For me soy milk is a matter of taste. It has a nut-like taste and milk, unless it is the whole fat version, is relatively bland. There is light soy milk to save on calories.
I used soy milk to help me lose my first 50# before knee surgery. I substituted it freely in cereal, and anything I cooked, using same amount as milk in recipes. I couldn't tell the difference in soy milk and it has 8 Carbs per 8oz. Original soy milk from Walmart is organic, lactose free, calcium enriched, and contains Vitamin D and other goodies, and the price is $2.49 per half gallon. I always use it up before it spoils, as it has a much longer storage date on it. I also used Nature's Own 100% whole wheat bread with 7 Carbs per slice. I did not go on anything called a diet, as I merely changed my life style and started reading labels and using lots of nuts and fruits as snacks. I exercised in bed and went on to lose a total of 100 lb. that I have kept off for over 2 years, and am happy as a size 10 at the age of 74.
My bones are the strongest and best thing about my body, and with my diabetes and other crippling diseases, I am so blessed that I can get around at all. I would be in a wheel chair had I not done it on my own, as endless "diets" had never worked. I would lose and gain it back plus some extra pounds every time. Medicare pays for the help of a dietitian and nutritionist for diabetics and she was a big help to teach me that reading all labels for a balanced diet is necessary. I was amazed at just how many names sugar has! And what the names of different fats really means! She helped me lose the last 50 lb., and that is probably why I have kept it off. I would recommend it for anyone.
I've been a lacto vegetarian (no meat, fish or eggs, dairy products in moderation) for 30yrs now and I'm full of energy and very rarely need to see a doctor (im in my 50's). My answer to this is practical and straightforward: soy milk tastes of rotten seaweed, normal milk - whatever the percentage - tastes NICE! there is no need to be a martyr just because you are vegetarian or want to eat healthily!
I don't know about gaining weight, but I like to consume both for the benefits of regular milk (calcium and Vitamin D) and for the benefits of soy milk (soy isoflavones). Drink what you enjoy - and the only thing I will add is that if you drink solely soy milk, make sure to get one that has vitamin D and calcium added to it to make sure your bones stay strong.
Chocolate soy milk is particularly good as a coffee cream replacement :-)
As a vegetarian REGISTERED DIETITIAN, I must say that the responses to this question are interesting, to say the least.
To the person who posted this question initially, best of luck to you in your endeavors to become a healthier you. When in doubt about a nutrition-related issue, PLEASE seek advice from no one other than a nutrition professional such as a REGISTERED DIETITIAN. Visit www.eatright.org to find a dietitian nearest to you.
Soy milk does have a substantial amount of calcium. These links have the specific information you're looking for. Basically, 1% milk and light soy milk have the same amount of calcium, and light soy milk has less calories.
1% milk info: http://www.thedailyplate.com/nutrition-calories/food/generic/125-milk
light soymilk info: http://www.thedailyplate.com/nutrit ... silk/soymilk-light-plain-half-gallon
Everyone needs Calcium, especially women & Soy milk has basically none, so if you Do choose to drink soy make sure to buy calcium fortified with vitamin D added. Soy, Rice, & Almond "milk" don't have near the same amount of protein or Calcium as "Regular" cows milk does... Each type of cow milk has different calories depending on if it's Nonfat, 1%, 2% or whole milk. If I were you & wanted the healthiest milk with the lowest calories I'd drink Nonfat cow milk with added calcium & vitamin D. The added calcium thickens up the nonfat so it tastes more like 2%, and IF you can afford organic, then that's the ticket! Soy, almond or rice milk is really not healthier than cows milk. It's mainly for vegans or those with allergies & it usually has just as many calories. If you do choose a soy type milk then please make sure it's non-GMO & organic because the soy crop is sprayed like there's no tomorrow. I've been a vegetarian for the last 27 years & believe me, I've tried them all.
Just read the label with the calories & info on the back & make sure the cow milk has added vitamin D (to help you absorb calcium) & if you choose soy milk make sure it has added calcium & vitamin D.
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