Soy Diet Could Help Your Bones

Soy Diet Could Help Your Bones

By Trudi Purdy, wlr team

Key Takeaways

  • Menopause can increase your chances of Osteoporosis
  • Adding soy protein to your diet could help improve bone strength
  • Post-menopausal metabolic health may also be improved with soy

Researchers at the University of Missouri have linked soy protein and bone health in a new animal study.

The Study

Osteoporosis affects 30% of women who are post-menopausal with a 40-50% chance of having a bone fracture in their later years because of it.

The menopause can also cause metabolic syndrome and weight gain giving women lots to look forward to as they age!

However, a new study has given a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel.

Using female rats, specifically bred to have low fitness levels, researchers have linked adding soy protein or tofu to your diet with improved bone health.

The rats were split into 2 groups – corn-based diet and soy-based diet.

The 2 groups were then split again into those with ovaries and those without to mimic women before and after menopause.

The Results

The rats fed on a soy-based diet (both with and without ovaries) had stronger tibia bones and an improved metabolic function than the 2 rat groups on the corn-based diet.

Lead author Pamela Hinton, professor of nutrition and exercise physiology, said,

'Prior research has shown that these rats are good models, as average American women are relatively inactive both before, and especially after, menopause. The findings suggest that all women might see improved bone strength by adding some soy-based whole foods, such as tofu and soy milk, to their diet. We also believe that soy-based diets can improve metabolic function for postmenopausal women.'

The bottom line is, according to Hinton, the study showed that women might improve bone strength by adding some soy0based whole foods to their diet. She added,

‘Our findings suggest that women don’t even need to eat as much soy as is found in typical Asian diets, but adding some tofu or other soy, for example foods found in vegetarian diets, could help strengthen bones.’

How Can You Add More Soy to Your Diet?

Soy is considered to be a superfood. It’s full of good quality protein so will also help you to feel fuller for longer. Add that to the findings of this new study and adding soy to your diet is a win win.

But how do you add it in?

You could add the following products to your shopping basket next time you hit the supermarket:

  • Soy beans
  • Bean sprouts
  • Edamame beans
  • Soy Milk
  • Dairy alternatives (containing soy of course!)
  • Tofu
  • Meat alternatives (again, containing soy)
  • Miso
  • Soy sauce
  • Some salad dressings
  • Most vegan ice creams (yum!)

You could also substitute some of your meals for vegan versions containing tofu, bean sprouts, soy beans etc. Check out our Vegan Diet Plan.

I’ve also gathered some delicious recipes for you to try that will add some soy to your diet. According to Hinton, it doesn’t have to be a huge amount – a couple of meals a week.


Indian Style Tofu Recipe

Take a break from meat and try this amazingly filling vegetarian dish! With almost all of your 5 a day incorporated it’s sure to fill you up for the evening.

 2 servings   500 calories per serving

Skinny Chicken Chow Mein Recipe

Enjoy a Chinese takeaway favourite for around 300 calories! Our skinny low calorie Chicken Chow Mein meal is easy to make... An indulgent, low calorie midweek meal to spice things up a bit.

 3 servings   302 calories per serving

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

This butternut squash soup is sure to warm you up on a cold autumnal evening, and at less than 105 calories per serving why not!

 4 servings   104 calories per serving

Tofu & Apple Smoothie Recipe

If you feel like being a bit adventurous give this apple and tofu smoothie a go! It’s really quick to make and will keep you going through the morning ready for lunch.

 1 serving   491 calories per serving

Mackerel with Soy and Ginger

Mackerel is rich in omega 3 oil, and this fish recipe is a great seasonal food idea.

 2 servings   292 calories per serving

Roasted Tofu with Satay Sauce Recipe

You either love tofu, or you’ve never had good tofu. Try this marinated tofu with satay sauce and try not to go back for more! Serve with rice and enjoy!

 2 servings   471 calories per serving

Soup Tomato & Quinoa Recipe

Get all your 5-a-day (and some) with one bowl of this healthy spicy tomato soup. With both tofu and quinoa it’s filling and delicious too.

 2 servings   526 calories per serving

Rice Noodle Salad with Lemon Tofu Recipe

A sensational Salad which is Low Calorie and Low fat it’s definately one to try!

 4 servings   342 calories per serving

Chicken or Tofu Tandoori Recipe

This recipe can be done with chicken or tofu for a vegetarian option. Easy to make and low calories, serve this dish up with some rice or even a crispy salad.

 2 servings   292 calories per serving

Scrambled Tofu with Mushrooms & Tomatoes Recipe

This recipe is for anybody who doesn’t eat eggs. Try this twist on a classic breakfast and enjoy the fact that it tastes amazing and is still low calorie.

 1 serving   378 calories per serving

Curried Tofu Salad Dressing Recipe

For a great low carb lunch, this healthy curried tofu salad if the perfect meal to try if you want something a little different!

 1 serving   326 calories per serving

Vegetable or Tofu Kebabs Recipe

Simple vegetarian kebabs rolled in a seed/nut mix for a crunchy finish. These low carb kebabs can be customised by swapping out any ingredients you don’t like.

 2 servings   305 calories per serving

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