Soy in the Dietary Guidelines

Meet the 2010 Dietary Guidelines with Soyfoods

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend soyfoods as part of a healthy eating pattern that stays within calorie needs. The Soyfoods Association of North America encourages individuals and families to take the steps to a healthier diet one at a time by adopting plant protein into their everyday lives.

What is plant-based diet? In a plant-based diet, the majority of protein comes from plants rather than animals. Protein-rich plant foods include soyfoods, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. A plant-based diet emphasizes these foods, as well as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. For example, one might eat soy yogurt for breakfast, a veggie burger for lunch and chicken for dinner, or make chili with more beans and less meat than usual.

Soyfoods are a key part of a plant-based diet. Here’s why:

  • Heart health. A good source of plant protein, soy is one of only a few food components that reduces blood cholesterol. [1]
  • Weight management. Soy can help people achieve lower body weight and may help to redistribute unhealthy fat deposits away from the body core. [2]
  • Wholesome nutrition. Eating more soyfoods in place of animal-based protein sources lowers saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories in the diet, while increasing important nutrients like dietary fiber, folate, iron, and other minerals.
  • Satisfying and delicious. Soy-based alternatives look, smell, and taste just like meat, chicken, and fish. And, packed with protein and fiber, soyfoods are just as filling.

For everyday tips on including soyfoods in your diet, see Bringing Soy to the Center of the Plate below and download The Switch to Plant Protein Made Easy with Soy.

[1] Jenkins DJ, Mirrahimi A, Srichaikul K, et al. Soy protein reduces serum cholesterol by both intrinsic and food displacement mechanisms. J Nutr. 2010 Dec;140(12):2302S-11S. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

[2] Cope MB, Erdman JW, Allison DB. The Potential Role of Soyfoods in Weight and Adiposity Reduction: An Evidenced Based Review. Obesity Reviews, 9(3): 219-235.

Bringing Soy to the Center of the Plate

Quick and easy tips to help incorporate soyfoods into your diet

Breakfast

  • For creamier oatmeal, replace half the cooking water with vanilla soymilk
  • Dress up high-protein cereal with almonds, dried cherries, and vanilla soymilk
  • For moist and fluffy muffins, pancakes, and quick breads, use soy yogurt in place of milk
  • Slice veggie sausage links into scrambled eggs or breakfast casserole
  • For a sweet and sustaining breakfast, top English muffins with soynut butter, bananas & cinnamon
  • Health-up your breakfast sandwich with veggie sausage patties

Lunch

  • Make a better BLT with soy-based bacon strips
  • Stack a sandwich high with soy-based deli slices
  • Freeze and thaw cubed firm tofu to use as a substitute for eggs or chicken in mayo-based salads
  • Add steamed edamame beans to soups and salads
  • Liven up chicken salad with steamed tempeh instead
  • Refuel fast with a soymilk latte and a banana
  • Go for the veggie burger – and be sure to add all your favorite condiments!

Dinner

  • Thicken creamy sauces, soups, and dressings with pureed silken tofu
  • Blend shredded soy cheddar with regular cheese for tacos and quesadillas
  • Make better-for-you quesadillas with grated soy cheddar, tomato, jalapeños, and cilantro
  • Substitute ricotta with crumbled soft tofu in lasagna and stuffed pasta dishes
  • Add sliced vegetarian sausage to Italian-style peppers or jambalaya for a comfort food favorite
  • Lighten up mac & cheese with pureed silken tofu and cooked butternut squash
  • Swap soy crumbles for some or all the ground beef in pasta sauce and chili
  • Use cubed tofu instead of meat in saucy dishes like casseroles and curries
  • Top a cheese pizza with soy-based pepperoni

Snack

  • Carry single-serving containers of delicious chocolate soy milk for on-the-go snacks
  • Make your own trail mix with roasted soynuts, dried fruits and bite-sized whole grain cereal
  • Sweeten hot tea with honey and vanilla soymilk
  • Add whole grain cereal and a few chocolate chips to soy yogurt
  • Savor a mug of warmed chocolate soymilk – delicious!
  • Carry soy and fruit bars in your purse or backpack for emergency snack attacks