Soy contains the isoflavones (also called phytoestrogens) genistein and diadzen that are not found in any other foods. These isoflavones have been scientifically proven to reduce blood cholesterol levels and slow down bone loss, thus preventing heart disease and osteoporosis. For some women, isoflavone intake also has reduced symptoms of menopause, specifically hot flashes.
Soy Protein Content Chart
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that 25 grams of soy protein per day will reduce blood cholesterol levels by about 12 percent. Here are examples of common soy foods and their usual soy protein content range. Check labels on the brands you buy.
- 3 ounces water-packed tofu — 6 to 13 grams
- 3 ounces silken tofu — 6 grams
- 8 ounces plain soy milk — 3 to10 grams
- 8 ounces Edensoy Extra Plain soy milk — 10 grams
- 8 ounces vanilla soy milk — 3 to 6 grams
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) soy nuts — 12 grams
- 2 tablespoons soy nut butter — 6 to 8 grams
- 1 soy burger — 10 grams
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) tempeh — 16 to 22 grams
- 1/2 cup canned white soybeans — 13 grams
- 1/2 cup canned black soybeans — 11 grams
- 2/3 cup (3 ounces) edamame — 6 grams
- 2/3 cup green (sweet) soybeans — 7 to 9 grams
- 1/2 cup rehydrated textured vegetable protein (TVP) — 12 grams
Getting 25 Grams a Day
It's easier than you may think to get 25 grams of soy protein a day. Here are some sample meal plans.
Sample Day 1
- Breakfast — Soy nut butter on toast (6 grams soy protein)
- Lunch — 1/2 cup black soybeans on salad (9 grams soy protein)
- Dinner — 1 soy burger (10 grams soy protein)
Sample Day 2
- Breakfast — 1 cup Edensoy Extra plain soy milk over cereal (10 grams soy protein)
- Snack — 1/4 cup soy nuts (12 grams soy protein)
- Dinner — Appetizer of 2/3 cup edamame (6 grams soy protein)
Sample Day 3
- Breakfast — 1 cup vanilla soy milk (6 grams soy protein)
- Dinner — 4 ounces tempeh in spaghetti sauce (22 grams soy protein)
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
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