During April, the Kansas Soybean Commission is celebrating National Soyfoods Month and good nutrition.
“Whether the diet focus is high-quality protein, low-fat, low-carbohydrate foods or maintaining a well-balanced diet, soyfoods offer a variety of healthful options,” said Charlene Patton, a Topeka-based home economist who serves as consumer-media specialist for the Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC).
Patton provides a reminder that including soyfoods does not require new recipes. Soyfoods easily can be included as ingredients in many recipes. Soyflour, soynut butter, edamame, black or yellow soybeans, soy nuts and tofu are just a few options that can be included in favorite recipes.
Soy is low in fat, cholesterol-free and provides high-quality plant protein. The new Soy and Child Nutrition guide — available at kansassoybeans.org — contains the latest health benefits, research, features on heart-smart soyfoods, with reasons soy is good for your health, recipes, snack ideas and a glossary of soyfoods.
There is an article “Jumping for Soy” — 6 reasons why soy is good for kids by Sally Kuzemchak. In her article she talks about how soy contains high-powered protein, iron and fiber — helps lower cholesterol and could contribute toward lowering the risk of getting cancer. In addition, soy offers allergy-friendly alternatives.
Soyfoods were granted a health claim for lowering the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) based on the ability of soy protein to lower cholesterol, according to the Soy Nutrition Institute. Soyfoods are readily available in most stores and may be found among the “natural” foods or throughout the main grocery aisles, such as bakery, produce, meat, dairy, cereal, beverages, pharmacy, snacks and frozen-food sections. Ask the store manager if you are unable to locate a specific soy product.
Consumers may not realize, when purchasing vegetable oil, the only ingredient it contains is soybeans. Soybean oil, known as vegetable oil, provides polyunsaturated fat and both essential fatty acids, omega-6 and omega-3.
“We encourage consumers to explore the many soyfoods available and incorporate healthy soyfoods into their families’ balanced diets alongside soy-fed beef, pork, poultry and dairy products,” Patton said. “Animal agriculture is the largest ‘processor’ of soybeans. In fact, poultry and livestock consume the vast majority of the soybean meal produced in this country, so the soybean checkoff encourages consumer choices toward a balanced diet.”
Another article focused on integrating soyfoods in school menus. Soyfoods used to be mostly niche — available in specialty stores mostly, but not anymore, says author Dayle Hayes. She said that most grocery stores and restaurants offer soyfood alternatives and fresh, canned or edamame can be credited as a vegetable (legume) or as a meat substitute on school menus. Soy beverages — such as soy milk — is becoming very popular.
Hayes also penned an article about soy allergic reactions in children — which can cause mild to very serious reactions.
For a more extensive list of soy ingredients, visit: Kids With Food Allergies (KFA), a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), kidswithfoodallergies.org/soy-allergy.
The Soy and Nutrition Guide features numerous helpful articles, as well as several recipes to try.
For a copy of the guide and additional information and soyfoods recipes from appetizers to desserts, visit kansassoybeans.org/soyfoods on the web or call 877-KS-SOYBEAN (877-577-6923).