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For: Immediate Release February 15, 2001
Contacts: Davida Breier (410) 366-8343
Jeanne McStay (410) 366-VEGE



WHAT IS THE BEST SOYMILK?

Soymilk today is in almost every major supermarket, as well as all over the news. And now there are even rice milks, oat milk, almond milk, and multi-grain milks. So how do you choose?

The Vegetarian Resource Group recently rated the various non-dairy milks. For this information visit the January/February issue of Vegetarian Journal.

WHAT ABOUT FAT?
Whole cow’s milk has a hefty 8 grams of fat per cup. Skim milk has no fat. None of the milks examined had as much fat or saturated fat as whole cow’s milk. Most regular soy beverages have a fat content similar to reduced fat (2 percent) cow’s milk (around 3-4 grams of fat per serving). Beverages labeled nonfat, lite, and lowfat are lower in fat, ranging from 0-2 grams of fat per cup.

I DRINK COW’S MILK, BUT WANT TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR COOKING
Any of the non-dairy milks are suitable for use in cooking. Savory recipes work best with unflavored (often called original or plain) non-dairy milks. Vanilla, chocolate, and carob flavors can add interest to dessert recipes. You can even make a substitute for buttermilk by adding a Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of the non-dairy milk and letting it sit for a few minutes.

I WANT A PRODUCT THAT SUPPLIES WHATEVER IT IS IN SOY THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD FOR YOU
Soymilks contain plant estrogens called isoflavones that appear to have health benefits. Levels in soymilk vary. The U.S. Department of Agriculture database reports a value of 23 milligrams of isoflavones in a cup of soymilk. A range of 2-60 milligrams of isoflavones per cup was found in the VRG survey, with VitaSoy and So Nice Soyganic refrigerated having the highest level.

I WANT A PRODUCT TO USE AS A DAILY BEVERAGE FOR MY VEGAN CHILD
If a non-dairy milk is being used as a primary beverage for a vegan child (a vegetarian who does not use meat, fish, fowl, dairy, eggs, or other animal products), it should contain generous amounts of protein and calories. Many vegan parents use a fortified soymilk to supply calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

I WANT A PRODUCT THAT’S NOT TOO HIGH IN SODIUM
Non-dairy milks generally have between 50 and 230 milligrams of sodium in a cup. Cow’s milk has around 120 milligrams. Products that have less than 90 milligrams of sodium in a cup include Silk plain, West Soy nonfat, Westbrae Natural Rice, Westbrae Oat Plus, Pacific rice beverages, Pacific Multi-grain, West Soy unsweetened, and Pacific fat-free.

I WANT A PRODUCT THAT DOESN’T HAVE MUCH SUGAR ADDED
Generally, more sweetener is added to flavored beverages (like vanilla or chocolate) than to plain or original flavors. Products have between 0 and 27 grams of sugar in an 8-ounce serving. The products that appear to have no added sweeteners are West Soy Unsweetened, Rice Dream, Westbrae Oat Plus, Pacific Naturally Oat, and Soyganic Natural.

I’D PREFER A PRODUCT WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS
The following companies use organic ingredients: Eden-Soy, Natur-a, Pacific Soy Beverages, Rice Dream Original and Original Enriched, So Nice Soyganic, Soy Dream, Soy-um, Vita Soy, West Soy (except Westbrae Rice and Oat beverages), and White Wave.

For more information on Vegetarian Journal’s Guide to Soy, Rice, and Other Non-Dairy “Milks,” visit the January/February issue of Vegetarian Journal.

The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization which educates the community about vegetarianism. It publishes Vegetarian Journal, Vegetarian Journal’s Foodservice Update, and other materials. A one year subscription to both Vegetarian Journal and Foodservice Update is $30. Call (410) 366-VEGE (8343) for more information or to join over the phone with a Visa or MasterCard, or visit the website to become a member online at www.vrg.org.

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or fowl. Vegans do not eat meat, fish, or fowl, and do not use other animal products such as dairy or eggs. For information about vegetarianism or veganism, send a self addressed stamped envelope with two first class stamps to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. Visit their web site at www.vrg.org.




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Last Updated
April 5, 2001

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