The Soy Story

By Cardiac Fitness Institute - London Health Science Centre - Ontario) 2003
Rebekah Udayasekaran -LHSC Clinical Nutrition-Dietetic Intern

From television, the news, the internet and the array of articles that surround us, we seem to be inundated with talk about SOY. So, what is the big deal with soy?

The quest for finding nutrition links to conditions such as heart disease and cancer has lead to the exploration of phytochemicals. Isoflavones are a specific type of phytochemical present in soy beans. Isoflavones have been found to help reduce blood cholesterol (decrease bad "LDL" cholesterol) and potentially increase levels of good "HDL" cholesterol. They have also been correlated with aiding with menopause and osteoporosis. 1/2 cup serving of firm tofu has roughly 35 mg of isoflavones (meeting daily recommendations for optimal health which suggest 30-50 mg of isoflavones).

Soybeans can be prepared through a multitude of different ways such as soaking, roasting or boiling even before they can be used in a recipe. Soy protein itself can be found in varying forms from tofu, flour or even milk/beverages. If you are looking for a firmer, meat-like texture you can try textured soy protein which is usually available in your local grocery store's produce area. The FDA suggests including 25 g of soy protein a day as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol, as a method of decreasing your risk of heart disease. Soy is a good source of protein, especially for those who consume small portions of meat. In addition, soy in the form of tofu is an excellent source of calcium to help out those bones. 1/2 cup serving of regular tofu (made with calcium sulphate) has up to 430 mg of calcium.

So start adding small amounts of soy to your diet, try different forms to see what best wets your palate!
1/2 cup whole cooked soy beans, 10-14 g protein4 oz. firm tofu, 13 g protein
1/2 cup roasted soynuts, 12-15 g protein4 oz. soft/silken tofu, 9 g protein
1/2 cup whole grain soy flour, 30 g protein(www.talksoy.com)
Tofu Chile(Ontario Soybean Growers' Marketing Board: "Tofu Simply Delicious')

Nutrient Analysis per serving (1 cup)

Calories21512 oz pkgextra firm tofu (350 mL)crumbled
Protein14 g1 pkgchili seasoning
Carbohydrates24 g10 oz canmushroom pieces (284 mL)drained
Fat 7 g14 oz cankidney beans (398 mL)drained
1 tsp vegetable oil5.5 oz cantomato paste (156 mL)
1/2 cupchopped onion28 oz candiced tomatoes (796 mL)

In a large pan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat and cook onion until soft. Crumble tofu into pan and add chili seasoning. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thoroughly cooked. 6 Servings (1 cup each)

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