Myths and truths about soy

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Click on the following titles and questions to learn more about soya, the basic ingredient of the nutritional helpings that each micro-enterprise of PAN-SOY provides daily and freely, to fight malnutrition.

1. WHAT IS SOYA?
Just as lentils or chickpeas, soya is a legume of vegetal origin.
2. NUTRITIONAL VALUES
High in vegetal protein, high source of fiber, 100% from vegetal origin, soya does not contain cholesterol or lactose and it includes almost all the amino acids needed for the well-functioning of the human body.
3. BENEFITS
Its high content in fiber facilitates digestion and helps slow down the pace of sugar in the blood and removing fat, that way protecting the heart from diseases. Soya is ideal for people suffering from lactose intolerance and is recommended to vegetarians since the protein of soya can be compared to meat, milk and eggs in terms of quality.
4. DO YOU USE QUINOA OR WHEAT?
Yes we do, we combine them with soya for the making of high nutritional quality products. This is possible thanks to the high versatility of soya, which is used in the making of different products, whether it be soya extract or bagasse.

5. DOES THE SOYA EXTRACT REPLACE COW MILK?
No, it does not, they have different characteristics. The soya extract is lower in calcium; this is why it is not equivalent to cow milk. However, it is recommended to alternate both since the soya extract does not contain cholesterol, compared to cow milk.

6. CAN DIABETICS CONSUME SOYA?
Yes they can. Thanks to its high content in fiber it stabilizes glycaemia and reduces the pace of sugar in the blood, regulating the levels of glucose.

7. DO YOU USE SOYA FLOUR IN THE PREPARATIONS?
No, we do not. All the Plants of PAN-SOY produce food based on soya extract and bagasse, making sure that these ingredients are 100% from natural origin.

8. HOW DO YOU USE SOYA IN PREPARATIONS?
PAN-SOY processes soya following six steps (see download “The six steps for soya-processing”) from which are obtained soya extract and bagasse. Both are used in the making of diverse preparations, such as mousses, mazamorras, cakes, small tarts, tamales, sweet tamales, turrones and ocopa.

9. DOES THE PROTEIN OF SOYA PROVIDE A COMPLETE NUTRITION?
Soya is a great source of protein of excellent digestibility compared to animal proteins. It can be said that soya provides an adapted nutrition, but not complete, considering that we need more than just proteins in our diet, such as carbohydrates and healthy fat.

10. HOW DOES CALCIUM ABSORPTION VARY BETWEEN SOYA EXTRACT AND COW MILK?
Some studies point out that when consuming soya extract, the body absorbs less calcium by 25%. However, some other note that there is no variation between absorbing calcium from soya extract (strengthened in calcium) and absorbing calcium from cow milk, due to the fact that the strengthened soya extract contains generally more calcium than cow milk. Studies note that compared to animal protein, soya protein reduces the excretion of calcium; it might be because the amino acids of the soya protein are low in sulfur. This is the reason why a soya-based diet enables to maintain a balance in calcium regardless of a lower intake.

11. WHAT IS THE COMPOSITION OF SOY ?
Soy contains a wide range of minerals (calcium, iron, copper , phosphorus and zinc ) those gave it a high ash value ( 5-6 %). However , the bioavailability of these micronutrients is diminished by the presence of phytates ( phytates act as anti- nutrients , ie , compounds that decrease the availability of nutrients , especially essential ) .

This disadvantage of soy , is significantly eliminated in fermented soy foods or fortified with minerals or subjected to the 6 seps processing of Soya, which includdes boiling, adding bicarbonate and filtration.

Vitamins comprising soybeans are mainly : Thiamine (B1) , riboflavin (B2) , pyridoxine ( B6 ) , niacin, pantothenic acid , biotin, folic acid , ” carotene ( Provit -A ) , inositol, choline and ascorbic acid ( Vit – C ) .

12. WHY IS SOYA GOOD FOR THE HEART?
Products made from soya are low in saturated fat and do not contain cholesterol, moreover, their high content in fiber helps to reduce the fat, hence protecting the heart from diseases.

13. HOW IS THE WHOLE SOYA GRAIN PROCESSED? DOES THE PROCESS AFFECT THE HEALTH BENEFITS OR THE SAFETY OF SOYA?
Soya can be processed using traditional as well as modern procedures. The modern ones remove components through the process of extraction and division. Both can increase the digestibility of the soya protein, removing indigestible sugar, inactive enzymes which can affect taste as well as preventing unwanted changes during storage. The processing does not affect its nutritional quality since there is no loss in nutrients and all the grain is consumed in the soya extract and bagasse.

14. IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN SOYA CONSUMPTION AND RISKS OF DEVELOPING BREAST CANCER?
Different studies point out that women who eat soya have a smaller risk of developing breast cancer. Soya consumption at any age, especially during childhood and adolescence, seems to protect against developing breast cancer. Soya consumption at early age can be one of the reasons why Asian women have a smaller index of breast cancer than western women.

15. DOES SOYA CONSUMPTION PRODUCE MORE ESTROGEN THAT THE BODY CAN USE?
Soya does not contain estrogen but it does contain a complex mix of proteins, fat, carbohydrates and bioactive components, including soya isoflavones. The isoflavones are vegetal phytoestrogens, similar to estrogen, but they work very differently in the body and therefore must not be regarded as similar to human estrogens. These phytoestrogens can improve the health of the arteries and prevent some cancers.

16. IS IT SAFE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN OR BREAST-FEEDING MOTHERS TO CONSUME SOYA?
Pregnant or breast-feeding women must have a varied and balanced diet and soya can be part of it. Scientific studies made on pregnant women who regularly consume soya, prove that the risk of developing growing issues for the baby or problems for the mother are almost inexistent.

17. IS THERE ANY PROBLEM FOR BABIES TO CONSUME PRODUCTS BASED ON SOYA?
Nowadays, many infant formulas on the market have soya byproducts since they have many benefits. There is no proof that soya has negative consequences on babies and adults that consume it. It is important to remind that babies younger than 6 months old must consume breast milk only.

18. ¿ES APROPIADO QUE LOS NIÑOS TOMEN EXTRACTO DE SOYA?
Agregar extracto de soya, sobre todo si es agregado a una ración o fortificado con calcio y vitamina D dentro de la dieta del niño, es una alternativa saludable para ellos y para quienes son intolerantes a la lactosa.

19. CAN THE SOYA PROTEIN CAUSE ALLERGIES?
Yes it can, however it is not as common as allergies to cow milk, peanut, shellfish or fish among others. In case of allergies, avoiding soya consumption is necessary.

20. DOES SOYA-BASED FOOD HAVE EFFECT ON COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS?
Yes it does, according to recent studies it has been proven that soya contains isoflavones, which help improve the cognitive function and memory of men and women, especially in the short term. There are also studies pointing out that soya has antidepressant effects in the case of women with menopause.

21. CAN THE PHYTIC ACID CONTAINED IN SOYA CAUSE PROBLEMS IN THE ABSORPTION OF MINERALS?
Indeed, the phytic acid does reduce minerals absorption such as zinc, iron and calcium among others. However, if the diet maintains sufficient levels of the above minerals, soya does not represent a problem for their absorption. It is important to point out that the phytic acid also presents beneficial functions such as reduction of cholesterol, triglycerides and free radicals (antioxidants).