4 ways to get the most from soy
Scour the Internet and you’ll find no shortage of miracle soy health claims. Unquestionably, the soy food industry is booming. But research ping-pongs between risks and benefits — whether it could increase or decrease the risk of certain cancers isn’t clear — and lately experts have taken a more cautious approach to promoting the bean.
“Everything in moderation,” says Kerry Neville, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, who adds that soy products, like tofu, are a healthy substitute for high-fat meats.
Some advice to make soy work for you:
- Go natural. “Eat traditional soy food and not processed artificial substitutes,” says Jennette Turner, a highly rated natural foods educator in Minneapolis. Products like miso, tamari and tofu are time tested, she says.
- Check the facts. Soy protein might slightly lower bad cholesterol but eating it can also cause minor digestive problems, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
- Strive for balance. Incorporate soy into a well-rounded meal plan, rather than swapping it in for whole food groups, such as meat or dairy.
- Allergies. Make sure you and those you’re serving aren’t allergic to soy, one of the most common food allergies. The allergy is usually mild, but in rare cases people have life-threatening reactions to the bean.