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Superfood or so-so food?

(article, Ashley Griffin Gartland)

Soybeans are good for you, right? Sure, if you're reading the recent study by Indiana researchers who found it to be as effective as whey in maintaining muscle mass after endurance training. (Athletes routinely drink protein-powder shakes for muscle building and repair.) Not wild about cow protein? Try plant protein instead.

But soy is not a miracle food. Researchers in New York have investigated the claim, supported by earlier studies, that consuming extra soy can accelerate weight loss. Their conclusions? Nope.

And some folks are just plain wacky about soy. Over on World Net Daily, Jim Rutz has published a five-part series claiming that eating soy leads to sexual confusion and homosexuality. Reefer madness, anyone? 

In her book Real Food, Nina Planck lays out her own arguments, pro and con, for eating soy. She's fond of whole-food soy — soybeans and tofu, for example — but not wild about what she calls "industrial soy," or soy treated with heat, pressure, and chemical solvents to make such products as soybean oil and soy protein isolate. 

Soy protein isolate is the central component of scores of soy products, from breakfast patties to, yes, the powder that goes into athlete shakes. If you don't want to eat factory food, stay away from both. Try a bowl of edamame instead.