Soy on MyPlate

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.

Protein Foods:
    • 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
  • 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.

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:

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.?