Soy Milk and Weight LossThere’s good news if soy milk is your main sip. According to a study carried out at Northern Illinois State University, soy milk boosts weight loss too. When a group of women drank either soy milk or fat-free dairy milk for 2 months and ate a low-calorie diet, both groups lost an average of 8.5 pounds, regardless of which type of milk they drank. Good news for soy milk drinkers!
Researchers speculate that it’s the calcium in milk that stimulates greater fat loss, although the role of vitamin D can’t be discounted. Dietary calcium boosts fat loss by reducing the activity of calcitriol, a hormone that boosts fat storage by increasing the size and number of fat cells. Getting enough calcium through dairy foods helps to suppress calcitriol’s influence on fat cell growth, and that’s a good thing if you’re watching your waistline.
Soy Milk and Weight Loss: Is It a Good Source of Calcium?
Soy milk isn’t naturally high in calcium because most of the calcium is bound to the indigestible pulp. But manufacturers generally fortify it with additional calcium before packaging it into bottles and delivering it to supermarkets. A cup of soy milk contains about 300 milligrams of calcium. Women need between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day, depending on their age. If you make your own soy milk at home, you won’t get the additional calcium since homemade soy milk isn’t fortified. You may not get the weight loss benefits either.
Soy milk is also a good source of muscle-building protein with around 8 grams per cup, similar to the protein content of dairy milk. Most research suggests that drinking 2 to 3 glasses of soy milk a day lowers LDL-cholesterol, the form of cholesterol linked with heart disease. That’s a benefit you won’t get when you drink dairy milk.
The Bottom Line
J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Oct;107(10):1811-4.
WebMD. “Milk Drinkers May Lose More Weight”
MedicineNet.com. “Is Calcium the New Magic Bullet”