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.