Nice forum. Thank you so much!!
Thank You and Dr Mcdougall for creating the forum. We noticed there were some requests for this forum and we were more than happy to oblige.
What is your take on tofu? I have always read that tofu was a healthy food to eat!
Somewhere, someone is saying almost any food is a health food. Even dairy, cheese, beef and oil has been marketed and written about as being health foods.
lately I'm reading articles saying that you shouldn't eat it. I've been reading where you should eat fermented soy only versus unfermented. I don't eat tofu all the time, but about once/week I'll make a dish with tofu...something like lasagna or a chocolate pudding. Just curious on your thoughts. Thanks!
Here are my thoughts, which have been consistent over time. Going back over 30 years, I have never been a fan of tofu, soy or the products made from them. Tofu/Soy first became popular based on the myth that vegetarians had to be careful about protein. Now, soy is popular because it is promoted as a rich source of phytochemicals and other nutrients. This may be true, but so are most other beans and other plant foods, so we have to look at the total package.
Soy if high in fat and higher in calorie density than any other bean other than the peanut (which is also technically a bean). So, while not as high in fat or calorie density as peanuts, I would still consider soy a rich food, which should be limited and thought of more as a condiment.
And, by the way, that is actually how it is used in China and Japan. One study that looked at the differences between low and high soy consumption in Japan found that in the high soy consumption group, they were consuming around 58 grams a day of soy, equating to about 7-9 grams of soy protein per day. 58 grams iis around 2 oz. The amounts in China are not much different.
The Nutrient Label Claim that soy is allowed in the USA is that 25 grams of soy protein may help lower cholesterol.That is over 3x what the high soy group took in a day in Japan. Here is American, we now have people waking up to fake soy meats for breakfast along with soy milk and soy shakes made with soy protein, then they eat soy burgers on bread made with soy flour, and take soy pills and on and on. Soy protein has been shown to raise IGF-1, which can increase the growth rate of cancer. In one study, adding 40 grams of soy protein in a day doubled IGF-1 levels.
So, in summary...
1) I am concerned about any one food, such as soy, that has achieved such a exalted status in the food supply. Regardless of whether it is Milk, Salmon, Eggs or Soy, it is a concern when any one food received so much attention. A healthy diet is based on consuming a variety of the plant food groups and a variety of foods within the plant food groups. Focusing your intake on any one food and/or any one variety of food and allowing it to take a prominent role is, IMHO, not a good thing.
2) if someone was to consume soy, I would recommend they avoid the highly processed form of soy and soy products including soy pills, powders, chips, cookies bars, meat substitutes, burgers, supplements etc etc etc etc, and instead focus on the least processed forms including edamame, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, etc
3) I would also recommend that they think of these products as condiments and limit their intake to no more than a serving or two of these foods at most per day. Even better would be no more than the equivalent of 3-4x times per week.
4) For many of the benefits without the controversies, I would recommend the inclusion of a variety of other beans every day, including kidney, lima, black, garbanzo, pinto, etc.
I hope this helps