Should I Worry About Regular Fish Consumption?


Hi there! We are knee deep in summer and these sunny days have me smiling from ear to ear. For me, summertime isn’t just about the warm weather, for me it’s also about the experiences and of course, the food! Growing up, a typical evening was spent out on the lake fishing. Even though I only tolerated fish with a half a cup of tartar sauce, I loved spending time with family and soaking up that summer sunshine. Continue reading “Should I Worry About Regular Fish Consumption?”

Health Benefits of Soy

Health Benefits of Soy -

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley.

The month of April celebrates soyfoods!  I know there is a lot of confusion out there about soy, that is why it is important to remember to get your information from a reputable source. Many of you have come to my classes and presentations and you know that I am constantly correcting those pockets of misinformation, so here is another one!  Here are some science based facts in an article about soy straight from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

“Soyfoods, such as soybeans, edamame, tofu and soymilk, have been important in Asian diets for at least 1,500 years. For example, people in Japan average1–1½ serving of soy products per day.” sums soy up simply by stating: “Soy, a versatile bean grown in many countries around the world. It is found in foods like soy milk, soy sauce, miso (soybean paste), tempeh (which is kind of like a soy cake), and tofu. Soy is also sometimes added to foods like breads, cereals, and meat products, and used as a meat substitute in vegetarian products such as soy burgers and soy hot dogs.

Foods that contain whole soy are a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans because they provide all the amino acids — a type of nutrient — that people need to stay healthy. (People who eat meat get all their essential amino acids from animal products)”

What’s the difference between Soybeans and Edamame?

The difference between soybeans and edamame is in the level of maturity when the beans are harvested. Soybeans are mature, while edamame is harvested while the beans are still young and soft. You can make soybeans into products such as miso, soybean paste, tofu, soybean curd, tempeh or fermented soybeans; however, you can also eat soybeans on their own. Roasted soybeans are also called soy nuts, according to the University of Michigan. Edamame beans are less mature, sweeter soybeans that you eat when they are still green. Eat them for snacks, in stir-fry, salads or add them to chili.

National Soy Foods Month - Soy Swaps - www.cobornsblog.comSoy is very Nutritious.

One-half cup of cooked soybeans contains: 29% daily value (DV) of protein, 21% DV of fiber, 25% DV of iron, 14% DV of calcium, as well as at least 9% DV of 10 other essential vitamins and minerals. Soy protein is a plant protein with all 8 essential amino acids, making it equivalent to animal protein, thus a complete protein. In addition, soy is rich in health promoting bioactives, such as isoflavones, saponins, and phytosterols, as well as the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. These are the heart healthy fats, we should all be striving to get more of each and every day!

Isoflavones, the compounds in soy which have captured the attention of both researchers and the public, are phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). These phytoestrogens are the source of much confusion over soy safety. However, although they are similar in some ways to estrogen, they act very differently in the body than estrogen and may have a variety of positive effects on health. Isoflavones may have weak estrogen-like activity in some cases that are affected by estrogen hormones, but have no effect or opposite effects in other cases.

Soy for Men’s Health

There is no scientific evidence that soyfoods cause feminizing effects in men. Even though phytoestrogens are similar in structure to estrogen, they do not impact testosterone or estrogen levels in men, according to multiple research studies, and they do not affect sperm count, quality or motility.

Soy intake may help protect against prostate cancer. A meta-analysis of studies showed soy intake was linked to a 30% reduction in risk.

Soy for Women’s Health

Soy intake does not increase breast cancer risk; in fact it’s even safe for breast cancer survivors. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the latest science shows soy consumption either has a slightly protective effect or no effect on breast cancer risk. Interestingly, studies show consuming soyfoods during childhood or adolescence may have a protective effect against breast cancer. Although more research needs to be conducted in this area, soy may help lessen hot flashes during menopause, according to a recent systematic review.

How Much Soy Can I Consume?

Studies show that soyfood intake of two to four servings a day is safe. A serving is: 1 cup soymilk or cultured soymilk “yogurt”; 1/2 cup cooked soybeans, edamame, tempeh or tofu; 1/3 cup soynuts; a soy rich nutrition bar, or a veggie burger.

One of the easiest ways to introduce soy into your diet is to drink soymilk, the only plant-based, lactose free, nutritionally comparable alternative to dairy with an average of 7 grams protein per serving. You can replace dairy milk with fortified soymilk as a beverage in cereal or coffee, or in recipes such as smoothies, baked goods, sauces and casseroles.

Be sure it is unsweetened so that it doesn’t contribute added sugars.

Soy Benefits

Eating soy may help protect against heart disease, the number one killer in the U.S. Soy foods, low in saturated fats and rich in fiber and other beneficial plant compounds, may modestly lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and work through other mechanisms to protect heart health, and provide an excellent alternative for other protein choices, such as red meat. Soy may be beneficial for athletic performance and recovery. Soy is not only rich in high-quality, complete protein that can help support muscle growth during training, it is rich in antioxidant compounds that may help reduce oxidative stress associated with exercise. Soy may help protect your bones. A recent study found that drinking fortified soymilk—which contains comparable amounts of calcium and vitamin D as dairy milk—is linked with bone protection.

Soft or Extra-Firm?

Try to include tofu as a meat replacement at least once a week; it’s excellent as a substitute for chopped chicken, ground beef, or cheese in a range of recipes. Tofu comes in a variety of textures, ranging from soft to extra firm. Use firm or extra firm tofu for slicing into stir-fries, casseroles, side-dishes or salads. If you’d like to puree tofu into dressings, fillings, dips or smoothies, try soft or silken tofu.”


© 2014 Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) Contributed by: Sharon Palmer, RD

Click on this link for some fabulous soy recipes! Give it a shot, what do you have to lose?

Happy Cooking!


Peace and Wellness,

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