What is soy? Does it taste good? Is it any good for you? These were some of the topics that we tackled this morning in our segment on soy. It's one of those products that so many people know of, and perhaps eat from time to time, but are still lacking important info about it. All I know is that I could put soy sauce on everything I eat. But now I have learned that I should buy the low-sodium variety, because two tablespoons of the regular variety (that's nothing!) will equal my entire suggested sodium intake for the day. Madelyn Fernstrom, our diet and nutrition editor, went through a bunch of facts and myths about soy. WATCH VIDEO One of the important points that she made was revealing the myth that all soy foods are healthy. While the product does have many important health benefits, you can't think that eating 6 bags of soy chips is healthy. Just like all other foods, it's all about moderation.
Additionally, soy cannot be thought of as medicine. It DOES have health benefits, such as blocking some bad cholesterol and helping to prevent against heart disease. But again, eating soy doesn't mean you can neglect other medications or check-ups. People with high cholesterol might still need medication -- soy cannot replace that need. It's certainly good for you, but don't fool yourself into thinking you'll live to 100 if you just eat some soy chips every day. Furthermore, one point that Madelyn wanted to get to but ran out of time for relates to breast cancer. Because soy is a form of "weak" estrogen, breast cancer survivors should avoid eating soy, since it could conflict with hormones in the body. Especially in light of all the cancer talk that is in the news lately, this point is very important and relevant.
Finally, Madelyn wanted to show people that there are so many varieties of soy products that readily available -- it's not just big chunks of tofu. Everything from soy buffalo wings to soy burgers to soy lobsters (yes, I said "lobsters") are in most supermarkets. While the lobster looked a little scary and we didn't put it on the coffee table with the other props for the segment, lots of the varieties looked pretty good. So there are healthy alternatives out there. A little soy education is a good thing. Soy vey is right.