The skinny on soy

opt for whole foods for a healthier diet
Source: Masaaki Komori, via Creative Commons

Here's what I've learned over the last couple years: the more humans mess around with food products, the less healthy they become.

It seems the same can be said of soy.

The highly processed form of soy is called soy protein isolate. This protein, also referred to as SPI, is created by stripping the soybean of its naturally occurring fiber, calcium and vitamin C. What's left is a dry powder high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat. SPI is stuffed into your protein bars, shakes, cereals, soups, sauces and meat substitutes. These foods are marketed as health foods, but SPI has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer in some studies.

But not all soy is bad. According to Lourdes Castro, RD, soy found in whole foods like soybeans and tofu has proven to reduce the incidence of breast cancer.

My advice? As always, stick to whole foods as much as possible. When choosing processed foods, make sure you can read the ingredients and try to purchase packaged foods with just 5 ingredients or less.

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