Food and Nutrition

The 4 Rules to Follow When Eating Soy, According to a Dietitian

Food can be… confusing. Should you be avoiding gluten at all costs? Gobbling up avocados as fast as humanly possible? Well+Good's nutrition experts are setting the story straight when it comes to food, cutting through the hype and hand-wringing and getting you the most comprehensive information on what you should (and maybe shouldn't) put in that body of yours. See All

Is soy healthy or not? Get the lowdown from a top dietitian by watching this video.

Despite plant-based eating completely taking over the food scene right now, there's still a lot of confusion around one major source: soy. Some healthy eaters are all about it and gladly fill their grocery carts with tofu and tempeh. Others stay far away, worried about the rumored affect it has on hormones. Fortunately, registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, sets the record straight on the protein in the latest episode of You Versus Food.

"In general, soy is a good source of plant based protein for vegetarians and vegans," Beckerman says, adding that it is one of the few nutritionally complete plant proteins (meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids). She also says that having soy as a regular part of your diet could help lower bad cholesterol in the body. As for all the dangers of soy you may have heard about, Beckerman says the vast majority of the rumors aren't true, especially the idea that consumption is linked to breast cancer.

That said, the healthy eating expert does have a few rules of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to reaping all the soy benefits. One: it should only be eaten occasionally, two servings a day tops. (She's not into the idea of having a tofu scramble with a soy milk latte for breakfast, edamame as a snack, a tempeh "hot dog" for lunch, and a soy burger for dinner.)

There are three more rules Beckerman has when it comes to soy consumption; check out the full episode above to get the intel. You'll be er, soy, happy you did!

For more healthy eating tips, here's what to fill your plate with to lower inflammation and to keep your energy levels up.

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