Recent news reports on soy have touted its cholesterol-lowering powers and the possibility that it might help prevent breast cancer.
Before you stack your fridge with bricks of tofu, here’s what you should know:
The analysis of several studies on soy protein recently published by researchers at the University of Kentucky in Lexington found that a diet rich in soy protein brought about dramatic reductions in cholesterol. But the main beneficiaries were individuals who started out with very high cholesterol levels – a group that includes relatively few your women. Studies of the effects of a soy-rich died on preventing breast cancer are underway, but experts are still unsure just how beneficial it will prove to be.
Soy products, like tofu and soy milk, are excellent sources of protein; some are also rich in calcium. Adding tofu to stir-fry or using soy milk in recipes is an easy way to incorporate it into your diet. But don’t feel you have to eat it. “Soy protein isn’t magic – it’s one more weapon in the arsenal of better health,” says registered dietitian Gail Levey.