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Soy Basics

Posted on 03/20/2012

Happy first day of spring! Although we've been experiencing unseasonably warm weather here in Illinois, the calendar still reads only March 20th! It certainly seems more like June 20th from the temperature readings we've been having the last few weeks. Go out and enjoy the beautiful weather and celebrate the official arrival of spring!

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Soy is such a wonderful food, but it still remains a mystery for so many people out there. I thought it might be a good idea to let readers know more about it, since it appears in so many healthy foods today (including some SSHE meals).

Soy is a heart-healthy legume that is low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol free.  Foods containing soy are a good source of lean, plant-based protein rich in nutrients including iron and calcium and soymilk is an excellent non-dairy replacement for milk. 

Soy has also been found to be helpful in preventing disease. It may help reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and may offer protective benefits for breast cancer patients and survivors. Soy is also excellent nutrition for children supporting growth and development.

Soy is part of a healthy diet and those who consume it on a regular basis tend to weigh less, have fewer health issues and are generally healthier than those who do not consume it regularly.

Studies have shown those who consume soy regularly as part of a healthy diet have lower levels of cholesterol.  In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is authorizing the use, on food labels and in food labeling, of health claims on the association between soy protein and reduced risk of coronary heart disease. The agency has concluded that soy protein included in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels.

The FDA recommends that consumers incorporate four servings of at least 6.25 grams of soy protein into their daily diet a total of at least 25 grams of soy protein each day. There are many ways to consume soy, including but not limited to milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, tofu, meat substitute products and edamame (soybeans).

New research suggests that breast cancer survivors worried with eating soy may not need to steer away from it, as previously thought. There was no evidence proving that soy intake after breast cancer increases the risk of recurrence or deaths. Researchers said their study indicated eating soy foods, such as tofu and soybeans, not soy supplements, is safe and may reduce the risk of recurrence.  Those with healthy diets tend to have lower recurrence.

For more information about soy visit the Soyfoods Association of North America web site, soyfoods.org. You may also contact Paula Heaton, RN, BSN, at 817-689-0265 or paula@sshe.com, about specific questions as it relates to our meal plan.

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A Seattle Sutton's 2012 Slim Down Contest update...Week #10 and the Slim Down contestants have lost a total of 387 pounds so far! Only 5 more weeks to go, keep up the amazing job!

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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