Soy foods aren’t just for vegetarians anymore. With so many options, from edamame to tempeh, and plenty of health benefits to including soy in your diet, there’s every reason to enjoy them.
According to a 2005 study by the U.S. Soybean Board, 30 percent of Americans consume soyfoods or beverages at least once a month. Tofu is an economical, low-fat and cholesterol-free protein source. And consuming 25 grams of soy protein a day (about 1 1/4 cups of tofu or edamame or 3 1/2 cups soymilk) may help reduce risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels.
There are several soy-based options beyond tofu. Try tempeh—a soybean loaf with a heartier texture than tofu. Soymilk works deliciously in breakfast smoothies or nondairy “milkshakes.” Add edamame (fresh soybeans) to salads and stir-fries. Roasted soy nuts can be used in trail mix or eaten on their own as a crunchy snack. Or use soy sauce and miso to flavor food with the dark, earthy flavors so familiar in Asian cuisine.