As tempting as it looks, the tofu burger embellishing the cover of Vegan for Life gave me pause.
Controversy over soy products has been a dietary battleground for years. Some enthusiastically tout their benefits. Others just as vigorously issue dire warnings about the connection between soy consumption and an increased risk of thyroid issues and cancer.
With Vegan for Life, registered dietitians Jack Norris and Virginia Messina come down firmly on the side of soy. They lavish praise on both its high protein content and the health benefits of its isoflavones.
While the tofu-averse warn against isoflavones’ estrogenlike effects, Norris and Messina do a good job dispelling those worries as myth. I’ve read similar arguments from several other authors lately, including Neal Barnard, M.D. and Michael Greger, M.D.
Norris and Messina, however, take it a step for further. Vegan for Life devotes an entire — and very convincing — chapter to soy products’ myriad health benefits.
They also recommend that vegans actively seek to meet — or in some cases, exceed — their nutrient’s recommended dietary allowances (RDAs).
If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you might remember that authors Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman encouraged readers not to worry about protein intake.
But Norris and Messina advise that, to avoid deficiency, we should worry about meeting our daily protein requirements. “It is a good idea to play it safe and aim for RDA,” they write.
As a former soy avoider, I found their arguments compelling. And as soon as I finished Vegan for Life, I couldn’t resist googling tofu recipes!