Question: Does soy milk have lactose?
Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk. Since lactose is derived from milk, it is found in dairy products and can be hidden in prepared foods that contain milk or milk byproducts. Lactose is difficult to digest for people who suffer from lactose intolerance or lactose sensitivity because their bodies do not produce sufficient lactase. Lactase is naturally formed in the intestines and aids in breaking down lactose so that it can be digested.
Soy milk does not contain lactose or dairy despite having the word ‘milk’ in its name. Soy milk is derived from soybeans and not from a dairy cow. We took a look at some of the major soy milk manufacturers in the United States and below is what we found about lactose or dairy in their soy milk:
Silk – “All Silk products are naturally lactose-free.”, per the company.
Pacific – All soy milk products are listed as dairy free by the manufacturer.
Soy Dream – All soy milk is listed as lactose-free.
Organic Valley – All soy milk dairy free.
While soy milk is lactose-free, this does not mean that you need to do away with cow’s milk in place of a milk alternative. There are lactose-free cow’s milk products. For example, Lactaid is regular milk that has had lactase added to it in order to remove the lactose. Another example is Organic Valley Lactose-Free, which has had lactase added as an ingredient similarly to Lactaid milk. Beyond lactose-free regular milk, there are milk alternatives like almond, cashew, and coconut milk that can substitute as viable cow milk replacements.