April Is Soyfoods Month
Once A Day For Life | Soy the Subject of Serious Research
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Soyfoods Association of North America proclaims April 1998, is Soyfoods Month. It's time to focus on the theme, "Soyfoods Once a Day for Life."
Today, more than ever, Americans want to know about the health benefits of the soybean. Media coverage of recent studies expounding the virtues of soy has sparked consumer curiosity, and a new generation of familiar "comfort" soyfoods has raised popularity. A majority of Americans believe soy products are healthy and many more attempt to incorporate soyfoods into their diets. According to the 1997 National Report on Consumer Attitudes About Nutrition:
- Approximately 70 percent of consumers who are very concerned with nutrient content indicate they have tried some type of soy product.
- Three out of five Americans acknowledge that soy is healthy.
- The perception of healthfulness is a primary driver of soy product trial and use. Among consumers who have tried soy products, two out of three indicate soy is healthy.
- Among consumers who use soy products, tofu and soy burgets are the products mostfrequently incorporated into their diets.
Easily recognizable soyfoods such as tofu and soymilk, as well as meat and dairy alternatives such as tofu hot dogs, burgers and soy cheeses, are beginning to show up on many household's grocery shopping lists. In fact, retail sales of soyfood products reached $1.1 billion dollars in1996 (the most recent year for which data are available), compared to just $300 million in 1980, according to information compiled by Soyatech, Inc., a research and consulting firm in Bar Harbor, Maine. During that same period, sales of tofu increased from $37 million to $144 million, while soymilk sales rocketed from just $1.5 million to $124 million.
One strong demographic trend affects the soyfoods marketplace positively, according to Peter Golbitz, president of the Soyfoods Association. Aging baby boomers who carry their understanding of diet and health into their "wiser" years. "The connection between one's diet and health has never been better understood than it is now, and soyfoods products are perfectly tailored to address this issue."
Soybeans contain a high-quality, easily digestible form of plant protein with all of the essential amino acids. They are high in vitamins and calcium, and contain omega-3 essential fatty acids. In cultures where soyfoods are regularly consumed, rates of cardiovascular disease and some kinds of cancers are relatively low. Researchers are finding that soyfoods definitely play a role.
Soybeans have been found to be rich in powerful phytochemicals called isoflavones, plant-based estrogens which appear to support healthy tissues. Ongoing research suggests that there are many healthy reasons to eat more soy. Everyone can start with soyfoods once a day.
The Soyfoods Association of North America is a nonprofit trade organization that has been promoting consumption of soyfoods in the American diet since 1978
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