To accompany the new food icon, MyPlate, USDA has prepared extensive materials and a comprehensive website with many references to soyfoods, as noted below.
Soyfoods are included in three of the MyPlate Food Groups throughout information on the website.
For each food group, the website has an explanation of what foods are included in the food group and then a listing of examples of specific foods within the food group.
Below are examples of where and how soyfoods are included.
- For what foods are included in the Dairy Group, there is a specific reference to “Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group.“
- Under the listing of specific foods in this group, “Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage)” appears as its own category.
- There is additional language that separates soymilk from calcium fortified plant foods, “Calcium-fortified foods and beverages such as cereals, orange juice, rice milk, or almond milk may provide calcium, but may not provide the other nutrients found in dairy products.”
- This new food group renames the”meat group” as the “protein group.” “Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans and peas, processed soy products, and nuts and seeds.”
- Under the specific examples of foods in this group, soy beans are referenced as part of the bean and pea group .
- “Processed soy products” appears as a separate category under the beans and peas and lists these specific types of soy products
- Tofu (bean curd made from soybeans
- White beans
- Bean burgers
- Veggie burgers
- Texturized vegetable protein (TVP)
- In this food group, there is a separate page to explain vegetarian options in the protein group. The specific reference reads: “Protein sources from the Protein Foods Group for vegetarians include eggs (for ovo-vegetarians), beans and peas, nuts, nut butters, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers).”
- Under the section in the protein group on making wise choices, here is the reference to soyfoods:
Choose beans, peas, or soy products as a main dish or part of a meal often. Some choices are:
- Chili with kidney or pinto beans
- Stir- fried tofu
- Split pea, lentil, minestrone, or white bean soups
- Baked beans
- Black bean enchiladas
- Garbanzo or kidney beans on a chef’s salad
- Rice and beans
- Veggie burgers
- Hummus (chickpeas) spread on pita bread
- Under the listing of specific foods that are in this food group, soy beans are included under beans and peas.
- Listed in the sidebar on the Vegetable page under “Tips to help you eat vegetables,” the text includes: For the best nutritional value: “Select vegetables with more potassium often, such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, and kidney beans.”
- Under why it is important to eat vegetables, soybeans are featured as a good source of potassium. “Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, and kidney beans.”
FOOD GROUPS RELATED TOPICS
- Oils are NOT a food group on MyPlate, but appear are included as a Related Topic under the Food Groups section of the website. The text notes that oils contain essential nutrients and are therefore included in the USDA food patterns. Soybean oil is listed as a common oil.
TIPS AND RESOURCES
The MyPlate website includes a side bar of Related Topics under Tips and Resources featuring food patterns and vegetarian diets where soyfoods are included as follows:
- Sample Menu for a 2000 Calorie Food Pattern
- Day 7 — Tofu-Vegetable Stir-Fry with tofu
- Vegetarian Diets
- Nutrients to focus on for vegetarians: Protein, calcium, vitamin B12
- Tips for Vegetarians
Nutrition Education Series
Ten Tips Nutrition Education Series includes a series of one-page PDFs on fourteen different broad issues which are further subdivided into ten additional tips.
Here are the highlights for soyfoods:
Tip #9 — Can’t drink milk? – If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk, drink smaller amounts of milk at a time, or try soymilk (soy beverage).
Tip #1 — Vary your protein choices – Eat a variety of foods from the Protein Foods Group each week. Experiment with main dishes made with beans or peas, nuts, soy, and seafood.
Tip #5 — Eat plant protein foods more often – Try beans and peas (kidney, pinto, black, or white beans; split peas; chickpeas; hummus), soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers), nuts, and seeds. They are naturally low in saturated fat and high in fiber.
Tip #2 — Add lean protein – Choose protein foods, such as lean beef and pork, or chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu. Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.
Tip #4 — Don’t forget the dairy – Pair your meal with a cup of fat-free of low-fat milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories. Don’t drink milk? Try soymilk (soy beverage) as your beverage or include fat-free or low-fat yogurt in your meal.
All but three tips, 5, 8, and 10, directly mention a soyfood.
Tip #9 — Pay attention to condiments – Choose low-sodium soy sauce and ketchup.