‘Tis year, as your attention turns to matters of the heart in celebrating Valentine’s Day, think about the heart health of those you love. When you combine soy and chocolate, you can feel good about offering chocolate-rich Valentine’s Day desserts. Soyfoods are not only part of a healthy lifestyle, they are also part of a heart-healthy diet and may lower heart disease risk in three ways. In addition, soy is higher in protein than all other legumes, deriving 35 to 38 percent of its calories from protein (compared to approximately 20 to 30 percent in other legumes). The protein quality of soy is comparable to animal protein. When you discover how soyfoods such as tofu complement chocolate, you may find yourself looking at romantic desserts in a whole new way.
The Soyfoods Council offers heart-healthy tips, nutrition information, and a wealth of stealthy-healthy dessert recipes featuring chocolate and soy. The whole family will enjoy Elizabeth’s Chocolate Pudding Pies, a versatile dessert that can be served in parfait glasses or individual-sized prepared graham cracker crust pie shells. The recipe features silken firm tofu, high quality cocoa and confectioner’s sugar. Top the pies or parfaits with fresh raspberries and your favorite whipped topping, if desired. For bite-sized Valentine’s Day treats, try Vegan Dark Chocolate Truffles. They’re made with silken tofu, melted dark chocolate chips, maple syrup and vanilla, and rolled in shredded coconut or cocoa powder.
Recipes from The Soyfoods Council make it easy to cook and eat more healthfully. According to the American Heart Association, in the past 30 years, childhood obesity has tripled, and a reported two-thirds of adults are now overweight or obese. Soyfoods can contribute to a heart healthy diet in several ways. They are low in saturated fat, for example, and replacing animal-based foods with plant-based soy protein can help lower blood cholesterol levels. Soy protein also lowers blood cholesterol directly. Soybean isoflavones may reduce heart disease risk independent of cholesterol levels, too, by directly improving the health of arteries. And the good news continues: Two new studies add to existing evidence that soyfoods potentially reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes independent of their effect on cholesterol.
Quick Bite: Valentine’s Day Tips From The Soyfoods Council
The Soyfoods Council, as part of its #SoyInspired national public education campaign in partnership with the Soy for Life Foundation, offers a series of quick tips. Soy fans are invited to share these tips with their friends and colleagues through the social media community.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices, including a heart-healthy diet made simple with soyfoods.
- Explore the convenience of plant-based soy protein that easily adapts to your favorite dessert recipes.
- Get more physically active, and when you do, take along grab-and-go shareable soyfoods such as chocolate-covered dried edamame.
- Get educated about reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In Iowa, for example, the American Heart Association reports that cardiovascular diseases, including strokes, are the leading cause of death. Visit The American Heart Association website at www.heart.org to learn more.
- Get #SoyInspired and share your favorite soy-rich recipes with others.
The Soyfoods Council makes it easy to educate yourself, with a variety of resource material, infographics, studies about diet and health, cooking tips and recipes. For more information about soyfoods and participating in the #SoyInspired public education program, visit The Soyfoods Council website at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.
About The Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.
About the Role of Soyfoods in a Healthful Diet: Soyfoods have played an important role in Asian cuisines for centuries. In recent years they have become popular in Western countries because of their nutrition and health properties. Soyfoods are excellent sources of high-quality protein and provide a healthy mix of polyunsaturated fat. In addition, independent of their nutrient content, there is very intriguing evidence indicating soyfoods reduce risk of several chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. All individuals are well advised to eat a couple of servings of soyfoods every day.