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Is Soy Milk good for you? Almond Milk?

June 21, 2013
Thanks for asking - this topic has been emerging quite a bit in the field of nutrition, especially as the term “GMO” becomes more mainstream.

Let's talk quickly about the reasons people think soy milk is bad for them. It has GMOs. It contains strands of estrogen material that can cause breast cancer. It can also make men grow breasts. I have heard these two reasons the most from people, so let's address them.

1) The term “GMO” stands for genetically modified organism. Before we can fear it, let's understand it. Basically, food scientists have found a way to create special genetic strands of different things (corn, wheat, soybeans, salmon, etc) to allow for desired results for food consumption. In the case of soy, more beans per plant mean more money for the farmer and “Big Food Companies.” GMOs are now being found to be bad because in changing the plant, they have an alternative effect in changing OUR cells after we eat them. This CAN lead to early chronic diseases, cancer, and food intolerances/allergies. Because it is too soon to tell, all we know at this point is that our genetic structure and cellular quality is compromised and changed due to consumption of foods with GMO in them… at least a little.

2) Yes, soy contains estrogen compounds. Soy in the natural form (edamame, soybeans, even tofu). Americans have developed a plethora of soy products to capitalize on the growing soy industry (because we raise them GMO and can make more money off of them) and developed soy burgers, soy chicken patties, soy cheese, soy milk, just to name a few. Are these BAD for you? It depends on if you think GMO are bad for you, really. Because the amount of these processed soy products (which contain little actual soy as it is) having an estrogenic effect on you would be equivalent to being a glutton, eating these products all day, every day. In the case of real soy, moderation is key because these have been shown to be related to an increase in breast cancer, current research shows. Does it mean you can't have real soy everyday? No. Just not for every meal.

So what does this say about Soy Milk? and versus Almond Milk?

Almond milk is simply pressed almonds with sugar, salt, and thickeners. It is delicious, and you know there are no GMO in this product. Also, there are no estrogenic compounds in almonds. The amount of protein in this type of milk is low, yet some brands even have vitamin A, D, and calcium added.

Soy milk is in the spotlight right now because of it's GMO attribute. You would need to drink a bathtub's worth to get any negative estrogen effect that could lead to breast cancer or increased breast size in men. So, if the GMO thing bugs you out, avoid it. Simple as that.

As for good ol' cow's milk, all I can say is this. It is good for kids between the ages of 1 and up. At some point, a switch can be made, but it really is the case for calcium. Kids do not NEED cow's milk. Humans are the only species to consume ANOTHER animal's milk, and I personally believe this is one reason why over 70% of the world's population now have lactose intolerances or allergies. The cows are not eating the same things, the milk has changed, and it is affecting us as humans who consume their milk. If you can't bear to not have standard milk, love the nutrition, and don't have any GI discomfort, carry on young man (or woman).

Hope this helps! Good Question!

Happy Eating!

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