Soy products can be found in almost every section of the grocery store, from the dairy case to the freezer aisle. Yet many people still wonder if soy is good for them or bad for them — there is just so much conflicting information out there. That’s why I’d like to cut through the myths and tell you about 5 soy facts and how it could benefit you.
#1 Soy does not cause breast or testicular cancer
A common myth that soy causes breast and testicular cancer is simply not true! The misconception may stem fact that soy contains phytoestrogens which are very similar to human estrogen and have been found to help cancer cells grow in some cases. However, research on soy has revealed that phytoestrogens bind to different receptors in the body than estrogen and thus do not cause cancer.
#2 In fact, soy may actually fight cancer
In fact, a number of studies show that eating soy may help to reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer, particularly breast cancer. One study found that young women who drank a cup of soymilk a day had about a 30% reduced risk of developing breast cancer. In a study of breast cancer survivors, women who ate soy products like edamame or tofu had a 32% reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence. Substances in soy called phytoestrogens may block estrogen from stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells.
#3 Soy packs a protein punch
When you think protein, you probably think of meat or eggs. But you should also consider soy. A half cup of cooked soybeans has 15 grams of protein, and a cup of soymilk has about the same amount of protein as dairy milk, without the cholesterol. Plus, unlike other plant proteins, soy protein is equivalent in quality to animal protein.
#4 Out with the bad (cholesterol)
Studies have found that people who replaced some animal protein with soy protein lowered their LDL, or bad, cholesterol about 3%. This may seem like a small amount, but when you’re struggling to get your cholesterol numbers to go down, every little bit counts. Other research has shown that soy can help lower circulating triglyceride levels about 5-10% and slightly increase HDL, or good, cholesterol levels. This could help reduce your risk of heart disease.
#5 Soy can help lighten up your coffee
Cup for cup, unsweetened soymilk has 40 fewer calories and 83% less saturated fat than 2% dairy milk. If you replace just 1 cup of milk a day, this could save you 240 calories a week and 1200 calories a month!
But remember that some soy products are better than others
Not all soy products are the same, nutritionally speaking. To maximize the health benefits of soy, skip the processed soy products (like soy bologna or soy bacon), and focus on whole and fermented soy products like the ones listed here.
3 Recipes to Try
Are you ready to add some healthy soy to your meals? Here are 3 tasty and easy recipes for you to try.
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