Expert Weigh in on: Soymilk
In the past few years almond milk has replaced soy milk as the leading non-dairy milk on the grocery shelf. In the case of soymilk, there's been some safety concerns building in the last 4 years. To start, soymilk and soy products have been implicated in stimulating thyroid stimulation hormone(TSH) reducing thyroid function. Also linked to increasing breast cancer cell growth but reducing the risk of developing breast cancer as well. Soy and its milk have been linked to positive and negative conditions without conclusive data on either side. Here are soymilk facts:
Soymilk is produced by soaking dried soybeans and grinding them in water. Soymilk is a good source of protein, is lactose-free, and is rich in phytoestrogen, a plant based estrogen a bit weaker than the natural hormone we make. The health benefits associated with soy include lowered risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, prostate and breast cancer. There is a relationship between soy or soy products and its affects on young children, and concerns it may cause some issues with the reproductive organs for boys and early breast development in girls. The general research concensus is young children drink soymilk in moderation at 1-2 cups/day.
Soy is fortified with calcium, folate, vitamin A & D. There is a natural compound called "phytates" that may limit calcium absorption because it binds with calcium and other minerals. If soy is your milk choice you may need varied sources of calcium to meet your needs.
There's still so much to learn about the implications of soy and interestingly it has been a part of Asian diets without adverse issues for centuries. Since over 90% of soy products are genetically changed(GMO) its hard to choose GMO free options so choose organic or stated "GMO free" options. Well that's the pour on soy! Please leave comments and concerns because this one is tough on every side.