Soy has gotten a bad rep for too long. The truth is that soy is a great low carb meat-alternate protein option. Even if you are not looking for a low carb meat alternate-option, soy is a great option. There was a great cohort study published in the ‘Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ which highlights the benefits of soy and how it reduces mortality from all causes, and reduces cancer and cardiovascular disease. What does this mean? Basically you are not putting yourself in danger by incorporating soy protein into your diet. In fact, you will be decreasing your cancer risks. Now that we know this, what are some good food sources of soy that you can start incorporating into your diet?
Edamame: A preparation of immature soybeans in the pod. The pods are boiled or steamed then tossed in a sauce or seasonings and served. When eating this, you will pick up the pod with your fingers and bite the pod to strip out the inner seeds into your mouth. This way you get all the flavor of the sauce and seasonings along with the seeds (the part you want to eat) then you discard the pods.
Tempeh: A soy product made from fermented soybeans. The natural cultured and controlled fermentation process binds the beans together into a form referred to as a cake. To eat tempeh, simply cut it into pieces or chunks similar to when you are cutting up chicken, beef, or pork that is being added to a stir-fry. Then do just that, add it to your stir-fry as a protein option. Tempeh can even be found already marinated in your local grocery store to taste like bacon. This makes tempeh is a great option for a bacon replacement to make a delicious summertime BLT.
Tofu: A formed soy bean curd made from soy milk, which can be found in silken, soft, firm, and extra firm consistencies. The various forms of tofu are used for different recipes. For example, to make a tofu mousse or shake, you will want to use the silken or soft textured tofu. For using tofu in a stir-fry, you will want to buy extra firm tofu then dry it out by pressing it with weight and paper towels. After that you will put the "dry" tofu in a container with a flavorful marinade and let it sit just like meat. Remove from the marinade, then grill, bake, fry, or sauté and enjoy!