In the news: Old Capitol Food Company!
Three young Iowa City entrepreneurs hope to create a new market using one of the state’s biggest resources: soybeans.
Read the full article in the Iowa-City Press-Citizen here.
Fat is back. Not that it ever really went away. Even when very low-fat diets were all the rage, experts recognized that certain fats were more harmful than others and some were even beneficial.
A common misperception is that omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, which are found in abundant amounts in most oils, including soybean oil, are pro-inflammatory. Meanwhile, it is thought that omega-3 polyunsaturated fats protect against inflammation. Chronic inflammation is believed to be a key process underlying many chronic diseases.
Back in the late 1970s, researchers suggested that the low incidence of heart disease among the Inuit of Canada and Alaska was related to their fat intake.1 Specifically, this population eats a diet high in the omega-3 fatty acid eicosanoic acid from fish and low in the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid which is found in other types of meat.
The findings put omega-3 fats in the spotlight, giving rise to the popularity of fish oil supplements. But evidence in support of the health benefits of omega-3 fat has never been as consistent as anticipated. In fact, recent commentaries published in two distinguished medical journals reached completely opposite conclusions about the benefits of omega-3 fat supplementation.2,3
Likewise, the harmful effects of saturated fat have been brought into question recently. It is now recognized that while saturated fat raises LDL-cholesterol, it also increases LDL particle size; large LDLs are less atherogenic than small LDLs.4 Nevertheless, prospective epidemiologic studies clearly show that replacing saturated fat with omega-6 polyunsaturated fat reduces CHD risk and mortality.5,6 And in the end, it’s this relevant endpoint—heart disease—that matters.
While replacing saturated fat with complex carbohydrates also reduces risk, the beneficial effects are smaller compared to omega-6 fats. Which raises this question: If omega-6 fats increase inflammation why would replacing saturated fat with omega-6 fat reduce CHD risk?
Part of the explanation is that omega-6 fats reduce serum LDL-cholesterol. More importantly, despite the common perception, the proinflammatory effects of omega-6 fat aren’t very well established. In fact, a systematic review of clinical trials published in 2012 concluded that there is “virtually no evidence” from clinical trials that linoleic acid, the main dietary omega-6 fat, increases concentrations of inflammatory markers in healthy people.7
This finding may seem surprising since it is thought that in vivo, linoleic acid is converted into arachidonic acid, the omega-6 fat from which the alleged proinflammatory hormones (eicosanoids) are produced. However, extensive clinical research shows that increasing linoleic acid intake has little effect on endogenous levels of arachidonic acid.8 Furthermore, not all of the eicosanoids produced from arachidonic acid are pro-inflammatory.9
These findings will hopefully change the way that different fats and oils are viewed in healthy diets. Until the dust settles, it’s clear that soybean oil is a choice that provides the best of all worlds, since it is rich in both omega-6 and omega-3 fats. While ideally most dietary fat should come from whole foods, added fats and oils can play important culinary roles.
~ Mark Messina, PhD, Executive Director, Soy Nutrition Institute
August 16, 2016 – West Des Moines, IA – Fried food wasn’t the only foodie favorite at the 2016 Iowa State Fair. On Monday, hundreds of fair-goers sampled original soft silken tofu-based salad dressing creations from four local, professional chefs including this year’s champion Chef Alex Strauss from Hy-Vee Market Café. The competition, which was hosted by The Soyfoods Council and the Iowa Restaurant Association, took place in the Agriculture Building where crowds watched each chef make and discuss their dressings in front of a panel of professional judges.
Top Chefs Wow the Crowd
The competing chefs were challenged to make salad dressing recipes which used Mori-nu Soft Silken Tofu as the base of the dressing, were consumer friendly, and were delicious enough to put on a restaurant menu. Each chef demonstrated the process of making the dressing and then served six judges as well as a crowd of fair-goers.
Chef Strauss took home the gold with a sweet and spicy Creamy Mango Habanero dressing over a mixed local greens salad with avocados, hearts of palm, red peppers and Jamaican jerk pork. Other competing chefs included:…
Ankeny, Iowa, June 7, 2016— A study from Shanghai involving more than 70,000 healthy women shows that consuming soyfoods reduces risk of breast cancer. The study is good news for Western women and girls because they, too, can derive health benefits and reduce their risk of breast cancer by starting to incorporate higher amounts of soyfoods into their diets.
After following 70,000 study participants for more than 13 years, the Shanghai study found that 1,034 participants developed breast cancer. Here are some details from the study.
The study from Shanghai is relevant for American women—whose diets have not traditionally included soy— because adult soy intake was protective against breast cancer only among women who consumed little soy when they were young. By doing so now, women can reduce their risk of breast cancer. Also, young girls who consume soy will significantly reduce their risk later in life. Current U.S. breast cancer statistics show that about one in eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime….
The Soyfoods Council’s executive director Linda Funk was recently on AgweekTV sharing important information on how to get heart healthy protein (soyfoods!) in your diet. Watch it here:
Ankeny, Iowa, January 12, 2016— If you have trouble sleeping, or suffer from insomnia, you may want to add soyfoods to your daily diet. New results from the first population study to examine the relationship between soy and sleep habits indicates that soyfoods offer striking benefits. Soyfoods are uniquely rich sources of isoflavones, which are naturally occurring compounds classified as plant estrogens. The hormone estrogen tends to promote better sleep, both in terms of quality and duration.
A recent population study involving over 1,000 Japanese adults interviewed each participant to determine the amount of soy and isoflavones consumed and answered questions about how long and how well they slept. Among the group of participants, 13 percent reported regular sleep duration (7 to 8 hours a day) and 56 percent reported sufficient sleep quality. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, individuals in the group with the highest soy intake were almost twice as likely to sleep at least 7 to 8 hours, and about twice as likely to have better sleep quality. Those in the highest intake group consumed about two servings of soyfoods per day.
This study is good news for the millions of Americans who suffer from insomnia. According to survey data from the National Sleep Foundation, 48 percent of Americans say they have occasional insomnia, while 22 percent experience insomnia. Getting a good night’s sleep is a vital component of overall good health and can aid in maintaining a healthy weight. Sleep-deprived people tend to snack more at night, and also may crave higher-carbohydrate foods and larger portions.
In the U.S., popular soyfoods include tofu, soymik and edamame. The Soyfoods Council offers tips and ideas for enjoyable ways to consume soy. On its website, you’ll also find easy recipes for incorporating more soyfoods into your diet. Beverage ideas include the berry-rich Silken Shake made with firm silken tofu, fresh or frozen strawberries, cranberry juice, vanilla and the sweetener of your choice. Another soy-based drink, the Pomegranate Cherry Vanilla Shake, features vanilla soymilk, pomegranate juice and frozen dark sweet cherries. For the latest health, research and nutrition information about soyfoods, visit the Soyfoods Council website at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.
Looking for a healthy soy recipe? Try this Pomegranate-Cherry Vanilla Soy Smoothie.
When autumn leaves take on color and the days get cooler, it’s time to explore the rich flavors and textures of cool-weather cuisine. The Soyfoods Council offers a selection of tempting recipe ideas that feature soyfoods and harvest ingredients. They’re also recipes you can feel good about. When you combine seasonal fruits and vegetables with healthful soyfoods ingredients, you tap into the flavors of fall while offering your family foods that boast an improved nutrition profile over traditional recipes. Soyfoods such as tofu, soymilk and soy yogurt are low in saturated fat, high in polyunsaturated fat and provide essential omega-3 fatty acids. Like all plant proteins, soybeans provide all of the essential amino acids. However, the amino acid pattern in soy protein comes closer to meeting human requirements than other plant proteins. In fact, the quality of soy protein is comparable to animal proteins….
The Soyfoods Council is an affiliate of the Iowa Soybean Association. The mission of The Soyfoods Council is to serve as a catalyst, leader and facilitator to mainstream soy-based foods into the global marketplace—America and beyond. To mainstream soyfoods: to build the category of soyfoods products by making action-prompting connections between edible soybean growers and food producers, foods distributors, chefs, retailers and eventually consumers.