Nutritional balance of low-fat soymilk
This article offers descriptive data regarding the nutritional balance of low-fat soymilk. These data were collected for a research on milk and milk alternatives in New Zealand between 2007 and 2008 (Perezgonzalez, 20081).
Low-fat (light, or lite) soymilk is made from soybeans and water, and contains around 1.3% fat. This article, however, analyzes the nutritional balance of low-fat soymilk beyond its fat content. Indeed, the average low-fat soymilk (in this sample) is adequate in fat and low in saturated fat, but also high in protein, low in carbohydrate but high in sugar, low in fiber, and high in sodium (for its energetic content).
On average, low-fat soymilk has a nutritional balance of BNI 27.08s, being particularly unbalanced towards excess of sugar.
Low-fat soymilk appears as somehow unbalanced according to international Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDIs), an practically balanced according to U.S. and Canada's standards, which allow for a higher content of sugars and fat.
|Illustration 3: Nutritional balance across different RDIs (low-fat soymilk)|
|Get Natural light||So Natural||13.47||26.70||2.46||13.02||9.78|
|So Good essential||Sanitarium||15.75||35.26||1.62||15.84||13.08|
|Vitasoy calci-plus high fibre||Vitasoy||16.14||36.19||.24||16.12||13.79|
|So Good active||Sanitarium||31.00||50.80||2.31||30.60||21.70|
|So Good lite||Sanitarium||35.94||55.74||1.07||35.81||15.89|
|Vitasoy light original||Vitasoy||50.97||61.11||20.69||50.69||48.69|
|(Source: Perezgonzalez, 20081)|
Correlations between indexes are positive (and significant at the 0.10 cut-off point, which seems appropriate given the small sample size). These correlations indicate that the soymilk products being compared tend to form a similar hierarchy when indexed using different international standards.
|Illustration 4: Correlations between RDIs|
- The original research was an exploratory study on the nutritional balance of milk and milk alternatives in New Zealand in 2007-2008.
- The initial research sample included 44 milk and alternative milk products (ie, milk, soymilk and rice milk)1. The food products were collected in a convenient manner, looking more for a variety of brands than a random sampling of the same.
- The results in this study simply describe the 'subsample' of low-fat soymilk products within the original sample: ie, 7 brands of low-fat soymilk3.
Materials & analysis
- Milk products were purchased from local supermarket chains in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
- Nutrition information for each milk product was retrieved from the nutritional information panel on each item, to be assessed using the Balanced Nutrition Index™ (BNI™) technology (see Perezgonzalez, 20112).
- SPSS-v16 was used for variable computations, including BNI and international indexes, and statistical analysis, which included descriptives and correlations.
Most of the products are made in Australia and internationally. Thus, the results of this study may be generalizable to the following populations (in order of decreasing generalization power):
- Internationally, if one assumes milk to be of approximately similar nutritional composition anywhere.
Want to know more?
- BNI™ database
- The database offers individual nutrition analyses for foods, including the milk and alternative milk products referred to in above article.
- BNI™ journal (2011, issue 3) - Milk and milk alternatives in New Zealand in 2007-2008
- This issue of the Balanced Nutrition Index™ journal collates all BNI™ nutrition information for the original sample in a single book.
- Wiki of Science - Balance Nutrition Index™ (BNI™)
- This Wiki of Science page offers more information about the BNI™ technology.
- Wiki of Science - Nutritional balance of milk and milk alternatives
- These Wiki of Science pages offer more information for other milk categories: standard milk, semi-skimmed milk, skimmed milk, standard soymilk, flavored low-fat soymilk, and rice milk.
Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2011). Massey University, Turitea Campus, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. (JDPerezgonzalez).
|Other interesting sites|
Wiki of Science
The Balanced Nutrition Index