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Drinking soya: Soy Milk 101: Nutrition, Benefits, Risks, and More

Soy Milk 101: Nutrition, Benefits, Risks, and More

Q: Is soy milk bad for you?

A: Absolutely not. Soy milk is considered a whole soy food, and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and potential heart-protective properties, says Hever.

Q: Is soy milk good for you?

A: Yes! Research shows that not only do soy foods play a role in a cancer-protective diet, but consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily can help decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol. (13,11)

Q: Is soy milk bad for men?

A: Soy foods, including soy milk, are not bad for men. In fact, some studies show that consuming soy isoflavones (plant chemicals that are part of a class called phytoestrogens) is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. (16)

Q: Is soy milk vegan?

A: Yes, soy milk is made from soybeans and water and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. It is vegan.

Q: Is soy milk dairy?

A: No, despite its name, soy milk is not a dairy milk. It is a dairy-free plant-based milk made from soybeans.

Q: How is soy milk made?

A: Soybeans are soaked in water, blended with water, and then strained. Certain brands add vitamins and minerals to fortify the beverage.

Q: Does soy milk have calcium?

A: If you make soy milk at home (which is possible), your soy milk will not contain calcium. But if you buy soy milk at the store, most brands fortify the final product with calcium.

Q: Does soy milk have lactose?

A: No, cow’s milk traditionally has lactose. Soy milk does not, and you can enjoy it even if you are lactose intolerant.

Q: Does soy milk have estrogen?

A: No, soy is rich in isoflavones, including phytoestrogens that weakly mimic human estrogen, says Schmidt. But this does not mean that soy contains estrogen.

Q: Is soy milk gluten free?

A: Yes, soy milk is gluten free and you can safely drink it if you’re avoiding gluten in your diet.

What Are the Dangers of Drinking Soy Milk?

Soy milk is sometimes linked to breast cancer.

Image Credit: jeehyun/iStock/GettyImages

Many people swap cow’s milk for soy milk. If you’re making the change and you follow a balanced diet and don’t have any particular issues with soy products, you’re not likely to face any danger.

Certain compounds in soy have potential benefits, but when you consume too much processed soy, which is the foundation of commercial soy milk, problems can arise.

On the other hand, if you’re eating fermented forms of soy, like miso, tempeh and natto, instead of drinking soy milk, benefits may become noticeable. The key is to make sure you’re being choosy with your soy intake and consuming the protein only in moderation.

Tip

Processed soy milk can disrupt the way estrogen works in your body and may lead to hormonal imbalances if consumed in excess. Soy milk may also make it harder for your body to digest and absorb important minerals. On the other hand, fermented soy products are more easily digested and absorbed and can help keep your gut healthy.

Soy Milk Dangers

One of the most notable dangers of soy milk involves its isoflavones, which have a chemical structure similar to the hormone estrogen. Because they can bind to estrogen-receptors in the body, isoflavones are classified as phytoestrogens. But here’s where it gets a little tricky.

There are two estrogen receptors in the body. When isoflavones attach to one, they produce estrogen-like effects, but when they attach to the other, they have an anti-estrogen effect. Because of this, isoflavones in soy milk have been linked to breast cancer in some cases, but not in others.

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in September 2014 noted that estrogen-like activity is beneficial in postmenopausal women, but not in women who have an active menstrual cycle. Because of this, and based on previous studies on soy, researchers concluded that soy milk consumption may be problematic for younger women, but can actually be beneficial for women about 10 years after menopause.

The phytoestrogens may also have negative effects on thyroid function, especially in those with thyroid disease or subclinical thyroid disease or those who are deficient in iodine.

Phytates in Soy Milk

Phytoestrogens aren’t the only problem, though. Soy also contains phytates, which are anti-nutrients that can block the absorption of certain minerals, like iodine, zinc, iron, magnesium, copper and chromium. If you’re drinking a lot of soy milk and eating processed foods that contain soy, this can increase your risk of developing nutritional deficiencies.

Phytates and phytoestrogens also interfere with metabolism and can lead to increased fat accumulation, weight gain and obesity, according to a February 2012 report published in Food and Nutrition Sciences. Although concerns with soy isoflavones are a big part of soy milk dangers, there are also problems with the way many soy crops are grown, especially in the United States.

Concerns About Genetic Modification

Soy is one of the leading genetically modified, or GM, crops (also called genetically modified organisms or GMOs) in the United States. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that 94 percent of the soy currently grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. In simple terms, genetic modification is when food scientists and chemists introduce new DNA to a crop to make it more resistant to threats, like pests and bad weather, so they can grow more.

While this increases the crop yield, it also introduces potential problems. One of the main concerns is that, since GM crops are resistant to bacteria, they may give way to the growth of bacteria strains that are antibiotic-resistant, and if these antibiotic-resistant bacteria make you sick, they’ll be difficult to treat.

Another concern is that the process of genetic modification may introduce toxic substances, like heavy metals, into the plant. If this happens, and you drink a lot of genetically-modified soy milk, it can lead to health problems, like heavy metal toxicity. However, you’d have to drink huge quantities of soy milk over longer periods of time.

Soy Milk and Allergies

Soy is also one of the top eight allergens, and it’s possible that genetic modification can make the risk of allergies even higher. According to a report published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology in December 2013, genetic modification can introduce another allergen into the soy milk without the public (or the food manufacturers) even being aware.

The report notes that when patients who were allergic to Brazil nuts, but not soybeans, consumed genetically-modified soy, they showed an allergic immune response. In other words, even if soy isn’t a known allergy, there’s a possibility that GM soy milk could cause allergy symptoms.

If you’re allergic to soy, you’ll need to completely avoid soy milk and any processed foods containing it. Unfortunately, soy isn’t always listed as such on the ingredient list, so you’ll have to watch out for other names for soy, like:

  • Edamame
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Shoyu
  • Soya
  • Tamari
  • Tempeh
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Tofu

Read more: Soy Protein Intolerance Symptoms

Soy Milk Benefits

Still, there are potential soy milk benefits, especially if you’re choosing organic soy milk, which by definition isn’t genetically-modified. Soy milk and other whole, soy foods contain B vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium, unsaturated fatty acids and high-quality protein. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health notes that, unlike other plant-based proteins, soy is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids you need to stay healthy.

But choosing fermented soy products, like miso, natto, tempeh and soy sauce, may be more beneficial than opting for soy milk. The fermentation process helps break down the soy’s sugar and protein content, which makes it more easily digested and absorbed by your body.

Fermentation also introduces some vitamins and minerals that aren’t present in unfermented soy products, like soy milk. According to a December 2016 report in Nutrients, natto is a rich source of vitamin K, while other soy products are not.

Read more: The Benefits of Soy Milk – and Some Drawbacks

Don’t Overdo It

The bottom line is that, in moderation, organic soy milk and fermented soy products can be part of a healthy diet, but the key is to make sure you’re choosing high-quality soy products and not overdoing it. A problem connected to soy milk doesn’t really have to do with the milk itself, but instead, with Americans simply consuming way too much soy, especially through processed foods.

Harvard Health Publishing notes that, while it’s OK to consume whole soy foods like soy milk, edamame, tofu and fermented soy products in moderation, you should avoid processed foods made with textured vegetable protein and soy protein isolate and soy isoflavone supplements, which contain high doses of isoflavones and may be potentially problematic.

Is Soy Good or Bad for You? We Have the Science-Backed Answer

Depending on what you eat everyday, soy-based foods like tofu, soy milk, miso, tempeh and edamame may sound like classic “health” foods. But for vegetarians, vegans and other dieters who have come to rely on this common meat alternative in their diets, grocery store items rich in soy have developed scary reputations for a purported “disease risk.” Some previously published research can be downright scary, with claims that increased soy can mess with your hormones, the thyroid, and possibly cause cancer.

So which side of this debate is actually right — does soy deserve that health halo, or should you take the stuff off your shopping list for good?


How nutritious is soy?

As is often the case when it comes to nutrition, the answers aren’t black and white. But for the most part, “Soy-based foods are some of the best foods you can eat on the planet,” says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN. “Soybeans provide a plant-based protein source; a slew of vitamins and minerals crucial for reducing risk of chronic disease; and fiber that helps you fill up and feel satisfied.”

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To drill down on some popular item’s nutritional facts:

  • Tofu: A half-cup of raw, firm tofu has 94 calories, a little over 10g protein, 5g of fat, and 227 mg of calcium.
  • Tempeh: A half-cup has about 110 calories, about 15 g protein, and 9g of fat, depending on brand.
  • Soy milk: One cup has 110 calories, 8g protein, and hardly any fat (though it often contains added sugar).
  • Miso: A paste made from fermented soybeans, miso has (per tablespoon) about 33 calories, 2. 2g protein, and just 1g of fat.

      While some small, poorly designed studies have led to inflammatory headlines about soy’s health risks over the years, it’s important to think about all foods in context. Eating plant-based foods in their closest-to-nature (a.k.a. least processed) form? Super nutritious. But taking supplements made with the compounds in soybean? Not so much.

      “That’s where we’ve seen health risks,” London explains. “In fact, it’s not uncommon to see research reflecting consuming compounds in supplement form rather than eating the foods themselves.” Those supplements are linked to increased disease risk—while real, whole foods are linked to decreased disease risk.


      Why soy is controversial?

      HandmadePictures/ Getty

      Let’s take a trip back to the 1990s, when soy foods first started really hitting it big. At the time, many experts believed that soy had the power to fight problems like obesity, heart disease, and even cancer. After all, people in Asia eat a ton of soy, and studies showed that these populations had significantly lower rates of obesity, heart disease, and breast cancer compared to people in the U.S. Clearly, soy was the miracle food, right?

      Not necessarily. Those studies only looked at associations, not causation. Just because people who consume a lot of soy also happen to be healthier than people who don’t eat soy doesn’t automatically mean that soy is the key to their superior state. Countless other factors — including genetics, lifestyle and the rest of their diet — could also play a role.

      When researchers began taking a closer look to find out what made soy so healthy, they ran into some surprises. Soy, it turned out, contains estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones. And some findings suggested that these compounds could promote the growth of some cancer cells, impair female fertility and mess with thyroid function. Some health experts also trash-talk soy because of its potential to be an endocrine disrupter — meaning it can mimic estrogen in the body, which may lead to a hormone overload.

      At the same time, other studies were still showing that soy consumption could cure high cholesterol and help women cope with the symptoms of menopause. And Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, a Chicago-based dietitian, says that while whole soy does contain natural plant estrogens, they’re much weaker than actual human hormones, and shouldn’t case you worry. Add it all up, and you can see how this little green bean became a source of mass dietary confusion.


      What we know today:

      Kristin Lee/ Getty

      As with all foods, experts still don’t know everything there is to know about soy. But research in recent years suggests that moderate consumption of minimally processed soy foods (more on what those are later) not only isn’t bad for you, it probably has some benefits. Here’s what we can say about soy today:

      Soy may decrease your risk of certain cancers, among other chronic diseases.

      How did soy even get linked to cancer risk in the first place? Stephanie Clarke, RDN, a dietitian based in Washington, D. C., says it has to do with processed grocery products. Soy protein isolates, a highly processed form of soy used in cereals, protein bars, and snacks (among other foods), may contain more soy isoflavones, which are organic compounds that can also be considered endocrine disruptors in high amounts. Elevated levels of this kind of soy may lead to unbalanced hormone levels, which can play a factor in cancer risk.

      The majority of recent, high-quality studies, however, have found that unprocessed soy doesn’t increase breast cancer risk, and very high consumption could even offer some protection.

      Eating soy could help protect against other types of cancer, too. Findings show that soy consumption may slightly lower the risk for gastrointestinal cancers and have a protective effect in prostate cancer survivors. Eating a high-fiber diet is also tied to lower colon cancer rates, and soy foods like edamame and tempeh both have plenty of roughage.

      The only instance in which you may wish to limit soy consumption? If you’ve previously been diagnosed with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, Clarke says. Your doctor may advise that it’s best to skip soy altogether if estrogen is at play in this case.

      Soy might improve fertility and help with hot flashes.

      Soy appears to be beneficial for fertility, as long as you don’t eat too much. Women undergoing in vitro fertilization who have environmental exposure to BPA are more likely to get pregnant if they also ate soy. That’s likely because soy’s isoflavones help neutralize the BPA’s endocrine-disrupting effects, researchers say.

      Just don’t go overboard. Consuming over 100mg of soy isoflavones (the equivalent of 6-ounces uncooked tempeh or 16 cups soy milk) daily was linked to reduced ovarian function, found a Journal of Nutrition review. But moderate soy consumption didn’t pose a problem.

      As for soy solving those annoying and disruptive hot flashes that accompany menopause? It might help, but not for everyone. Among women whose bodies produce the soy metabolite equol, those who ate the most soy experienced significantly fewer hot flashes and night sweats compared to those who ate the least, found one Menopause study. (Between 20% and 50% of North American and European women produce equol. Some research centers can test for it in a urine sample, but there’s an easier option: Try adding soy to your diet for four to six weeks and see what happens. If it helps, you produce equol. If it doesn’t, you probably don’t, the study authors say.)

      Eating soy in place of meat will probably protect your heart.

      Early research suggested that soy could help lower levels of bad cholesterol. But more recent findings have shown that might not be the case, and in 2008, the American Heart Association said that there wasn’t enough evidence to say for sure that soy lowered the risk of heart disease.

      Still, it’s safe to assume that soy has some benefits going for it. In general, replacing animal foods with plant foods like soy lowers saturated fat intake and ups fiber intake, both of which are help your heart. In other words, swapping that steak out for tofu or tempeh is a heart-smart move. But having steak followed by a bowl of soy ice cream for dessert is not a heart-protective move.

      You should pay more attention to your soy intake if you have thyroid issues.

      Soy foods don’t affect thyroid function in people with healthy thyroids, found a Loma Linda University review of 14 studies. But if you have an underactive thyroid, you might want to watch how much soy you eat. Soy foods have been shown to interfere with the body’s absorption of thyroid medication — but only if you overdo it, suggests a 2016 Nutrients review. The evidence is still far from conclusive, but experts still advise to wait at least four hours after consuming soy to take your thyroid medicine.


      The best (and worst) types of soy to eat:

      Diane LabombarbeGetty Images

      All of soy’s potential benefits come with an important caveat: To reap them, you need to pick minimally processed forms of soy — think tempeh, tofu, miso, and edamame.

      These foods serve up soy’s entire nutritional package without added sugar, unhealthy fats, sodium or preservatives that you usually find in highly processed foods.

      Soy frankenfoods like meat analogs, soy bars, soy yogurts, or protein powders usually only contain soy protein isolates, rather than nutrition from the whole soybean. “Just as other processed foods are lower in nutrient density, removing the protein from the other enzymes and bacteria needed for digestion affects the nutritional quality,” says Taz Bhatia, MD, integrative health expert and author of What Doctors Eat.

      As for how often you should eat soy? As with all foods, moderation is the way to go. Generally, three to five servings of minimally processed soy foods per week are perfectly fine, Bhatia says. If you’re unsure, or you have an underlying health condition (like hypothyroidism), bring it up with your doctor the next time you discuss your diet.

      Marygrace Taylor
      Marygrace Taylor is a health and wellness writer for Prevention, Parade, Women’s Health, Redbook, and others.

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      Is soy milk good for health? Yes it is, know why

      Slurrrrp! The goodness of soy milk is a reality. Picture courtesy: mykitchen.blogspot.com

      If you have been drinking soy milk and that too without knowing how it actually comes about, then we must tell you how this man-made milk could satisfy your craving for fresh, healthy milk. What’s exciting is that you can even make it at home by using a soy milk machine that is now available n the market.

      Also read:
      Milk is nature’s best wellness drink, here are 4 healthy reasons for you to slurp it

      Soy or soya milk is basically a plant milk, which is made by soaking dried soybeans and grinding them in water.

      Soy milk is a hit amongst vegans who keep away from using any animal-based products. Talking about the nutritive properties, soy milk is an excellent source of high-quality proteins, isoflavones–which help in reducing bad cholesterol and provide you with vitamins.

      The milk is free of the milk sugar (lactose) and is a good choice for people who are lactose intolerant. Also, it is a good alternative for those who are allergic to the protein content that is present in the cow’s milk and is extremely good with weight-watchers.

      Also read: 8 health benefits of eating sweet potatoes this winter

      Now you must be wondering how soy milk is better than cow’s milk. Here are 5 benefits which will clear your doubt.

      1. Soy milk reduces cholesterol: According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of US, soy protein as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases. Whereas the saturated fats found in cow’s milk are unhealthy and can increase your cholesterol.

      2. Soy milk does not cause insulin dependent diabetes: According to Soya.be, although no general consensus exists among scientists, some studies have shown an association between drinking cow’s milk in early life and the development of insulin dependent diabetes. This association does not exist with soy milk. Yay!

      3. Soy milk is rich in isoflavones: Soy milk contains isoflavones, which is the most important and unique content found in the milk. They are known to have many benefits including reduction of cholesterol, easing of menopause symptoms, prevention of osteoporosis and reduction of risk for certain cancers. Cow’s milk does not contain isoflavones (prostate cancer and breast cancer). Isoflavones are also antioxidants which protect our cells and DNA against oxidation.

      4. Good for weight-loss: The most apparent advantage of soy milk over cow’s milk in terms of weight-loss is the reduction in calories and sugar content. Unlike milk fat which is highly saturated and prone to form deposits, soy fat is good for weight-watchers. You can drink full fat soy milk or eat snacks or desserts made with soy milk without feeling guilty.

      5. Soy milk contains only vegetables proteins: Vegetable proteins causes less loss of calcium through the kidneys. It is known that a diet rich in animal and dairy protein creates a higher risk for osteoporosis. Vegetables proteins lower the intake of dietary cholesterol and unhealthy saturated fats.

       

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      Straight Talk About Soy | The Nutrition Source

      The Takeaway: Soy is a unique food that is widely studied for its estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects on the body. Studies may seem to present conflicting conclusions about soy, but this is largely due to the wide variation in how soy is studied. Results of recent population studies suggest that soy has either a beneficial or neutral effect on various health conditions. Soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week, and is likely to provide health benefits—especially when eaten as an alternative to red and processed meat.

      Soy is exalted as a health food by some, with claims of taming hot flashes, warding off osteoporosis, and protecting against hormonal cancers like breast and prostate.

      At the same time, soy is shunned by others for fear that it may cause breast cancer, thyroid problems, and dementia.

      Whether reading a popular press article or a well-designed clinical study about soy, some debate remains. As a species within the legume family, nutrition scientists often label soy as a food with potential for significant health benefits. However, due to contrary research that suggests possible negative effects of soy in certain situations, there has been a hesitancy to wholeheartedly promote soy.

      Part of the uncertainty is due to the intricacy of soy’s effects on the body. Soy is unique in that it contains a high concentration of isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen (phytoestrogen) that is similar in function to human estrogen but with much weaker effects. Soy isoflavones can bind to estrogen receptors in the body and cause either weak estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity. The two major soy isoflavones are called genistein and daidzein. Soy isoflavones and soy protein appear to have different actions in the body based on the following factors:

      • Type of study. Is it being examined in a study with animals or humans? Soy may be metabolized differently in animals, so the outcomes of animal studies may not be applicable to humans.
      • Ethnicity. Soy may be broken down and used by the body differently in different ethnic groups, which is why individuals from some countries who eat a lot of soy appear to benefit from the food.
      • Hormone levels. Because soy can have estrogenic properties, its effects can vary depending on the existing level of hormones in the body. Premenopausal women have much higher circulating levels of estradiol—the major form of estrogen in the human body—than postmenopausal women. In this context soy may act like an anti-estrogen, but among postmenopausal women soy may act more like an estrogen. Also, women with breast cancer are classified into hormone type—either hormone positive (ER+/PR+) or hormone negative (ER-/PR-) breast cancer—and these tumors respond differently to estrogens
      • Type of soy. What type of soy is being studied: Whole soy foods such as tofu and soybeans, processed versions like soy protein powders, or soy-based veggie burgers? Fermented or unfermented soy foods? If supplements are used, do they contain isoflavones or soy protein?

      Thus, there are many factors that make it difficult to construct blanket statements about the health effects of soy. 

      That said, aside from their isoflavone content, soy foods are rich in nutrients including B vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and high-quality protein. Unlike some plant proteins, soy protein is considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot make which must be obtained from the diet. Soy foods are also classified as fermented or unfermented (see table with examples, below). Fermented means that the soy food has been cultured with beneficial bacteria, yeast, or mold. Some believe that fermenting soy improves its digestibility and absorption in the body, as this process partially breaks down soy’s sugar and protein molecules.

      Unfermented soy foods Isoflavone content (mg) Protein (g)
      soy milk, 1 cup 6 7
      tofu (bean curd), soft, 3 ounces 20 8
      soybeans, mature, boiled, ½ cup 55 15
      soybeans, dry roasted, 1 oz. 40 11
      edamame, boiled, ½ cup 16 11
      soy cheese, 1oz. 2 4
      soy burger, 1 patty 5 14

       

      Fermented soy foods Isoflavone content (mg) Protein (g)
      miso, 3 oz. 37 10
      natto, 3 oz. 70 14
      tempeh, cooked, 3 oz. 30 13
      soy sauce, 1 tbsp 0.02 0

      Research on Soy and Disease

      Learn more about the research on soy and specific diseases or other conditions:

      Heart Disease

      Soy protein took center stage after research showed that it might lower levels of harmful cholesterol. A 1995 meta-analysis of 38 controlled clinical trials showed that eating approximately 50 grams of soy protein a day (no small amount as this translates to 1½ pounds of tofu or eight 8-ounce glasses of soy milk!) in place of animal protein reduced harmful LDL cholesterol by 12.9 percent. [1] Such reductions, if sustained over time, could mean a greater than 20% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or other forms of cardiovascular disease. In response to this finding, in 1999 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed companies to claim that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that also contain soy “may reduce the risk of heart disease. ” [2]

      However, a number of studies since have tempered that finding. [3] According to a comprehensive update of soy research by the nutrition committee of the American Heart Association (AHA) published in 2000, eating 50 grams of soy per day lowered LDL by only about 3%. [3] In October 2017, after review of additional scientific studies since the health claim was authorized, the FDA proposed a rule to revoke the claim because numerous studies presented inconsistent findings on the relationship between soy protein and heart disease. [4]  Some of these inconsistencies may have resulted because soy was compared with a variety of alternative foods.

      Even though soy protein may have little direct effect on cholesterol, soy foods are generally good for the heart and blood vessels if they replace less healthful choices, like red meat, and because they deliver plenty of polyunsaturated fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are low in saturated fat.

      Hot Flashes

      Hormone replacement therapy has traditionally been used as an effective treatment for hot flashes and other unpleasant symptoms that accompany menopause, but its long-term use carries concerns of an increased risk of some diseases including breast cancer and stroke. Soy has been a popular alternative treatment but not clearly supported by research; in theory the potential estrogenic effects of soy isoflavones could help to tame hot flashes by giving an estrogen-like boost during a time of dwindling estrogen levels.

      In Asian countries where soy is eaten daily, women have lower rates of menopausal symptoms, although research is conflicting as to whether soy is a primary contributor. [5] Reports suggest that about 70–80% of U.S. women of menopausal and perimenopausal age experience hot flashes, in comparison with 10–20% of Asian women. [6] Further, the average blood concentration of the isoflavone genistein in Asian women is about 12 times higher than that of U.S. women because of higher soy consumption.

      Yet several meta-analyses and carefully controlled clinical studies have not found strong evidence of a link. [7, 8] An AHA review in 2006 concluded that it was unlikely that soy isoflavones exert enough estrogenic activity to have an important impact on hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. [3] A JAMA review the same year found highly conflicting results with soy isoflavone extracts and stated that the overall evidence did not support its benefit in relieving hot flashes. [9]

      A review of 43 randomized controlled trials have examined the effects of phytoestrogens on hot flashes and night sweats in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Four trials found that extracts of 30 mg. or greater of genistein consistently reduced the frequency of hot flashes. Other trials that used dietary soy or soy extracts suggested a reduced frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats when compared with placebo, but these trials were small with a possible strong placebo effect. [5] No adverse effects were noted from the soy treatments when followed for up to two years, but the authors did not feel overall there was strong and consistent evidence for a benefit of soy.

      Another meta-analysis of 16 studies found that soy isoflavone supplements had a small and gradual effect in weakening menopausal hot flashes compared with estradiol (human estrogen). However, the authors noted weaknesses in the analysis due to a small number of participants and high variability in study design. [6]

      This area needs further research as questions remain about a possible benefit of soy. Results are conflicting, potentially due to variation in the types of soy preparations used, the quantities given, and for how long they are used.

      Breast Cancer

      Phytoestrogens don’t always mimic estrogen. In some tissues and in some people, they may block the action of estrogen. If soy’s estrogen-blocking action occurs in the breast, then eating soy could, in theory, reduce the risk of breast cancer because estrogen stimulates the growth and multiplication of breast and breast cancer cells. Studies so far have not provided a clear answer. Some have shown a benefit with soy consumption and breast cancer while others show no association. [3, 10-12] It appears that the effects of soy may vary depending on menopausal status, the age at which soy is consumed, and type of breast cancer.

      In animal and cell studies, high dosages of isoflavone or isolated soy protein extracts tend to stimulate breast cancer growth. [13, 14] However, studies that observe people consuming soy foods over time show either a protective or neutral effect. Women from Asian countries appear to receive greater protective benefit from breast cancer with high soy intakes than American and European women, but this may simply be a difference in the amount of soy consumed. [15] Asian women may have higher levels of equol, a substance metabolized from the isoflavone daidzein by bacterial flora in the intestines. [16] Equol is believed to block potentially negative effects of human estrogen, but not all women possess the bacteria needed to create equol. [17] It is estimated that 30-50% of all humans are able to produce equol. [18] Eating soy foods starting at an early age (such as those found in traditional Asian diets) may be why women from some countries find greater benefit from soy foods than others. [14] However, the overall evidence on equol and cancer risk is mixed in American, European, and Asian women. [19]

      The Shanghai Women’s Health Study which followed 73,223 Chinese women for more than 7 years has been the largest and most detailed study of soy and breast cancer risk in a population with high soy consumption. In this study, women who ate the most soy had a 59% lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer compared with those who ate the lowest amounts of soy. Risk was 43% lower when soy was eaten during adolescence. [14] Seven years later, the study authors published a follow-up analysis from the same cohort over 13 years to evaluate any association between soy foods and specific types of breast cancer defined by hormone receptors and by menopausal status (Estrogen [ER] +/-; Progesterone [PR] +/-). [21] Key highlights of the study:

      • A 22% lower risk of breast cancer when comparing the highest to lowest intakes of soy during adulthood.
      • A 28% decreased risk of hormone positive (ER+, PR+) breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
      • A 54% decreased risk of hormone negative (ER-, PR-) breast cancer in premenopausal women.
      • A 47% decreased risk of premenopausal breast cancer when comparing high to low intakes of soy during adolescence and adulthood.

      The Breast Cancer Family Registry was a prospective study following 6,235 women diagnosed with breast cancer and living in the U.S. and Canada; intake of soy isoflavones was examined in relation to deaths from all causes. [22] Key highlights of the study:

      • Women who ate the highest amounts of soy isoflavones had a 21% lower risk of death compared with women with the lowest intakes.
      • Women who had ER-/PR- tumors and who were not receiving tamoxifen appeared to receive greatest benefit from the higher soy isoflavone intakes. However, isoflavone intake did not have a negative impact on women who were receiving tamoxifen or who had ER+/PR+ tumors.
      • Of all ethnicities, Asian American women tended to have the highest isoflavone intakes at about 6 mg. daily, but this amount was still much lower than women living in Asian countries who eat closer to 46 mg. daily. The authors noted that American women appeared to benefit from eating smaller amounts of soy.

      Another prospective study followed 1,954 American women who were breast cancer survivors for six years. [23] Key highlights of the study:

      • Among postmenopausal women treated with tamoxifen, breast cancer recurrence was 60% lower when comparing the highest to the lowest daidzein (a specific type of soy isoflavone) No benefit was observed in women who had never used tamoxifen.
      • Recurrence was lower with increasing isoflavone intake among women with tumors that were ER+/PR+ but not ER-/PR-.
      • The most frequent sources of soy foods were not whole or minimally processed soy foods, but rather soy sauce, breakfast or diet drinks, tofu, diet bars, and soy protein isolate powder. The mean amount of isoflavones in the “high” category was about 19 mg. daidzein and 27 mg. genistein daily—a modest amount compared with Asian populations.
      • The authors concluded that soy isoflavones eaten at levels comparable to those in Asian populations may reduce the risk of cancer recurrence in women receiving tamoxifen therapy and does not appear to interfere with tamoxifen efficacy. However, the findings need to be confirmed because they were mainly in subgroups and could be due to chance.

      Prostate Cancer

      The incidence of prostate cancer is highest in Western countries and lowest in Asian countries, where soy foods are a regular part of the daily diet. In addition, observational studies have found an increased risk of prostate cancer in Chinese and Japanese men who move to Western countries and adopt a Western diet, but not in those who continue eating a traditional diet. [24] Soy isoflavones, specifically genistein and daidzein, are found to collect in prostate tissue and may act as weak estrogens and exert a protective effect against the development of prostate cancer. [25]

      In a meta-analysis of 30 case-control and cohort studies from the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China, intakes of total soy foods, genistein, daidzein, and unfermented soy foods were significantly associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. [25]

      A review of eight randomized controlled trials examined the effects of soy in men with or at risk of developing prostate cancer. Two of these studies found that isoflavone supplements or dietary soy protein reduced the risk of prostate cancer in men at high risk of developing the disease. However, none of the studies found a significant effect on prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland that is used to detect prostate cancer. There were no adverse effects reported with soy supplementation. The authors discussed limitations of the review including the small number of participants, the short duration of studies (less than one year), and variation in dosages and types of soy given. [24]

      Memory and Cognitive Function

      Menopause has been linked with changes in mood and memory impairment. Long‐term low levels of estrogen in women can reduce the number of estrogen receptors in the brain that are necessary for specific cognitive functions like memory and learning. [26] The soy isoflavone, daidzein, has been hypothesized to reduce decline in cognitive function or disease processes related to cognition and behavior. Thus, research has raised the possibility that eating soy foods might help prevent age-related memory loss or decline in thinking skills. [27]

      Trials have yielded contradictory results, with some showing a benefit with soy isoflavone supplementation [28, 29] and others showing no benefit. [30-32] A review of 13 randomized controlled trials found that in about half of the studies, isoflavone supplementation had a beneficial effect on cognition in older men and women compared with controls, including improvements in attention, information‐processing speed, and memory. However the results overall were mixed, with other studies not demonstrating a benefit. This may have been due to differing dosages given or the types of cognition tests used. [26]

      One large study in men found a detrimental effect on cognitive function. In a prospective cohort study of more than 3,700 Japanese-American men living in Hawaii, the highest intakes of tofu (eaten almost daily) at midlife ages were significantly associated with greater cognitive impairment and brain atrophy in late life compared with men with the lowest tofu intakes (almost never eaten). [33] However, the actual number of men eating very high amounts of tofu was small, and past dietary information was collected by relying on the participants’ memory, some of whom may have already experienced cognitive decline. Because of this, the researchers stated that the findings were too preliminary to make recommendations. [34]

      Thyroid

      Soy may interfere with thyroid hormone medication used to treat hypothyroidism. In one randomized double-blinded trial, 60 patients with a mild form of hypothyroidism (called subclinical hypothyroidism) were given low or high-dose phytoestrogen supplements (both also contained 30 grams of soy protein), the amount that might be obtained from a vegetarian diet. [35] Risk of developing clinical hypothyroidism was increased in the higher phytoestrogen group (no effect in the lower phytoestrogen group). The authors suggested that female vegetarian patients with subclinical hypothyroidism may need more careful monitoring of thyroid function. However, the authors also found a benefit on of reduced cardiovascular risk factors in the high phytoestrogen group, with a significant reduction in insulin resistance, inflammatory markers, and blood pressure. The effect of soy on thyroid function needs further examination.

      References

      Click to expand

      1. Anderson JW, Johnstone BM, Cook-Newell ME. Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids. New England Journal of Medicine. 1995 Aug 3;333(5):276-82.
      2. Code of Federal Regulations. Health claims: Soy protein and risk of coronary heart disease. 21CFR101.82. 2001.
      3. Sacks FM, Lichtenstein A, Van Horn L, Harris W, Kris-Etherton P, Winston M. Soy protein, isoflavones, and cardiovascular health: an American Heart Association Science Advisory for professionals from the Nutrition Committee. Circulation. 2006 Feb 21;113(7):1034-44.
      4. . FDA Statement. Statement from Susan Mayne, Ph.D., on proposal to revoke health claim that soy protein reduces risk of heart disease. October 30, 2017. Accessed 3/26/2018.
      5. Lethaby A, Marjoribanks J, Kronenberg F, Roberts H, Eden J, Brown J. Phytoestrogens for menopausal vasomotor symptoms. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Dec 10;(12):CD001395
      6. Li L, Lv Y, Xu L, Zheng Q. Quantitative efficacy of soy isoflavones on menopausal hot flashes. British journal of clinical pharmacology. 2015 Apr;79(4):593-604.
      7. Krebs EE, Ensrud KE, MacDonald R, Wilt TJ. Phytoestrogens for treatment of menopausal symptoms: a systematic review. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2004 Oct 1;104(4):824-36.
      8.  Kronenberg F, Fugh-Berman A. Complementary and alternative medicine for menopausal symptoms: a review of randomized, controlled trials. Annals of internal medicine. 2002 Nov 19;137(10):805-13.
      9. Nelson HD, Vesco KK, Haney E, Fu R, Nedrow A, Miller J, Nicolaidis C, Walker M, Humphrey L. Nonhormonal therapies for menopausal hot flashes: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2006 May 3;295(17):2057-71.
      10. Trock BJ, Hilakivi-Clarke L, Clarke R. Meta-analysis of soy intake and breast cancer risk. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2006 Apr 5;98(7):459-71.
      11. Michels KB, Mohllajee AP, Roset‐Bahmanyar E, Beehler GP, Moysich KB. Diet and breast cancer: a review of the prospective observational studies. Cancer: Interdisciplinary International Journal of the American Cancer Society. 2007 Jun 15;109:2712-49.
      12. Linos E, Willett WC. Diet and breast cancer risk reduction. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. 2007 Sep 1;5(8):809-16.
      13. de Lemos ML. Effects of soy phytoestrogens genistein and daidzein on breast cancer growth. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2001 Sep;35(9):1118-21.
      14. Allred CD, Allred KF, Ju YH, Virant SM, Helferich WG. Soy diets containing varying amounts of genistein stimulate growth of estrogen-dependent (MCF-7) tumors in a dose-dependent manner. Cancer research. 2001 Jul 1;61(13):5045-50.
      15. Maskarinec G, Ju D, Morimoto Y, Franke AA, Stanczyk FZ. Soy Food Intake and Biomarkers of Breast Cancer Risk: Possible Difference in Asian Women?. Nutrition and cancer. 2017 Jan 2;69(1):146-53.
      16. Setchell KD, Brown NM, Lydeking-Olsen E. The clinical importance of the metabolite equol—a clue to the effectiveness of soy and its isoflavones. The Journal of nutrition. 2002 Dec 1;132(12):3577-84.
      17. Yuan JP, Wang JH, Liu X. Metabolism of dietary soy isoflavones to equol by human intestinal microflora–implications for health. Molecular nutrition & food research. 2007 Jul;51(7):765-81.
      18. Atkinson C, Frankenfeld CL, Lampe JW. Gut bacterial metabolism of the soy isoflavone daidzein: exploring the relevance to human health. Experimental biology and medicine. 2005 Mar;230(3):155-70.
      19. Lampe JW. Emerging Research on Equol and Cancer–3. The Journal of nutrition. 2010 May 26;140(7):1369S-72S.
      20. Lee SA, Shu XO, Li H, Yang G, Cai H, Wen W, Ji BT, Gao J, Gao YT, Zheng W. Adolescent and adult soy food intake and breast cancer risk: results from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study–. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2009 Apr 29;89(6):1920-6.
      21. Baglia ML, Zheng W, Li H, Yang G, Gao J, Gao YT, Shu XO. The association of soy food consumption with the risk of subtype of breast cancers defined by hormone receptor and HER2 status. International journal of cancer. 2016 Aug 15;139(4):742-8.
      22. Zhang FF, Haslam DE, Terry MB, Knight JA, Andrulis IL, Daly MB, Buys SS, John EM. Dietary isoflavone intake and all‐cause mortality in breast cancer survivors: The Breast Cancer Family Registry. Cancer. 2017 Jun 1;123(11):2070-9.
      23. Guha N, Kwan ML, Quesenberry CP, Weltzien EK, Castillo AL, Caan BJ. Soy isoflavones and risk of cancer recurrence in a cohort of breast cancer survivors: the Life After Cancer Epidemiology study. Breast cancer research and treatment. 2009 Nov 1;118(2):395-405.
      24. van Die MD, Bone KM, Williams SG, Pirotta MV. Soy and soy isoflavones in prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials. BJU international. 2014 May;113(5b):E119-30.
      25. Applegate CC, Rowles JL, Ranard KM, Jeon S, Erdman JW. Soy consumption and the risk of prostate cancer: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrients. 2018 Jan 4;10(1):40.
      26. Thaung Zaw JJ, Howe PR, Wong RH. Does phytoestrogen supplementation improve cognition in humans? A systematic review. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2017 Sep 1;1403(1):150-63.
      27. Ahmed T, Javed S, Tariq A, Onofrio G, Daglia M, Fazel Nabavi S, Mohammad Nabavi S. Daidzein and its Effects on Brain. Current medicinal chemistry. 2017 Feb 1;24(4):365-75.
      28. Kritz-Silverstein D, Von Mühlen D, Barrett-Connor E, Bressel MA. Isoflavones and cognitive function in older women: the SOy and Postmenopausal Health In Aging (SOPHIA) Study. Menopause. 2003 May 1;10(3):196-202.
      29. Basaria S, Wisniewski A, Dupree K, Bruno T, Song MY, Yao F, Ojumu A, John M, Dobs AS. Effect of high-dose isoflavones on cognition, quality of life, androgens, and lipoprotein in post-menopausal women. Journal of endocrinological investigation. 2009 Feb 1;32(2):150-5.
      30. Kreijkamp-Kaspers S, Kok L, Grobbee DE, De Haan EH, Aleman A, Lampe JW, Van Der Schouw YT. Effect of soy protein containing isoflavones on cognitive function, bone mineral density, and plasma lipids in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2004 Jul 7;292(1):65-74.
      31. Fournier LR, Ryan-Borchers TA, Robison LM, Wiediger M, Park J, Chew BP, McGuire MK, Sclar DA, Skaer TL, Beerman KA. The effects of soy milk and isoflavone supplements on cognitive performance in healthy, postmenopausal women. Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging. 2007 Mar 1;11(2):155.
      32. Ho SC, Chan AS, Ho YP, So EK, Sham A, Zee B, Woo JL. Effects of soy isoflavone supplementation on cognitive function in Chinese postmenopausal women: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Menopause. 2007 May 1;14(3):489-99.
      33. White LR, Petrovitch H, Ross GW, Masaki K, Hardman J, Nelson J, Davis D, Markesbery W. Brain aging and midlife tofu consumption. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2000 Apr 1;19(2):242-55.
      34. Grodstein F, Mayeux R, Stampfer MJ. Tofu and cognitive function: food for thought. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Apr;19(2):207-9.
      35. Sathyapalan T, Manuchehri AM, Thatcher NJ, Rigby AS, Chapman T, Kilpatrick ES, Atkin SL. The effect of soy phytoestrogen supplementation on thyroid status and cardiovascular risk markers in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2011 May 1;96(5):1442-9.

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      6 Health Benefits of Soy Milk / Nutrition / Healthy Eating

      Soy milk, which is made from soaking, grinding and boiling soy beans with water, is a very nutritious drink. Soy is naturally high in essential fatty acids, proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients provide energy and keep your body functioning at its optimum level. Below are the six most important health benefits you can acquire from drinking soy milk.

      1. Improve Lipid Profile

      The most important attribute of soy milk is its ability to improve your blood lipid profile. Unlike dairy milk, which is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, soy milk fat is mostly unsaturated with zero cholesterol. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in soy can inhibit the transport of cholesterol into your blood stream. Studies have shown that regular intake of soy can significantly lower you blood concentrations of triglyceride and low density lipoproteins (LDL) and raise the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL). This combined effect makes soy milk an ideal drink if you have high cholesterol or have a family history of coronary heart diseases.

      2. Strengthen Blood Vessel Integrity

      The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as the powerful phyto-antioxidants in soy can effectively protect your blood vessels from lesions and hemorrhage. These compounds bind to the blood vessel lining and defend your lining cells from free radical attacks and cholesterol deposits. The binding of these nutrients also improve the fluidity and flexibility of your blood vessels so that they are much more resilient to blood pressure changes.

      3. Promote Weight Loss

      Soy milk is naturally lower in sugar content than regular milk. Cow’s milk has about 12 grams of sugar per cup as opposed to only 7 grams in soy milk. This is why a cup of whole soy milk has only 80 calories, which is the equivalent of skim milk. In addition, the monounsaturated fatty acid in soy milk can inhibit your intestinal absorption of fat, which is another great advantage for weight loss. Drinking soy milk also gives you an extra dose of fiber, keeping your feeling fuller for longer time.

      4. Prevent Prostate Cancer

      Soy milk is a rich source of phytoestrogen, a unique plant hormone that can inhibit the production of testosterone in men. Reduced testosterone levels can significantly cut the risk of prostate cancer. Studies have shown that men who eat a soy-rich diet are less likely to develop prostate hypertrophy or prostate cancer.

      5. Prevent Postmenopausal Syndromes

      During menopause, a woman’s natural production of estrogen drops to a minimum. The sudden reduction of estrogen creates a number of health problems for postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women have higher risks of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. They are also more vulnerable to depression, mood swings, insomnia and other psychological disorders. The phytoestrogen in soy is an effective estrogen replacement. Regular intake of soy is a great way to prevent and alleviate these postmenopausal syndromes.

      6. Prevent Osteoporosis

      Osteoporosis is another age and hormone related disease. The phytoestrogen in soy can help accelerate calcium absorption by your body and prevent the loss of bone mass. For the maximum benefit, make sure to buy the soy milk that is fortified with extra calcium and vitamin D.

      Visit FitDay. com for other great tips on diet and nutrition.

      Pros and Cons of Drinking Soy Milk / Nutrition / Healthy Eating

      Soy milk is packed with essential nutrients and is a source of complete protein for vegetarian and vegan dieters. However, because soy contains compounds that are similar to estrogen, a female hormone, some people are hesitant to consume soy products. It appears that the pros of drinking soy milk outweigh any potential cons.

      Nutrients in Soy Milk

      Soy milk is rich in protein, and fortified with some of the same micronutrients found in cow’s milk — such as calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, phosphorous, vitamin A, and vitamin B-12. One cup of soy milk generally provides about 8 grams of protein, the same amount found in a cup of low-fat cow’s milk. The protein in soy milk is high quality protein, comparable to protein in animal foods, notes MedlinePlus. Soy milk is also a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid your body requires daily to function properly.

      Lactose-Free Perks

      Cow’s milk contains lactose, a natural sugar that some people have a difficult time digesting, but soy milk is lactose-free. Therefore, if you’re lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy, soy milk is a nutritious substitute that shouldn’t cause any negative side effects for you.

      Possible Health Benefits

      Soy milk may provide you with several health benefits. It’s free from dietary cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat, which means it won’t increase your risk for heart disease. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily as part of a healthy diet may lower your risk for developing heart disease. MedlinePlus notes that isoflavones found in soy products may help prevent hormone-related cancers like endometrial cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

      Potential Concerns

      While numerous possible health benefits exist for drinking soy milk, some studies show potential concerns. A review published in 2014 in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine reports that some studies show soy might negatively impact fertility in men, while other studies show no effects. This review notes that some studies show soy increases thyroid hormone activity, while other studies found that soy decreases thyroid function. Lastly, milk protein appears to be more effective than soy protein at increasing lean muscle mass in athletes, according to a review published in 2012 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

      Why You Should Limit Sugar in Your Diet

      An experienced health, nutrition and fitness writer, Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian and holds a dietetics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has worked as a clinical dietitian and health educator in outpatient settings. Erin’s work is published on popular health websites, such as TheNest.com and JillianMichaels. com.

      90,000 how is the product useful, what is made from soy, how to eat it correctly?

      Soybeans have many adherents and ardent opponents. Some consider it very useful, while others competently declare that this is an absolutely unnecessary product for a person. Soy and its derivatives are actively used in Asia for the preparation of almost all dishes.

      Benefits of soy

      1. Reduces blood cholesterol levels. However, the effect is achieved only if at least 25 g of the product is consumed per day.
      2. Normalizes weight and promotes weight loss. The lecithin in legumes stimulates fat burning in the liver.
      3. Thanks to calcium and estrogen-like isoflavones, soy helps to relieve osteoporosis and hot flashes during menopause.
      4. Excellent prevention of malignant neoplasms in the breast.

      Attention! Soy is 40% protein. In their composition, they practically do not differ from animal protein. Legumes are essential for people with lactose intolerance.

      1. The plant is capable of removing radionuclides and heavy metal salts from the body.
      2. Has a positive effect on bone tissue. Beans are used in complex therapy and prevention of arthritis.

      Soybean harm

      1. Soy products are not recommended to be introduced into the diet of children, as there is a risk of developing pathologies of the endocrine system.
      2. Soy is contraindicated during childbearing.
      3. Excessive consumption can disrupt the functioning of the pancreas and lead to hypertrophy.

      What is the correct way to eat soy and products from it?

      Ripe beans dried in pods are eaten whole. However, not all soybean varieties can be consumed in this form. Only Edamame is suitable for this. They use it, peeling from the pods, as a snack, and also stew or fried like other vegetables.

      Soy Sauce

      A very popular product.When adding it to a dish, it should be borne in mind that it is very salty, so there is no need to salt it. In Chinese cooking, it is used as a preservative.

      Soy milk

      You can cook the product yourself. To do this, take about half a glass of soybeans. They are washed, poured over with clean water and kept for a day so that the soybeans swell and absorb all the water. Pour in a little liquid and grind well until a mixture of thick sour cream consistency is obtained.They are transferred to a bowl of a suitable volume, pour 4.5 liters of water, add a spoonful of sugar and a pinch of salt. Leave the mass under the lid for four hours, stirring occasionally. Strain and wring out. The liquid is boiled for 15 minutes. The milk is ready.

      Soy flour

      Virtually starch free. It is used in combination with wheat, adding them to the dough in equal proportions. Thanks to the good gluten, eggs can be skipped.Great for baking during fasting.

      Soy meat and tofu

      You can find soy meat on sale. The product is low in calories, with a minimum content of cholesterol. Suitable for dieters, and is also an excellent meat substitute for those who are fasting or vegetarians. A variety of dishes are prepared from it, using it like ordinary meat.

      Attention! Before use, soy meat is soaked or boiled in water or broth.

      Tofu – bean curd. Due to its delicate consistency, it is excellent for making desserts, especially soufflés.

      Soy can be used to prepare a lot of delicious and interesting dishes, pastries and desserts. When using one or another product from legumes, you need to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations so as not to spoil the taste of the dish.

      90,000 Is soy safe to eat?

      Contents

      Introduction

      You’ve probably heard a lot about the positive qualities of soy products. Soy products help treat heart disease, according to the FDA-approved health statement (1). They can also help in strengthening bones (2, 3). And one of the most significant news over the past ten years has been that soy products contain substances that fight cancer (4).

      At the same time that soy was being touted for its positive qualities, articles began to appear on the Internet claiming that claims of the positive effects of soy consumption were just a publicity gimmick, and that, in fact, all is not so good.In addition, these articles stated that the consumption of soy products can jeopardize human health. Similar articles included allegations that soy increases the risk of cancer, osteoporosis, Altsheimer’s disease, dietary deficiencies, thyroid and reproductive problems.

      It is very difficult for the average person to understand all the conflicting claims, especially given the fact that many of the arguments against soy are based on scientific research (which, however, does not mean that these conclusions are necessarily correct). On the other hand, many soy proponents sometimes exaggerate the benefits of soy. We hope that in this article we can convey a more balanced point of view and convince you that although soy foods may not solve all health problems, and although there are still some unanswered questions, you can include soy foods in a balanced and a healthy vegan diet.

      To understand the following discussion, it is important to mention several aspects related to scientific research.Indeed, there are studies that show negative effects of soy consumption. But it is very rare that every study examining the same area comes to the same conclusions. There are always a few studies that show opposite results to those shown by most similar studies. As a consequence, it is never worthwhile to base extensive conclusions and recommendations on one or two studies. It is possible to select studies in such a way as to prove anything in the field of nutrition.Therefore, health professionals analyze all research in a given area and pay attention to the totality of all data, not just individual studies. Many of the studies that have concluded about the negative effects of soy consumption are based on animal experiments. However, conclusions about human health based on animal studies can be misleading. For example, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain a substance (indole-3-carbinol) that is anticarcinogenic to humans.But in some animal species, this substance contributes to the development of oncological diseases (5). If only animal studies were taken into account, the FDA would have long ago banned the sale of broccoli and cabbage in grocery stores.

      However, soy is an essential ingredient in the diet of many vegans, and every argument against soy is worth considering carefully.

      Soy products and thyroid gland

      Many foods contain strumogenic substances that interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid gland.In rare cases, they can lead to an enlargement of the thyroid gland, that is, to the formation of a goiter. Foods containing these substances include soy, millet, cruciferous vegetables, etc. Usually, the consumption of these foods only creates problems when people do not consume enough iodine (the intake of this trace element is important for maintaining normal thyroid function). The consequences of iodine deficiency can be exacerbated by the consumption of large quantities of foods containing strumogenic substances.

      While this awareness of the link between soy and thyroid function may be new to many vegans, research in this area has been going on for over 70 years (6). Between 1951 and 1961, the study of this relationship was particularly important, as 10 cases of goiter were identified in infants who were fed baby food based on soy flour. Those early studies are often used to support the theory that soy consumption is dangerous for babies. However, the situation with modern baby food is completely different.Since the 1960s, soy baby food has been made from isolated soy protein and fortified with iodine. Unlike soy flour, isolated soy protein does not contain strumogenic substances. As a result, there have been no cases of goiter in infants fed infant formula based on isolated soy protein in the past 40 years.

      There is also no evidence that soy consumption leads to thyroid dysfunction in healthy people who have enough iodine in their diet (7-10).However, it is possible that eating a lot of soy products can lead to problems for those who consume only minimal amounts of iodine. This applies to some vegans, as the main sources of iodine in the diets of people living in Western countries are fish and milk. However, the appropriate response in such cases is not to limit healthy soy foods, but to consume enough iodine. The amount of iodine in vegetables depends on where the vegetables were grown and therefore varies frequently.In some parts of the world, especially northern Europe, vegans may not be getting enough iodine from their diet. Foods that vegans can get iodine from include seaweed; although the iodine content in them varies greatly. Fortified foods can also be a good source of this micronutrient. The most reliable source of iodine is iodized salt. Vegans must ensure that the salt they add to their food is iodized. If iodized salt is not part of your diet, then it is best to use a vitamin supplement.

      Takeaway: Just like some other foods, soy foods may contain strumogenic substances. There is no reason to believe that consumption of soy products contributes to thyroid dysfunction in people with a balanced diet. Vegans need to make sure their diet contains enough iodine.

      Soy products and cognitive functions

      The authors of “Heart Study in Honolulu” came to an unexpected conclusion. The study looked at Japanese people living in Hawaii, comparing different types of food and their effect on the risk of dementia.The researchers found that men who consumed tofu between about 45 and 65 years of age had the greatest decline in intelligence between the ages of 70 and 90 (11). More than 3000 men took part in this study; their diet was monitored for 26 different foods, including tofu. The data for this study was collected in the first phase between 1965 and 1967 and in the second phase between 1971 and 1974. Cognitive testing was conducted in 1991-93.The scientists also analyzed the degree of brain size reduction using autopsy data from those participants who died during the study. Based on the results, the researchers concluded that there was a link between eating two to four servings of tofu per week and poorer results in cognitive testing and greater loss of brain mass. In addition, among the wives of men who also ate tofu, there were also more cases of dementia.

      This study raised many questions.First, how is this possible when it is known that the incidence of dementia in Asian countries is lower than in Western countries, and when the Japanese lifestyle has always been associated with increased cognitive function in old age? Many have used this argument to show that the Hawaiian study is wrong. But comparing rates of dementia is not telling much because of the many differences in lifestyles among people living in Japan, Europe and North America. The criteria for a diagnosis of dementia also differ from country to country. To find out the truth, one must compare the Japanese who eat tofu a lot with the Japanese who do not eat tofu. However, this kind of research has not been conducted.

      In addition, there is a possible biological explanation for the results of the Hawaiian study. Soybeans contain isoflavones, which are weak estrogens. They belong to the category of estrogen-like substances, which are called selective androgen receptor modulators (SERMS – selective estrogen receptor modulators) (12).This means that these substances are estrogenic in some tissues and anti-estrogenic in others. Estrogen can have a positive effect on brain tissue. However, scientists in the Hawaiian study have suggested that isoflavones may have anti-estrogenic effects on the brain. Of course, this cannot be estimated based on this study alone. Epidemiological studies do not show causality, they simply indicate that two things are happening at the same time. Since the researchers observed the consumption of only 26 foods and did not have the ability to control the lifestyle of the study participants, it is possible that the level of tofu consumption is an indicator of some other factor that has a direct bearing on cognitive function. In this case, tofu will be completely innocent. Other studies support this assumption.

      The results of three clinical studies, only one of which has been published in full form, put forward the theory that isoflavones have a positive effect on cognitive performance.In a published study, young men and women who consumed large amounts of soy for 10 weeks showed significant improvements in short-term and long-term memory and mental flexibility [the ability to switch attention between objects] (13). Two other studies that were presented at scientific meetings found that isoflavone supplements improve cognitive function when taken by postmenopausal women. However, even the results of these studies, combined with other publications, do not fully understand the effect of soy on cognitive function. However, it is important to note that research by Seventh-day Adventists, many of whom consume soy products throughout their lives, show that Adventists have lower rates of dementia than the rest of the US population (14). This could be a consequence of a healthier lifestyle in general or a higher educational level (which are associated with better cognitive function in old age). It is not yet possible to say this with certainty.

      However, today it is safe to say that there are ways to prevent age-related decline in the level of mental activity.Healthy diets that are high in antioxidants (in other words, plant-based diets), regular exercise, and brain stimulation with exercise and problem solving all contribute to a slower decline in cognitive function as we age.

      Output. Based on just one study, scientists have suggested that there is a link between tofu consumption and cognitive decline in old age. However, this was an epidemiological study that was not intended, and therefore unable, to reveal causal relationships. In this case study, scientists had not studied enough of the participants’ nutrition to draw reliable conclusions. There are also no other studies yet to support the findings of the Hawaiian study. In addition, three clinical studies indicate that soy and isoflavones have beneficial effects on cognitive function. Therefore, at this point in time, there is no reason to believe that eating soy is harmful to the brain.

      Soy products and mineral absorption

      Soy products and mineral absorption

      Soy critics claim that soy is high in phytates, which interfere with the absorption of iodine, zinc and calcium.However, taking into account the amount of phytates in soy products, calcium from them is absorbed surprisingly well (20, 21). In addition, several studies have shown that the isoflavones in soy products have beneficial effects on bone health, (2) and that replacing animal protein with soy protein reduces urinary calcium loss (3). Therefore, soy foods that are naturally rich in this mineral or fortified with it are a healthy source of calcium for the body.

      Despite this, there are studies showing that vegan women are not consuming enough calcium.Contrary to popular belief among vegans, there is little evidence that vegans have better bone health than people who follow other diets. There is also evidence from vegans linking inadequate calcium intake to increased bone fragility. This presents a potential problem, but says absolutely nothing about the disadvantages of soy products. Moreover, it is an easily solvable problem. Vegans simply have to make sure they get the recommended daily intake of calcium (1000 mg for people aged 19-50) from foods that are naturally rich in this mineral, fortified with it, or from vitamins.It is also very important that a vegan diet is well balanced and contains enough protein and vitamin D. Just like too much protein, a lack of protein can adversely affect bone health. While it is possible to get enough vitamin D through sunlight, not all people in different parts of the world can. Therefore, it is worth taking vitamin supplements or foods fortified with this vitamin.

      It should be noted that phytates do interfere with the absorption of iron and zinc.Soy foods are high in phytates, as are typical vegan diets in general. It is generally known that vegetarians do not absorb iron as well as those who eat meat, and the level of iron in the body of vegetarians is lower than non-vegetarians. However, the consequences of this are not entirely clear. There is no increased incidence of iron deficiency among vegetarians (22). And because high iron levels can increase the risk of heart disease, it is possible that low iron levels, which are in the normal range, as is often found in vegetarians, are ideal (23).

      Soy protein interferes with the absorption of iron, making soy foods a poor source of this micronutrient, even though soy itself contains iron. Those who are skeptical about soy products are correct in not relying on soy as a reliable source of iron. Soy protein actually interferes with the absorption of iron. But this is not a reason to avoid soy products. Vegans just need to make sure their diet is high in iron, such as cereals, legumes, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and lots of vegetables.It is also worth ensuring that you get enough vitamin C with your meals, as it promotes the absorption of iron from many plant foods. Taking vitamin C in the morning or drinking two glasses of orange juice between meals will not affect iron absorption. Vitamin C should be consumed at the same time as foods containing iron.

      Zinc is also quite poorly absorbed from soy products. Compared to meat eaters and perhaps even ovo-lacto vegetarians, vegans tend to consume less zinc, and it is less absorbed.This is one of the nutritional elements that should be given special attention in vegan diets. But even in this case, giving up soy products is not the best way to satisfy your body’s need for zinc. Instead, you should make sure your daily diet includes enough zinc-rich foods – nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.

      Output. Soy foods can be a good source of calcium, whether they are naturally present or fortified with calcium. Eating soy foods can also improve bone health through other substances found in soy. Vegans need to make sure their diets contain adequate amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Iron deficiency is not a bigger problem for vegans than for people on other diets. But since iron deficiency is prevalent all over the world, everyone should make sure that they consume enough iron-rich foods. Vegans should also include vitamin C-rich foods in their diet and consume them in conjunction with other foods.It is also important to consume enough zinc-rich foods daily.

      Soy and breast cancer

      The first media articles on soy were triggered by research showing that soy, most likely due to isoflavones, lowers the risk of breast cancer by inhibiting the effects of estrogen (24). Some of these data were the result of observations showing that breast cancer is less common among women living in Asian countries than among women living in Western countries.However, there are many cultural differences that can affect breast cancer risk. It is also important to note that there is little epidemiological evidence in Asia to indicate that soy consumption protects against breast cancer.

      Several small clinical studies have shown that consumption of soy has a similar effect on the breast tissue of young women, that is, women in the premenopausal period (25,26), similar to that of estrogen.This means a possible increased risk of breast cancer. However, the significance of these studies is not yet known. For example, the drug tamoxifen, used to treat breast cancer, has an estrogenic effect when used for a short period of time and an antiestrogenic effect when used over a long period of time.

      There are several other factors to consider. First, laboratory studies on breast cancer cells have shown that small doses of the soy isoflavone genistein cause these cells to proliferate, while large doses inhibit their proliferation.In addition, there is evidence showing that eating soy early in development, especially during puberty, helps protect girls from breast cancer later in adulthood (27, 28). This helps explain the fact that Asian women, most of whom grew up consuming soy foods, have even fewer breast cancer cases than Western vegetarians, who most likely did not consume soy before they matured.

      Finally, soy isoflavones may inhibit the development of breast cancer for several reasons that have nothing to do with their estrogenic or antiestrogenic properties. For example, genistein can inhibit the growth of blood vessels that support tumor growth and enzymes that stimulate cell proliferation. Soy can alter estrogen metabolism in ways that protect against cancer. In addition, studies conducted over a year has shown that soy or isoflavones either have no negative effects or have a positive effect on breast tissue density, which in turn means the risk of breast cancer (29).

      It is not entirely clear whether women who have already had breast cancer, due to its stimulation by estrogens, should limit their soy intake. The beneficial effects of soy consumption may outweigh the potential estrogenic effects of the isoflavones found in soy.

      Output. There seems to be no cause for concern for women who have had breast cancer at this time as long as they consume moderate amounts of soy foods. And it seems that women who have never had cancer need not limit their soy intake.

      Soy consumption and ovulation

      The potential link between isoflavone use and reproductive dysfunction was raised by researchers after identifying reproductive problems among Australian sheep that grazed in fields where a certain type of clover, especially rich in isoflavones, was sprouting (30). The amount of isoflavones consumed by these sheep was incredibly high compared to the amount commonly consumed by Asians. In addition, different species of animals and people can react differently to biologically active substances, and sheep are especially sensitive to isoflavones.

      One study found that eating soy foods delayed but did not prevent ovulation in women, and several other studies did not even find this association (33). As part of this study, the University of Iowa compared the physiological and reproductive functions of men and women between the ages of 20 and 34 who were fed baby food based on soy or cow’s milk as infants. No differences were found between both groups (34).In countries where consumption of soy products is the norm, there are also no problems with reproductive function.

      Output. Although soy isoflavones have a subtle effect similar to that of estrogens, there is no evidence to suggest that consuming these foods causes ovulation problems.

      Soy and sperm count

      In 2000, it was suggested that environmental estrogens, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish, could lead to decreased sperm count and possible fertility problems [the ability of a mature organism to reproduce] (31).Recently, public attention has been drawn to the results of a small pilot epidemiological study that showed lower sperm saturation in sperm among soy consumers compared to those who do not (35). However, it should be borne in mind that in men who ate soy, the total sperm volume increased and therefore only the concentration, and not the total number of sperm, was lower. This phenomenon could not affect fertility, as, apparently, the sperm concentration decreased only in those men whose sperm volume was above average from the beginning.

      Be that as it may, small epidemiological studies do not tell much. Conclusions can only be drawn from clinical trials. Three such trials were conducted to investigate the relationship between soy intake and sperm and semen counts. The results are encouraging:

      In the first study, men in England took supplements containing 40 mg of isoflavones (the amount found in 1 ½ servings of traditional soy products) (32).As a result, no change was found in sperm count or sperm quality.

      Two other as yet unpublished studies were presented at the 8th International Symposium on the role of soy in improving health and preventing and treating chronic disease (36). In one of them, Italians were given large amounts of isoflavones, 4-12 times the amount usually consumed by men in Japan. Even so, no effect on sperm was noticed.In a second unpublished study, Canadian researchers compared sperm production in men who consumed soy protein with that in men who consumed milk protein. Again, no differences were found in sperm concentration.

      Testosterone (last updated 03/2009)

      Only two studies – among the large number of studies conducted on this topic – found a link between lower testosterone levels and soy consumption. In one study, isoflavone intake among study participants was particularly high, four times the amount typically consumed by men in Japan.The researchers also did not make comparisons with the control group, that is, men who did not consume soy. Therefore, it is impossible to argue that there is a difference between the two groups (37).

      On the other hand, studies showing no effects on testosterone levels caused by soy are far more compelling. A recent analysis of 32 scientific studies found that neither soy protein nor isoflavones had any effect on testosterone levels (39).Scientists analyzed the data using several different statistical models. In all cases, similar results were obtained. In addition, studies that were published too late to be included in this analysis showed the same thing – that soy does not affect testosterone levels (40-42).

      Output. Based on the available data, there is no reason to believe that soy consumption is unsafe for men.

      Should you eat soybeans?

      Based on most of the evidence, soy consumption appears to be safe for virtually all healthy people who consume it in moderation.By moderate amount, we mean 2-3 servings per day. Women who have had breast cancer need to be more restrained in their soy consumption. However, at this time, there is not enough data to demonstrate such an effect of soy that would require its complete elimination from the diet. Therefore, if these women already consume and love soy products, then they do not need to completely eliminate soy from their diet.

      About the Authors

      Virginia Messina, MSc in Public Health, Certified Nutritionist, is a Professor at Loma Linda University and a Vegetarian Nutrition Consultant.Mark Messina, PhD, is a professor at Loma Linda University and an expert in soy and chronic disease. He is also a consultant to a number of health professional organizations and the soybean industry.

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      3. Breslau NA, Brinkley L, Hill KD, Pak CY. Relationship of animal protein-rich diet to kidney stone formation and calcium metabolism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1988; 66: 140-6.

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      7. Duncan AM, Underhill KE, Xu X, Lavalleur J, Phipps WR, Kurzer MS. Modest hormonal effects of soy isoflavones in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999; 84: 3479-84.

      8. Duncan AM, Merz BE, Xu X, Nagel TC, Phipps WR, Kurzer MS. Soy isoflavones exert modest hormonal effects in premenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999; 84: 192

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      10. Ham JO, Chapman KM, Essex-Sorlie D, et al. Endocrinological response to soy protein and fiber in midly hypercholesterolemic men. Nutr Res 1993; 13: 873-884.

      11. White LR, Petrovitch H, Ross GW, et al. Brain aging and midlife tofu consumption. J Am Coll Nutr 2000; 19: 242-55.

      12.Brzezinski A, Debi A. Phytoestrogens: the “natural” selective estrogen receptor modulators? Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1999; 85: 47-51.

      13. File SE, Jarrett N, Fluck E, Duffy R, Casey K, Wiseman H. Eating soya improves human memory. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2001; 157: 430-6.

      14. Giem P, Beeson WL, Fraser GE. The incidence of dementia and intake of animal products: preliminary findings from the Adventist Health Study. Neuroepidemiology 1993; 12: 28-36.

      15. Engelhart MJ, Geerlings MI, Ruitenberg A, et al. Dietary intake of antioxidants and risk of Alzheimer disease. Jama 2002; 287: 3223-9.

      16. Foley DJ, White LR. Dietary intake of antioxidants and risk of Alzheimer disease: food for thought. Jama 2002; 287: 3261-3.

      17. Morris MC, Evans DA, Bienias JL, et al. Dietary intake of antioxidant nutrients and the risk of incident Alzheimer disease in a biracial community study. Jama 2002; 287: 3230-7.

      18. Ortega RM, Requejo AM, Lopez-Sobaler AM, et al. Cognitive function in elderly people is influenced by vitamin e status. J Nutr 2002; 132: 2065-8.

      19. Yaffe K, Barnes D, Nevitt M, Lui LY, Covinsky K. A prospective study of physical activity and cognitive decline in elderly women: women who walk. Arch Intern Med 2001; 161: 1703-8.

      20. Heaney RP, Weaver CM, Fitzsimmons ML. Soybean phytate content: effect on calcium absorption. Am J Clin Nutr 1991; 53: 745-7.

      21. Weaver CM, Plawecki KL. Dietary calcium: adequacy of a vegetarian diet. Am J Clin Nutr 1994; 59: 1238S-1241S.

      22. Messina VK, Burke KI. Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. J Am Diet Assoc 1997; 97: 1317-21.

      23. Ma J, Stampfer MJ. Body iron stores and coronary heart disease. Clin Chem 2002; 48: 601-3.

      24. Messina MJ, Persky V, Setchell KD, Barnes S. Soy intake and cancer risk: a review of the in vitro and in vivo data. Nutr Cancer 1994; 21: 113-31.

      25. Petrakis NL, Barnes S, King EB, et al. Stimulatory influence of soy protein isolate on breast secretion in pre- and postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1996; 5: 785-94.

      26. Hargreaves DF, Potten CS, Harding C, et al. Two-week dietary soy supplementation has an estrogenic effect on normal premenopausal breast. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999; 84: 4017-24.

      27. Lamartiniere CA, Zhao YX, Fritz WA.Genistein: mammary cancer chemoprevention, in vivo mechanisms of action, potential for toxicity and bioavailability in rats. J Women’s Cancer 2000; 2: 11-19.

      28. Shu XO, Jin F, Dai Q, et al. Soyfood Intake during Adolescence and Subsequent Risk of Breast Cancer among Chinese Women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2001; 10: 483-8.

      29. Messina MJ, Loprinzi CL. Soy for breast cancer survivors: a critical review of the literature. J Nutr 2001; 131: 3095S-108S.

      30. Bennetts HW, Underwood EJ, Shier FL. A specific breeding problem of sheep on subterranean clover pastures in Western Australia. Aust J Agric Res 1946; 22: 131-138.

      31. Buck GM, Vena JE, Schisterman EF, et al. Parental consumption of contaminated sport fish from Lake Ontario and predicted fecundability. Epidemiology 2000; 11: 388-93.

      32. Mitchell JH, Cawood E, Kinniburgh D, Provan A, Collins AR, Irvine DS. Effect of a phytoestrogen food supplement on reproductive health in normal males.Clin Sci (Lond) 2001; 100: 613-8.

      33. Kurzer MS. Hormonal effects of soy in premenopausal women and men. J Nutr 2002; 132: 570S-3S.

      34. Strom BL, Schinnar R, Ziegler EE, et al. Exposure to soy-based formula in infancy and endocrinological and reproductive outcomes in young adulthood. Jama 2001; 286: 807-14.

      35. Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner B, Willett WC. A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility. Hum Reprod 2007; 22: 1340-7.

      36. Messina, M, Watanabe S, Setchell KDR. Report on the 8th International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment. J Nutr 2009; 139: 796S-802S.

      37. Gardner-Thorpe D, O’Hagen C, Young I, Lewis SJ. Dietary supplements of soya flour lower serum testosterone concentrations and improve markers of oxidative stress in men. Eur J Clin Nutr 2003; 57: 100-6.

      38. Goodin S, Shen F, Shih WJ, et al.Clinical and biological activity of soy protein powder supplementation in healthy male volunteers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007; 16: 829-33.

      39. Hamilton-Reeves JM, Vazquez G, Duval SJ, Phipps WR, Kurzer MS, Messina MJ. Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: Results of a meta-analysis. J Am Dietetic Assoc (in press).

      40. Celec P, Ostatnikova D, Hodosy J, Putz Z, Kudela M. Increased one week soybean consumption affects spatial abilities but not sex hormone status in men.Int J Food Sci Nutr 2007; 58: 424-8.

      41. Kumar NB, Krischer JP, Allen K, et al. A Phase II randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of purified isoflavones in modulating steroid hormones in men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. Nutr Cancer 2007; 59: 163-8.

      42. Kumar NB, Krischer JP, Allen K, et al. A Phase II randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of purified isoflavones in modulating steroid hormones in men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer.Nutr Cancer 2007; 59: 163-8.

      90,000 Soy: the great and terrible

      Elena, why are people so afraid of soybeans? Is there really as much harm in her as they say?

      People’s fear of soy products is explained, first of all, by information about genetic interference in the nature of the plant itself, when a well-studied gene is introduced into its structure, due to which specific, well-defined and expected properties appear in the plant.

      Soybeans, along with corn, are the main object of genetic engineering throughout the world. Why did it happen? The fact is that it is used as animal feed, and genetic modification can significantly increase the yield of fodder soybeans.

      Only 0.1% of all soybeans in the world goes to the production of “human” soy products, and these plants undergo a slightly different genetic modification than forage plants. And they are grown using other, more complex technologies. However, there were cases of untidiness of some manufacturing companies, as a result of which forage plants ended up in the production of food for people.It was these cases that basically provoked a boom in information about the dangers of genetically modified foods in general.

      That is, there is no harm from soybeans with a “correctly” altered gene structure?

      As for the harm from genetically modified products, including soybeans, the real state of affairs is as follows: for more than twenty years of the history of the creation of genetically modified plants in the scientific literature, not a single reliable message about any of their negative effects has been published on the human body. I do not take materials from popular publications and media – they do not have scientific reliability.

      In my opinion, the harm from eating genetically modified foods is in any case no more than from plants treated with pesticides, grown on soils, abundantly (often without measure) “enriched” with artificial fertilizers, and from overeating in general … The harm from eating soy as a plant, to which our digestive system is traditionally not accustomed, is incomparably greater than from the fact of its genetic modification.

      I will add that in Russia the cultivation of genetically modified soybeans is prohibited, but there is no ban on the sale of products from such soybeans. Therefore, to eat or not to eat soy products is a question that everyone decides for himself individually.

      Are there any ingredients in soy that can be especially harmful if consumed frequently?

      Soy contains so-called phytohormones that can affect the human hormonal system, in particular the female reproductive system. Therefore, women who want to get pregnant, as well as expecting a baby, should not get carried away with soy products. Phytohormones also affect the thyroid gland, making it difficult for it to function. This is another argument against the use of soy by pregnant women, as insufficient thyroid function can trigger premature birth.

      Soy is not recommended for baby food, as hypofunction of the thyroid gland leads to a delay in their intellectual and physical development.Therefore, children suffering from milk protein intolerance and who are artificially fed with soy mixtures should be under the constant supervision of an endocrinologist.

      However, I will note right away that in reasonable quantities the same phytohormones contribute to the rejuvenation of the female body, prevent breast cancer, osteoporosis.

      What else can soy be good for?

      Lecithin is contained in soy and is produced from it, which plays a special role in ensuring the vital functions of the body: for example, the main “biochemical workshop” of our body – the liver – consists of 65% phospholipids, which are part of lecithin, and the efficiency of the heart proportional to the concentration of lecithin in the heart muscle.

      In addition, soy products are an excellent nutritional therapy for diabetics, prophylactic – for people with a predisposition to cancer.

      So the rational use of soy products in nutrition not only does not harm the body, but also brings undoubted benefits.

      Does soy contain gluten?

      Soy contains negligible amounts of gluten, so it is considered a gluten-free product. Therefore, soybean products are included in the diets recommended for people with gluten intolerance.

      Are there any allergic reactions to soy?

      Soy protein allergy occurs mainly in children under two to three years of age. As a rule, it is inherited from the parents. Statistics say about 5-10% of children. These phenomena disappear with age.

      In adults, soy allergy is extremely rare and qualifies more as an individual intolerance to soy protein. However, if soybeans have been treated with pesticides or grown with the use of chemical fertilizers, as well as genetically modified, then allergic reactions to such a product are more common.

      Why are “vegetable” meat, cottage cheese, milk made from soybeans? Why not other legumes?

      Proteins of soybeans are closest in composition to proteins of animal origin. In this way, soybeans compare favorably with other legumes and cereals. Soy proteins are not only very nutritious, but when properly processed, they very much resemble animal proteins in consistency and taste.

      What products is soy combined with – and with which is undesirable to combine it?

      In my opinion, soy and products made from it are poorly combined with all protein products of animal origin and animal fats.Combinations with fish and seafood are more or less acceptable. Nor should they be eaten with other legumes.

      Soybeans form optimal and most useful combinations with all vegetables without exception – raw, stewed and boiled, as well as herbs and herbal spices.

      IS SOY MILK a complete replacement for cow’s milk? For example, is it more or less calcium? And in general: what good and bad to expect from such a replacement?

      Of course they are not identical. Soy milk does not contain cholesterol and lactose – this is its plus.That is why people who are lactose intolerant or allergic to cow’s milk protein can drink it.

      Soy milk contains no cholesterol and contains a full range of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which means it is indispensable for those who are prone to cardiovascular diseases.

      In terms of the amount of calcium, soy milk is significantly inferior to cow’s milk.

      However, it has another property that has a beneficial effect on the condition of the skeleton and the entire musculoskeletal system: due to the presence of phytohormones, dairy and fermented milk drinks from soy are effective prevention of osteoporosis.

      Can I drink pure soy milk? What dishes can be cooked with soy milk – the same as with natural?

      Soy milk can be consumed in the same way as animal milk – drink it in its pure form, cook porridge on it, make milkshakes with fruits and berries, puddings from it, add it to coffee or tea.

      Fermented milk soy products are very good – yogurt, kefir. They are much better absorbed than milk. Their soy milk is prepared and bean curd – tofu.

      Is Cottage cheese made from soy milk in the same way as regular milk?

      Yes, in a similar way: soy milk is fermented using a special ferment or acid (hydrochloric, acetic or citric), after which the protein clots are pressed.

      What products is it compatible with? Is the shelf life of tofu the same as that of curd?

      Tofu is best combined with vegetables, herbs, seaweed.

      Fresh tofu without preservatives can be stored for 3-5 days, vacuum packed – up to 14 days.When added with preservatives, tofu can be stored for several months, but I do not recommend using such tofu.

      Many people believe that SOY SAUCE is very healthy and that is why they prefer it to any other sauce. Others believe that soy sauce can replace salt, which is much more harmful to the body. Is it so?

      Soy sauce is produced by the fermentation of soybeans by specific bacteria such as aspergillus. The traditional technology for its preparation is the fermentation (fermentation) of soybeans: they turn into a liquid mass and – due to the activity of microorganisms – are enriched with some biologically active substances.The resulting dark liquid sauce is rich in trace elements, vitamins and many other useful substances.

      The recipe for making soy sauce involves the use of ordinary table or (more often) edible sea salt. By dressing your food with soy sauce rather than table salt, you get richer flavor and less salt.

      Recently, MISO SOUP has been very popular in Russia, which can be ordered in any Japanese restaurant.Is it helpful?

      Miso soup is prepared on the basis of miso soy paste with the addition of any ingredients – vegetables, legumes, potatoes, seaweed, fish, seafood, even meat and poultry.

      Miso paste is a fermentation product of softened soybeans and cereals (mainly barley and dark or light rice) under the influence of a special sourdough culture. According to the traditional recipe, the fermentation process lasts from a week to several years. Currently, many manufacturers (though not all) have somewhat simplified this procedure.

      Depending on the composition and recipe, miso paste has a color from white to dark brown and even red, a different consistency – from thick grainy to softer and more uniform.

      Miso is not the only ingredient used in soups. It is also used as a seasoning for various vegetable, fish and meat dishes.

      Miso paste is rich in proteins, it contains lecithin, glutamic acid, B vitamins and many microorganisms – they help to digest food and regulate the functioning of the entire gastrointestinal tract.

      Inhabitants of central Russia, dishes with miso, however, like all soybean products, should be introduced into their diet with caution and gradually. Since our digestive system is traditionally not adapted to the proteins and enzymes that make up miso, at first, unwanted reactions from the intestines, liver, and allergic manifestations are quite possible.

      What is SOY MEAT?

      And of all soybean processed products, the most protein-rich are so-called “textured soy products” – that is, soy meat.The soy meat production method ensures that all the valuable nutrients of soybeans are preserved. After swelling in water or other food liquids (vegetable broths, juices, broths), they resemble the texture of protein products.

      Does soy meat increase hemoglobin?

      Yes, it increases – and is recommended for imperfect blood count in general. However, its usefulness is not only in this.

      Judge for yourself: all eight essential amino acids are present in soy meat.It contains a record amount of iron compared to other herbal products – more than 10 mg per 100 grams! In addition, iron in soy is in such a form and in such a combination with other minerals, which allows it to be absorbed by our body by 80%!

      What is the best way to cook soy meat?

      Before you start preparing dishes from it, you need to soak it in water, broth, vegetable broth in a ratio of 1: 2 (or 1: 3) for several hours (from an hour to twelve hours – this should be written on the package ) or boil for 15-20 minutes.You can add spices, seasonings, salt, soy sauce to taste. After soaking, when the meat is juicy, you can cook traditional dishes with it, such as salads and soups. Soy meat goes especially well with vegetables.

      How is soy asparagus made – YBU?

      Soy Asparagus is a product made from soy milk. Yubu is similar in composition to tofu, but has a slightly different structure.

      The protein of the milk soy drink is settled and strained to form a clot.This clot is cooked (or is at a temperature of 90 degrees) for a long time, during which it thickens, after which it forms “pigtails” of asparagus-yubu.

      Dried “asparagus” can be stored for up to a year. Before cooking, it is soaked in water with the addition of various spices.

      What products should you combine with yubu?

      Ideal combinations “soy asparagus”, like all protein products, forms with vegetables. It is permissible to combine it with cereals and potatoes.But with animal proteins and fats, it is better not to use it.

      What are the benefits of soybean sprouts?

      Soybean sprouts are very useful. They are rich in vitamins, they contain a full range of B vitamins, vitamins C, A, E, K. They contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, chromium. In general, a storehouse of vitamins and microelements. And a real energy drink.

      The usefulness of wheatgrass depends on their size. Is there a correlation between the size and usefulness of soybean sprouts?

      The amount of nutrients depends on the size of soybean sprouts only slightly.As a rule, manufacturers bring a product to stores that has the necessary maturity.

      However, the seedlings have a very short shelf life – just a few days. The sooner you consume them, the more benefit your body will receive.

      How to eat them correctly?

      Before use, soy sprouts are best boiled over or boiled for no more than one minute. They can be eaten as a separate dish, seasoned with mayonnaise, vegetable oil, soy sauce, or added to salads from raw and stewed vegetables.You can also make soups with different ingredients from them. You can fry. However, remember: the less heat treatment of seedlings, the more vitamins remain in them.

      What is SOY FLOUR? Can it replace wheat and in what cases?

      Soy flour contains significantly more protein than wheat flour and flour from other cereals. Therefore, it is not used in its pure form.

      The soy protein found in flour has binding properties, so it is very good to add it to various types of dough in a 1: 1 ratio with wheat or other cereal flour, without using eggs.These baked goods are good for lean food.

      What is the calorie content of soy products?

      The most high-calorie soybean oil – 890 kcal. The calorie content of finished soy meat, tofu, sauce and soaked “asparagus” does not exceed 150 kcal. It all depends on the specific recipe: the calorie content of soy sauce from different companies ranges from 35 to 120 kcal, the calorie content of soy meat – from 90 to 150, depending on the cooking method.

      Which manufacturers of soy products do you recommend?

      Classic soy products can be found in all Japanese and Korean food stores and even markets.However, these products are made from soybeans grown far beyond the borders of Russia, the recipe for their preparation includes seasonings and spices that can cause allergic reactions in a person unaccustomed to their use, that is, these products are produced without taking into account the physiological characteristics of a resident of central Russia.

      Over the past ten years, a large number of domestic producers have appeared on the market for soy products. Their products best meet the physiological needs of Russians, as they are made from domestic raw materials, using high-tech equipment and under strict sanitary and hygienic control.However, Russian-made tofu does not always look like a classic one and is often criticized by gourmets. So it’s up to you to choose.

      Of the domestic companies engaged in the production of soy food products (not semi-finished products for the food industry), LLC Inter Soya, CJSC Belok, Soybean Processors Association “ASSOYA”, CJSC Firm “SOYA”, LLC “Soyevye” products”. I myself have been eating the products of these companies for a long time, I give them to my child, and from the bottom of my heart I recommend them to everyone.

      Soy is added to many products, such as sausages, cottage cheese, frozen convenience foods, baked goods, and confectionery. How is the presence of soy in products marked?

      The most common additives are soy flour and soy protein isolate (analogous to “textured soy products”, soy meat). I don’t really like this way of solving the food problem. The fact is that soy supplements often turn a product from good to completely indigestible.For example, I consider the combination of meat and soy to be unacceptable, and if all this is sealed in dough with eggs, then an attack of cholecystitis after such a meal is guaranteed to you.

      According to the “Technical Regulations for the Labeling of Packaged Products”, updated in January of this year, the consumer packaging must list all the ingredients that make up the product. That is, for example, on the package with dumplings or on a loaf of sausage, it should be written: “Contains soy protein isolate.”

      Unfortunately, food manufacturers often ignore these requirements and do not advertise soy supplements on their product packaging.Therefore, I would recommend avoiding semi-finished products and boiled sausages in your diet, preparing food yourself from natural products. The meat should be meat and the soy should be soy. That’s the whole secret.

      90,000 If you only knew what soy is …

      Today, new Western trends are coming into fashion – soy products of plant origin are increasingly appearing on the shelves of domestic stores, which supposedly perfectly replace most of the usual ones. Instead of natural meat and sausages, we eat soy sausages and sausages, instead of cheese, we eat some kind of tofu, instead of cow’s milk, we drink soy.Manufacturers even offer soy-like yogurt-type desserts and protein shakes for weight loss. And many people think that this is all very good for the body.

      In fact, soy products are as useful as they can be. Especially if you use them without measure.

      – Soy contains all amino acids, including those essential for the human body, such as valine, tryptophan or isoleucine. In this, soy products have a great advantage over conventional ones, – says Elena Zlatinskaya, a nutritionist at one of the leading clinics in Moscow.- However, on the other hand, when we switch to a lean diet, we exclude animal products from the diet, which means we exclude proteins. We replace these proteins with soy products. The problem is that by consuming only soy products, a person will still not be able to cover the daily protein intake. Therefore, it is necessary to add foods such as lentils, nuts, mushrooms to the diet. You need to eat cereals, cereals, pasta. These foods, like soy, contain vegetable protein.

      The most popular product among the townspeople today is soy meat. It is sold dry, like chips. As a rule, about 400 grams of finished product comes out of 80 grams of dry product. At the same time, in terms of the amount of protein, ordinary meat and soybean differ significantly. So, according to a nutritionist, 75 grams of soy contains the same amount of protein as 30 grams of regular one. Translating into the language of food, if normally, for example, a woman needs to eat 180 grams of meat per day (twice 90 grams), then soy should be eaten for more than 300 grams.Then the protein balance will be maintained.

      In addition, ordinary meat contains an element that is very useful for the human body – iron. It is practically absent in soy meat.

      The situation is similar with cheeses – 30 grams of regular cheese contains the same amount of protein as 100 grams of soy tofu cheese.

      In general, when choosing soy products, nutritionists are advised to always choose those that are enriched with vitamins, in particular B12 and D, and minerals, since they are not in soy itself.

      “Let’s take soy milk, for example,” says Elena Zlatinskaya. – Almost all of it is additionally enriched with vitamin complexes. In addition, compared to regular cow, it does not contain lactose, a sugar that is less assimilated by the body over the years. Therefore, it is very good to drink soy milk for those who cannot stand the usual. At the same time, regular milk contains a lot of calcium. There is calcium in soybeans, if the milk has been specially enriched with it. The nutritional value of both products is approximately the same.

      With soy milk, as well as with ordinary milk, you can cook porridge, bake pancakes, add it to coffee. True, according to many consumers, soy milk tastes more like grass.

      Another benefit of all soy products is the lack of cholesterol. So, in ordinary cheese, 100 grams of the product contains up to 33 grams of fat. Tofu cheese contains only 3-4 grams per 100 grams of product. Compared to soy sausages, regular sausages and sausages are also high in fat (animal).But in the composition of soybean there is a fairly nutritious coconut oil.

      For gourmets, manufacturers of soy products have even prepared some kind of soy cervelat, which, as experts say, also contains a lot of vegetable fats. Manufacturers add for flavor and all kinds of flavors. This means that those who want to lose weight will not be able to lose weight on soy sausages.

      By the way, do not forget that soy meat contains a lot of vegetable fiber, which is why it is rather poorly absorbed in the body.That is why doctors do not recommend using soy for people with intestinal tract problems: with gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

      It is not recommended to eat a lot of soy, no matter how strange it may seem, and for men. Ask why? As Elena Zlatinskaya explained, soy products contain a lot of phytoestrogens – chemical compounds very similar to female hormones. Therefore, if men lean on soy, their hormonal balance will change, the amount of female hormones will increase. It is easy to understand what this will lead to – this is potency.

      What else can soy be dangerous for? Of course, the GMO content. According to experts, about 80% of the soy products presented in our stores contain GMOs. In general, in an amicable way, the packaging of this or that product should be labeled “does not contain GMOs”. However, who can say with absolute certainty today that the manufacturer is not lying ?!

      According to experts, even in the compositions of ordinary sausages of not very expensive varieties, the buyer can see soy protein, not to mention purely soy sausages.At the same time, what is its exact quality in the product and its percentage is unknown. Moreover, it is not known for certain whether this product is genetically modified or not.

      Soybeans for food production are brought to us from the Far East, China, America and the countries of the European Union. And which one – one can only guess. In fairness, we note that the negative effect of genetically modified foods on the human body has not yet been proven. The consequences of consuming GMO products will only be visible in a few years, and maybe even generations.

      A unique medical case was recorded in the USA in 2008. A 60-year-old man was admitted to an endocrinology clinic in the state of Texas, whose breasts have grown. An initial assessment of the patient’s condition showed that the concentration of estradiol, the main and most active female sex hormone, was 4 times exceeded in his body. As it turned out later, the man drank three liters of soy milk every day for several months. After he stopped drinking milk, his breasts shrank.

      The most favorite lenten dish of the late Patriarch of All Russia Alexy II was a salad with tofu cheese (pictured). In addition to cheese as the main ingredient, this salad uses tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant. All products must be cut into rings, pepper, salt and fried until not fully cooked. Each vegetable is fried separately.

      SCIENTISTS CREATED VEGETABLE BIFSTEKS

      The unique product “meat without meat” will soon fill the counters of the whole world and replace its natural counterpart, scientists from Europe are sure.Employees of several research institutes managed to create a steak consisting of only vegetables, but indistinguishable from the original in taste.

      Researchers have worked hard on this discovery for several years. Among the advantages of a surrogate, it is noted that the product is hypoallergenic and can retain freshness and useful qualities many times longer than ordinary meat. Also, gourmets will appreciate the low price. And, what is especially pleasing to the eye, the product looks very much like a juicy piece of raw steak. The author of the idea, researcher Florian Wilde from the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, is full of optimism and assures that the novelty will soon go into mass production and will become a formidable competitor to conventional meat.The composition of the invention is kept in the strictest confidence.

      Comment of Zinaida MEDVEDEVA, Executive Director of the Healthy Nutrition Research Center: “The idea is, of course, a good one. After all, many people love meat precisely for its unique taste and, as a result, consume it many times more than the body needs. And “meat without meat” will help people to enjoy their favorite taste, and provide the body with fiber, and reduce the consumption of unhealthy saturated fats in excess. But it’s not entirely clear to me why this product should be positioned as meat.Indeed, with the exception of the taste similar to the original, such “meat” does not contain amino acids and vitamins, which the natural product is rich in. And, accordingly, the novelty, alas, cannot become a full-fledged food substitute for meat. And there is little chance that a surrogate will take root in our country – our food traditions are too strong, and citizens are very wary of such innovations.

      LEARNED TO MAKE CANDIES FROM PUMPKIN

      Pumpkin candies were developed by employees of Michurin State Agrarian University.They help protect the body from cancer and help fight ulcers and gastritis. Even people with diabetes can enjoy them.

      The basis of sweets is a unique pumpkin variety “Michurinskaya”, over the selection of which MichGAU employee Professor Yuri Skripnikov worked for several years. The content of nutrients in such a pumpkin is several times greater than in an ordinary inhabitant of Russian beds.

      Employees of the Tambov University have developed a special dryer that allows you to keep most of the useful components.The dryer is able to bring the miracle pumpkin to readiness in just half an hour at a temperature not exceeding 40 degrees, while in other similar technologies the process takes several hours. Superhealthy vegetable powder is also used in the preparation of sweets. Initially, sweets were made using sugar and condensed milk. However, the composition of the product was soon improved – now the treats are prepared on the basis of fructose and are suitable even for diabetics. By the way, a delicious soufflé does not stale for a long time – and this also happens thanks to pumpkin powder.

      Commentary by Doctor of Agricultural Sciences of MichGAU Yuri SKRIPNIKOV:

      – Such candies are especially useful for people with gastrointestinal problems. Among other things, the product is an excellent cancer prevention. And even with oncology itself, according to scientists, there is a benefit from sweets, as well as other products with pumpkin – they remarkably relieve inflammation of internal organs. And besides medicinal sweets with pumpkin powder, bread, muffins, cookies, spaghetti, noodles and even Easter cakes are made.

      “Soy helps diabetics reduce insulin intake”

      Soy is a plant rich in proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B6, B9, C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It is used to make pasta, sauces, butter and flour, replace meat with it, and use it in a variety of dishes. All the most interesting about soybean Marina Gladkoy was told by the curator of the European direction of the China White restaurant, chef Oleg Belous.

      – What is soybeans?

      – First of all, it is a pretty plant with beautiful purple flowers.Just look at him – it is immediately clear that this is one of the longest-livers on planet Earth. It contains this spirit of antiquity, take at least the ternary leaves and the “capsules” themselves, in which the fruits lie. “Capsules” are as prickly and shaggy as kiwi and look like hare ears. The fruits themselves are called “soybeans”, for a long period of existence they have become so accustomed to changing weather conditions that they practically do not crack.

      – Why can soy replace meat?

      – Because it is rich in protein, it is about 40%, and in some varieties, all 50% of the total mass of the bean.It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Compared to meat, soy can easily replace chicken, and in some cases it can easily compete with beef. Indeed, soy contains fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B6, B9, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium – you can list it for a long time. So, you see, it’s worth considering which is healthier – frozen meat or soy. And of course, no one addressed the issue of cholesterol, and soy just lowers cholesterol. But the most important thing in it is vitamins. For example, if you eat B vitamins correctly, namely with vegetables, you can preserve youth for a long time, strengthen the nervous and endocrine systems.And soy has the highest content of antioxidants – phospholipids, which generally have a beneficial effect on the body and even help diabetics reduce their insulin intake.

      – How is soy turned into meat?

      – To begin with, flour is made from beans, and dough is made from flour, which is boiled in a special way. The result is a mass similar to foam rubber. By the way, you can simulate soybeans by making stars, diamonds or even imitation of meat fillets from the dough. This is followed by work on the aroma – after all, the product obtained from soy is neutral in taste and smell.Cubes or diamonds are pickled in spices, then dried and sold dry as a preparation for future “meat” dishes. Dry briquettes can be stored for about a year, while boiled ones are best eaten right away. Be prepared for the dried piece of “meat” to increase several times during cooking.

      – What else can be made from soybeans?

      – Definitely soy sauce. The Chinese were the first to cook it, then the Koreans and the Japanese joined them, and now here it has become our own and beloved.Soy sauce is also rich in amino acids and vitamins; it does not need any preservatives at all, even if stored for several years. It is made from wheat, soybeans, water and sea salt. Soy milk – and this is also practiced in China – is made from white beans. Actually, without soy milk, there would be no famous tofu cheese, it is prepared according to the same principle as any cow or goat cheese. It is interesting that in China and Germany they prefer to say “soy drink”, while in our Russian-speaking countries – “soy milk”.Of course, soy is used to make miso paste, the same one used to make miso soup. Miso is especially popular in Japan, where miso is produced from a mixture of cereals, including soybeans, by fermentation with molds. They also sprout soybeans, young sprouts are fried and served as a side dish for meat and fish dishes.

      – What is soy asparagus?

      – In fact, such asparagus does not exist in nature. What we think of as sprouts or asparagus is the “froth,” the top layer that is removed from the soy milk and dried.Eating “soy asparagus” without sauce or some other accompaniment is not tasty, it literally needs an assistant. It can be saturated with different flavors, say, the same soy sauce, sesame seeds, and if you add eel to it, it will be impossible to come off.

      “Soy milk also has froths” – Weekend – Kommersant

      Recently, humanity has been increasingly striving for a healthy diet. Why soy is considered an important element of such nutrition, in what form it should be consumed, so that it is not only healthy, but also tasty, says the new chef of the China Club restaurant Chenxian Ruan.

      What is soy?

      This is a plant of the legume family. The homeland of soybeans, of course, is East Asia, but now it is already growing in Southern Europe, North and South America, Central and South Africa, Australia, on the islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans. For more than two millennia in China, soybeans have been eaten in various forms and are highly valued.

      For a high protein content?

      That’s right. Protein makes up about half of the entire mass of a bean, and this protein is in many ways identical to that of an animal.That is, soybeans are as nutritious as chicken or even beef, and at the same time completely harmless. While animal protein, when broken down, raises the level of cholesterol in the human blood, soy protein, on the contrary, lowers the level of cholesterol.

      How is it used?

      Sprouted soybeans are eaten even raw, added to salads. This product is very beneficial for weight loss. White soybeans are good for digestion, while green soybeans are good for eyes and skin as well.In addition, the sprouts can be fried with vegetables or stewed with meat in soy sauce. Very high-calorie vegetable oil is squeezed out of soybeans. This is all soy in its simplest form, in addition to it there are a lot of soy products: soy milk, tofu, soy asparagus, soy sauce …

      What is soy milk?

      Oh, this is something that no Chinese family can do without breakfast. In China, animal (cow or goat) milk is not drunk at all, but everyone drinks soy.This milk (in fact, it is liquid soybean paste) comes in two flavors: unleavened and sour. It is believed that it is much healthier than ordinary milk, there are vitamins A and D. I myself do not like cow’s milk, I drink soy – either just sour or unleavened sweetened with sugar.

      Is this milk used to make bean curd or cheese?

      Quite right, tofu is obtained from it by curdling the protein of soy milk when heated with the addition of a coagulant, which is pressed and, depending on the pressure, forms a hard cheese or soft.There are several types of hard tofu: cubes, plates, and very thin petals. The taste of tofu is almost neutral, but it can be prepared with different spices in different provinces. For example, Ma Po’s red tofu is considered the hallmark of Sichuan province, it is very spicy, prepared with a special pepper collection. This tofu got its name from the name of the woman who invented its recipe. Unfortunately, they don’t eat it in Moscow: I tried to put it on the menu – a complete failure. But in Europe and America, it is served in restaurants.But stuffed tofu boxes – the pride of Shandong province – will appeal to many in Russia. We take large cubes of tofu, fry, cut off the tops and take out the cores, and instead put minced meat either pork or shrimp, it is possible with vegetables. In general, fried tofu is a good addition to salads and soups, especially in fish broth.

      How is miso soup prepared?

      By fermenting soybeans with the help of special molds, miso paste is produced, on its basis with the addition of wakame seaweed and shiitake mushrooms, and this very soup is prepared.

      Does soy asparagus have anything to do with real?

      Perhaps, apart from the appearance, there is nothing in common between them. In Chinese, this product, of course, is not called asparagus – it was invented by the Russians. Soy asparagus is prepared in a very interesting way – it is a dried foam formed by the boiling of soy milk. Since the product is dried, this asparagus should be kept in boiling water for a little before use, and only then cut into salads or other dishes. Her taste is neutral, so she will adopt it from the sauces and products that have been added to her.When fried, it can be a good side dish, and is often served with fresh eel. You can make a salad like this: chop this asparagus, cilantro, fresh cucumbers, celery, carrots, paprika and add sauce, soy, for example.

      Now for the fun part: how is soy sauce made?

      This sauce takes a very long time to prepare. First, the beans are digested to a liquid state, then they undergo a long fermentation process at a special temperature regime, as a result of which a sauce is obtained.Depending on the fermentation period, the sauce turns out to be of varying degrees of saturation. The weakest, colorless, used in salads – it will add flavor to the dish, but will not spoil the color of fresh herbs. In my opinion, soy sauce is generally not suitable for seafood, even the lightest one – they have different salinity, and the taste of the sauce will overpower the original taste of the main product. For quick frying of meat or vegetables, I recommend using a sauce of medium color intensity, but for stewing and long-term processing of meat, we take the most tart dark brown soy sauce.

      Interviewed by Anna Karmanova

      90,000 SOY: GREAT AND HORRIBLE

      IS SOY MILK a complete replacement for cow’s milk? For example, is it more or less calcium? And in general: what good and bad to expect from such a replacement?

      Of course, they are not identical. Soy milk does not contain cholesterol and lactose – this is its plus. That is why people who are lactose intolerant or allergic to cow’s milk protein can drink it.

      Soy milk contains no cholesterol and contains a full complex of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which means that it is indispensable for those who are prone to cardiovascular diseases.

      In terms of the amount of calcium, soy milk is significantly inferior to cow’s milk.

      However, it has another property that has a beneficial effect on the state of the skeleton and the entire musculoskeletal system: due to the presence of phytohormones, dairy and fermented milk drinks from soy are effective prevention of osteoporosis.

      Can I drink pure soy milk? What dishes can be cooked with soy milk – the same as with natural?

      Soy milk can be consumed in the same way as animal milk – drink it in its pure form, cook porridge on it, make milkshakes with fruits and berries, puddings from it, add it to coffee or tea.

      Fermented milk soy products are very good – yogurt, kefir. They are much better absorbed than milk.Their soy milk is prepared and bean curd – tofu.

      Is curd made from soy milk in the same way as regular milk?

      Yes, in a similar way: soy milk is fermented using a special ferment or acid (hydrochloric, acetic or citric), after which the protein clots are pressed.

      What products is it compatible with? Is the shelf life of tofu the same as that of curd?

      Tofu is best combined with vegetables, herbs, and seaweed.

      Fresh tofu without preservatives can be stored for 3-5 days, vacuum packed – up to 14 days. When added with preservatives, tofu can be stored for several months, but I do not recommend using such tofu.

      Many people believe that SOY SAUCE is very healthy and that is why they prefer it to any other sauce. Others believe that soy sauce can replace salt, which is much more harmful to the body. Is it so?

      Soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans with specific bacteria such as aspergillus.The traditional technology for its preparation is the fermentation (fermentation) of soybeans: they turn into a liquid mass and – due to the activity of microorganisms – are enriched with some biologically active substances. The resulting dark liquid sauce is rich in trace elements, vitamins and many other useful substances.

      The recipe for making soy sauce involves the use of ordinary table or (more often) edible sea salt. By dressing your food with soy sauce rather than table salt, you get richer flavor and less salt.

      Lately, MISO SOUP has been very popular in Russia, which can be ordered in any Japanese restaurant. Is it helpful?

      Miso soup is prepared on the basis of miso soy paste with the addition of any ingredients – vegetables, legumes, potatoes, seaweed, fish, seafood, even meat and poultry.

      Miso paste is a fermentation product of softened soybeans and cereals (mainly barley and dark or light rice) under the influence of a special sourdough culture.According to the traditional recipe, the fermentation process lasts from a week to several years. Currently, many manufacturers (though not all) have somewhat simplified this procedure.

      Depending on the composition and recipe, miso paste has a color from white to dark brown and even red, a different consistency – from thick grainy to softer and more uniform.

      Miso is not the only ingredient used in soups. It is also used as a seasoning for various vegetable, fish and meat dishes.

      Miso paste is rich in proteins, it contains lecithin, glutamic acid, B vitamins and many microorganisms – they help to digest food and regulate the functioning of the entire gastrointestinal tract.

      Inhabitants of central Russia, miso dishes, however, like all soybean products, should be introduced into their diet with caution and gradually. Since our digestive system is traditionally not adapted to the proteins and enzymes that make up miso, at first, unwanted reactions from the intestines, liver, and allergic manifestations are quite possible.

      What is SOY MEAT?

      And of all the processed soybeans, the richest in protein are so-called “textured soy products” – that is, soy meat. The soy meat production method ensures that all the valuable nutrients of soybeans are preserved. After swelling in water or other food liquids (vegetable broths, juices, broths), they resemble the texture of protein products.

      Does soy meat increase hemoglobin?


      Yes, it does – and it is recommended for imperfect blood counts in general. However, its usefulness is not only in this.

      Judge for yourself: all eight essential amino acids are present in soy meat. It contains a record amount of iron compared to other herbal products – more than 10 mg per 100 grams! In addition, iron in soy is in such a form and in such a combination with other minerals, which allows it to be absorbed by our body by 80%!

      What is the best way to cook soy meat?

      Before you start preparing dishes from it, you need to soak it in water, broth, vegetable broth in a ratio of 1: 2 (or 1: 3) for several hours (from an hour to twelve hours – this should be written on the package) or boil within 15-20 minutes.You can add spices, seasonings, salt, soy sauce to taste. After soaking, when the meat is juicy, you can cook traditional dishes with it, such as salads and soups. Soy meat goes especially well with vegetables.

      How is soy asparagus made – YBU?

      Soy asparagus is a product made from soy milk. Yubu is similar in composition to tofu, but has a slightly different structure.

      The protein of the milk soy drink is settled and strained to form a clot.This clot is cooked (or is at a temperature of 90 degrees) for a long time, during which it thickens, after which it forms “pigtails” of asparagus-yubu.

      Dried “asparagus” can be stored for up to a year. Before cooking, it is soaked in water with the addition of various spices.

      What products should you combine with yubu?

      Soy asparagus, like all protein products, forms ideal combinations with vegetables.It is permissible to combine it with cereals and potatoes. But with animal proteins and fats, it is better not to use it.

      What are the benefits of soybean sprouts?

      Soybean sprouts are very beneficial. They are rich in vitamins, they contain a full range of B vitamins, vitamins C, A, E, K. They contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, chromium. In general, a storehouse of vitamins and microelements. And a real energy drink.

      The usefulness of wheatgrass depends on their size.Is there a correlation between the size and usefulness of soybean sprouts?

      The amount of nutrients depends on the size of soybean sprouts only slightly. As a rule, manufacturers bring a product to stores that has the necessary maturity.

      However, the seedlings have a very short shelf life – just a few days. The sooner you consume them, the more benefit your body will receive.

      How to eat them correctly?

      It is best to pour boiling water over the soybean sprouts or boil for no more than one minute before use.They can be eaten as a separate dish, seasoned with mayonnaise, vegetable oil, soy sauce, or added to salads from raw and stewed vegetables. You can also make soups with different ingredients from them. You can fry. However, remember: the less heat treatment of seedlings, the more vitamins remain in them.

      What is SOY FLOUR? Can it replace wheat and in what cases?

      Soy flour contains significantly more protein than wheat flour and flour from other cereals.Therefore, it is not used in its pure form.

      The soy protein found in flour has binding properties, so it is very good to add it to various types of dough in a 1: 1 ratio with wheat or other cereal flour, without using eggs. These baked goods are good for lean food.

      What is the calorie content of soy products?

      The most high-calorie soybean oil is 890 kcal.The calorie content of finished soy meat, tofu, sauce and soaked “asparagus” does not exceed 150 kcal. It all depends on the specific recipe: the calorie content of soy sauce from different companies ranges from 35 to 120 kcal, the calorie content of soy meat – from 90 to 150, depending on the cooking method.

      Soy is added to many products, such as sausages, cottage cheese, frozen convenience foods, baked goods, and confectionery. How is the presence of soy in products marked?

      Most commonly, these additives are soy flour and soy protein isolate (analogous to “textured soy products,” soy meat).I don’t really like this way of solving the food problem. The fact is that soy supplements often turn a product from good to completely indigestible. For example, I consider the combination of meat and soy to be unacceptable, and if all this is sealed in dough with eggs, then an attack of cholecystitis after such a meal is guaranteed to you.

      According to the “Technical Regulations for the Labeling of Packaged Products”, updated in January of this year, the consumer packaging must list all the ingredients that make up the product.That is, for example, on the package with dumplings or on a loaf of sausage, it should be written: “Contains soy protein isolate.”

      Unfortunately, food manufacturers often ignore these requirements and do not advertise soy supplements on their product packaging. Therefore, I would recommend avoiding semi-finished products and boiled sausages in your diet, preparing food yourself from natural products. The meat should be meat and the soy should be soy.