Soya vs Soy: What Is The Difference?

Almost everyone has pondered on a comparison of soya vs soy. In some places, you read soy sauce and on some products, what you see is soya beans or milk. So, what is soya? What is soy? How do you use soya? How do you use soy?

To bring a quick end to your puzzle – there is no difference between soya and soy. Yes, there isn’t. It doesn’t have to get confusing when you see soya in one recipe and soy in another.

Let’s see why it’s soya in some cases vs why it’s soy in other cases.

Soya vs soy

The difference between soya and soy is “soya” is the name used in Europe, while “soy” is the name used in the U.S. and Canada. Other than this difference, both terms refer to the same legume.

Therefore, if you find yourself in a US store or cuisine, it’s more appropriate to say soy milk or soy sauce. In Europe, you can ask for soya milk or soya sauce.

What is soy?

Soybean is a legume native to East Asia. It is an edible bean that is a rich source of protein, fiber, omega-3 & omega-6 fats, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and copper.

In addition, this proteinous bean is widely consumed as a whole food or as a supplement because of its many health benefits.

What are soy products?

Soy products are a variety of food items gotten by processing soy into different forms in different ways. These are the soy products:

1. Soybeans

Mature and ripe soybeans are either yellow, brown, or black. You can count on these beans to give your soups, stews, and sauces a beany flavor.

2. Soy milk

Another popular soy product is soy milk. Soy milk is a product of processing (grinding and straining) soaked soybeans. This milk is a healthy alternative for people with dairy allergies and those who love soy milk.

In addition, it is equally nutritious and is an excellent substitute for cow milk when cooking. Soy milk is available in some grocery stores in a variety of flavors like chocolate and vanilla.

3. Soy nuts

You can soak and roast/bake whole soybeans to make soy nuts for snacks. You can also buy packaged soy nuts from stores.

4. Soy sauces

Fermented soybeans are processed into dark brown liquids low in soy protein but high in salt. Tamari, shoyu, and teriyaki are different varieties of soy sauce.

Soy sauces are commonly served in Japanese cuisine as a dip for chicken, veggies, dumplings, and tofu. But you should know that most soy sauces are not gluten-free.

5. Soy lecithin

Soy lecithin is a common emulsifier used in the manufacture of baked goods. It is extracted from soybeans but contains only trace amounts of soy protein. This makes it the healthiest soy product for people with a soy allergy.

6. Tofu

Tofu is a soybean product made by curdling hot soy milk with a coagulant to make soybean curds.

The curds are smooth and can be silky, firm, or hard – depending on what you need tofu for. For instance, silky tofu is best for salad dressing or sour cream substitute.

Soft tofu is an appropriate alternative for soft cheese, while firm and hard tofu are used as meat alternatives in stir-fries, soups, stews, and sauces.

7. Miso

Miso is a common staple in Japanese cooking. It is a paste made by processing soybeans, rice/barley, salt, and mold culture. Miso is used as a soup base, for ramen broth, sandwich spread, a condiment in salad dressing, or chicken marinade.

8. Soybean oil

Soy oil is a flavorless, odorless but very nutritious oil gotten from soybeans. It is pure and mostly marketed as vegetable oil.

Additionally, in different cuisines, soybeans are also made into foods like natto, tempeh, soy yogurt, whipped soy toppings, soy cheese, soy grits, soy ice cream, edamame, and yuba (soybean sheets used as wraps).

What are the benefits of soy products?

Soy products are nutritious

Soy contains all the essential amino acids, healthy fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins B9 and C, and many minerals. The body needs these nutrients for healthy functioning and development.

In addition, each soy product will vary in nutritional value based on the extra ingredients they contain.

Soy also contains linoleic and linoleic fatty acids as some of its healthy fats. These fats help keep blood pressure levels steady by maintaining smooth muscle function.

Improves blood circulation

Soy can improve blood circulation because it contains good levels of iron and copper. These minerals play key roles in the formation of red blood cells.

When the body has enough amount of red blood cells, blood and oxygen flow becomes smooth and can help prevent blood-related conditions like anemia.

Soy is good for the heart

Looking through the nutrient profile of soy, you’ll see that it is a rich source of healthy fats. It is also low in cholesterol and helps to lower blood cholesterol by removing the bad cholesterol.

This is an essential step in preventing atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and consequent heart attacks.

Aids digestion

Soy is a rich source of dietary fiber. This fiber aids peristaltic motion by bulking up the stool and allowing it to move smoothly through the digestive system.

Moreover, it prevents constipation which – in severe cases, can progress into colorectal cancer.

It can help control diabetes

Soy is low in carbs which makes it ideal for diabetics. Moreover, it produces insulin receptors which can help to effectively manage diabetes by preventing it from becoming severe.

Consuming soy products can also help prevent the onset of diabetes.

Improves sleep disorders

Soybeans are rich in magnesium which can help treat insomnia and improve sleep quality. So, you can treat sleep disorders with a bowl of soybeans daily.

Soy improves bone health

Foods that contain soy are rich sources of minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. And these vitamins are essential for bone health.

Therefore, eating soy products can help improve bone strength and prevent fractures and osteoporosis. In addition, consuming soy products can help to heal fractured bones faster and encourage new growth.

Soy is good for pregnant women

Soy is rich in B vitamins which are essential nutrients for fetal development. Eating enough soy during pregnancy can help prevent congenital disorders.

May prevent cancer

Soy products are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants help to nullify the effects of free radicals, which can trigger the mutation of cancerous cells. This can help prevent cancer development.

Additionally, the high fiber content in soy can help prevent colon cancer by aiding digestion.


Who should avoid soy products?

People with a soy allergy should avoid eating soy products. Signs of soy allergy are hives, itching or tingling sensation around the mouth, itchy or scaly skin, rash, and skin redness.

In addition, soy supplements may not be safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and women with a history of breast cancer and kidney diseases.

In some cases, soy products, like meat alternatives and supplements, may interact with certain medications.

Is soy milk high in estrogen?

Soy milk does not contain human estrogen.

Soy contains phytoestrogens – isoflavone compounds that look and may function like estrogen – but they are weaker. But, these phytoestrogens can bind to estrogen receptors and inhibit estrogen activity.

Will soy cause bloating?

Yes, it will. Excess consumption of soy results in an accumulation of oligosaccharides in your digestive tract.

Because the body cannot fully break down and digest these sugar molecules, they stay in the digestive tract, ferment, and bloat the stomach.

Is soy milk more expensive than dairy milk?

Yes, it is. Soy milk and other plant-based milk are more expensive than dairy milk because of the many processes it has to go through.


If you have looked for a comparison of soya vs soy, you know now that there is no difference between them. This soya vs soy comparison tells you that they are the same legume and produce similar products.

Soy is a rich source of protein that you should incorporate into your daily diet. You can get this protein by consuming soy products according to your diet.

Thanks for reading.

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