Many of you have heard of various soy products, but what are they and are they healthy options for after your weight loss surgery? Soy products include edamame, tofu, tempeh and soymilk. You’ll also find soy in various packaged items, like protein bars, veggie burgers, baked goods, cereals, and more. Turn over five packaged foods in your house and check out the ingredients. At least one of those items likely says it contains soy in one form or another. That’s because soy is used for all kinds of reasons beyond nutrition, including adding texture, flavor, protein, etc. It is very versatile and soy is a very inexpensive crop to grow in the USA, so it is used frequently!
Soy products are a great source of protein, fiber and various other nutrients. They are also low in calories, so they can be a big help for weight loss. Soy foods may actually help lower risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer.
However, there are many myths out there about soy foods that make them sound not so good for you. There are compounds found in soy called isoflavones, which have estrogen-like effects in the body. Because of this, many assume that if men were to eat soy foods, they’d have more estrogen in their bodies and become more “feminine.” This is proven to be untrue by multiple studies. The estrogen-like effects also scare people into thinking it would increase breast cancer risk, but this has also been shown to be a myth. Another myth involves soy foods and isoflavones adversely affecting thyroid function, but there is, in fact, no evidence that soy foods or isoflavones affect thyroid function.
Given all of that information, soy foods are worth working into your diet on occasion. Don’t just assume you don’t like them if you haven’t even tried them before. Try them and you might actually find that you like them!