Skip to content

What are the health benefits of eating soy foods? Are there any risks?

Soybean pod ready for harvest

In March 2015, Health Canada approved a health claim linking the consumption of soy foods with lowering cholesterol levels. In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration approved a similar claim in 1999. Soybeans are high in quality protein, and like meat, they contain every essential amino acid. While soy is higher in fat than other legumes, they mainly contain “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids), and they contain no cholesterol.

Soy foods are generally an excellent source of calcium and iron, and soy also contains isoflavones, which are antioxidants that may have additional health benefits.

There are many myths about soybean consumption; however, there is no real evidence to suggest that soy has any adverse effect on thyroid hormones, causes breast cancer, or causes fertility problems in men.

For more about soy foods and your health, read Soy foods in detail: what does the science say?