Soy Fiber for Better Health

Soy Fiber for Better Health

Author: Lisa-Marie Rauschendorfer

Overweight and obesity are important health issues in high-income countries and are also on the rise in middle- and low-income countries. They are the major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. A diet rich in fiber is known to facilitate body weight loss, and help to lower total cholesterol levels and reduce body fat. During the production of tofu and soy milk from soybeans a byproduct rich in dietary soy fiber, proteins, lipids, minerals and vitamins is produced. So far most of this byproduct is discarded as industrial waste.

Duo Li and colleagues, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, have analyzed the effects of diets rich in this soy fiber in a randomized controlled trial. Thirty-nine overweight and obese college adults, 19 to 39 years old, consumed control biscuits or biscuits supplemented with soy fiber for their breakfast for twelve weeks. The soy fiber was found to have favorable effects on body weight, body-mass index, and cholesterol levels in overweight and obese adults.

According to the researchers, soy fiber could be used as a functional ingredient with health-promoting attributes.

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