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Is the soy in your diet safe? Is it healthy? Dr. Oz and nutritionist Ashley Koff identify the best and worst sources of soy to help you make smarter choices at the supermarket.
The only soy foods with health benefits are USDA certified 100% organic, traditionally fermented soy products such as tempeh, miso and natto
- Tempeh, a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor.
- Miso, a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture (commonly used in miso soup).
- Natto, fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor.
- Soy sauce, which is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes; be wary because many varieties on the market today are made artificially using a chemical process.
The claim that soy products can prevent osteoporosis, decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia and protect you from cancer of the prostate, lung and liver is actually true, but ONLY if the soy is fermented.
Popular soy options include:
- Miso: Fermented soybean paste, most commonly used as a flavoring in Asian cooking
- Soy flour: Much higher in proteins but lower in carbohydrates than wheat flour, it usually is mixed with other flours in baking because it has less gluten
- Soy milk: Nondairy beverage made from crushed, cooked soybeans. Like cow milk, soy milk may be fortified with vitamins A and D.
- Edamame: Soybeans cooked in the pod and eaten as a snack
- Tempeh: Soybeans mixed with rice, millet or other grain, then fermented into a rich soybean cake, adding flavor to soups, casseroles, chili or spaghetti
- Tofu: A cheese-like curd made from soybean milk and pressed into soft cakes. Tofu easily takes up the flavor of other ingredients in stir-fries, chili, tacos, salads, noodle dishes and pizza.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.