Soy is More Than Tofu (V).
By Terry Hobbs.
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|Excessive consumption of sodium and/or protein increases calcium loss; this is particularly true with dairy foods. Soy, on the other hand, provides protein and calcium without as much calcium loss as dairy. In Japan, where isoflavone consumption averages 200 mg a day (compared to less than 5 mg aday in western countries), Japanese women have lower rates of osteoporosis (and heart disease).
Soy consumption may also help reduce some of the symptoms of menopause because phytoestrogens may produce enough estrogenic activity in the body. For example, Japanese women rarely report the symptoms of peri-menopause (like hot flashes) that are common in the west.
You don’t have to eat tofu to get the benefits of soy. You can have any of the following.
Soymilk -- The liquid expressed from cooked, pureed soybeans. It can be used in the same way as cow's milk. Different brands have different flavors, so you should try a few if you don’t like the first brand. But remember that soymilk does not taste like cow’s milk. You’ll find soymilk in aseptic quart and 2-quart sized packaging that does not need refrigerating until after opening.
Tempeh -- This product is made from fermented, compressed soybeans. It has a nutty flavor and chewy texture and absorbs other flavors well. Before use in recipes, it is normally steamed 10 minutes to make it more digestible and to keep it moist whenbaked. Tempeh can also be fried. It is sold in refrigerator sections in plastic-wrapped, rectangular slabs.
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