Whether you're looking to reduce your meat consumption, find a substitus to dairy products because of intolerance, or simply experimente simple swaps and additions to your flexitarian diet, plant-based foods and drinks fulfill all your needs. A new study from Canada's McGill University has looked at the four most-commonly consumed types of plant-based milk drinks (almond milk, soy milk, rice milk and coconut milk) and compared their nutritional values to those of cow's milk. They found that after cow's milk, which is still the most nutritious, soy milk was the "clear winner."
Soy is on of the most famous plant-based foods. According to Dietitians of Canada, soybeans are high in quality protein; 175 ml (¾ cup) of cooked soybeans contains as much protein as 75 g (125 ml (½ cup) of cooked meat, chicken or fish. Like meat, soybeans contain all the essential building blocks, or amino acids, in amounts we need for health. Soybeans are unique among beans because they contain compounds called isoflavones which are a type of phytoestrogen. The phytoestrogen has a similar structure to the hormone estrogens and has an estrogen like effect in the body. Soy is also an excellent source of minerals calcium and iron.
Meet a registered dietitian during your Medisys preventive health assessment and get healthy advices adapted to your lifestyle.
A regular intake of soy can:
- Lower total and bad cholesterol (LDL) and prevent its oxidation(25-50g of soy protein per day)
- Increase good cholesterol (HDL)
- Lower blood pressure and keep blood vessels healthy
- Help prevent osteoporosis by delaying bone loss and increasing bone density
- Decrease the intensity of perimenopausal symptoms such has hot flashes (50mg of isoflavone per day)
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What are good sources of soy isoflavones and soy protein?
How to increase soy intake in your diet?
- Soy beverages are an excellent substitute for milk in cereal, in smoothies, coffee and soups. For a boost in calcium and vitamin D choose a fortified product.
- Soybeans are convenient to use, just open the can and rinse the beans before adding them to soups, casseroles, chili and curries. Or mash them and add them to a burger mix.
- Soy flour available in health food stores and some supermarkets can be used as a substitute for up to half of the all purpose flour in recipes for breads, muffins, loaves and cookies.
- Soy meats are ready-to-eat or frozen soy foods resemble meat and can be used to replace burgers, hot dogs, deli cold cuts and ground beef.
Looking for healthy recipes? Download our FREE Medisys recipe book created by our registered dietitians.
- Soy nuts: this roasted snack food come in flavored varieties and has less fat and more fiber than other nuts. Sprinkle on salads, stir into yogurt or enjoy them on their own.
- Tempeh: a cake of fermented soybean mixed with grains, tempeh is good sliced and added to casseroles and stir fries or grilled in kebabs and burgers.
- Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) made from soy flour is sold in packages as granules. Rehydrate them with an equal amount of water or broth and use them to replace ground meat in pasta sauces, lasagna, chili and tacos.
- Tofu: use soft tofu in smoothies, dips, lasagna and cheesecakes, firm tofu is best for grilling and stir frying. Or add cubes of firm tofu to soups for a vegetarian protein boost.
- Soy protein powder: make a morning power shake with one table spoon of soy protein powder made from isolated soy protein.
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