Though you may have heard of soy, chances are that you have no idea how to prepare this item, or even how to include it in your diet. Soy products come from soybeans, which are a type of legume high in protein and free from lactose. This makes them a great choice for people who are lactose intolerant, or are vegetarian.
Before learning what types of soy products you should incorporate into your diet, it is important to learn a little about what soy is, and why it is important. Soy comes from soybeans, which are a type of legume grown widely through the Midwest. This bean contains high amounts of low-fat, low-calorie protein, and because of this has been used to create tofu, a meat replacement, and soymilk, a substitute for people who are lactose intolerant.
Soybeans are probably one of the best and most natural types of soy products that you can easily incorporate in your diet. As stated above, soybeans are used to create all soy products, are therefore contain the highest amount of soy in its most natural form. One great way to include soybeans in your diet is simply by eating them plain as a snack. In addition, soybeans can be easily added to trail mixes or even granola to increase the nutritional content of the food. While soybeans could once traditionally only be found in specialty grocery or organic stores, it typically can be found at most common groceries. Look for them in the bulk foods or baking section of your grocery store.
Another great type of soy that can be incorporated into your diet is soy milk. As stated above, soybeans are relatively high in protein, making them similar to milk and other dairy products. However, unlike milk, soybeans contain no lactose. This makes them a great alternative for people who are lactose intolerant. Similarly, since the milk comes from beans and not cows or goats, soy milk is a great choice for vegetarians who are interested in increasing their protein consumption. Soy milk can typically be found in the baking section of most chain grocery stores. In addition, soy milk is now being used more and more commonly to create soy cheeses and yogurts. However, it is important to read the label carefully to ensure that there is no lactose or animal products in the item.
Finally, tofu is probably one of the most familiar ways that soy can be incorporated into your diet. As discussed above, soybeans have traditionally been valued for their high protein content, and because of this have gained notoriety as a great substitute for beef, chicken, and even fish. It is important to be aware that there are a wide variety of different types of textures tofu available. Be sure to experiment with a number of different types in order to find the tofu that is right for you.