The month of April is National Soyfoods Month! During the month of April, we will be sharing information, facts and products for incorporating soyfoods into your life, not just for April but for the whole year! From nutritional benefits to versatility, soyfoods can be a great option for adding plant-based proteins into your diet!
To start with, what are soyfoods and where did soyfoods come from? Soyfoods are made from-you guessed it, soybeans! Foods made from soybeans originated in South Asian diets and eventually crossed over into North America (Vanga & Raghavan, 2018). Since then, soyfoods have been a staple in vegetarian and plant-based diets. Recently, in the past few years, plant-based eating has grown significantly with nearly 7 out of 10 Americans trying to increase plant-based protein consumption (DuPont Nutrition and Health, 2018). In general, the popularity of soyfoods continue to grow as more consumers incorporate plant-based eating into their lifestyle.
Types of Soyfoods
Soyfoods come in all shapes and sizes! There’s Edamame, Tofu, Soymilk and Soy Protein Products including Veggie Burgers and other Meatless Options. You can find all different types of soyfoods in your local grocery store due to the high demand of plant-based proteins and since there’s such a variety of soyfoods, there’s different ways to enjoy each type of soyfood. Soyfoods like tofu and soymilk are incredibly versatile for cooking and replacing meat and dairy. Prepared soyfoods including veggie burgers and other plant-based ready-to-eat options are great for busy days when you’re in need of a quick and simple meal or snack.
Benefits of Soyfoods
Soyfoods are nutrient rich and offer all nine of the essential amino acids, making soy a complete protein. Soyfoods can also be comparable to other foods including dairy. For example, soymilk has just as much calcium as dairy milk, and it is the only dairy substitute nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk (Soy Association of North America, n.d.). Soyfoods are also a good source of protein and contain no cholesterol and are low in fat. One 3 ounce serving of Nature’s Soy Firm Tofu contains 9 grams of plant-based protein and contains no cholesterol whereas a 3 ounce serving of 95 percent lean ground beef contains 25 grams of protein (Coleman, n.d.). While the protein may be high, 3 ounces of lean ground beef can contain up to 53 milligrams of cholesterol (Kannall, 2018). Although meat provides a high amount of protein, it also contains a high amount of cholesterol which can lead to health concerns. Soyfoods also may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease according to U.S Food and Drug Administration (U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 2018). Soyfoods offer nutritional benefits that are helpful for anyone at any age. From adolescents to adulthood, soyfoods can contribute to living a healthy and balanced life.
Versatility of Soyfoods
Since there’s various types of soyfoods, there’s endless ways to enjoy soy. With tofu, there’s many different ways to prepare various types of tofu. Extra Firm Tofu is perfect for marinating to absorb savory flavors and then grilled or sautéed. Medium Firm Tofu is best for steaming with vegetables and Soft and Silken Tofu is a go-to for smoothies and desserts. Soymilk can be enjoyed on its own or added into recipes that require milk. Other plant-based options like veggie burgers and meatless meatballs are great for busy families that need a healthy lunch or dinner option.
With soyfoods, the possibilities are endless! Whether its adding soymilk to your morning coffee, tossing tofu into your salad for lunch or grilling a few veggie burgers for dinner, there’s many different and delicious ways to enjoy soyfoods.
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Coleman, E. R. (n.d.). Soy Protein Vs. Meat Protein . Retrieved from Livestrong.com: https://www.livestrong.com/article/240951-soy-protein-vs-meat-protein/
DuPont Nutrition and Health. (2018, November 15). MEGATREND: Plant-based eating: Nearly seven of 10 Americans trying to increase plant protein consumption. Retrieved from Food Navigator-USA: https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/News/Promotional-Features/MEGATREND-Plant-based-eating-Nearly-seven-of-10-Americans-trying-to-increase-plant-protein-consumption
Kannall, E. (2018, December 27). Healthy Eating . Retrieved from Red Meat and Cholesterol : https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/red-meat-cholesterol-9354.html
Soy Association of North America. (n.d.). Good For You: Rumors & SOYReality. Retrieved from Soyfoods Association of North America: http://www.soyfoods.org/good-for-you/rumors-soyreality
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2018). www.accessdata.fda.gov.
Vanga, S. K., & Raghavan, V. (2018). How well do plant based alternatives fare nutritionally compared to cow's milk? J Food Sci Technol, 10-20.