Today | Reshape
Your World | Yona’
Health Source | Tips
Health-care Information Canadian
Medical Association American
skinny on soy
can you get more soy in your diet? How much does it take to lower blood
pressure? How healthy are soynuts? Nutritionist Karen Collins serves up
answers on eating soy products.
I’d like to try including soy foods in my diet, but I’m not sure how
Soy milk can be used just as you would cow’s milk — for drinking,
with cereal or in cooking. (If this means your use of dairy products is
limited, be sure to choose soy milk that is fortified with calcium and
vitamin B-12.) If you are trying to cut back on the amount of meat you
eat, several soy foods could work as meat substitutes in dishes like
casseroles and stir-fries, and would provide protein and minerals.
tofu, tempeh or a variety of soy-based meat substitutes (check the
freezer or boxed entrée sections of the grocery store) fill in very
nicely. Soft and silken types of tofu can replace ricotta cheese in
pasta dishes and cream or sour cream in sauces and dressings.
you’re trying to cut back on crunchy snack foods, soynuts make a
nutritious substitute. Edamame (pronounced “aid-a-MOM-eh” and
sometimes marketed as “sweet beans”) are found in the frozen
vegetable section and can serve as a snack or side dish. Soy foods do
not magically transform an unhealthy diet into a healthy one, but they
have a lot to offer as part of a balanced, plant-based diet.
I read that eating 25 grams of soy protein a day will lower blood
cholesterol. How much soy does it take to do that?
Soy foods differ in their concentration of soy protein.
1-cup serving of green soybeans, or edamame, has slightly over 25 grams
of soy protein all on its own. Snacking on a quarter-cup of soynuts
gives you 15 grams of soy protein.
which can be used as a meat substitute in a casserole or stir-fry, for
example, contains about 17 grams per half-cup.
half-cup of tofu provides about 10 grams, and each cup of soy milk
contains 6 to 10 grams.
two or three concentrated sources of soy could bring you to the 25 gram
mark. On the other hand, some cereals, meat alternatives, grain products
and other foods offer soy protein in such small amounts that it could
take four to 12 servings to reach that target. Although the 25 gram goal
is supported for cholesterol reduction by several studies, a recent
Journal of the American Dietetic Association study found that adding soy
to a diet already low in saturated fat did not produce any additional
cholesterol reduction. Soy may be helpful in lowering risk of some
cancers, but the question is still under study. If soy does help lower
cancer risk, some researchers believe about 20 grams of soy protein a
day would provide benefits, but others think that having soy foods even
a few times a week might help.
How do soynuts compare to peanuts in nutritional benefits?
Both are good sources of protein, but soynuts are lower in fat and
calories. In a standard quarter-cup serving, soynuts contain 190 to 200
calories and 9 to 11 grams of fat, while peanuts provide 210 to 215
calories and about 18 grams of fat. (There is only a 1 gram difference
in saturated fat between them.) In addition to containing more protein
and carbohydrate than peanuts, soynuts provide phytoestrogens, natural
plant substances that scientists are studying for possible benefits in
reducing the risk of some cancers and heart disease, and in relieving
symptoms of menopause. Whichever of these healthy choices you prefer,
watch your portion size — calories can add up quickly.
Notes is provided by the American
Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.)