Karen Chapman Novakovski - Associate Professor of Nutrition

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Soy Protein in Your Diabetic Diet

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In 1999 the FDA was prompted to allow a health claim on food labels stating that a daily diet containing 25 grams of soy protein, also low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. This is about 4 daily servings of whole soy – not supplements.

There are many soybean products on the market that contain protein:

Miso (MEE-soh) is a fermented soybean paste that can be included in dips, marinades, sauces, and soups. Three tablespoons of miso has the same protein and carbohydrate content as one half cup of kidney beans ( about 15 grams of carbohydrate, 10 grams of protein, and 0-1 gram of fat).

Soy milk is a non-dairy drink made from cooked soybeans. The vitamin and mineral content of soy milk will vary with the brand so read the label. A 1-cup serving equals a 1-cup serving of fat-free milk for carbohydrate and protein content (about 12 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein).

Tempeh (TEHM-peh) is a mixture of soybeans and a grain, like rice, which is then fermented into a cake. It can be added to casseroles or grilled. One-fourth cup of tempeh equals one ounce of a medium fat meat (0 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat).

Tofu (TOH-foo) is a curd made from soybean milk and pressed into cakes. It can be added to casseroles or stir fry dishes. Four ounces or one-half cup of tofu equals 1 ounce of a medium fat meat (0 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat).

Whole soybeans can be added to soups or stews. One-third cup equals 1 ounce of a medium fat meat and additional carbohydrate (7 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fat). An edible whole soybean on the market is edamame (sometimes spelled edemame).

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