The foods and beverages that people consume have a profound impact on their health. Soy’s contributions to a healthy diet were recognized in the newly released 2020-2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines. This edition marks the first time the guidelines provide recommendations by life stage, from birth through older adulthood. Soy foods as a dairy alternative and as a protein source are listed within the guidelines for all life stages, including pregnant women and children/adolescents — two groups a recent report from an intergovernmental Nordic organization singled out as potentially vulnerable to the harmful effects of isoflavones, which are naturally present in soybeans and soy foods.
The report highlights soy’s status as a complete protein, classifies fortified soy beverages (such as soy milk) as the only plant-based milk accepted as a dairy substitute and recognizes the heart-healthy benefits of soybean oil. The guidelines suggest that soy is a safe and trusted ingredient which can be included in nearly any type of diet. The report also supports that oils are important to consider as part of a healthy dietary pattern, as they provide essential fatty acids. Soybean oil, often labeled “vegetable oil,” is among the commonly consumed oils recommended by the dietary guidelines.
The Soy Nutrition Institute is currently drafting a more detailed report that outlines notable elements related to soy, and it should be ready in the coming week. Many thanks to SNI’s hard work, and USB farmer-funded research to achieve this outcome.
For more information, please reach out to Paul Murphy-Spooner.