The benefits of eating soy vs. supplements

Many studies have proven the health benefits of soy, from lowered cholesterol levels to decreased risks of cancer. But should that mean you should eat more soy or just take more supplements? The answer: eat more soy. Here's why.

The benefits of eating soy vs. supplements

Processed soy loses its qualities

You've been hearing for years that highly processed refined grains, such as white bread, are less healthy than whole grains, such as whole wheat bread. In a similar way, research suggests highly processed soy — like the kind found in soy supplements — seems to lose some of its health benefits.

Soy supplements may be unsafe

Although there is evidence that consuming more soy foods may reduce the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer, other studies have raised the disturbing possibility soy supplements may actually raise the risk of certain forms of the disease. Notably, researchers found feeding isoflavones extracted from soy to lab animals actually stimulated the growth of breast tumours. Meanwhile, feeding soy flour (which undergoes minimal processing) to lab animals had no effect on tumour growth.

Soy pills, powders and other supplements don't offer the same health-promoting qualities as soy foods and could even pose a health threat so for now stick with the real stuff.

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