Why do they put so much sugar in soymilk?

kylefoley76

Newcomer
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Reaction score
2
Age
46
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
if you look at the ingredients for this product

silk original-soymilk



you'll find that cane sugar is one of them. Plus the product has 6 g per 110 calories which means if you drink 2000 calories of it you would drink 109 g sugar which is way beyond the 25g daily limit.

Almond milk isn't much different. In this product

Orgain-Organic-Protein-Unsweetened-Vanilla



cane sugar is also an ingredient. and it has 7g per 100 calories which would be 140 g of sugar per day on a 2000 calorie diet. If it's unsweetened then it doesn't taste any good. So perhaps I could buy the unsweetened variety and put honey in it. I realize some vegans think honey is verboten but I don't. So I've done some research on whether honey is good or bad but not much. I did read something at the website healthline
but I don't really like that website too much, their explanations are too superficial for me. I would post links to the actual website but this forum doesn't allow that.
 

Kellyr

Forum Senior
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Reaction score
188
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Maple syrup is a good alternative liquid sweetener to honey.

Do you drink the plant milk plain? I find that sugar-free versions don't really bother me since I'm usually mixing them in with other things anyway, like blended into a smoothie with fruits, etc, which do their own job of sweetening things up naturally.

If you have a lot of sugar in your diet in other places, however, then you probably will find un-sweetened plant milks unpalatable. For me the less sugar I eat overall, the better unsweetened and natural foods taste.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou
OP
OP
K

kylefoley76

Newcomer
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Reaction score
2
Age
46
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
I've tried drinking it plain but couldn't tolerate it, so I decided to try the sweetened kind, not knowing that they sweeten it with sugar. Very stupid I know. It then dawned on me to figure out how they sweeten it. That's when I wrote this post.
 

Veganite

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Reaction score
2,470
Location
Vancouver, BC
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Many people make their own plant-based milks, including soy milk. There's no shortage of recipes on the Internet. Perhaps making your own would allow you to make the beverage exactly how, and with what you desire, and in the precise amounts you desire.

*
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou and Emma JC

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Well, they put sugar into soymilk to make it taste more like milk.
2% cow's milk has 12 grams of sugar. It's mostly lactose as opposed to the sucrose in soymilk. but there are no arguments that lactose is better than sucrose. (more the reverse)

Many soymilks have less than 12 grams of sugar. Your example of Silk original has only 6 grams. Plus you can buy unsweetened soy milk that has only one gram of sugar.

And there is no nutritional benefit to sweetening soymilk with honey. although cane sugar is all sucrose and honey is a combination of glucose and fructose, your body doesn't really notice the difference. Not that its important but glucose and fructose are two of the most simple sugars (monosaccharides). At least sucrose is a disaccharide (being a combination of glucose and fructose. (Theoretically a disaccharide would be digested slower than a monosacharide - but in reality, I don't think there is a significant difference).

Your technique of taking a single food and calculating its nutrition if you got all your calories from that may have some analytical advantages. but I wouldn't give it too much significance. We should all eat an apple a day. but if we ate just apples and met our caloric requirements we would need 20. and those 20 apples would have 400 grams of sugar. Four times the amount of sugar 20 glasses of soymilk has.

Yes, the soymilk has added sugar. and the apple has natural sugar. but our bodies don't really care. The reason we are taught to avoid added sugar is that most of us eat too much-added sugar. But as you know you can keep the added sugars in check. One to four glasses of soy milk a day is great. I think two would be more than adequate. but even at the top end of four glasses a day - that is still under the 25 grams of added sugar a day.

Diabetics are taught a simple rule. Don't eat more than 10 grams of sugar at a time. More than 10 grams could trigger an insulin spike. So plain soymilk would even be safe for a diabetic. Plus its got fiber - which slows the absorbtion of sugar.

And if you are really worried about it you can buy Silk's "light" soymilk, which has half the sugar and they add Stevia as a sweetener.

Or you can buy plain unsweetened soymilk and blend in a banana. No added sugars and yummy, too. I use unsweetened soymilk in my oatmeal and smoothies. For drinking plain the light vanilla is my favorite.

One last thing. Silk's parent company got bought out by Dean Foods, which is owned by one of those giant multinational corporations. Since then they no longer claim their soy is organic. The had a press release that said that their beans are still organic. (Which may even be true - their packages still say Non-GMO.) but they have stopped buying USDA certified organic and are doing their own certification of their growers. (which could be problematic). I recommend skipping Silk till they clear that up. In the meantime, there are lots of other good soymilks.

Oh, Oh, one more last thing. We already had a long converstion on honey. Check it out.
https://veganforum.org/threads/why-...t-honey-and-still-call-themselves-vegan.2590/
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Thanks, but I'm the world's worse cook.

There is a type of kitchen appliance, a soymilk maker. Soyajoy and Joyoung are examples. You might need to investigate a little to pick out the best one. Basically, you put soybeans in, turn it on, go away (it's noisy), and come back to soymilk. It's supposed to also be good for soups.

I do drink a lot of soymilk and I have considered getting one. I would have to do the math to see how good an investment it is (they are a bit pricey), and find the room for another small appliance. I wonder if anyone here has one.
 
OP
OP
K

kylefoley76

Newcomer
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Reaction score
2
Age
46
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
!!WOW!! QUITE SIMPLY AMAZING INFO!!! YOU REALLY ROCK!!!


Your technique of taking a single food and calculating its nutrition if you got all your calories from that may have some analytical advantages. but I wouldn't give it too much significance.
Well, if you're trying to eat less than x per day and y makes up 5% of your diet and your diet would equal 5x if y were your whole diet, then it is rational to give up y.



We should all eat an apple a day. but if we ate just apples and met our caloric requirements we would need 20. and those 20 apples would have 400 grams of sugar. Four times the amount of sugar 20 glasses of soymilk has. ... Yes, the soymilk has added sugar. and the apple has natural sugar. but our bodies don't really care.
Are you sure about this? Michael Greger in How not to Die has this to say:


greger said:
There are a few popular diets out there that urge people to stop eating fruits because their natural sugars (fructose) are thought to contribute to weight gain. The truth is, only fructose from added sugars appears to be associated with declining liver function,high blood pressure, and weight gain.— How could the fructose in sugar be bad but the same fructose in fruit be harmless? Think about the difference between a sugar cube and a sugar beet. (Beets are the primary source of sugar in the United States.—) In nature, fructose comes prepackaged with the fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that appear to nullify adverse fructose effects.—

Studies show that if you drink a glass of water with three tablespoons of sugar (similar to what would be in a can of soda), you’ll have a big spike in your blood sugar levels within the first hour. That causes your body to release so much insulin to mop up the excess sugar that you actually overshoot and become hypoglycemic by the second hour, meaning that your blood sugar drops even lower than it would if you were fasting. Your body detects this low blood sugar, thinks you might be in some sort of

famine situation, and responds by dumping fat into your bloodstream as an energy source to keep you alive.— This excess fat in the blood can then go on to cause further problems. (See chapter 6.)

But what if you eat a cup of blended berries in addition to the sugar? The berries, of course, have sugars of their own—an additional tablespoon’s worth—so the blood sugar spike should be even worse, right? Actually, no. Study participants who ate berries with their cup of sugar water showed no additional blood sugar spike and no hypoglycemic dip afterward; their blood sugar levels merely went up and down, and there was no surge of fat into the blood.

Consuming sugar in fruit form is not only harmless but actually helpful. Eating berries can blunt the insulin spike from high-glycemic foods like white bread, for example.— This may be because the fiber in fruit has a gelling effect in your stomach and small intestine that slows the release of sugars— or because of certain phytonutrients in fruit that appear to block the absorption of sugar through the gut wall and into your bloodstream.— So eating fructose the way nature intended carries benefits rather than risks.

Low-dose fructose may actually benefit blood sugar control. Eating a piece of fruit with each meal

could be expected to lower, rather than raise, the blood sugar response.— What about people with type 2 diabetes? Diabetics randomized into a group restricted to no more than two daily pieces of fruit had no better blood sugar control than those randomized into a group told to eat a minimum of two pieces of fruit per day. The researchers concluded that “the intake of fruit should not be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes.”—

Surely there must be some level of fructose consumption that’s harmful even when served in Mother Nature’s green-light form, right? Apparently

Seventeen people were asked to eat twenty servings of fruit per day for months. Despite the extraordinarily high fructose content of this fruit-based diet—the sugar equivalent of about eight cans of soda a day—the investigators reported beneficial outcomes with no overall adverse effects for body weight, blood pressure,— insulin, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.— More recently, the research group who invented the glycemic index found that feeding subjects a fruit-, vegetable-, and nut-based diet that included about twenty servings of fruit per day for a couple of weeks had no adverse effects on weight, blood pressure, or triglycerides—all while lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by an astounding

thirty-eight points.”

Cholesterol lowering was not the only record broken: Participants were asked to eat forty-three servings of vegetables a day in addition to the fruit, the result of which was that the researchers recorded the largest-ever bowel movements documented in a dietary intervention.—
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
!!WOW!! QUITE SIMPLY AMAZING INFO!!! YOU REALLY ROCK!!!

Well, if you're trying to eat less than x per day and y makes up 5% of your diet and your diet would equal 5x if y were your whole diet, then it is rational to give up y.

Are you sure about this? Michael Greger in How not to Die has this to say:

You and Greger are right! I didn't say that right. I was just replying to your concern with numbers. And in my defense, I did, later on, mention the fact that the fiber in an apple slows down the absorption of sugar.

And remember that soymilk has fiber too. lets look at the ratios. Silk plain has 6 g of sugar and 2 of fiber. thats a 3:1 ratio.

An apple has 19 grams of sugar and 4.4 grams of fiber. a 4:1 ratio. So the soymilk comes out a little bit ahead.

Gregar would also make the case that the apple (and all the other fruits) have lots and lots of other goods stuff too. But then so does soy. An apple a day is a good idea and so is a glass of soymilk. :)
 

Sho

Newcomer
Joined
May 9, 2018
Reaction score
4
Some vegans THINK honey is? Honey isn’t vegan that’s a fact. Also you are right the unsweetened ones don’t taste as good. Most people get a nut milk bag and make their own. Also use agave
 

Forest Nymph

Forum Legend
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Reaction score
2,203
Age
40
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I love unsweetened, but only certain brands. I do not like Westsoy. Pacific and Silk are good unsweetened though.

They add sugar to non-dairy milks to wean people off off the cow's milk crack.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Veganite and Lou
OP
OP
K

kylefoley76

Newcomer
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Reaction score
2
Age
46
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
The reason we are taught to avoid added sugar is that most of us eat too much-added sugar. But as you know you can keep the added sugars in check. One to four glasses of soy milk a day is great. I think two would be more than adequate. but even at the top end of four glasses a day - that is still under the 25 grams of added sugar a day.


Actually, I've been thinking more about this post. I never understood why added sugar is good and natural sugar is bad. So are you telling me that we should just avoid added sugar because it's possible to avoid whereas we cannot avoid natural sugar unless we want to give up some food which has some real awesome nutrients. That would make sense. Added sugar has no nutritional benefit and it crowds out the other nutrients. But in reality suppose you were to get the exact same nutrients per day but x ate 30 g of natural sugar and y ate 30 g of added sugar. If that were the case, wouldn't x's and y's diet be equally nutritious.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Actually, I've been thinking more about this post. I never understood why added sugar is good and natural sugar is bad. So are you telling me hat we should just avoid added sugar because it's possible to avoid whereas we cannot avoid natural sugar unless we want to give up some food which has some real awesome nutrients. That would make sense. Added sugar has no nutritional benefit and it crowds out the other nutrients. But in reality suppose you were to get the exact same nutrients per day but x ate 30 g of natural sugar and y ate 30 g of added sugar. If that were the case, wouldn't x's and y's diet be equally nutritious.

The first part is, I think right. Anyway, that's how I understand it.

You lost me in the last sentence. I guess if that was possible. Is it?

My final takeaway: if you can stand unsweetened soymilk, go for it. or just use it with oatmeal and smoothies. But if you prefer the sweetened, and are pretty good about avoiding adding sugar otherwise - that's ok too.
 
OP
OP
K

kylefoley76

Newcomer
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Reaction score
2
Age
46
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
The first part is, I think right. Anyway, that's how I understand it.

You lost me in the last sentence. I guess if that was possible. Is it?

My final takeaway: if you can stand unsweetened soymilk, go for it. or just use it with oatmeal and smoothies. But if you prefer the sweetened, and are pretty good about avoiding adding sugar otherwise - that's ok too.

Let me explain the last part better. Suppose at the end of the day x ate:

vit c = 200% (of daily requirement)
vit e = 125%
vit k = 100% etc etc plus a slew of more nutrients
natural sugar = 50g
added sugar = 0g
calories = 2000

And y ate:

vit c = 200% (of daily requirement)
vit e = 125%
vit k = 100% etc etc plus a slew of more nutrients
natural sugar = 25g
added sugar = 25g
calories = 2000

Would these diets cause the same mortality rate?
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Just thought of something else.
Make sure your soymilk is made from whole soybeans. It should say so on the label. Some soymilks are made from soy flour. Not as good. One of the issues with Silk is that some of their products are made with soy flour. Where before all their soymilks were from organic whole soy beans.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Let me explain the last part better. Suppose at the end of the day x ate:

vit c = 200% (of daily requirement)
vit e = 125%
vit k = 100% etc etc plus a slew of more nutrients
natural sugar = 50g
added sugar = 0g
calories = 2000

And y ate:

vit c = 200% (of daily requirement)
vit e = 125%
vit k = 100% etc etc plus a slew of more nutrients
natural sugar = 25g
added sugar = 25g
calories = 2000

Would these diets cause the same mortality rate?



Probably not. Even if that was possible - don't forget there are dozens of other nutrients. Fiber both insoluble and soluble has important roles in sugar absorption. and we haven't even discovered the role of all the other nutrients. In fact, have we even discovered all the micronutrients? I remember Dr. Fuhrman going on in his book, Eat To Live, about the phytonutrients and antioxidants. Those don't show up on the nutrient info label. but probably do affect mortality rates.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC
OP
OP
K

kylefoley76

Newcomer
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Reaction score
2
Age
46
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
Probably not.
Do you have reasons for this supposition?

Even if that was possible - don't forget there are dozens of other nutrients. Fiber both insoluble and soluble has important roles in sugar absorption. and we haven't even discovered the role of all the other nutrients. In fact, have we even discovered all the micronutrients? I remember Dr. Fuhrman going on in his book, Eat To Live, about the phytonutrients and antioxidants. Those don't show up on the nutrient info label. but probably do affect mortality rates.

That's why I said that all other nutrients are equal and that would includes those that we have not discovered yet.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Ok, I understand.
So much thinking so early in the morning... had to go find my thinking cap.

So I'll have to change my "probably not" to an "I don't know".

I understand where you are going here but you are still asking about a hypothetical diet that may not even be possible. To simplify thing about it this way: Every 100 calories of added sugar is going to replace 100 calories of whole foods. those whole foods will have nutrition the added sugar doesn't.

Yeah, I get that you are using the hypothetical diet to illustrate a point or highlight THE question.

In your hypothetical diet, I suppose you might be replacing foods with high nutritional density with foods with lower nutritional density to ...um... handicap the diet without added sugars.I guess one guy could eat refined grains instead. but that would just confuse the results. More research required.

added sugars are not that bad all by themselves. Eventually, naturally occurring sugars and added sugars are all converted to glucose. The issue seems to be how fast that occurs. And what happens to the glucose after it hits your bloodstream. I think the person's health and activity levels also comes into play. the image of a marathon runner slamming a slamming a sugar water and a couch potato eating ice cream comes to my mind. The runner's sugar goes to fuel muscles. The potato just gets fat.

I think the nutritional value of the soymilk does put soymilk on the plus side, despite the added sugars. Yes, of course it would be better if it didn't have any. But even WHO said you can have some.
 

Veganite

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Reaction score
2,470
Location
Vancouver, BC
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
@Changing4Better

For one thing, local natural honey is not vegan, period! Honey is NOT vegan.

Maple syrup has many healthy qualities, but it's still sugar any way you cut it. However, I personally prefer maple syrup to most sugars, unless I have to have some form of dry (granulated sugar) for a recipe, in which case I use a raw organic sugar.