The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Soy
Versatile soy protein may lower bad fats floating in your bloodstream.
Getting Soy Into Your Diet
There are almost endless ways of getting soy into your meal plan. Here's a
rundown of some of your options.
- Tofu is a solid extract of soybeans. "It has a mild,
bean-like flavor," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American
Dietetic Association (ADA.) "It can be added to anything you cook or it can
be eaten right out of the package." Tofu is often used in stir-fries,
curries, or stews. It tends to pick up the flavor of the sauce it's in.
- Soy nuts are roasted soybeans, which can make a tasty
snack. "Soy nuts are a convenient, crunchy source of protein," Frechman
- Soymilk is made from ground soybeans mixed with water. You
can substitute soymilk for milk in your coffee or your cereal. Or you can just
drink it on its own. "A lot of my clients really like smoothies made with
soy milk," says ADA spokeswoman Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD. "That's a
great way to get soy into your diet."
- Soy burgers, soy cheese, and other products now fill the
freezers and refrigerators at your local supermarket. Manufacturers have come
up with soy products that mimic just about every kind of meat and dairy
product. Buy a few different types and give them a try.
- Edamame are soybeans still in the pod. They're sold either
frozen or fresh. Frechman recommends microwaving frozen edamame in a little
water and chicken bouillon for an easy way to get soy protein.
- Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake. It can be used as a
meat substitute, and works well in spaghetti sauce.
- Miso is a paste made from soybeans that is used for soup
stocks or as a seasoning.
- Soy flour is a powder made from ground, roasted soybeans.
It can be added to baked goods.
Choose the foods that you like. The key is to substitute soy for high-fat
meats, such as hamburger.
Originally published September 2005.
Medically updated January 2006.