June is Mens Health Month, so we are celebrating all of the men in our lives and wishing the best health for them. And, men, we’ve got some good news for you: eating soyfoods is not only safe, it provides a good source of quality protein to fuel your workout, lower the risk of heart disease, lower the risk of prostate cancer and help with weight management.
Plus, summer grilling season is here and we have some great grilling ideas. Soyfoods provide a great source of complete protein and nutrients with no cholesterol and very little saturated fat.
You may have heard the many myths about soyfoods. The truth is scientific research shows not only are soyfoods safe for men of all ages, but they can actually boost your health!
Truth: Soy protein is a high-quality protein, which is key for performance in active and athletic men because it contains all of the necessary amino acids for muscle building and repair. Many studies have shown that soy protein, much like protein found in whey, can support increased muscle mass during resistance-type training.[i] Soy protein is the only complete plant protein that is equivalent to animal protein.[ii]
Truth: Soyfoods do not contain estrogen, they contain isoflavones, which are safe for human consumption.[iii] Extensive scientific research has shown no effects of soy protein or isoflavone intake on testosterone or estrogen levels in men.[iv] Even though isoflavones have a similar structure to human estrogen, they act very differently in the human body. There is no credible, clinical scientific research that suggests soy protein causes any estrogen-like or feminizing effects in men, or any impact on sperm or fertility.[v]
This is one of our favorite funny yet scientifically-based articles on the man boobs subject by Men?s Fitness magazine’s Dr. Steve.
Truth: Eating soyfoods may help protect against prostate cancer. Research suggests that regular consumption of soyfoods may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 30%.[vi] A 2015 study[vii] analyzing isoflavone levels in the blood discovered that those who consumed soy had the lowest likelihood of developing prostate cancer, and, even more, soy greatly reduced the risk of the cancer metastasizing, or spreading throughout the body.
Outdoor grilling is one of our favorite activities! But if youre looking to cut cholesterol, veggie burgers aren’t the only option that can be thrown on a grill; there are plenty of meat alternatives that will satisfy at any BBQ!
- Add Gardeins Beefless Tips or grilled sausages from Tofurky to skewers with your favorite veggies and dipping sauces and you have healthy, meatless Shish Kebabs.
- Quesadillas do well on the grill (if you add enough cheese to help hold all the toppings in). Try soy crumbles like Yves Ground Round alongside tomatoes, peppers and onions.
- And for you tofu lovers, we have a whole blog post dedicated to getting the perfect grill marks without losing your meal to the flames.
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 humans 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.
[i] Candow DG, Burke NC, Smith-Palmer T, et al. Effect of whey and soy protein supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006;16:233-244.
[ii] Sarwar G, McDonough FE. Evaluation of protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score method for assessing protein quality of foods. J Assoc Off Anal Chem 1990;73:347-56.
[iii] Risk assessment for peri- and post-menopausal women taking food supplements containing isolated isoflavones.
EFSA Journal 2015;13(10):4246 [342 pp.].
[iv] Hamilton-Reeves, Jill M. et al. Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis. Fertility and Sterility, Volume 94 , Issue 3 , 997?1007.
[v] M?nguez-Alarc?n, L., Chavarro, J. E., et al. Male soy food intake was not associated with in vitro fertilization outcomes among couples attending a fertility center. Andrology. 2015; 3: 702?708. doi: 10.1111/andr.12046.
[vi] Lin Yan L & Spitznagel EL. Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men: a revisit of a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:1155-63.
[vii] Wu Y, Zhang L, Na R, et al. Plasma genistein and risk of prostate cancer in Chinese population. International Urology and Nephrology. 2015;47(6):965-970. doi:10.1007/s11255-015-0981-5.