concerned about the potential side effects as well.

In this article, we’ll examine soy milk in depth. You can discover soy milk’s impacts on your health, as well as its nutritional content, how it goes bad, and

Soy Milk Nutritional Info and Calories

Soy milk is prepared by combining soaked soybeans into the water and filtering off the particles to leave a clear, milk-like fluid. It is considered a whole soy food.

Both sweetened and unsweetened varieties are available.

Unsweetened variants are typically made up of solely filtered water and soybeans, while certain brands may additionally include vitamins, salt, or/and minerals.

Sweetener, mainly cane sugar, is used in the sweetened variations. They often incorporate oil, vanilla, and salt to produce a taste similar to dairy milk.

Some versions use cocoa to provide a chocolate taste.

Potential Additives

A thickening or stabilizer is added to both unsweetened and sweetened soy milk.

These additives assist the milk’s components in remaining in an emulsion, or homogenous combination, and retaining qualities such as mouthfeel and thicker texture.

Here are several typical stabilizers and thickeners found in soy milk:

  • Gum made from locust beans: This thickening is derived from the germ of the Mediterranean-native carob tree.
  • Gum Gellan: This kind is made by fermentation of a carbohydrate supply with a particular strain of bacteria.
  • Carrageenan: This substance is derived from seaweed.

Carrageenan has garnered the greatest criticism from customers. This is because preliminary research reveals a relationship between its use and inflammatory disorders such as colon cancer, IBS, colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

However, the FDA considers carrageenan to be generally safe. The FAO and the WHO both consider it acceptable for the general public.

Despite this, several firms have substituted carrageenan with gellan gum or locust bean because of the controversies surrounding their safety and customer acceptability.

Nutrition Table

Thanks to the healthy components of soybeans, soy milk also has a rich component.

According to USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) food data central, a 100-gram serving of soy milk offers the following nutritional values:

Energy: 38 kcal
Protein: 3.55 g
Fat: 2.12 g
Carbohydrates: 1.29 g
Fiber: <0.45 g Calcium: 101 mg
Iron: 0.54 mg
Magnesium: 21.5 mg
Phosphorus: 69 mg
Potassium: 158 mg
Sodium: 34 mg
Biotin: 3.34 µg
Folate: 20 µg
Vitamin B-12: 0.39 µg
Vitamin A: 58 µg

Numerous well-known brands of soy milk, including those with the most market share, are fortified with various vitamins such as B12, A, D, and minerals, such as calcium and riboflavin, nutrients that are hard to get on vegan diet.

Soy milk that has not been fortified and does not include added sugar is often an excellent source of vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, and folate. In addition, some kinds include the nutrients iron and vitamin K.

Typically, sweetened variants are made using cane sugar and include an additional 5-15 g of added sugar in each serving.

Soy Milk Potential Health Benefits

Research on soybean and soy milk indicates that these foods may provide a variety of health benefits. These health advantages are a result of their nutrient content.

It’s Gluten-Free

Gluten is a protein that triggers responses in gluten-sensitive individuals and is only found in wheat, barley, and rye.

It is reasonable to assume that most soy products are safe to consume. Gluten can’t be found in legumes such as soybeans by their very nature. The same applies to pea milk, another legume-made milk.

On the other hand, because a significant number of soy crops are cultivated in close proximity to wheat fields, there is a chance that the soy would be contaminated with gluten.

Those who suffer from celiac disease may safely consume the vast majority of the soy milk that is sold today; nevertheless, some brands are preferable to others in this regard.

If you want to avoid gluten risk, you should ensure that the soymilk you purchase is gluten-free certified.

It’s Lactose-Free

Soy milk, in contrast to cow’s milk, does not have lactose in its composition. People who cannot digest lactose shouldn’t have any problems drinking soy milk because of this.

Soy milk, on the other hand, provides a quantity of protein that is equivalent to that of cow’s milk, but it contains far less saturated fat and none of the cholesterol.

It’s Dairy-Free

It should be noted that soy milk is not considered a dairy product.

However, it is often used as a replacement for dairy milk among those who suffer from lactose intolerance or dairy allergy, as well as among vegans who do not consume any items derived from animals in their diets.

It Has High Isoflavone

Protease inhibitors, saponins, phytic acid, and isoflavones are only a few of the bioactive components that can be found in soybeans and soymilk.

Isoflavones are a kind of molecule that is classified under the broader category of phytoestrogens, which are substances found in plants that have estrogen-like properties.

Isoflavones offer a number of possible health advantages:

  • Could lower high blood pressure
  • Could reduce levels of inflammation
  • Could improve cholesterol levels

There have been several health impacts that have been related to soy isoflavones; however, the strength of the links between the two, as well as the question of whether or not the effects are helpful, are still contested topics.

How Is Soy Milk Made?

Soybeans are typically soaked in water for 12 hours, after which they are ground up with more water being added throughout the grinding process to create soymilk.

Alternatively, the soymilk slurry may be made using grits, full-fat flakes, or flour. The resultant slurry is heated while being agitated for one to thirty minutes.

Both the taste and the nutritional content of the milk are improved as a consequence of this stage of heating.

Heating the milk decreases the number of microorganisms that are present in it, which in turn extends its shelf life.

After being cooked, the slurry is strained through a sack made of cotton or nylon to remove the insoluble fiber residue known as okara and leave just the soymilk.

The final product, which is soymilk, can be flavored according to personal preference.

If it will be bottled, aseptically packed, or retorted, it may also undergo the processes of pasteurization, homogenization, or sterilization.

Does Soy Milk Go Bad?

Absolutely yes, it can go bad over time.

Several symptoms of spoiled soy milk include its odor and texture. If anything smells weird about the milk (if it will begin to smell sour) it’s definitely time to throw it.

Soy milk should have a silky texture and a softly off-white hue.

You can pour the soy milk into a transparent glass to test it before using it in a recipe.

If you see that the soy milk has curdled, it has likely gone bad. Also, when soy milk has expired after being opened, the container can occasionally begin to expand.

How Long Does Soy Milk Last

Soy milk is available in both cooled and shelf-stable forms. The expiration date on the package is a reliable predictor of the product’s shelf life before it has been opened.

If unopened, shelf-stable soy milk has a comparable shelf life to canned goods. It may have expiration dates of up to eight months.

Also, you can freeze soy milk to preserve it. However, you can expect some changes in its creamy texture after thawing it.

How Long Is Soy Milk Good For After Opening

Once opened, both forms of soy milk should always be refrigerated and normally last between 7 and 9 days in the refrigerator.

Products often retain their quality after 9 days, although this cannot be ensured. Be sure to check its appearance, texture, and odor to assess whether deterioration has started.

In addition, it should not be forgotten that the storage condition is as important as the number of days in deterioration.

Soy Milk Side Effects

Soybeans and meals made from them have been consumed by people for generations.

Nevertheless, like with any meal, soy-based foods may cause unwanted side effects and may pose consumption concerns.

Digestive Problems

Animal research suggests that the antinutrients from soy may impair the barrier function of the stomach, which may lead to inflammation and other digestive disorders.

However, in order to verify this, we need to do further research on humans.


There is some evidence that the body’s capacity to absorb the minerals and vitamins that are found in soybeans is diminished by the presence of certain chemicals in soybeans.

Soybeans may have their antinutrient levels reduced by a number of different processes, including sprouting, soaking, cooking, and fermenting.

Genetic Modification

Many varieties of soybeans have been modified genetically (GMO). It’s possible that genetically modified soy is lower in nutrients and higher in pesticide residues compared to normal or organic soy.

More study is required to determine the impact of genetically modified soy on human health over the long term.

Estrogen-Like Properties

Many people believe that the female sex hormone estrogen may be mimicked by the isoflavones found in soy.

Despite their structure that’s quite similar to that of this hormone, the actions of soy isoflavones are milder and somewhat different from those of estrogen.

Effect On Thyroid

Research in test tubes as well as studies on animals have shown that some chemicals present in soy may inhibit the function of the thyroid gland.

However, research conducted on people indicates little to no evidence of any adverse effects, particularly in persons whose thyroid function is normal.

Soy Milk Sustainability

It’s possible that soy milk has a low impact on the environment with regard to water use, the possibility of global warming, and land consumption.

The United States and Brazil are the two countries that produce the most soybeans.

This crop has a wide range of applications in the commercial sector, with a significant portion of the beans being utilized in the production of animal food.

However, in order to cultivate soybeans, extensive swaths of the natural vegetation in the area need to be cut down and replanted, which poses a significant environmental risk.

According to research conducted in the United Kingdom, the production of this product may be more harmful to the environment than the production of dairy.

According to the findings of research that was conducted jointly by the University of Nottingham and also the Sustainable Food Trust, this disparity is a direct result of the destruction of large tracts of rainforest for the purpose of soy growing.


Soy milk is a plant-based milk made from soybeans.

Thanks to its nutritional composition, it offers various nutritional components and health benefits.

Packaged soy milk may contain some additives. Carrageenan, one of these additives, can cause side effects in people.

Soy milk is gluten-free, lactose-free, and high-isoflavone milk. It is suitable for vegan consumption and is categorized as dairy-free.

Like other foods, it can deteriorate over time. Texture control can be done to detect deterioration. Storage should be carried out in a cold environment.

Soy milk may cause some side effects. These side effects are individual and more human studies are needed to clarify most of them.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

Read more about our process and team.