Soy and Health

What makes tofu so healthy?

  • cholesterol-free
  • low in fat (1 gram saturated fat per serving)
  • 13 grams of protein (4 oz serving firm tofu)
  • low sodium
  • good source of B-vitamins and iron
  • “calcium” variety is excellent source of calcium

Soy foods like tofu, tempeh, and miso have been part of the diet in Asian countries for centuries. William Shurtleff, co-author ofThe Book of Tofu and director of the SoyInfo Center, points out that Okinawa, Japan, has the highest consumption of tofu in that country, and its people have the longest life-span compared to other regions.

Many experts believe that the lower incidence of heart disease in Asian countries is connected to high consumption of soy.

The SoyInfo Center, which promotes soy foods as a healthy, environmentally friendly, and humane alternative to meat products, has a database of approximately 1,000 scientific, peer-reviewed, published studies showing health benefits of eating soy foods.

When the whole food is consumed you get a very different effect than if you consume the concentrated constituents individually.
Dr. William Helferich, Professor of Nutrition, University of Illinois

The Tofu Shop agrees that minimally processed, whole foods are healthier and more wholesome choices than foods with soy protein isolates or concentrates.

In its 2009 report “Behind the Bean: The Heroes and Charlatans of the Natural and Organic Soy Foods Industry, the Social, Environmental, and Health Impacts of Soy”, the Cornucopia Institute points out that:

“soy foods such as tofu and soy milk from many companies that are rated highly in our scorecard are only minimally processed, soaked, heated, ground, strained, curdled, and pressed and are not processed more than other traditional foods such as cheese and yogurt produced from cow’s milk.”

See how we ranked on the scorecard.

Visit the following links for more information about soy and health.

  • Behind the Bean
  • What About Soy? 2010 blog post responding to anti-soy concerns, by John Robbins (esteemed author of Diet for a New America)