Q:

Is soy milk healthy?

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Quick Answer

Soy milk is healthy for adults, but children should drink dairy milk unless they are lactose intolerant, according to FitDay. In terms of other milk alternatives, such as rice and almond milk, soy milk is the closest to offering the same nutritional value of dairy milk.

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Full Answer

During early development, children need dairy milk because it's fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Also, the lactose found in cow's milk increases calcium absorption in the intestines. Even soy milk that has been fortified with extra calcium offers far less benefits than dairy milk in this regard. Soy milk can also cause allergic reactions, which are frequently much more severe in children than adults.

For adults, however, soy milk is a great alternative to drinking dairy milk. Heart patients and the elderly benefit from drinking soy over dairy milk because it has less cholesterol and saturated fat. Soy milk is naturally cholesterol free and full of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, which can reduce blood cholesterol levels. Studies link drinking soy milk with lowering the chances of having strokes or atherosclerosis.

Some studies even link the consumption of soy milk to reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Comparing men who regularly eat soy products to those who do not, the studies find that soy milk mimics the function of estrogen in the human body.

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