Soy Foods And Vegetarian Protein

For vegetarian protein, stay away from processed soy and stick to organic soy foods tofu & tempeh

Tofu Burger

Hi Savvy Vegetarian! I have just discovered your wonderful site while searching for help on cooking tofu. I am a Nebraska beef fed girl (no longer in Nebr.) who went around the table eating everyone else’s fat and chewing on the bones from their steaks when I was little.

Having had high blood pressure for the last 16 years, and carrying about 40 pounds extra, and my husband’s cholesterol meds have just been doubled AGAIN, we decided to try a real change.

The transition has been surprisingly easy, and I am a good enough cook that I am not intimidated by that part. Also, I am reading a very compelling book linking our modern diseases to animal proteins (The China Study).


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I was dismayed when I read a comment on your site saying some people should limit soy intake and others avoid it altogether. Then I googled that topic and it sounds really scary.

Do you have any opinions, since I have found the soy foods quite useful, especially when grilling brats for everyone else, my husband and I felt happy to join in with our tofurkey, to cite just one example. We can and will do with out it, as I already feel so much better, but I just wanted your input. Thanks for your time and great site! – S. A.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

Hi S.A. Thanks for writing! Congratulations on taking this giant step for your health. Stick with it – you’ll be glad you did.

I’ve shifted my position on soy foods, thanks to a well-researched and informative article, Soy Truth, by Virginia Messina and her husband Mark Messina PhD. Soy foods are generally healthy, but for some people, it can cause weight gain, or allergic reactions.


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Go for organic soy foods to avoid GMO’s. Favor traditional soy foods like tofu, tempeh, miso and soy sauce. Limit your consumption of processed soy foods like you would any other processed food.

You don’t need to focus on tofu or soy foods for your protein though.  There are plenty of other sources of vegetarian protein, and it’s nice to have variety in your diet, wouldn’t you say?  Beans and lentils, nuts and seeds have lots of protein. Whole grains, and even some fruits and veggies have protein too.

Of course when you’re grilling with a group, using the veggie meat substitutes is easy. Keep in mind that – just like their meaty friends – they’re often full of sodium, artificial flavoring, fat and preservatives. Consider trying our tofu burger recipe, very quick to make, and holds together well for grilling. Omnivores love them!

The key to good veggie health is a variety of fresh whole foods. I recommend you get the veg nutrition bible, Becoming Vegetarian, by Melina and Davis, and ‘bone up’ on vegetarian nutrition.

All the best, Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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4 Responses to “Soy Foods And Vegetarian Protein”

  1. Savvy Veg says:

    Hi Kakie, I’m sorry but you need professional help with this. For those conditions, you need an individually tailored and professionally monitored therapeutic program. The good news is from everything I’ve read, it’s entirely possible to reverse these and other health conditions through diet AND exercise. I recommend Dr. Susan Brown’s website – she has some excellent support materials and programs. Another I recommend is Dr. Pam Popper on Wellness Forum who can steer you to a naturopathic practitioner. Dr. Gabe Mirkin may have articles about it too.

  2. Kakie says:

    I am 58 years old and have been vegan for 2 months. I have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis and Osteopenia. Please give suggestions what I should eat and quantities.
    The soy news is disturbing to me!
    Thanks!

  3. Debbie says:

    Do you have any suggestions for weight loss options for children?

  4. Sol says:

    liked you discussion of soy. you mentioned “traditional soy foods like tofu, tempeh, miso and soy sauce”. There’s natto, too. good stuff. a recent podcast, japanofiles 28, talks about it:
    http://www.zencast.com/channel.....;cid=12352

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