Soya. When You Miss Bacon
Soya, honey, eggs….When you miss bacon… Something about the aroma and tasty saltiness of bacon can be hard to give up, but you can give your taste buds a treat by using foods rich in natural glutamates, such as sun-dried tomatoes and seaweed to fill that ‘tastiness’ gap. Or try Quorn ‘bacon’ – it’s not a bad substitute if you find yourself in the grip of a craving or friends is having a fry-up and you don’t want to miss out.
Honey may be a natural sweetener, but it’s still a refined (‘free’) sugar and should be counted as part of our recommended 7tsp daily max. If you’re a vegan, you’ll need to steer clear altogether as vegans believe the health of a bee is sacrificed when humans collect its honey and that harvesting honey is exploitative.
Some people worry that eggs are high in cholesterol – as too much cholesterol in the blood can be harmful. However, the type of cholesterol they contain doesn’t affect the levels in our blood. For most of us, it’s more important to reduce the amount of saturated fat in our diet to keep blood cholesterol levels down. The exception may be people with familial hypercholesterolemia (about one in 500 of us), who may need to be more cautious about dietary sources of cholesterol and to seek advice from their doctor or registered dietitian. Eggs are a valuable source of protein and research shows that having two for breakfast can help to reduce overall daily calorie consumption. They also provide vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D.
People often ask if it’s safe to eat foods containing soya every day, and the answer based on evidence to date is yes. Soya is great for protein, and foods like tofu (see left) and soya milk and yogurt can be a really useful part of your diet. Cancer Research UK reports in its joint study with other national cancer charities that women with a diet high in soya may have less-dense breast tissue than women with low-soya diets. The Higher density of breast tissue has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer and this was the first study to directly link eating soya with an effect on breast tissue. A handful of studies, however, suggest that concentrated soya protein supplements may actually stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. The best advice is to include soya-based foods as part of a varied overall eating plan and to avoid soya-protein based supplements.
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