The Truth About Soy

The dietitians at Penn State’s Health Promotion and Wellness get many questions about soy – “is it good or bad for you?” We are here to present the truth about soy in Fact-Check Friday. 

Where did the controversy begin? Soy is part of the legume family (fun fact!) and contains isoflavones, which is a plant estrogen.  High levels of estrogen have been linked to certain cancers.  However, food sources of soy don’t contain high enough levels of isoflavones to increase the risk of breast cancer.1 Eating a one to two servings of whole-soy foods daily does not increase risk of cancer.  

Don’t forget – soy foods are rich in B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and protein. 

1. Mayo Clinic. Will Eating Soy Increase My Risk of Breast Cancer? Accessed April 3, 2020. 

2. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Straight Talk About Soy. Accessed April 3, 2020. 

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