Should Men Avoid Eating Tofu?


Man with Soup Spoon of Tofu

The humble soy bean is a mainstay of Asian cuisine. From soy sauce to tempeh and tofu, this protein-rich bean has come under increased scrutiny because of compounds called isoflavones, or plant estrogen. Some research indicates eating soy may reduce the risk of heart disease, however, what's clear is that being overweight carries definite health risks.

Although estrogen is thought of as a female hormone, men also produce small amounts of the hormone, just as women produce small amounts of testosterone. As with many hormone-related issues, the key is balance. Research into soy's effects on men has been mixed. Some studies indicate excessive amounts of soy can cause men to become more feminine, while others indicate it may decrease the risk of prostate cancer.

Because it's a relatively inexpensive form of protein, soy is used in many processed foods. It's also used as a milk substitute by people who can't tolerate dairy products. In Asia, or for those who are vegans, soy products are important for providing protein in the diet. The US Food and Drug Administration has not issued any warning about the health effects of soy in men. However, some men may be more sensitive to the effects of phytoestrogens than others.

Eating or drinking excess amounts of anything can have negative health effects, and being overweight increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. At Metabolic Research Center, we teach you how to lose weight while eating real food. Our counselors have been there and know how to support you in your quest to get healthy. Whether you are male or female, eating soy foods — preferably in the natural rather than highly processed state — may be part of that quest. Call us today or visit our website for more information.

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