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MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 01/15/14 -- (Family Features) Whether you're following a weight loss plan or simply maintaining healthy habits, finding foods that are nutritious sources of protein and promote satiety can help curb your urge to snack throughout the day.

Wholesome soyfoods can replace other foods in your diet that might be adding too much fat, sugar and cholesterol. Soyfoods also provide high-quality, complete protein, shown to increase satiety, the feeling of fullness.

"Soy protein can play a major role in satiety," said Russ Egbert, director of protein research at Archer Daniels Midland Co. "We know that diets that are high in protein are more satiating than diets that are high in carbohydrates or high in fat."

Regardless of your lifestyle or age, protein is an essential nutrient your body needs, and compared to other common protein sources, the soybean is a giant. The soybean is upwards of 38 percent protein, says Karl Weingartner, director of the International Soybean Program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Fish such as salmon contain about 18 percent protein, while a T-bone steak is about 22 percent.

In addition, a recent study published in Molecular Food & Nutrition Research found that soy fiber has "favorable effects on body weight, body mass index and fasting LDL-cholesterol levels in overweight and obese adults," all factors that are helpful in weight loss and managing high blood pressure.

"The soybean by its nature is a complete food. It's very high in protein, it contains valuable oils, essential fatty acids, fiber, even the sugars in it are considered to be prebiotics," said Peter Golbitz, director of international business development for the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group.

Simple substitutions make it easy to incorporate soy into your favorite dishes:

  • Combine an avocado, a cup of extra-firm tofu and salsa for a lighter guacamole
  • Substitute soymilk into garlic mashed potatoes
  • Energize your child's morning breakfast with protein-rich soy yogurt
  • Fix a quick, healthy dinner with soy-based burgers in place of traditional ground beef
  • Toss fresh edamame on top of your favorite salad
  • Select delicious whole soy nutrition bars as snacks

Or, you can experiment with new recipes such as this protein-rich, low-carb Soy and Spinach Artichoke Dip for guilt-free indulgence.

Soy and Spinach Artichoke Dip
12 servings

1     pound silken tofu, crumbled
1     pound low fat cream cheese, cubed
1     cup low fat mayonnaise
1/2   teaspoon ground pepper
1     pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1     pound marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2   cup green onions, chopped
      Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish

Beat tofu until smooth. Mix in cream cheese, mayonnaise and pepper in mixer bowl. Fold in spinach, artichokes and green onions.

Divide mixture equally into 12 (4-ounce) au gratin dishes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top. Serve with low-carb crackers or bread for an all-around low-carb snack or lunch!

Nutrition per 4-oz. serving: 62 calories, 6.6 g protein, 5.7 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 1.4 g fat, 254 mg sodium

To find more recipes featuring soy protein, visit www.soyfoods.org.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
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