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Soy Madness

Chinese food is probably the closest we get to tofu on an everyday basis. But as CBS News Health Correspondent Dr. Emily Senay reports, this soybean product is not only good for you, but tastes good too.

Soybeans contain an ingredient called isoflavone. These are plant-like estrogens that reduce the risk of high cholesterol. If you have a LDL with one 160 or higher, 30 milligrams of isoflavone, which is found very simply in about 3.5 ounces of tofu, will reduce your cholesterol by 10 percent.

 Some Sources of Soy:
  • Soy flour (Can be put it into recipes)
  • Soy oil.
  • Soybeans can be used to make grits.
  • Soy powder.
  • Soy butter.
  • Soy shake
  • Yogurt-covered soybeans.
  • Soybeans, boiled in salt (can be found in some supermarkets). Be sure you don't eat the shell.
  • One glass of soy milk gives you all the isoflavones you need in a day.

Isoflavones have also piqued the interest of researchers. These "estrogens" are known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, hot flashes during menopause, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

While this information remains controversial, we know that Asian diets are high in soy and have lowered the rates of all these diseases.

There are a variety of foods with soy:

  • Soybeans top the list. These beans are in the legume family, but, unlike other beans, they are the highest in protein. They are also high in calcium and fiber.
  • Cheesecake can be made with tofu.
  • Tofu dogs can be marinated in soy and thrown on the grill.
  • Garden burgers, high in tofu, are also delicious.
  • You can take supplements. But Dr. Senay does not recommend these if you have breast cancer or a history of breast cancer. Talk to your doctor before you take those as supplements. There are also powders.
If you can't stomach the food, look for the isoflavones on the ingredient label. Not all soy products necessarily contain isoflavones or the soy protein.

Miso soup and soy sauce do not work, says Dr. Senay. "They do not contain the good things to give you the benefit. They are high in salt," she explains.

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