Oct 21 2015

Dietitian's Corner: Soy and Breast Cancer

With October being Breast Cancer awareness month I find it a good opportunity to talk about soy-based food products.

Much fear has been associated with soy in relation to breast cancer and breast cancer prevention. Soy contains estrogen like compounds called isoflavones, which can mimic the action of estrogen in the body. Breast cancer risk is increased with high levels of estrogen, thus a fear in consumption of these soy-based products; however, current research shows that isoflavones in the diet do not cause or increase one’s risk of developing the disease. Instead, soy-based products may help to prevent breast cancer and related disease.

Soy is one of the only plant-based proteins which contain all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein and highly utilized by the body. Soy in its natural state can be found in foods such as tofu, miso, soybeans, tempeh, and soymilk. In addition to protein, soy is an excellent source of polyunsaturated fat, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Still not sure about adding soy into your diet? Check out this link for up to date and reliable research studies as well as tips and recipes for incorporating soy-based products.