Is Silk Soy Milk Good or Bad for You?

Silk is a company that produces plant-based alternatives to dairy products. It initially started out working with just soy, but now produces a wide range of products. Soy milk is considered to be a healthy beverage that is equivalent to animal-produced dairy products. It is also considered to be greener beverage than animal milk.

There are eight different types of Silk soy milk. (Image: sorrapong/iStock/GettyImages)

Tip

Silk soy milk is available in eight different types. Only two types are unsweetened. Choosing unsweetened soy products is best for your health.

Silk Milk Products

If you drink plant-based beverages regularly, you'll probably be familiar with Silk. Silk's parent company is Danone, a European, multinational food company. Danone produces a wide range of vegan and nonvegan foods, while Silk exclusively works with plant-based alternatives to animal milk.

Silk produces GMO-free products made from nuts, legumes and grains. The products it creates include:

  • Almond milks
  • Cashew milks
  • Coconut milks
  • Oat milks
  • Protein drinks
  • Dairy-free yogurts
  • Plant-based creamers
  • Long-life, plant-based milk products

Within these types of products, you can find unsweetened, sweetened and organic products, as well.

Soy-Based Silk Milk

Silk produces a variety of soy products, currently selling eight types of soy milk:

  • Organic Unsweet Soymilk
  • Organic Unsweet Vanilla Soymilk
  • Organic Vanilla Soymilk
  • Organic Soymilk
  • Vanilla Soymilk
  • Very Vanilla Soymilk
  • Chocolate Soymilk
  • Light Original Soymilk

All of these products are dairy-free, vegan, rich in protein and low in fat. Soy products are notably lower in saturated fat compared to animal products.

The main difference between these soy beverages is their flavor and the amount of sugars they contain. While natural sugars can be healthy, added sugars are associated with various health issues, including increased risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Whether or not Silk soy milk is good for you ultimately comes down to which product you choose.

Added Sugars in Soy Milk

There is sugar in all soy milk beverages. However, whether a product has natural sugars or added sugars depends on the product. The Original Soy Milk was made with added sugars, though most Silk soy beverages today are not.

Other Silk milk products with added sugars include Chocolate Soy Milk and Vanilla Soy Milk. These have 8 grams of added sugars and 14 grams of added sugars, respectively. The Original Soy Milk has 9 grams of these carbohydrates, 5 grams of which are added sugars. Each of these products has an additional gram of natural sugar too.

In addition to these added sugars, both of these products also contain other carbohydrates, protein and fat. Each cup (240 milliliters) of these products contains:

  • Vanilla Soy Milk: 100 calories, 6 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of nonsugar carbohydrates.
  • Chocolate Soy Milk: 150 calories, 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 4 grams of nonsugar carbohydrates.
  • Original Soy Milk: 110 calories, 8 grams of protein, 4.5 grams of fat and one additional gram of nonsugar carbohydrates.

Sweetened Silk Soy Milk

Most Silk milk products are sweetened beverages, even if they aren't listed as having added sugars. Products may use sugar-rich ingredients, like cane sugar, or natural low-calorie, low-carbohydrate sweeteners, like stevia. The only Silk soy milk that includes stevia is Light Original Soy Milk, but this product contains cane sugar too.

In addition to Light Original Soy Milk, Silk milk sweetened with cane sugar includes products like Very Vanilla Soy Milk and Organic Vanilla Soy Milk. Each cup (240 milliliters) of these products contains:

  • Very Vanilla Soy Milk: 130 calories,

    6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fat and 18 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of which are sugars

  • Organic Vanilla Soy Milk:

    100 calories, 6 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fat and 10 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of which are considered sugars

  • Light Original Soy Milk:

    60 calories, 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat and 5 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of which are sugars

Unsweetened Silk Soy Milk

Silk produces only two unsweetened soy milk products: Organic Unsweet Vanilla Soy Milk and Organic Unsweet Soy Milk. Although they are unsweetened products, each of these products still contains one gram of sugar each. These sugars are natural, though. A cup of these products contains:

  • Organic Unsweet Vanilla Soy Milk: 80 calories, 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat and 4 grams of carbohydrates
  • Organic Unsweet Soy Milk: 80 calories, 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat and 3 grams of carbohydrates

Despite being a beverage, most of the carbohydrates in unsweetened Silk soy milk products come from fiber. This makes these products the healthiest choice if you're keen on drinking soy milk, and particularly useful if you're counting net carbs.

Nutrition Facts for Soy Milk

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, fortified soy milk can actually be considered equivalent to dairy beverages made from animal milk. This is because the fortification process makes the nutritional profile of soy beverages equivalent to those from cow's milk by enriching the amount of nutrients like calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D.

One cup (about 240 milliliters) of fortified Silk soy milk, contains:

  • 27 percent of the daily value (DV) for calcium
  • 6 percent of the DV for iron
  • 7 percent of the DV for potassium
  • 9 percent of the DV for magnesium
  • 10 percent of the DV for selenium
  • 6 percent of the DV for zinc
  • 33 percent of the DV for vitamin A
  • 39 percent of the DV for vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • 6 percent of the DV for vitamin B9
  • 125 percent of the DV for vitamin B12
  • 15 percent of the DV for vitamin D

If you choose to drink fortified soy milk, you may obtain even larger amounts of certain nutrients than from nonfat cow's milk. For instance, cow's milk has about half as much vitamin A and vitamin B12. However, soy milk lacks certain other nutrients, like certain B-complex vitamins and phosphorus.

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