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Soy Beefs Up Vegetarian Diet

It's an inexpensive way to add protein to food

FRIDAY, Oct. 18, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- If you want an inexpensive way to add protein to your diet, soy is your answer, says the October issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Soy can also help you reduce your intake of calories, saturated fat and cholesterol when you use it as a substitute for meat. Here are some suggestions on how to do that:

  • Use tofu, a spongy soy product, in stir-fry dishes or scramble it like eggs. Crumble partially thawed tofu into any recipes that call for meat. Tofu absorbs the flavors of the foods that are cooked with it.
  • Soy burgers look and taste similar to ground beef.
  • Roasted soy nuts come in a variety of flavors and taste similar to peanuts.
  • Use soy milk with cereal or in coffee or a smoothie. Check to see that soy milk you buy is fortified with calcium and B vitamins.
  • Substitute soy flour for up to 20 percent of the total flour you use in baked goods.

The Mayo Clinic Health Letter notes there are some concerns about the link between soy isoflavones and breast cancer. However, it adds that including soy foods as part of a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet doesn't seem to be a health risk.

More information

There's more about soy at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, October 2002
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