The Daily Beet

11 Apr FAQ: Day 3 What about soy?

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Q: What about soy?

A. We will start out by saying that you do not need soy beans in your diet to be plant-strong. In fact, many people skip it and do not miss it. The main problem with soy, is what has been done to soy in the form of junk food. Soy meats that add tons of fat and salt, soy cheeses, and other junk food that  just happens to have soy in it. So much of the concern is completely valid, but like some other foods, it can all come down what you are adding to the food.

The other health consideration with soy is fat content and protein. Soy is 40% fat and is higher in protein. For those reasons, it should be limited. For those people reversing heart disease, you will want to greatly limit or eliminate it completely.

Whole soy beans, or products (like tofu/tempeh) made from whole soy beans are just fine to enjoy, but keep in mind that it is higher in fat and protein, and keep any processed soy products to a very occasional treat.

If you’d like more information on soy or other bean allergies you can check out our post (which includes a recipe for making your own brown rice milk)

To clear up some of the most common myths regarding soy, Dr. Neal Barnard has a great article on it.

Bottom line, you don’t need soy in your diet if you’d like to skip it. If you enjoy whole soy bean products, just watch how often, and asses your own health goals when you determine how much you’d like to include in your diet.

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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Wendy (Healthy GIrl's Kitchen)
    Posted at 08:13h, 11 April

    Amen sisters and brothers! Also, Debby at Happy Healthy Long Life did a great job demistifying soy about a year ago. It really comes down to processed food vs. whole food. If you are eating a diet of processed food with or without soy (but it mostly all has soy in it regardless), it seems logical that the human body would start to have problems.

    Question: What do you guys think of soy yogurt? I’m on the fence about it and would really appreciate your input. I think I saw somewhere on the net that people are starting to make their own from scratch . . . seems like that might be the way to go? There are lots of chemicals in the soy yogurts at the market.

  • Engine 2 Team
    Posted at 08:29h, 11 April

    Most have WAY too much sugar. There are some recipes out there for homemade though. Yogurt is definitely one of those comfort foods for people, and many have a hard time just ditching it. There is a decent almond milk based yogurt with not a lot of added junk if any at all (fruit sweetened).

    • wendy (healthy girl's kitchen)
      Posted at 09:02h, 11 April

      Really? Can I ask what the brand is on that? I would like to give it a try. Soy Yogurt seems to be one of the few things my younger kids will eat that is still somewhat plant strong, so I’m grasping at straws here! Never tried any of the other alternative yogurts.

  • Engine 2 Team
    Posted at 09:13h, 11 April

    I think it is called Almonde? I’ve only seen it a few times, we don’t do yogurt so it isn’t something I’ve paid much attention to. Happy Herbivore has a recipe to make your own though – you might try that.

    • wendy (healthy girl's kitchen)
      Posted at 09:43h, 11 April

      Thank you so much! I will get the recipe now and give homemade soy yogurt a try this weekend. My mom used to make homemade yogurt (cow’s milk) and it brings back such great memories of my childhood. xoxo

      • wendy (healthy girl's kitchen)
        Posted at 10:28h, 11 April

        These are the ingredients for HH yogurt:

        10 ounces silken tofu
        1 whole banana, cold
        2 tbsp non-dairy milk
        2 tbsp lemon juice
        2 tbsp pure maple syrup

        I think what I am looking to make actually has live and active yogurt cultures in it. I think you take some live yogurt and mix it in with soy milk and let it sit out overnight, but don’t quote me on that! I will do more research and try to find out.

        • Engine 2 Team
          Posted at 11:52h, 11 April

          If they have been tested by a Dr. and have imbalance or leaky gut (which is the reason many people need the cultures) you could just use a plant based probiotic and add it in. However, I can’t imagine that would be okay for most kids, especially if they are already eating plant-strong.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 09:15h, 11 April

    We make our own tofu-based yogurt and cashew-based yogurt and make yogurt parfaits for the kids for breakfast with rolled oats and 3 different fruits (bananas, berries, pears, etc.). Just had it this morning, in fact. I usually fill the blender the night before with all of the ingredients and just blend and serve in the morning for our time constraints.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 16:28h, 11 April

    Wendy, I use HH’s recipe for tofu yogurt, looks like you may have already found the recipe. It is so delicious! and, the cashew-based yogurt is from Dreena Burton’s new cookbook, “Let them Eat Vegan”. Both are so good! And, my kids really enjoy them. Good Luck!

  • Annie (Two Dogs and Spice)
    Posted at 08:56h, 12 April

    Very helpful post, thank you. Also, I completely agree as to the sugar levels in a lot of the yogurts and milks – they can really creep up on you if you don’t check. Chia seeds and unsweetened almond milk might be an option (or at least a base)?

  • Joie
    Posted at 20:13h, 13 April

    I’m amazed that in this entire conversation no one mentioned that, unless it’s clearly marked ORGANIC, all soy products out there are genetically engineered. If this is really about getting and staying healthy, that should be a big concern. And corn is another food that need to be organic if you don’t want GMO’s in your diet. Not to mention papaya, yellow squash, zucchini, and several others foods.

  • Jan Rose
    Posted at 18:08h, 17 April

    Is there a soy sauce substitute other than Braggs Liquid Aminos. It contains Glutamic Acid, which when heated makes something like MSG & I get headaches.

  • Jan Rose
    Posted at 18:26h, 17 April

    Also, need a substitute for brown rice (which I LOVE) because I recently read how much arsenic even organic brown rice pulls from the soil.

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