Discovering Soy Protein Products
Soy is widely used in many food products in the United States. Soybean oil is found in condiments like mayonnaise and salad dressing. However, in order to reap the heart health benefits of lowering bad cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease, you’ll need to consume at least 25 grams of soy protein each day. Soy protein is different than soybean oil. Soy milk and miso are two products to help you get enough soy protein in your diet to lower your risk for heart disease.
The FDA has confirmed that eating at least 25 grams of soy protein per day can lower your bad cholesterol by up to 10%. This can lower your risk for heart disease by up to 20%.
Soy Protein Source #1: All About Soy Milk
Soy milk is the most popular way that soy protein is consumed in the United States. In 2007, 25% of people in the United States ate soy protein at least once per week and 90% of that soy protein was eaten in the form of soy milk. It is made by soaking and grinding soybeans and filtering the resulting mixture. That mixture is mixed with flavoring, sweetener, and a stabilizer to form soy milk. You can buy soy milk in plain, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, eggnog, or coffee flavors. You can buy it in low-fat and non-fat varieties as well.
Soy milk is also available in powdered form. Because it isn’t made from cow’s milk, it doesn’t have any lactose and is a popular alternative for people with lactose intolerance. For more information on milk alternatives like soy milk read, Milk Alternatives for the Lactose Intolerant. There are seven makers of soy milk in the United States. It is widely available and can be found in grocery stores in the refrigerated section near cow’s milk.
For people concerned about missing the nutrients in cow’s milk when they switch to soy milk, they should know that soy milk is fortified with calcium and vitamins B12, A and D. It is also a source of zinc, iron and potassium. Soy milk contains little to no saturated fat but it does contain essential fatty acids that are good for you.
Soy Protein Source #2: All About Miso
What is Miso?
Unlike soy milk, the most frequently consumed soy protein product in the United States, miso is a soy protein product that is lesser known. It is a paste used in soups, dressings, sauces and entrées. It’s available in several different flavors and colors. Miso is high in phytochemicals that are known to prevent cancer. Broccoli and other dark green vegetables like spinach and kale are other good sources of phytochemicals.
Where to Find It
Miso is available in the refrigerated section of specialty grocery stores and Asian markets. You can buy it in three different varieties: barley, rice, and soybean. The Soy Foods Association of North American sites only one maker in the United States; American Soy Products/Eden Foods. Eden foods is self-described as a "dedicated natural food company". The Eden foods website lists four different varieties of miso that range in price from $5.75 to $8.63 for a 12.1 ounce package. Most recipes with miso only call for one or two tablespoons.
Soy: Health Claims for Soy Protein, Questions About Other Ingredients– May, June 200 FDA publication
Consumer Attitudes Towards Nutrition – 2007 publication by the United Soybean Board
This post is part of the series: All About Soy Protein
- Soy Protein’s Increasing Popularity in Western Diet and Culture
- The Many Ways to Eat Soy Protein: Soy Milk and Miso
- The Many Ways to Eat Soy Protein: Tofu and Tempeh
- The Many Ways to Eat Soy Protein: Soy Protein Isolate