Nutrition: How Good Is Soy? (cont.)

In the Kitchen

So what's the verdict on soy? Health experts say that although there's no need to give up your favorite frosty shake made with soft tofu, frozen strawberries, and a dab of honey, you may not want to eat soy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yet there's nothing wrong with incorporating soy into a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Messina, for instance, recommends a daily serving of soy: perhaps 1 cup of soy milk or 3 to 4 ounces of tofu. "If 20 years from now researchers don't find any benefits to soy, then you've lost nothing," Messina says. "If they do find some benefits, then you've got a great trade-off."

As for my grandma, she successfully fought off breast cancer at the age of 80, and she couldn't be healthier now at 93. She still memorizes Bible passages and spends afternoons sweating to the beat of an exercise video. Researchers can't tell her what role, if any, soy has played in her life and health. It doesn't, however, seem to have done her any harm.

Laura Lane is an associate editor at WebMD and has a master's in biological sciences from Stanford University. Her work has also appeared in the Dallas Morning News, the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, CNN Interactive, Healthy Living Magazine, and Shape magazine.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/30/2005 10:40:02 PM