By Meghan Malka
Welcome to our new soyfoods blog! My name is Meghan. I am just months away from completing my Masters of Public Health in Nutrition as well as my Registered Dietitian license. So you could say I am an “RD to be.” I will present you with the latest science based research that describes not only the safety but the incredible benefits of soyfoods to your health as well as some “must try” recipes and helpful tips for incorporating soyfoods into your diet. You can be sure that all of the information here is based on scientific research and in line with the recommendations of national health organizations and agencies. We bring you the science, connect you to the recipes and you let us know what you like and what you want to know.
Happy New Year everyone!
Somehow January flew by and we are now well into February. If you are like me, it has been hard to keep up with your New Year’s Resolutions and it is only February. Whether your resolution was to eat healthier or to exercise more, don’t get discouraged, below are some creative ideas that may help you accomplish your goals. Did you know that February is American Heart Month? Celebrate and get your heart in shape with Heart Healthy for 28 Days with Soy – it’s not too late to start!
Incorporate Soyfoods into Any Diet
Soyfoods can be part of a healthy diet and help you achieve the health goals that you seek.
Soyfoods are simple, healthful choices to help anyone stay fueled, meet performance goals, and maintain a healthy heart. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, soyfoods can be incorporated into your diet. I personally have recently added soyfoods to my diet. I love my cereal in the morning with soymilk. Being lactose intolerant, I often have trouble with cow’s milk, but soymilk allows me to still enjoy my cereal while getting the protein and calcium I need. As a (recent) vegetarian it makes me feel better to know that I am getting a good source of protein by incorporating soyfoods into my diet.
Three ways that I have added soyfoods to my diet are:
- Soymilk in my cereal
- Edamame in the pod as a snack
- Tofu and vegetables in a stir fry
High Quality Protein Helps You Stay Fit
If your New Year’s Resolution was to be stay fit, it is best to include sources of lean, quality protein in your diet, of which soyfoods are a great example. It is important to consume high quality protein foods after a workout to help you build and repair muscle. Additionally, eating protein rich foods throughout the day to helps you feel full longer. Did you know that soy protein is a complete protein? This means soy protein is comparable to beef, milk, fish, and egg protein in terms of protein quality. Furthermore, soy protein is cholesterol free, lower in fat and more environmentally friendly compared to traditional meats. Soyfoods provide high-quality, heart-healthy protein that helps to reduce blood cholesterol. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes that 25 g of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.
You can learn more about using soyfoods to help you get and stay fit by watching our new video, The Benefits of Soyfoods for Active Adults.
You may have heard the many myths in the media about soyfoods, claiming that they are unsafe and dangerous to your health. The truth is scientific research shows that soyfoods are safe for men, women and children of all ages. Not only are soyfoods safe, but they will actually boost your health! Stay tuned as I will debunk a common soyfoods myth in each blog entry.
Myth: Soyfoods are not safe for women at-risk for developing breast cancer and breast cancer survivors.
Truth: Research shows that soyfoods are safe for women at risk for developing breast cancer as well as survivors. In fact, consuming soyfoods may reduce the risk of breast cancer in women especially when consumed during childhood and adolescence. Furthermore, soyfoods do not contain estrogen. Soyfoods contain isoflavones, which have a similar chemical structure to estrogen but they act differently in the human body and therefore should not be considered similar to human estrogens. No human trials have demonstrated a link between eating soyfoods and tumor growth, yet much of the concern about soy and cancer used rat studies. The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recommend that breast cancer survivors can safely consume moderate amounts of soyfoods up to three servings per day.You can read more about soy and breast cancer here.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are interested in being more heart healthy, want to lose weight, or seek healthy snacks, soyfoods can be a great addition to your diet and they tend to fit into any lifestyle.
For more science based research dispelling these myths, Stay tuned to our blog and check out our website www.soyfoods.org. If you would like to do more research on your own, the key is to look for the articles that use science based evidence and studies that were done with people not with animals. From there you are free to make your own decisions on whether or not and how much you would like to consume soyfoods. We do hope that you will give them a try.
Each blog entry will feature some of our favorite soyfoods recipes. The following recipes feature edamame which is a fresh young green soybean. Edamame makes a great snack straight from the pod and can be incorporated into many different recipes such as stir-fry, salads, pastas and side dishes.
The following edamame recipes are courtesy of our friends at EatingWell.