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I want to empower your health with the steps that freed my life of chronic pain and medications.

Reader Interactions


  1. Lauren
    You may want to look into other cultures about sugar. The eskimos lived a long time without sugar. They consumed fats like we consume sugars. Apparently their bodies did not need sugars. Fats were not a bad word for them. I think todays people think if you eat fats you get fat.

    • Lol reading this, I’m just like, what. It looks extremely biased I mean, you can just about make anything look super healthy or super bad, I grew up drinking soy milk, I love it, especially when it’s boiled, and soy milk is over hundreds of years old. I don’t know how it’s not traditional…

      • Too true. I was raised vegan and still am. Soya milk is part of my daily intake of non-animal sourced foods and so far, I’ve thrived on my diet of soya milks and chesses. In the UK we don’t have GM soya beans or anything synthetic added to our natural products. Vitamins added to all vegan products are plant based and the ‘vitamin’ D2 is too… whereas the animal sourced vitamin D3 is basically the bath water of wool from sheep. Figure it out yourself which is healthier. BUT there is a vegan D3 – derived from lichen – and is very effective at treating Osteomalacia (that’s adult rickets) when D3 from sheeps bath water is just full of more added synthetic cr*p… just like cow’s milk you buy and consume.

      • Soy milk is obviously a cooked product and tofu and many other types of soy products made from it are also cooked. That removes the “danger” of uncooked material. Some soy products are made directly from the beans, such as miso, tempeh, and other pastes,
        These items have been made not for hundreds but for thousands of years. They are staples of the diets of people in many parts of the world whose numbers far exceed the USA population.
        Americans of all persuasions (Paleo, Vegan and whatever else) are basically ignorant about food.
        The bottom line is to eat moderately. If soy milk and other soy products are considered “harmful” and you want to analyze all the ways to prove that they are, it is ONLY because (1) they are eaten too excessively and (2) they are changed, modified, and adulterated.
        My soy milk is pure soy milk. There’s nothing else in it and it’s made with organic soybeans.
        The same goes for any other soy items that I eat. And I don’t eat these products like it’s their or my last day. I eat some, a little, and that’s how they are eaten in Asian countries around the world.
        I would never drink soy milk, organic or not, that has any additive of any kind.
        For people who are vegan–it’s easy to make your own soy milk if you have access to organic soybeans. (These are grown in the USA. The same can’t be said for the tons of cashews and coconut being grown and produced excessively, like never before, in Asia and imported for the cravings of Americans.)

      • Traditional soy milk has 2 ingredients: water and soy beans. Three if you add sugar.

        It is a non-dairy alternative to milk like seed and nut milks (in this case, legume milk), but just like milk and the other alternatives, they should not be your primary source of hydration. Moderation is important for most foods.

    • i drank soy milk for about five years about 16 oz every morning with cereal because i didnt want to drink cow milk some time later i noticed some changes bu i never thought it was the soy milk because some simtoms took years to show up about for years into it i had bery bad seasonal allergies but again i never thougt it was the soymilk so i stopped drinking soy milk and all mi allergies went away in about two weeks. but the soymilk also made me more relaxed less stressed and it helped mi sleep alot at the end of about five years i started getting.. gerd.. im not sure if i want to blame it on soy so now i only drink about 16 oz three times a week and mi allergies have not come back and it relaxes me and helps me sleep there were also sexual changes mi sex drive went down about 50 percent i think that is good in mi case.. conclusion theres something about soy milk do your reserch before you drink it and watch for changes except for the allergies the others were good

  2. There are some serious red flags in this article, the first being that a book from the 1930’s has influenced the author’s entire outlook on nutrition. This is clearly a paid article to promote the the consumption of milk, not (mis)educate folks on the dangers of soymilk.

    • This is not a sponsored post – I strictly adhere to FTC guidelines and always disclose when a sponsor is involved in a post. And I choose to consider nutrition research without a bias to the decade in which it was studied. Dr. Price’s research is as appropriate now as it was then.

      • It’s true even organic soy can be GMO. Some is not. It is also true some women need estrogen and plant sources are better than some pharmaceutical because the plant sourced estrogen does not down regulate testosterone.. The phytoc acid debate is highly questionable as our stomach acid breaks it down, unless you have inadequate stomach acid. The mention of vitamins is worthy but inaccurate.. Just looked up a box and the vitamins: vitamin D 3- not D2, calcium Citrate- not carbonate,, B 12- the ideal form, tons of others. Yes there is carrageen. Dairy may be appropriate for some. It has far more to do with obvious digestion as to whether or not it works for you. As a nutritionist, you should know this. Dairy causes inflammation in some people, as does whey. It is not a matter of lactose and enzymes. And by the way, I never read your article the on the safety of pasteurized milk, try a zoonotic disease on for fun! If you attract a lot readership with chronic illness, they are far more susceptible. Their immune systems are more delicate- autoimmune diseases are a tricky business. In fact people that test positve for Lyme, a zoonotic type disease,at have acruly been infected through food sources. How? Testing is imperfect and there is cross-reactivity.

      • Pretty sure humans don’t need the breast milk of a cow that was meant for a baby calf. We probably also don’t need the blood and pus that comes with it. And considering the baby calf has to be separated from it’s mother just so we can have it, I think we can manage with non traditional alternatives. Cruelty free for the win!

      • I think that the search for the truth about nutrition has turned into a game now these days. There are hundreds of articles for and against so many kinds of foods, diets, and additives. I personally think that finding the ‘truth’ anymore can be one of the most complicated things. However, when it comes to research, there is no such thing as a ‘decade bias’ in all science , the more recent the research the better. If research in this article was based on one or more studies in the 1930’s then it is incredibly outdated and more current research needs to be looked at. There could be problems in replication and more importantly it doesn’t seem like there was a check to make sure the methodology and statistical analyses were right, research is not always good research, unless you have studied research methods and are able to critically analyze an article, you should take caution in analyzing the results given by the authors. The 1930”s were almost an entire century ago and therefore not a substantial period to be taking as a sole research article, if it was included in a larger body of research going through the years and leading up until present day that would be different. But having a ‘decade bias’ is incorrect and made up.

    • I would also red flag this article. After my mom stopped nursing, I had to drink soy as a baby because I was allergic to dairy milk. I started drinking soy milk about 15 years, again. I am a vegetarian so have been raised on many soy products including Tofu. I am 62 and have never had a surgery or take any kind of medication. I have no health issues. My cholesterol levels, Triglyceride, LDL levels all improved after stopping drinking dairy milk. I do use Natto, which I believe contributes to these improvements. I only drink organic soy milk. I do think that is important. Don’t be afraid to drink soy. It is far better for you than dairy milk but you can also drink, almond or coconut milk. I just prefer the creamy taste of soy over the other non-dairy milk drinks.

    • You are correct this is an ad for milk Cows are pregnant all the year round and continually produce milk Milk is suitable only for calves as contents are not made for human consumption Cancer foundations recommend soya as a cancer fighting agent as it contains many antioxidants Like everything else we can take more than required Research soy properly via the cancer foundations etc So how can anything that fights cancer be wrong to consume

  3. I know for a fact that too much soy can throw you off your cycle. At one point years ago, before I gave up soy completely, I would drink soy milk in the morning and then maybe have some tofu in the day. My cycle went bersek. I went to a biokinesiologist who muscle tested and found out it was because of too much soy.

  4. Lauren, I tried signing up a while ago and never got anything in my email to confirm. Now I’ve just tried to sign up again and it says I’m already subscribed. Help! I assume you can do some magic on your end.:)

  5. Lauren,

    It seems you have stimulated an inflammatory response from some vegetarian readers, who are now accusing you of promoting the consumption of cow’s milk.

    To clarify, Lauren did not promote the consumption of cow’s milk. She did however promote the consumption of raw grass-fed cow’s milk that has not been fed pesticide & herbicide-laden GMO corn (cows are ruminary animals meant to eat grass: forcing them to eat GMO corn makes them sick, and in need of antibiotics, hormones, etc) processed via pasteurization, homogenization, or ultra-homogenization. These processing methods destroy whatever enzymes and nutrients are left in the raw milk of these commercially sick and poisoned animals.

    The commercial production of dairy products comes from cows sickened by GMO, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones. Then, whatever milk that is produced from these sickened cows is pasteurized and homogenized, thereby destroying most of what is left of its poor nutrient profile.

    Unfortunately, 99% of all milk consumption in the US is sourced from the commercial production of dairy. It is very difficult to source raw, grass-fed dairy products. But if you are able to source raw dairy products, it may be best to source raw goat’s milk, because the profile of goat’s milk is so similar to human milk, and our bodies can assimilate goat’s milk much better than cow’s milk.


    • You are assuming those against cow’s milk are vegans or vegetarians. I happened to be vegetarian and almost nearly vegan. The fact that cow’s milk is NOT good for us – in fact I have been told by my doctor that milk causes inflammation in the body…many ppl cannot even digest milk as we know.
      Whether it is grass fed cow’s milk or not, it is cruel. Those cow’s are kept in a constant state of pregnancy to produce that milk that we selfishly consume. Male calves often – if not always – get slaughtered as veal! The moms are sentenced to a life of hell and used and abused so that ppl can have milk. Find other healthy alternatives – if not soy – then something else.

  6. Um you CAN make soymilk with supermarket ingredients. heck, u can make it with asian market ingredients! Natural flavors carrageenan uneeded vitamins etc ARE bad, no denying that, but they are NOT part of a true soymilk. Which btw yes, has been used for thousands of years in asian cultures. You only need soy beans and a blender. If you’re real crafty, strong and patient dont even need a blender :p

  7. Wait, I’m extremely confused.
    So, eating soy milk is wrong because “It’s not food”, yet drinking breast milk from a different species (filled with blood and pus, the average box of milk) that has been proven to be linked to Osteoporosis and cancer among other things, is alright?

    The cattle industry is proven to be the #1 pollutant on the entire world, how’s that a better alternative?
    Soy milk is a million times a healthier and morally correct option than Cow Milk, who is obtained by taking away the baby of a mother so you can take away her milk, then kill the baby for food (if male), or condem them of a live of exploitation and forced pregnacies through all of their life (if female).

    • If you were aware of how cattle are reared and cared for in other parts of the world (such as ireland) the way they should be, this information would not stand. Maybe look at improving health standards for cattle rather than just writing off the entire vital food source which they provide.

      • Cows are ruminants (along with buffalo, sheep, goats and camels, etc) and produces large amounts of methane as part of their natural grass digesting process.
        Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas and agriculture is the top methane polluter world wide.
        In 2013 there was roughly 1.4 billion cows world wide (not even counting other ruminants). (source faostat)
        The sheer amount of methane-producing animals are why they are the top polluter, not what they are fed or how they are cared for.
        These are the facts and they won’t change no matter how much you care for the cattle and how they are reared.

        • really, but the pollution coming from all the factories, cars and other human made pollutants are not causing any damage? how ridiculous reasoning. Those who spread this claim do not want to refer to the real pollutions and destruction caused by industries for the sake of getting more money i n the pockets of the 1%. wake up guys

          • I’d suggest watching Cowspiracy, love. The dairy industry and meat industry for cattle has actually been proven to be a higher pollutant compared to all the transport industries combined.

            • Cowspiracy brought me here too! I want to switch to drinking soy milk. I’ve also cut meat out of my diet. The only think I dislike about soy milk is that its twice as expensive as cow’s milk.

      • Dairy is not a vital food source. There are much healthier and easier ways to get the proteins and nutrients you need than from dairy. Dairy does contribute to a shorter life span. The irony of this article is that almost all the places in the world that have the longest lifespans eat large quantities of soy, even in the United States, Loma Linda California is considered the longevity capital of the US. They have one of the largest concentrations of vegetarians and most eat high diets of soy products.

  8. Hi, Lauren. It’s not soy milk related but it’s something I read on the blog. I prepared sole and I took it few times and ummmmm errrrrerr it’s kinda of embrassing but I have to ask. Is it normal to suffer diarrhea ??

  9. Lauren – your article, while im sure has good intentions, has made me confused, scared, upset and most of all curious. My three year old son is lacosse and we serve him soy milk as an alternative to dairy. We look to soy primarily for calcium, vitamin D and protein and use brands with the highest counts (on the labels..)

    Our doctors have never expressed concern in doing so.

    Sorry if this sounds repedative but can you confirm that you think the above benefits to drinking soy are false? If not, are you simply stating the percieved negatives outweight these postives?

    Your response is appreciated.

    • David,

      Looking to soymilk as a source of calcium, Vitamin D and protein is problematic on many fronts.

      Let’s take a look at Silk Soymilk – which is a non-GMO product.

      If you look at the list of ingredients on Silk Soymilk, you get the following info:
      INGREDIENTS: Soymilk (Filtered Water, Whole Soybeans), Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Natural Flavor.
      VITAMINS & MINERALS: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12.

      Notice K2 is missing from the list of vitamins, a necessary cofactor to absorb and transport calcium to the bones.

      Vitamin A Palmitate or retinyl palmitate is a synthetic known to accelerate cancer in lab animals.
      Vitamin D2 is a synthetic made by irradiating fungus’ and plant matter. . D3 produces 2- to 3-fold greater storage of vitamin D than does D2 and vitamin D3 is converted 500 percent faster than vitamin D2.

      One of the benefits Silk Soymilk boasts is that it is “low in saturated fat.” Synthetic or not, vitamins A,D,E, & K are all fat soluble vitamins. No matter how high the content of these fat soluble vitamins, our body can not assimilate them without the fats.

      When you look on the nutrition facts of Silk Soymilk, you see a total fat content of 4.5g or .7%.

      That fat content is comprised of 0.5g saturated, 0g Transfat, 2.5g Polyunsaturated, and 1g Monounsaturated. Do the math, ahd you will see there is a missing 1/2 gram. Where is the missing 1/ gram? Well, most likely, the missing half gram is a transfat Why do I say this? Because the FDA allows the food industry to claim % transfat if the content of transfat is less than %.

      Not sure how this “gently processed, perfectly scrumptious” product acquired an extra half gram of fat that is unaccounted for. Maybe the FoodBabe should field that one.

      Beyond all the granularities above, the only way to insure your 3 yr old boy is getting the proper nutrition is through nutrient dense whole foods. Even “gently processed” foods fortified with synthetic vitamins, calcium, cane sugar, and natural flavorings leave much to be desired.

      I wonder when Lauren is ever going to make herself available for coaching. Hint to Lauren.

    • Make your own!! So easy. Just look online. And for pennies a glass. For $5 I can get a bag that will last me for litres upon litres of soy milk. Get the other vitamins through organic plant based means.

    • Hi David,

      I’m raising my daughter without using cows milk, for various reasons. I’ve read a lot of conflicting research on soy products, most researchers seem to have some agenda or other. So I would suggest using your own common sense and doing a little research on health and nutrition. Our daughter has a mixture of different plant & nut milks and is thriving. I disagree with Lauren that soy beans are not a food source, they are. There are lots of drinks that are made by blending food stuffs, such as fruit juice. But just as I wouldn’t give my child solely fruit juice to drink I also wouldn’t give my child solely soy or almond or whatever, variety is important for a balanced healthy diet. As for soya, people have been consuming soy products for thousands of years without issue. The problems seem to come in, as usual, by high production, commercial, mono cultural farming methods.

  10. Lauren, thank you for this wonderful article! I am so sorry you are getting so much flack for it! My family has been personally affected by soy. I was weaned onto soy milk at 12 months and was lactose intolerant for years so consumed large amounts, sprinkled with plenty of tofu, which my formerly vegetarian parents thought was healthy at the time. I got my period early and suffered intense hormonal imbalance issues all through my teens and early twenties. Thru a more Weston Price style diet and a GAPS diet cleanse, plus lots of cod liver oil and butter, I am doing much better , but it has been hard. A close friend just went through breast cancer, largely attributed to her heavy soy/vegetarian diet – low fat, of course. My sister, who also had lots of soy growing up, had tumors on her ovaries that had to be removed while she was 16 weeks pregnant with her first child. Also attributed to soy. She has suffered hormone and infertility issues, but after massive diet overhaul and after 5 years and 4 miscarriages she was Finally able to have another precious baby! The practitioners she has worked with believe soy has been a huge factor. She cannot tolerate even trace amounts in commercial herbal teas. I have also firsthand witnessed its feminizing effect on males. Its influence on the foundation of our hormones can be devastating! Thyroid issues, premature puberty, PCOS, etc. are also other effects I have witnessed in people I love who have been negatively effected by soy. Dr Mercolas website has good articles on soy, as does the Weston Price foundation. The Whole Soy Story is also a great resource. In would urge people to grow beyond their emotion on the topic and truly research the issue! Thank you again Lauren! You are a blessing! Merry Christmas!!

    • I also suffered hormonal imbalance as a teenager until recently, when I stopped eating meat and drinking cow milk. I went to a couple different doctors, they didn’t know why my perios are so bad and irregular. I also had tumors on my ovaries, probably PCOS, hormonal acne, hair loss, weight changes. Right now when I’m cow’s milk free (I substitute it with different kinds of plant milk, also soy milk) and my period stabilized and my skin cleared up. I’m definitely NOT going back to cow’s milk.

  11. Hello, my name is Anna and I recently started a paleo/primal cooking blog, Infinitely Cooking. I am having some trouble getting visitors, so if you enjoy recipes like you see on this site, I would love it if you paid mine a visit!
    Thanks so much for reading, have a good day!

  12. The problem is, most soy products are produced and grown here in the U.S. where soil has been ravished by years of herbicide and insecticide use (known endocrine disruptors.)

    In Asian countries, this isn’t such a rampant problem, so natural and dried produce from Asia is usually a lot healthier than their American counterparts.

    That’s what i deduce from gleaning through various studies over the years. I dont eat American rice; i eat Asia-grown Jasmine rice. I don’t buy American-produced soybeans, only those imported from Asia. There’s a reason why Asians have been eating tofu for so long and never had much of an issue. And no, speaking as an Asian American, who grew up with soy, no – we do not eat fermented soy as much as ppl think. We love regular soy products as much as anyone.

  13. You have to be more detail in this article since you’ve made a strong opinion about never to drink soy milk again from the perspective of US people.

    but you miss a point from most of the soy drinkers are from asia countries, and we’ve been consuming it for a very long time, I drink it everyday, people around me do that, we drink and eat soy products and it’s been in our culture,

    I’d read a research that people from asia have different digestive system, that’s why we tend to eat meat less and more non dairy products.

    I hope next time you can be more details about the points in your articles

  14. Thank you for writing this! I almost overlooked it because I thought, ‘Yeah, yeah, we all know that,” and then to see such backlash in favor of soy milk…I was shocked. I went to school for holistic nutrition and half of my coursework was in Chinese Medicine, the owner a Chinese Medicine practitioner for over 20 years and that is one of the first things we went over. Untraditional, unfermented soy is the ANTITHESIS of a health ‘food.’ It is incredibly disruptive to the endocrine system and hormones, completely overly processed and majority GMO. I had a good friend who kept gaining weight and had horrible health problems, she consumed so much soy her estrogen levels were off the charts as if she’d been downing huge amounts of birth control pills daily, only she wasn’t, she was ingesting high amounts of soy in the name of health. She cut the soy and got her life back. I wish folks would truly and sincerely do their research instead of attacking you because God forbid you mention cow milk as an alternative. A2 cow milk, goat milk, raw milk are all incredibly healthier than soy milk whether vegan, vegetarian, paleo or whatever else people want to label themselves. Stack them side by side and you cannot deny science. Thanks for sharing. -Rama

  15. Soy milk is not very processed. You squeeze some beans. You could make it at home. Dairy milk, on the other hand, is barbaric and not remotely natural. On virtually every dairy – including free-range, organic, family-owned, etc. – the cow breeds have been bred to grossly overproduce milk, they’re repeatedly impregnated (usually by someone shoving an arm into them, after inducing a bull to produce semen), their newborn babies are taken from them, and they’re killed in industrial slaughterhouses in young adulthood, when they can’t churn out enough milk to be profitable.

    Soy milk is healthy: In a study of 13,000 Seventh Day Adventist men, “Frequent consumption (more than once a day) of soy milk was associated with 70 per cent reduction of the risk of prostate cancer,” according to the study authors.

    Cow’s milk is inherently unhealthy: “A potent link to dairy seems to exist for three hormone-responsive glands: acne, breast cancer and prostate cancer.” – Dermatoendocrinology, 2009
    5-alpha-pregnanedione is a hormone that naturally exists in cows (and cow’s milk—including organic milk) but not in humans, which may promote all of these conditions.

  16. In their 2010 review, Hilakivi-Clarke et al. sum up the evidence on soy and breast cancer:

    Results reviewed here suggest that women consuming moderate amounts of soy throughout their life have lower breast cancer risk than women who do not consume soy; however, this protective effect may originate from soy intake early in life. We also review the literature regarding potential risks genistein poses for breast cancer survivors. Findings obtained in 2 recent human studies show that a moderate consumption of diet containing this isoflavone does not increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence in Western women, and Asian breast cancer survivors exhibit better prognosis if they continue consuming a soy diet.

    Hilakivi-Clarke L, Andrade JE, Helferich W. Is soy consumption good or bad for the breast? J Nutr. 2010 Dec;140(12):2326S-2334S.

  17. Im lactose intolerant, i belive that is a valid excuse. I CANT DRINK REGULAR MILK so thats of the question, and i dont like coconuts or their milk. Plus who would put that stuff on their cereal? What am I supposed to drink!?!? If your not lactose intolerant, you don’t understand the struggle, and saying thats not a valid excuse is generalizing people intolerent to milk. Next article i suggest “HEALTHY OPTIONS FOR A LACTOSE INTOLERANCE PERSON!”

    • I second this, I cant believe your saying being lactose intolerant isn’t a valid excuse, My specialist told me that soy milk is a good alternative. I just want to be able to have 1 cup of coffee in the morning without having to go through all the trouble of processing my own nuts and seeds.

  18. There seems to be opposite “scientific” studies on the healty or unhealthy properties of pretty much every foodstuff or alternative available which kind of leads to the thought that not enough is understood about diet and our bodies in the first place or more negatively that different groups of people with opposing agendas are funding false science to try and give their claims some substance

    But most probably I would guess its a combination of the two

    I did wonder why the few mission items needed to help absorb the calcium werent just recommended to be eaten via another source at the same time as digesting the soy milk

    I dont like dry bread but i dont not eat it as a result, I spread something on it so it isnt dry bread anymore so surely a source of K2 and whatever else was lacking could have been offered as an alternative?

    It did come across as being very heavily cow juice focused to be honest and only seemed to throw the nut milk option in at the end so I have to agree with some of the other posters that it does come across like it was sponsored by the dairy industry or as though the author has some interest in the dairy industry or friends who are part of it

    Whether that is the case or not isnt important though, because either way that impression does detract from the believability of the article I feel

  19. This is a god reason not to drink Soymilk, but how about lactose intolerants? The poor schumcks have to be on the streets and watch other people get ice cream and cheese and all that other nonsense.

    Also, sea salt is good for your body. First, it doesn’t give you all that other mushy stuff salt gives you, it gives you a healthier compound for a healthier life.

    And if we’re Asians (and I’m from Indonesia), soymilk is like, the best milk any Asian has ever had. It might be a little sweet, but it’s healthy food cuz SOY IS GOOD. Plus, it’s really yummy.

    Written bye a ten year old,

  20. rules in food:if it’s safe to eat,eat

    look,i don’t even care if they have it.carrageenan are used normally,sugars too.maybe for preservation,taste,etc.that’s why gatorade is sweet.they want it to give people the appetite.but for me,well,ill eat a pack of msg,and they taste delicious

    anyways,let me try that nut milk

  21. Born to a mixed Chinese and western family, I was brought up on soy milk for breakfast almost every morning. Crazy thing, it WAS real food as my grandmother (And her grandmother before her) would hand grind soaked soy beans, strain it and cook it. Not real food? And is milk “real food”? Maybe if you got it from the cow… But not anywhere here. Plus why would anyone drink something that is meant for a calf. NOT HUMAN. Do you eat dog food? So why eat calf food… You should actually be drinking human milk. But that would be disgusting…it’s the EXACT same idea.
    Soy plays a major part of the Asian diet and not just fermented. Almost every dinner we had as kids had tofu. Desert tofu was also made from scratch. Once again, does this make it not real food. Just saying…
    I do agree that store bought is a food-like product – almost everything you buy in a store is a food-like product. If you can pronounce it and grow it then you’re fine.
    Please don’t generalize. Where my family comes from there is a very high consumption of soy products. This consumption goes back generations. I believe more research should be done.

  22. This article is very misleading. I have been into fitness and bodybuilding for almost seven years now and just recently started analyzing my diet. I am currently making the transition from normal cow milk to soy. One of the biggest reasons for me doing so is to LOWER my estrogen levels. Soy is filled with phytoestrogens which is a good thing! Phytoestrogens compete with your own estrogen production for spots in estrogen receptors. Which works out really well considering that phytoestrogens are exponentially less potent than mammalian estrogen. This article also brought light to the notion that soy milk disrupts calcium and other mineral absorbtion. This would be a much more valid claim if drinking milk didn’t acidify the body forcing your body to react by sucking calcium from your bones.

    Do your research people and be conscious of bias.

  23. For my wife and i, we mostly left cow milk primarily because there are significant things we do not like about the dairy industry. I eat primarily soy milk or spinach for calcium now. I used to work on dairy farms. My grandmother nearly died from drinking raw cows milk. Big mistake. You take a risk. Plus high milk fat in any whole milk. Soy milk may not be perfect, but i think any step forward toward more plant-based foods and less animal industry is good. I like the soy milks. Even if soy milk is so bad, i’m not convinced, i would eat more spinach or sardines vs. daily support of the dairy factory farm industry which makes me sick to my stomach. Milk doe not really do a body good more studies are showing. But folks are going to eat and drink whatever they want.

  24. I’m Japanese and we are known to be a country with the longest life expectancy, and our diet is very much soy based. There is not a day when we do get soy in some form or another. I’m lactose intolerant and cannot stand nuts milk so I always use soy milk as an alternative. I understand if you’re saying that the additives in commercially available soy milk is bad for you, but how can you say that soy is not food nor for consumption?? I feel like our whole culture just got criticised for eating something unnatural when we are one of the healthiest in the world! When was tofu and natto ever bad for you? Another Caucasian person who thinks they know best and disregards all. Even with research people have to make their argument. You just disregarded it.

  25. Hi! For your 5 questions, here are my answers (at least for my country, which is in Southeast Asia):

    * Is it a product or is it a food?
    > For us it’s food.

    * Is it made with ingredients that humans have used for thousands of years?
    > Yes, soy is a staple in our traditional diet.

    * Is this something that your great-grandmother would recognize as food?
    > Yes, my mother taught me to make soy milk, tofu, tauho, and other soy-based products, which was taught to her by her mother, which was taught by her mother…

    * Can you make it in your kitchen with grocery store ingredients?
    > Yes, the local market sells farm-raised soy beans. I make soy milk with only 2 ingredients: soaked soy beans and water. Nothing else, not even sugar. For utensils, i only need a grinder/blender, a pot and a cheesecloth/strainer.

    ” Is it advertised on TV?
    > I have never seen soy milk advertised anywhere here in my country.

    So, is our version of soy milk good? 🙂

  26. “While fermented forms of soy are traditional foods, unfermented soy products are not. If soy milk was a truly nutritious and delicious way to prepare soy, you could bet that great-great-great-great Chinese grandmothers would have raised their children on soy milk.”

    Yikes! This article is terrible. Does the author not know that soybean and its products, such as soy milk and tofu, all in its un-fermented form, are used for thousands of year in China? It that traditional enough? Yes, we have plenty of fermented soy products, but we also eat fresh soybean in pods (the so called “edamame”), soybean in soups, soy milk in the morning, tofu in various, glorious forms throughout the day, soy in desserts, ….

  27. So let me get this right, you’re shooting down a naturally sourced product, and promoting milk that is designed to grow a calf to a full sized cow in a period less than a year, doesn’t that sound like we shouldn’t be drinking it? We have different growth patterns to cows. Along with the fact that so called ‘fresh cows milk’ contains the masses of antibiotics that farmers put into cows feed to counteract the infections of the conditions they’re kept in, so at the same time you’re promoting the cruelty of milk production.

  28. I buy Soymilk without Calcium, like Trader Joe’s. Then I take calcium chews with vitamin k in it. I’m a vegetarian and soy is a regular part of my diet. My parents have hypertension, diabetes, and both died of heart attack, it runs in our blood, as my siblings have those health issues. I don’t have any of those, just exercise daily, and I’m healthy at 60 with BMI of 19. Soy works for me.

  29. I didn’t read all comments so someone has probably already mentioned about this, but tofu and soy milk is some of the most popular traditional food in Japan. Unfermented soy beans are used in many traditional Japanese dishes. I grew up eating them and drinking soy milk, my mother did also, my grandma loves them even more (she lived until 95, VERY healthy until she passed away).

  30. This is in response to the statement about “… if soy were a great delicious way to prepare soy milk, then great-great-great grandmothers in China would’ve used soy milk for babies …” (paraphrased):
    This is only your opinion that is NOT based on fact. First of all, in China and other Asian countries, the soy bean is boiled and blended into a blender then pressed into a soy drink (or soy milk) along with water. No additives were put in except to add sugar for sweet soy milk or to add salt and other flavors for savory soy milk. This is usually consumed at breakfast. And, yes, they did give it to their children because it is high in protein. And, the Chinese used to be poor (still are poor in the rural areas) and worked in the farm fields and cows and dairy were not an industry there. They never heard of dairy. Second of all, not all fermented products produced in China are beneficial. It depends on what other ingredients have been put in there. I’m not sure if some of the poisonous or harmful ingredients have been taken out of such fermented tofu products (I don’t trust the fast-money-making, non-ethical business practices of some of this newer consumer-centric China population — which is a whole other topic.) — but, these include lye water and others which have been known to cause a whole different set of cancers of the digestive tract in China and Hong Kong.
    I do agree that the “westernized” soy milk we see today (along with all the almond milk and other alternatives), many other ingredients are added to give the appearance and texture and taste of what westerners are used to: whole dairy milk. The suspect ingredient that we should all be more aware of is CARAGEENAN. This is a red algae source and I’m sure not all the red algae collected are fresh ….what’s the percentage of rotting or rotted algae makes it into the humongous batches of this that are being put into every food product and prescription drugs that we are all consuming? This ingredient has insufficient evidence of all its side effects. In France, they’ve processed it to produce an ulcer drug that may be causing cancer. If your read all the labels in the store, even low fat dairy milk has this ingredient added. So, do a bunch of other dairy products such as whipping cream, cheeses, and any other food products that would look / taste better as a slightly more thickened or almost like a solid. Besides, CARAGEENAN has also been shown to disrupt hormones. I see Whole Foods change their milk products based on current trends …. but what is good and what is not? The current trend of more coconut and almond milks are not good for the kids who have dairy and tree nut allergies. My kids have tree nut and peanut allergies …. I can’t find a soy milk without Carageenan. My kids also have asthma and allergies and in order to limit the amount of mucous, I don’t give them dairy milk (which would produce more mucous).
    The real soy milk drink doesn’t have vitamin D and extra calcium added … and it tastes more like soy. One of my kids likes that taste and the other doesn’t. I can also go on and on about how my kids have food allergies …. my believe is that the genetically modified foods are the culprit.
    In conclusion, we need to look at other ingredients in all of our food products. It may be some funny sounding ingredient causing problems with our health.

  31. Hold your cows (sheep, goats, buffalo…) !!

    Here’s the science bit…
    FACT: Yes, some breast cancer grows in the presence of oestrogen, and yes, soya can act like oestrogen. But there’s no direct link saying soya can cause cancer. In some animal studies, pure isoflavones, the compound in soy bearing the chemical similarities to estrogen, have been shown to promote tumour growth. However, humans both process isoflavones differently than rodents and isoflavone supplements vary greatly from dietary soya..

    Among observational studies of humans who get high amounts of dietary soya, findings have shown either no link to breast cancer or lower rates of the disease. Even though animal studies have shown mixed effects on breast cancer with soya supplements, studies in humans have not shown harm from eating soya foods. Moderate consumption of soya foods appears safe for both breast cancer survivors and the general population, and may even lower breast cancer risk”

  32. The largest consumer of commercially grown GMO soya beans, both in the US and globally, is… farmed animals.
    Currently, over 80% of the global soya bean crop is genetically modified, and approximately 85% of all GMO soya beans end up in farmed animal feed. Many countries have banned GMOs. The GMO soya consumed by farmed animals is utilised as a source of protein by them, and does not just magically evaporate in the slaughterhouse or the milk processing plant. It ends up on your plate!

  33. Sorry Lauren, most of your claims have been debunked by newer research

    Also the claim that milk is better for the environment is wildly false

    One gallon of Milk requires over a thousand gallons of water

    Not to mention the amount of feed, and land necessary to produce an adult cow.

    Basically you’re destroying the environment in your quest for cows milk. Not to mention said cow will eventually end up slaughtered for meat, which is morally wrong, oh and there is no evidence that cows milk is healthier than Soy Milk, in fact the opposite has been found.

  34. So what don’t you all choose soymilk from non-GMO soy with no ingredients added apart from water.
    Is ground soy with water a natural food? No doubt. And please check the latest studies on soy and stop looking for outdated info!

  35. A lot of true statements here. What wasn’t discussed, though, are the genetic components older, and even some modernized, medicine and nutrition studies simply cannot accurately account for. Everyone’s genetic coding is different. NONE of the studies or “sources” listed by the author can be perceived as truth or accurate (bias or unbiased, sponsored or UN-sponsored) because not a single one of them can 100% precisely take into account the most important aspect of all of this; genetics.

  36. Gross. You couldn’t even pay me to drink soy milk. I’m lactose intolerant and all those times I even drank soy milk when I was actually buying it… did nothing but make my stomach hurt and tore me up. I noticed I was more vulnerable to getting sick when I drank soy, but that was just me so I don’t know how many people that has happened to. I do think there is natural soy, but I don’t know much about that to say so. There are so many products with soy in them it is so hard to avoid. I don’t want anything to do with soy. I don’t care what everyone else consumes. I’m actually considering changing up the milk I buy, but have yet to figure out what to get….

  37. i just bought some organic soy milk on the recommendation of a friend who said it would help with my menopause symptoms . I only googled it to see what other benefits it had and i came across this article and i’m so pissed off.
    I’m sick to death of not knowing who to believe when all i’m trying to do is be as healthy as i possibly can.
    I don’t normally get this annoyed but i actually thought i’d finally found something i could actually stomach as an alternative to cow’s milk which i’ve been trying to give up for quite a while.

  38. You’re anti-soy milk? I’m with you about the sugar, but your points are just nonsense.

    It’s not a traditional food? So what? Just because something is old doesn’t make it good (, and just because something’s not old doesn’t make it bad.

    No chronic disease in a population with a life expectancy of like 25 (, and no record of diagnosis is impressive to you? Sure, they lived longer than their European contemporaries, but they didn’t have anything close to modern life expectancy (in a world where lots of people drink soymilk). No chronic disease? Wouldn’t you agree that such a population had a chronic penchant for dying early compared to modern standards?

    Even if we ignore their life expectancy, ‘no record of illness’ isn’t the same thing as ‘no illness’. Even if we had a record of illness, traditional diagnoses are only useful for their description. Traditional medicines, on the other hand, are sometimes quite useful, but there is no reason to believe any primitive culture could accurately diagnose any disease, or if they bothered to formally diagnose at all.

    Please look at your arguments logically. You have only considered info that supports your point of view, and have discarded info that doesn’t support your view. This is why you have comments like mine – your arguments are thick in opinion, but thin on facts, so they make no sense.

  39. You criticize soy for not being “”””real food”””” (whatever that means) and you complain about soy’s supposed estrogens, but are completely OK filling your body with interspecies breast milk from a nursing cow, intended for a calf.
    Your ideas of what is real food and what is full of strogens are quite funny. Don’t you dare say you aren’t biased.

    (Also, as for “its not a traditional food”, I don’t know if you knew, but a place called Japan? Yeah? They consume tofu just like you’d consume potatoes. It’s traditional, and anyway, an irrelevant point.

    • For clarification, I identify soy milk as not meeting the qualifications of Real Food because it contains additives and is highly processed. I do not believe that most of the dairy milk on the market meets the qualification of Real Food either, which I also discuss in the blog post. This post gives more information: Also, as I clearly discussed in this article, soy milk – as it is on the market now – is not a tradition food. Asia has consumed forms of fermented soy for millenia, but not highly refined soy milk.

      • I drink soy milk often, and soy and tofu products are essential to my family’s diet and culture. It is regarded as quite the traditional drink from where I come from. Our soy milk’s ingredients are soy, water, and sugar. There are no synthesized products or added vitamins. I think you need to point out more clearly that you are speaking against American soy milk companies or brands because it sounded like you are speaking against soy milk as a whole. BTW I easily make soy milk at home using a soy bean grinder tool in my kitchen. It is the size of a coffee machine and I just add sugar to my liking.
        So, for an article titled reasons to never ever drink “soy milk”, the argument falls a little flat. I can see how it garnered offense.

  40. Hi Lauren, just want to say im apalled by how some readers are not only sharing uneducated opinions, but how they are bashing you! I love your blog and do all my own research. Im with you girl!!! Everyone needs to actually READ what Lauren is writing. The 1930s comment actually made me laugh out loud. NUTRITION IS NUTRITION no matter the decade. If you disagree with Laurens science based articles, fine, but when you start to get nasty is when I have to say something. Keep your negativity to yourself and have a little RESPECT!

    Much love to you Lauren and thanks for spreading the truth.

  41. I’m a bit confused, when I was a little girl my mom used to buy soy beans from the market wash them blend it in a blender til completely liquified and pour it into a cheese cloth. She would toss out the remains that weren’t liquid then boil the liquid soy for like 2-3 hours and add cane sugar to it. I used to help her with this, she told me that was soy milk and to my knowledge it was just soy water and cane sugar, is it really so bad?

  42. Although there are disadvantages of soya milk, it does also have advantages. And I would rather take the disadvantages of soy over drinking cows/ewes milk any day.

    Cows milk is just as unnatural as soya milk in the modern world.
    The amount of chemicals and fats added these days, and the process that it undergoes before it gets to our fridges, makes it barely resemble what comes out of the cow. Cow’s milk fresh from the udder has amazing health benefits for adults and children alike, because it’s breast milk. It has everything a body needs, because its purpose is to feed a growing baby. However, because its breast milk (produced inside a body) and because it’s not HUMAN breast milk, they have to do so much to it in order to try to eliminate bacteria, etc that it’s basically not milk any more when it goes to the super markets, And to make matters worse, its actually illegal for farmers to sell/give out un-processed milk to the public! (In the UK, I cant say about US laws because I honestly dont know)
    While there may be healthier/better milk alternatives, such as almond milk or oat milk, soya is at least better than supermarket cow’s milk. Also, you have to ask yourself, should a grown human adult be drinking the breast milk of another animal, that we aren’t even descended from? I don’t mind if people drink cow’s milk, because its none of my business, but I feel really uncomfortable drinking it now I’m not a little kid any more and have an understanding of where it comes from.
    So long as you make sure you get all the nutrients you need, and dont rely on soya milk for calcium, its no worse than a lot of other supermarket foods.

  43. The internet has become a Junk yard of biased unreliable information about health.

    I guess you have to go back to common sense.

    If so much soy is being sold in the USA I logically conclude that it cannot be dangerous.

    also, moderation in everything.

    according to sites on the internet, all foods are toxic and should be avoided.

    they recommend drink water until you die of starvation and you will have lived a health life.

  44. The soy milk I drink is non-GMO, organic and contains exactly two ingredients: filtered water and soybeans.

    As with any food choice, you need to do your homework. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend Silk Soy milk to anyone either. But (unsweetened) Westsoy? Most definitely.

  45. Milk was designed by nature to put several hundred pounds on an animal in a very short period of time. I’m no drinking that stuff. Look what it does to American children that are fed this stuff at school and at home on a daily basis. Most of them are obese. Milk is for bovine calves, not for homo sapien consumption.

  46. In the reality, the country with world’s longest life span (as of 2016) is one of the most soy consuming country. It’s Japan according to WHO and people there have consumed non-GMO soy beans as tranditional food for more than 1200 years in various forms including unfermented soy beans, such as Japanese traditional soymilk (made with organic non-GMO soy beans and the water only), dried soybeans, roasted soybeans, Edamame (boiled or steamed young soy beans), Tofu (soymilk curd), Tofu skin, Kinako (roasted soybean flour) and so on.

    My grandmother was from Japan she had soymilk every day since she was a baby and she lived almost 100 years in good health as well. (She passed away by an accidental injury.) Other grandparents from different side also had the same Japanese traditional diet with rice and soy and mostly lived until 90-100 years old. They has not had any breast cancer so far. My grandmother was rather saying that she has had no symptom of menopause after she had many children thanks to the soy. People in her town also had the same traditional rice and soy diet and most of them lived long in general. Every February, there was a national custom to eat roasted soy beans at a traditional Setsubun festival, so kids had them as well as the elderly people.

    Lauren’s article is misleading as most parts are for the specific GMO soymilk with many additives that are not in the traditional soymilk. Such added Vitamin D2 is nothing related to real soymilk to ban.
    Some milk farm give cows hormones to produce more milk as well.

    In Japan and Europe, we were able to find organic non-GMO soy milk with much simpler ingredients which is closer to Japanese traditional soy milk such as Provamel Organic Unsweetened Soya Milk.
    Even in the states, there were non-GMO soybeans at Whole Foods Market, so homemade was possible.
    Actually homemade is cheaper option if you had a power blender, you can make the homemade traditional soy milk with non-GMO dried soybeans and the water. Leave dried soy beans in the water for overnight and blend it by the power blender to make the pure soy milk. For sweetened soy milk, add organic apple juice or puree.

    In the EU, I heard that after Chernobyl disaster in 80’s, some milk cows ate grasses covered by radioactive fallout brought by rain that milk have had concentration properties, therefore, with raised concern of radioactive cancer-causing substances, some parents stopped their children to drink such milk and switched to alternatives.

    Again, living examples of soy consuming country has the longest life span in the world today.
    Soy is real food and it is traditional food in there.
    Again, The real soy milk is made with traditional organic non-GMO soy beans and the water only, so just be careful about additives.

    Do you love real food? Please help me spread the message that soy is traditional food in the country with world’s longest life span! 😉

  47. Hi Lauren,

    Just for your information or and I am no way trying to be rude or anything, but as a person with Chinese background, I want to say that Chinese people have soy milk for breakfast and snack, or even with their bento boxes. It could also be served cold as a beverage and is also extremely common. Soy milk is consider one of the most common food in China (just like Western people with milk or coffee). We have been consuming soy milk for thousands of years. People would make them from scratch at home or breakfast places. When I was young, I remember my grandfather would always wake up at 6am every morning to make fresh soy milk for us kids for breakfast. Now in Asian countries, there is soy milk machine available for families who doesn’t have the time to make soy milk. My mother has one, the machine basically blends the beans and boils the milk. It’s pretty much like a juicer that heats up.
    I’m leaving a comment here as I want to share with others that there are A LOT of people who consumes soy milk on a daily basis (primarily the Chinese) and they will laugh to know about the controversies on soy. It is like telling the Indians not to have curry or the Japanese to not have fish.

    Anyhow, it’s up to the people to decide whether they want to believe the studies/researches or trust the cultures that has included soy milk as part of their diets and will never change.

  48. Is it a product or is it a food?
    Is it made with ingredients that humans have used for thousands of years?
    Is this something that your great-grandmother would recognize as food?
    Can you make it in your kitchen with grocery store ingredients?
    Is it advertised on TV?

    1. Tofu and Soya juice are food in China for more than 4000 years!!!
    2. Same for Soya beans!
    3. My great-great-great-great ancient would recognize it as food!!
    4. Only you dumb American can’t make it!!
    5. And only you dumb American would advertise soya juice on TV!!

    What I’ve answered is based on traditional Soya juice, witch the ingredient are only water and Soya beans. If you dumb American add some other stuff in there, then you make your “Soya Milk” unhealthy.

    Chinese and Janpanese people eat tofu and soya juice for their whole life, and I believe the people there lives much longer then others in average.

    Such a dumb article!!

  49. You stated that soy milk contains synthetic Vitamin D2 but you failed to mention that the Vitamin D in dairy milk is also added. Starting in the the 1930’s it was added to milk to help prevent rickets in children and is still added to this day. Many people mistakenly think that dairy milk naturally contains Vitamin D:

    Also, did you know that the milk industry gives out awards to farmers who produce milk that has a LOW somatic cell count? It doesn’t go to producers who have zero somatic cell counts as that doesn’t exist. So in order words, even if you’re drinking milk that has a low somatic cell count, you’re still ingesting them. They’re cells shed from the udder mixed with white blood cells and they’re useful for identifying mammary infections. Not something that sounds healthy to me to ingest even in low amounts:

  50. Lauren, your essay here is sound in its argumentation and the point that soy milk is bad is well endorsed. . Nevertheless , You value instead the consumption of cow milk ( grass fed) and therefore advice on another product that is also highly controversial when if comes to health. To me, moderation is the key. You certainly can consume soy milk. The dose in each intake is not high enough to conclude it is such a ‘not go zone’ product. Moving forward , Who consume grass fed cow milk , non manufactured??? from the cow to the steriliser and the house hold family table! At large your blog will create a fake illusion that cow milk is good while is it certain not in the form it is found in our supermarket shelves today. You are addressing the mass, not a few that live next to a farm. Plus cow milk is another species product, what a idea to feed human with it! Here is a link to a blog on the matter that would explain more

    If our great grand parents had the better health is just because the madman of the industrial revolution didn’t exist. As we can’t go back, we can only moderate our consumption and eat less of manufacture produce and revalue our consumption on real food. Easy say that done in everyday live of people of every walk of life.

  51. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that has killed off my esophageal nerves and is slowly working havoc on the rest of my digestive system, I went vegan/gluten free because I am unable to digest the complexities of animal products and most grains. I understand completely what you are saying: but here’s my philosophy…it would be fine but make it yourself without the junk. Making your own foods gives you the control to know every single thing you put in it (and you can change things to make it suit your diet and get rid of the junk), the pleasure of knowing you worked to do it, and brings you closer to both the food and the God who gave it to us. Just doing that alone increases the health of what you are consuming, and combats the icky disordered eating thoughts that easily accompany such strictly healthy diet because of the pride you can have in making your own food. Plus, soy has regulated (naturally) my low estrogen and made my hormones much more manageable which negated all the mood and health issues too. Make it yourself, people. Do what works for you so you can feel your best and most beautiful!

    • YES!!!!! If people don’t want the other ingredients, just make it yourself! But it seems like the U.S. dumps ridiculous stuff into their products – soy milk in Australia is really good and non-GMO.

  52. Hi there,
    Could you please post or send me a link to the study that says that the oestrogen levels in infants that had soy milk are 13000-22000 times higher?
    Love your article!

    Thanks, Till

  53. You are assuming those against cow’s milk are vegans or vegetarians. I happened to be vegetarian and almost nearly vegan. The fact that cow’s milk is NOT good for us – in fact I have been told by my doctor that milk causes inflammation in the body…many ppl cannot even digest milk as we know.
    Whether it is grass fed cow’s milk or not, it is cruel. Those cow’s are kept in a constant state of pregnancy to produce that milk that we selfishly consume. Male calves often – if not always – get slaughtered as veal! The moms are sentenced to a life of hell and used and abused so that ppl can have milk. Find other healthy alternatives – if not soy – then something else.

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I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

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