The SOY Solution

Recently, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed what Asians have known for thousands of years: Soy is good for you. Thanks to a new FDA ruling, lowfat soy products can carry a label touting the food's ability to help lower cholesterol. But there's also evidence that soy can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and help ease hot flashes.

To get the cholesterol-lowering effect, you need to eat about 25 grams of soy protein a day.

If that edict conjures up visions of rubbery tofu, we've got good news. Today, there are more than 2,000 soy products on the market.

For instance, many supermarkets now carry milk, yogurt and cheese made of soy, as well as fairly convincing soy stand-ins for sausage, bacon and hot dogs. Health-food stores are stocked with soy flour and nuts, protein bars, powdered drink mixes and textured vegetable protein (TVP), a good meat substitute for sauces or casseroles.

About two standard servings of soy will give you 25 grams. That means you could have a sandwich made with 3.5 oz of soy turkey or 2 oz of soy cheddar cheese (about 15 grams), plus 1 cup of soy milk or 4 tablespoons soy nuts (about 10 grams) to get your daily dose. Carol Milano

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