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The Benefits of Adding Soy to Your Diet

Soy and soy products have been consumed for centuries. But only in the past several decades have Americans started adding soy to their diet.

Soy is a great source of protein, and also contains iron and calcium. Soy is a good alternative to meat and other animal-based products because it contains little saturated fat.

Soy's health benefits

Research is inconclusive as to the real health benefits of soy and/or soy products. However, using soy products as a substitute for high-fat animal products is a sure way to lower fat intake. Also, for those who suffer from lactose intolerance, soy products are a great alternative.  

Soy foods 101

Soybeans can be transformed into many different food products. Because of this, soy can be prepared in a variety of ways and used in many different recipes. Here are a few examples:

  • Calcium-fortified soy milk can be poured on breakfast cereal or used in place of milk in baking recipes.

  • Dairy substitutes, such as soy milk, soy cheese, soy yogurt, and frozen soy desserts, can be used in place of milk-based products.

  • Miso, a paste made from cooked soybeans and a fermenting agent, can be used to flavor soups, dressings, and marinades.

  • Soybean oil can be used in place of vegetable oil in cooking.

  • Soy flour can be added to pancake and bread dough recipes.

  • Soy-nut butter can be used instead of butter or margarine.

  • Tempeh, a rich, flavorful cake of roasted soybeans, can be grilled or added to stews and soups.

  • Texturized soy protein can be used as a meat substitute in meatballs, burgers, meat loaf, and other recipes.

  • Tofu (bean curd) can be cubed and added to stir-fries, salad dressings, scrambled eggs, and stews.

If you use soy in your diet, let your health care provider know. This information will help him or her work with you to manage your health and ensure safe care.