You have probably heard ‘soy is great for your health’, and
then the next day ‘soy is bad for you’.
So what’s the deal? Typically, the media makes everything about
nutrition confusing. Here is the bottom line.
Based on research, the FDA approved the nutrition claim
“consuming 25 g of soy protein per day may reduce the risk of heart
disease”. Over the years research
has shown soy to have a powerful effect on reducing cholesterol, lowers risk of
prostate and breast cancer, and may relieve hot flashes associated with
With all this hype, the nutrition world has produced lots of
soy-derived products including supplements and enriched foods thus increasing
our consumption as a population overall.
Studies show that one type of soy, isoflavones, may increase
risk of breast cancer. These are
mainly found in soybeans, which have been shown to produce an estrogenic effect
within the body, which may increase breast cell reproduction.
So what to do??
Follow 2 general nutrition rules:
try to have the “whole food” (less processing is better)
everything in moderation (More is not always a good thing!)
Consume 25 g of soy protein per
day. This is equivalent to:
- 3 ½
cups of soy milk (1 cup has 7g)
- 1 ½
cups of edamame (1/2 cup has 8g)
cup tofu (1/4 cup provides 10 g soy protein)
- 2 cups
of kashi go lean cereal (1 cup has 12.5 g)
- 2 ½
Cliff Bars (one bar has 10 g)
Estelle L. Benoit, RDN, LDN