Painless Ways to Add Soy to Your Diet

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Terrified of tofu? Sour on soymilk? No worries. If you look closely at products in your supermarket, you’ll be surprised at the new places soy has surfaced … from soup to nuts, literally.

More and more people are motivated to supplement their diets with soy as evidence about the health benefits of soy protein continues to mount. Just in the past few months, studies have suggested benefits ranging from protecting the lumbar spines of women ages 49-65, to reducing colon cancer and heart disease.

A Tufts University study showed that soy protein may lower “bad” (vitamin C. Though it may seem fairly high in fat, the fat comes mainly from tofu and some added canola oil, so it contributes desirable monounsaturated fats along with some polyunsaturated fats (including some healthy plant omega-3s).

  • How does it taste? Pretty good. I sliced it and fried it in a nonstick pan with canola cooking spray. I could particularly see using this sausage in recipes. It holds its shape well in cooking and blends well with the other flavors in a dish.
  • Morningstar Farms Veggie Breakfast Sausage Links

    • Where to find it: The frozen food aisle.
    • What’s in it? The first four ingredients are textured vegetable protein (wheat gluten, soy protein concentrate, and water), water, egg whites, and corn oil. Package did not list grams of soy protein per serving.
    • Nutritional analysis: 2 links = 80 calories, 9 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 320 mg sodium. Also: 50% Daily Value for vitamin B-12 and 8% iron.
    • How does it taste? I have had meatless sausage links that tasted so bad I couldn’t even swallow them, but these were surprisingly good. The texture seemed nice, too. I’m not sure if children or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
      Sliced black olives (optional)
      5 ounces reduced-fat tortilla chips or baked tortilla chips (crumbled lightly with hands)

      Dressing:
      1/2 cup fat-free or light sour cream (or substitute soy sour cream)
      1/2 cup mild salsa

      • Brown the veggie protein crumbles until nicely browned in a large nonstick skillet. Let cool.
      • In a large bowl, toss the soy crumbles with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and beans. Add sliced olives if desired.
      • In small bowl, blend dressing ingredients well. Add the crumbled chips and dressing to the rest of the salad ingredients right before serving.

    Makes 6 servings.

    Per serving: 376 calories, 25 g protein, 50 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat (0.9 g saturated fat, 3.6 g monounsaturated, 1.9 g polyunsaturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 12.5 g fiber, 800 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 17%.