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Are Soy Benefits and Nutritional Claims Hype or Facts?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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Are Soy Benefits and Nutritional Claims Hype or Facts?
It is a fact that the protein derived from 'Soybeans' is often used to replace animal proteins in an individual’s diet. Soybeans belonging to the family of legumes are both cholesterol free and low in saturated fat. Not only do they have all the essential amino acids, they are also a terrific source of fiber, calcium, B vitamins, zinc and iron.

People use soy products to prevent or treat a variety of health conditions, including high cholesterol levels, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, osteoporosis, memory problems, high blood pressure, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.

Of late research is indicating that soy protein may help in reducing serum concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) & trigylcerides. The FDA has recently allowed limited health claims to be made in favor of soy protein as an alternate protein that can provide certain nutritional benefits.

But are all claims being made accurate?



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User Comments

12 October, 2010 | Sampada | Reply

Sampada This article is great, gives complete details of soy and its benefits, also pointing at its limitations.

Thanks for the post.

14 September, 2010 | Estefania | Reply

Estefania I am sure with over 2 decades of research the FDA or other food researcher organisations would be clear on whether Soy is good or not,What kind of benefits can be expected,How much of soy to be consumed per day and how it should be eaten.Dont tell me they are still groping in the dark?

14 September, 2010 | Kim | Reply

Kim Dear Geetanjali how does fresh soybeans or edamame compare to dried soy beans We definitely do not process it like any of the products you have mentioned? Is it safe to eat edamame? Do you recommend any particular method of cooking?

18 June, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Dear Dr.Kalahasti,

According to the FDA, to qualify for the soy protein health claim, foods must contain at least 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving and comply to other criteria, such as low content of fat, sodium and cholesterol.

Foods must contain per serving:

* 6.25 g soy protein
* less than 3 g fat
* less than 1 g saturated fat
* less than 20 mg cholesterol
* less than 480 mg sodium for individual foods, less than 720 mg sodium
for main dish, and less than 960 mg sodium for complete meal.

Four servings of such foods can be included in a day's diet, from which the total soy protein would be 25 grams. This amount is needed to show considerable health value.

Thank you for your query.

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy,
Senior Dietitian,

18 June, 2010 | Geetanjali | Reply

Geetanjali Soy and soy as protein isolates are widely consumed for health benefits. Soy contains many anti-nutritional components- saponins, trypsin, protease inhibitors. However processing of soy to soy nuggets, soymilk, tempeh, or tofu inhibits the anti-nutritional components and enhance the health benefits of soy.

Geetanjali Kelkar

09 July, 2010 | Samanhita | Reply

Samanhita Is Soy the only lentil that contains so many anti- nutritional components?

18 June, 2010 | Dr Kalahasti | Reply

Dr Kalahasti Dear Sangeetha, your article does not tell us what is the health claim FDA has permitted. Can you please apprise us on what they have said?
Thank you

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