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eNews from Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Top 5 Reasons to Eat Soyfoods: The Most Promising Research of 2014

PR Newswire -- WASHINGTON, DC -- December 16, 2014 -- Soy is one of the most researched foods on Earth. From sustainable growing practices to its effects on lowering blood cholesterol and losing weight, hundreds of studies are conducted on this unique bean each year. We've read most of the studies, scoured the data for you, and determined what is sound science based on study design, objective, outcome, sample size, and more.

Here's what you need to know from the catalog of 2014 research:

#1: Soy Helps Curb Your Appetite, Manage Weight
We're not saying soy is a magic pill to weight loss, but research does show that soy fiber and soy protein, as part of a balanced diet, can help you stay on track to meeting your weight and health goals in the New Year.

Soy fiber increases satiety (the feeling of being full) and decreases spontaneous food consumption, therefore decreasing caloric intake. Researchers in China found overweight and obese adults were able to decrease body weight and body mass index (BMI) after 12 weeks of consuming soy fiber products once a day. You can find soy fiber in whole soybeans and edamame, some nutrition bars such as SOYJOY, and soy flour, which has more than seven times the fiber as whole wheat flour at 20 grams of fiber per cup.

Another study, this one with teenagers, found a high-protein soy-based snack kept the teens feeling full and satisfied longer, and consequently led to less snacking later in the day. And, on the other end of the age spectrum, a large-scale study on 50 to 75 year olds revealed a connection between eating more soyfoods and having less belly fat.

The bottom line, findings show soy protein and fiber may lead to better appetite control.

#2: Soy Helps Control Blood Sugar and Diabetes
A staggering 115 million Americans – or 37 percent of the population – have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Several promising studies this year showed soy-based foods and beverages are effective in helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and improve your body's insulin response – both important factors in controlling diabetes.

A German study swapped two daily meals for a low-calorie, high-soy-protein drink and found, after six weeks, people had a significant decrease in body weight, BMI and insulin resistance. For people with pre-diabetes, the soy protein stabilized elevated blood sugar and insulin levels.

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that partly replacing meat at meals for four weeks with soy-based meat alternatives and soy nuts resulted in greater blood sugar stabilization and showed clear advantages for improving insulin sensitivity.

#3: Tofu on Trend
Tofu is not just for vegetarians anymore. It has grown in popularity and can be seen on many restaurant menus, from fast casual to fine dining – and more at-home chefs are creating tasty meals with the ingredient, as they find recipes to cook with it.

Researchers from Cornell University Food and Brand Lab investigated the various motivators in adding a healthy food to the diet. The study, The Case of Tofu, found promoting tofu as easy-to-prepare and affordable are the best ways to get people to try the plant-based, complete protein and the way in which nutrition professionals should approach behavior change.

Soon after, well-known food critic and author Mark Bittman wrote an article for The New York Times on the increasing appeal of tofu. As Bittman stresses, tofu does not have to be an unwelcome substitute for more widely accepted protein sources such as chicken or beef. Rather, by finely crumbling tofu into a faux chorizo sausage for vegetarian tacos, or using the silken version in soups and chocolate pudding, tofu offers endless possibilities and should be taken seriously in the kitchen.

#4: Soy Leaves Your Heart Pounding for More
In the U.S., heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and about half of all Americans have at least one risk factor for developing this serious condition.

The Journal of Nutrition study that found better blood sugar control (above) also showed the benefits of swapping meat for 30g of soy protein, boldly demonstrating a 4 percent decrease in total cholesterol and 9 percent decrease in LDL (the bad) cholesterol. And the Chinese study that confirmed soy fiber's benefit in weight loss also highlighted the reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels after 12 weeks of consuming soy once a day.

These results can have a significant impact in lowering heart disease risk; every 1 percent reduction in blood cholesterol reduces heart disease mortality by 2 percent.

The health of your arteries matters, too; and research (including this and this study) indicates soy keeps arteries strong so your heart doesn't have to work as hard.

#5: Unexpected Findings Beyond the Plate
Soy's important role in a healthful diet and reducing risk for several diseases are pretty well known, but did you know a compound in soy sauce may help stop the spread of HIV?

A team of virologists at the University of Missouri-Columbia have revealed that EFdA, a flavor enhancer found in soy sauce, is 70 times more potent against HIV than Tenofovir, one of the most-used HIV drugs. Soy sauce isn't a cure, but researchers are now using this compound to find pharmaceutical solutions for HIV prevention, with a goal of minimizing transmission of the virus, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 70 percent of HIV cases occur.

If you would like to speak with an expert in a particular field of study, to sign up for the monthly Soy Study Share, or to request additional information on soyfoods, please visit or contact Andrea Albersheim at 202-659-3520 or

About Soyfoods Association of North America
The Soyfoods Association of North America (SANA) is a non-profit trade association that has been promoting consumption of soy-based foods and beverages since 1978. SANA is committed to encouraging sustainability, integrity and growth in the soyfoods industry. More information is available at

Soyfoods Association of North America
Andrea Albersheim, Director of Communications

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SOURCE Soyfoods Association of North America 

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