Is Soy Good or Bad for Your Health? Science Gives You an Answer

Advertisement

For thousands of years, soy has been a part of traditional Asian diets. These legumes are native to Asia and some evidence even claims that soybeans were cultivated as early as 9,000 B.C. in China. Soy, these days are widely consumed as a source of plant-based protein as well as an ingredient in processed foods. While some people hold the health benefits of soy in high regards, others suggest that it could be bad for health.

1Soy and its different types

Soybeans are typically legumes that can be eaten whole or processed into different forms.

Soybeans legumes

Image Source: www.health.harvard.edu

Advertisement

2Fermented soy

Traditional methods are used for processing soy to produce fermented soy products such as soy sauce, miso, natto, and tempeh. Soy sauce is a liquid condiment while tempeh is a fermented soy cake which originated in Indonesia. Tempeh may not be as popular as tofu but, it too is eaten as a good source of plant-protein. Miso happens to be a traditional Japanese seasoning paste.

Fermented soy

Image Source: www.myamericannurse.com

Advertisement

3Whole soy products

Whole soy products include soybeans and edamame which are basically immature, green soybeans. These products are the least processed among all soy products. Whole soybeans are used for making soy milk and tofu.

Lactose intolerant people usually tend to consume soy milk as a dairy milk alternative. Tofu is a good source of protein in vegetarian diets.

Advertisement
Whole soy products

Image Source: vtcnew.com.vn

4Soy-based processed foods

Several processed foods are made from soy. These include cheeses, yogurts, and vegetarian meat substitutes. As such, you will find many packaged foods made from soy like soybean oil, soy flours, and texturized vegetable protein.

Advertisement
Soy-based processed foods

Image Source: www.parashospitals.com

5Soy supplements

Soy supplements are basically highly processed derivatives of soy. For example, soy protein isolate is made by grinding soybeans into flakes and extracting the oil. The flakes are then mixed with alkaline water and heated. This forms a soy concentrate which is spray-dried into a powder.

Advertisement

Soy protein isolate is commonly found in processed foods like protein shakes and bars, and in many protein powders. Soy supplements also come in capsule form containing soy isoflavones.

Soy lecithin is available as a powder or capsule.

Advertisement
Soy lecithin is available as a powder or capsule

Image Source: dailyburn.com

Advertisement

You may also like...