Soy beans happen to be one of the most exciting foods on the planet. Not only are they available in a wide variety of foods, they can be eaten and prepared in numerous ways.
Soybeans can be eaten whole—fresh or frozen as in edamame or dried as in soy nuts. They can also be fermented to make tempeh, miso, or soy sauce, of which the latter two are used primarily to flavor various sweet and savory foods.
They can be soaked, mashed, and heated to create soymilk or curdled to make tofu or bean curd. They’re processed to make oil, flour, and soy noodles. The key thing to remember about soy is that, while all soy foods are derived from the soybean, they are, except for soybeans themselves, essentially processed foods. This isn’t bad; but it does mean that you should read labels when you choose soy foods, and you will have to do some experimenting to find the soy foods you like best.
A daily intake of 25 grams of soy protein is ideal.
6 Popular Forms of Soy Protein
- Four ounces of firm tofu contains 18 to 20 grams of protein.
- One soy “burger” includes 10 to 12 grams of protein.
- An 8-ounce glass (1 cup) of Edensoy original formula soymilk contains approximately 11 grams of protein.
- One soy protein bar delivers 14 grams of protein.
- One-half cup of tempeh provides 16 to 19 grams of protein.
- One-quarter cup of roasted soy nuts contains approximately 15 grams of protein.
How to Shop for Soy Foods
Here’s the key to shopping for soy foods: check the protein content on the label. Many people get very confused about buying soy because they try to rely on the “isoflavones” content as listed on the label. Some foods don’t list isoflavoncs. Some foods list isoflavone amounts that are not accurate. Some foods list isotlavone fortification, but we don’t recommend relying on added isoflavone in food. There simply isn’t evidence to confirm the long-term safety of isoflavone-fortified products.
In general, the best way to learn the isoflavone content of a food is to rely on the listed protein content. The protein content of the food is closely linked to the isoflavone content. You can get the benefits of soy with as little as 10 grams of soy protein a day. For example, 1/4 cup of soy nuts has 15 grams of soy protein. While soy nuts are high in calories, most people love them and are delighted to eat a scant 1/4 cup while relaxing at the end of the day. That’s all it takes to get the benefit of soy!