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Do Soy Rich Foods Lower Diabetes Risk and Help Control Diabetes?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
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For long Soy was being advocated for diabetics as earlier studies had shown that a regular intake -

  • Appeared to reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Improve glucose tolerance and lower HbA1c level.
  • Positively lower risk factors for heart disease such as LDL ('bad') cholesterol, triglycerides and homocysteine.
  • Like any plant protein reduce protein loss in the urine and improve kidney function in diabetics with kidney disease.



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User Comments

22 June, 2010 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Hello Ambika
I suggest you don’t panic. Tofu is good, so please include it in your meal on and off, but do not make a meal of it. IDA has not come out with any statement, as research is still on but we still go by the claim by USDA that 25 gms of Soy per day is definitely safe.
Around ¼ cup of tofu per day will sufficiently enrich your meal, give adequate benefit without any possible ill effects. However there are other factors about your diet and life style that you can also modify to bring down your high cholesterol and sugar. I suggest you register and take up 6 month health package( Glucose Stabilisation and Obesity reduction program) with us and we will help you manage both your health challenges by dedicating a dietitian to you and customising your program.
Thank you
Vijayalakshmi Iyengar
Sr Dietitian,

19 June, 2010 | Poonam Vaswani | Reply

Poonam Vaswani It has been seen that Asians especially the Japanese have a low incidence of certain diseases and this has been attributed to soy by many. However a closer look shows that they do not have a very large consumption of soy. Westerners probably eat many times that amount on a daily basis in the form of solid soy products and soy milk. Some of the studies which have shown that soy can adversely affect health have also used unusually high quantities.
It is best to use soy products in moderation, alongwith a balanced diet which includes a variety of foods.

18 June, 2010 | Kanika Jain | Reply

Kanika Jain Soy is one of the very good source of protein especially for vegetarians. Along with that,it is rich source of isoflavones too but again, moderation is key word for soy consumption.

Kanika Jain

18 June, 2010 | Janki Patel | Reply

Janki Patel Dear Ranjana,
Soy is a legume with multiple benefits. If one takes it in moderation, will be beneficial rather then harmful.Vegetarians must thrive upon such protein sources.Soy is not found good for hypothyroidism. But as far as diabetes is concerned, it will be good for you.

18 June, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Soy is the plant source of complete protein. It is extremely low in cholesterol and saturated fat. It is a rich source of isoflavones, fiber and contains both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Consuming about 25-30 grams of soy on a regular basis is shown to have positive health benefits. When soy is included in our daily diet along with fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and pulses, it will help in glucose and cholesterol control and managing weight. Therefore you can continue to use soy in your diet.

Thank you for your queries,
Sangeetha Narayana Swamy,
Senior Dietitian,

18 June, 2010 | Jyothi Prakash | Reply

Jyothi Prakash I am so confused, please tell me can I include soya in my familys diet or not and if yes, how much and in what form? With all these conflicting reports you do not know what to do.

18 June, 2010 | Ranjana | Reply

Ranjana I am a diabetic- glucose controld, so should I stop eating my soy/veggie burger I make at home. These are small burgers I make at home with very little fat and quite a few vegetbles. What can I use instead. We are vegetarians?

17 June, 2010 | Ambika, | Reply

Ambika, As a vegetarian who has always had cholesterol and high sugar, and loves tofu, I am a little surprised at this turn of events.
Does it mean I should cut back on how much tofu I eat or not? How much is too much?

Who are we supposed to believe and why? Each study comes up with a different opinion. Some of these studies are very small. Should I give up eating or eat less or even change my healthy eating habit because of these small new study.

What does the Indian dietetians (IDA??) association have to say about this. This could affect a lot of vegetarians who have high sugar levels.

16 June, 2010 | Sunita, Ahmedabad | Reply

Sunita, Ahmedabad Hi, I have a dumb question, sorry.
We eat a lot of tofu and edamames in our weekly diet. Can one get too much soy? Is there any sort of upper limit to eating it? Can it harm in any way.

One last thing - can you suggest a few basic recipes for soy.

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