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5 Things You Should Know Before Starting With Soy Diet

5 Things You Should Know Before Starting With Soy Diet 

First things first, soy is not a staple of vegan believers! It’s a renowned protein consumed worldwide by people and animals alike. But why is that so? What is so significant about the food? Well, soy is one of the unique foods widely studied for its anti-estrogenic and estrogenic effects on the body.

Research may present conflicting results about soy, but this is primarily because of the wide variation in how scholars and investigators study it. The conclusion of a recent population investigation suggests that soy has a beneficial and neutral effect on several health issues. Moreover, it is a nutrient-dense protein source that can safely be consumed multiple times and probably more often.

It’s also essential to know that soy is exalted as one of the health foods by some, coupled with claims of taming hot flashes, protecting against hormonal cancers, such as prostate and breast, and warding off osteoporosis. That said, soy-based diets have become quite popular recently among people who wish to adopt a plant-based lifestyle or lessen their meat consumption.

Soy-based foods, like tempeh, tofu, and edamame, are ideal sources of fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. However, before starting a soy-based diet, you must know a few essential things. The combination and percentage of soy in the animal feed also vary across multiple types of livestock. In the end, pig and poultry feed comprises the most soy, followed by farmed seafood, cattle, and lamb. This article will discuss five essential things a user must know before considering a soy-based diet.

1. The Nutritional Value of Soy

For starters, soy is a plant-based protein that comes from soybeans. That said, soybeans are legumes used in Asian diets for centuries. Wondering what’s the nutritional value of soy? A cup of cooked soybeans comprises nearly 28 grams of protein, equivalent to a 3-ounce meat serving. Additionally, soybeans are an excellent source of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B and E.

Along with their nutritional value, soy-based foods have also been shown to offer a range of health benefits. Many studies have linked soy consumption to a decreased risk of heart disease, specific cancer types, and osteoporosis. Soy-based diets can also help regulate blood sugar levels and improve gut health.


Compared to multiple plant-based proteins, like legumes and nuts, soy has a more effective protein content and a complete amino acid profile. For instance, a cup of cooked lentils comprises approximately 18 grams of protein, whereas a cup of almonds includes about 20 grams. Furthermore, soy also contains isoflavones – a type of phytoestrogen with many health advantages, such as reducing menopausal symptoms in women.

2. Incorporating Soy into Your Diet

Incorporating a soy-based diet can be an ideal way to add variety and nutritional value to your meals. One of the most known soy-based foods is tofu, made from soy milk curds pressed into blocks. In the same breadth, tofu is a versatile ingredient that one can utilize in various dishes, from smoothies to stir-fries. Soft tofu is also excellent for blending into dips or dressings, while firm tofu can hold its shape well in stews and soups.

Speaking of tofu forms, extra-firm tofu is perfect when it comes to grilling or pan-frying and can also be accommodated into a delicious meat substitute in wraps or sandwiches.

Another soy-based protein is tempeh, made from fermented soybeans. Tempeh comes with a nutty flavor and a firm texture, making it the best option for recipes that call for meat. So, try using it in sandwiches, tacos, or even crumbled-over salads for a punch of protein boost. Edamame, or soybeans in their pods, is another tasty medium incorporating international soy. These beans can be steamed or boiled and then lightly salted for a succulent snack or added to stir-fries for an extra protein dose.

3. Soy and Health


One of the considerable advantages of a soy-based diet is its potential effects on heart health. According to a few studies, soy protein can help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. On the other hand, soy-based diets have also been linked to a decreased risk of prostate, breast, and colon cancer. An investigation has shown that soy comprises compounds called isoflavones, which are shown to have anti-cancer properties.

In addition to its potential effects on cancer prevention and heart health, soy can produce positive results on your bone health. To support the statement, specific research has stated that soy-based foods can assist in preventing bone loss and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

4. Soy and Sustainability

Regarding the food’s sustainability, soy diets are relatively better than animal-based ones. According to research, soy production requires significantly less land, water, and other resources than animal-based agriculture. In addition, soy production produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than animal agriculture.

When selecting soy-based products, it’s essential to consider the environmental impact of their production process. Search for products made from sustainably sourced soybeans free from preservatives and additives. Ultimately, it’s essential to understand that over 75% of soy production is used for farmed animal feed or processed into soy meal. For this specific reason, soy remains significantly ‘hidden’ in people’s diets.

5. Debunking Soy Myths

Several myths about soy-based diets include the belief that the food can lead to breast cancer or thyroid issues. However, such myths have been debunked by several scientific research pieces. In fact, research has shown that soy-based diets can have protective effects against breast cancer and may improve thyroid function. A meta-analysis of soy intake and breast cancer risk meta-analysis found no significant association between increased breast cancer risk and soy consumption in either postmenopausal or premenopausal women.


As for thyroid health, a review found that soy consumption did not adversely affect thyroid function in healthy individuals or those with hypothyroidism (3). More so, multiple studies have suggested that soy consumption may improve thyroid function in individuals with subclinical hypothyroidism (4).

Moving on, it’s also important to note that while such diets are relatively safe for most individuals, there may be a few exceptions. For instance, individuals with soy allergies must avoid soy-based products. Those with a brief history of estrogen-sensitive cancers should consult their healthcare provider before incorporating considerable amounts of soy into their diet and lifestyle.

The verdict

In conclusion, there are several advantages to incorporating soy into your diet, including the known high nutritional value, environmental sustainability, and potential health benefits. Can you beat that? While there are a handful of possible considerations and risks, scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the benefits and safety of soy-based diets. As with any dietary transformation, it’s essential to make informed decisions and talk to an expert in cases of health concerns.

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