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is soy/tofu related to weight gain/hypothyroidism?

i've just heard that eating soy/tofu on a regular basis contributes to weight gain and hypothyroidism. is this a wild rumor or is there some truth to it? can anyone refer me to some reputable sources on this topic? i am researching online now but thought this would be a good place to start.

if it *is* true that soy/tofu leads to weight gain, what do you all eat as substitutes? my husband and i are vegetarians transitioning to veganism, so we eat a lot of soy/tofu (wheat gluten is delicious as a meat sub, but i hear it's hard on your digestive system, as is tofu; rice milk could serve as a sub for soymilk, but it's expensive, etc.). any advice you all have would be much appreciated!

thanks!!  ;D

Tempeh is easier to digest than tofu and has more might want to incorporate that into your diet.

I have personally not experienced any weight gain with tofu/soy (on the contrary, i immediately lost 5 pounds when i shifted to veganism without trying to lose weight at all) but can't speak for anyone else.


Weight gain occurs when the amount of calories taken in exceeds the number of calories being expended.  You can eat fruits and gain weight or you can eat fats/oils and still gain weight. If you portion your foods out appropriately, you can count how many calories you are taking in each day. The vegan diet is probably the best diet to take if one is to lose weight because the calories per serving are much lower than those in a carnivore diet. Tofu, for instance, is low in calories especially when compared to meat. And tofu has much more benefits than meat products; for starters, it's cholesterol free. And so is soy milk. If you compare a cup of soy milk to a cup of 2% or whole milk, the caloric difference is very significan't.

Plus, don't forget vegetables which contain about 50 calories per cup cooked and contain fiber to make you feel full.

All of this insight I have gained from being a client of a dietician for a few months and it is true. The whole atkins diet is a joke and remember a calorie is a calorie! One can gain weight from any diet and one can lose weight from any diet.


Take this info for what it's worth.  I have Hashimoto's disease which is an autoimmune disease.  Basically it is both hypo and hyper thyroidism, my immune system is attacking my thyroid.  My thyroid specialist didn't object to me comsumming more soy but wanted to retest my thyroid levels once I was eating an average amount in my diet.  Soy and soy products can interfere with the absorption of my thyroid medicine.  I'm not quite sure how this effects the average person but my guess is that hypothyroidism is not the result from consumming soy. I had not had much ever of any soy prior to my diagnosis.  Though everything in moderation.
Hope this helps.


Soy can effect the thyroid, but only if you have an existing thyroid problem.  It doesn't cause thyroid problems.  If you are on medicaiton for thyroid problems soy probably shouldn't be eaten around medication time and levels should be checked periodically.

I've never heard that soy causes weight gain.  That's a myth.  Look at the lean soy eating Japanese in Okinawa, who have the longest life span of anyone on Earth.


I gained weight when I tried using soy milk but it was because I wasn't aware of the nutrition density compared with cow's milk. Because I have a v. slow metabolism I realised that when I use soy products (milk, yogurt, tofu) I have to cut back on portion size because I'm getting "more with less". But you can't go by me, as I say I have very slow metabolism.
Soy milk is still very new here (and very expensive). They don't have the flavoured ones and when you open the carton you get that "green bean" smell--very intense.


I have lost weight since I turned vegan so....whatever on the tofu/soy thing....I eat almost every day... ;D


Tofu is very high in fat content though you can buy low coleterol tofu but it is hard to find :'(


Tofu is very high in fat content though you can buy low coleterol tofu but it is hard to find

I'm sorry, but all tofu has zero cholesterol, so I'm not sure what you mean by searching for low cholesterol tofu.  This is because tofu has (or should have) no animal products.  Cholesterol is found only in animal products because it is manufactured in the liver of animals. 
Plants have no liver, therefore there is no cholesterol in them. 

As far as high fat content, I'm not sure that I would classify tofu as high in fat.  It does have some fat (the kind I have in front of me right now has 5 g per serving), but not enough to be considered high in fat.



Elizabeth.  Tofu can not be considered a low fat food because when you look at total calories vs. total calories from fat it is considered a "high fat" food.  The good news is that the total calories and total fat grams is low enough, that tofu can easily included in diet where people are watching total fat grams.  Most of the fat is polyunsaturated which is not the best kind of fat but way better than saturated fat.  Yes it has no cholesterol.

Why it is not considered low fat the percentage.  For instance my tofu has 80 cals per serving but 35 of those are fat.  So 43% fat content, which is considered a high fat food.  Again, I look at the total fat I eat for the day, not just the percentages in each individual food I eat.  Tofu is low enough in total calories and fat that I gladly gobble it up. 

For those with concerns it there are low fat varieties available. 


Well, I never really said tofu was a low fat food.  I guess if you look at tofu in isolation, you may consider it a high fat food (45 calories from fat for an 8o calorie per serving food).  I all you ate was tofu all day long, yes a large percentage of your calories would come from fat.  But if I'm eating tofu as part of a meal (who doesn't eat it that way?) tofu is a moderate contributor of fat calories to that meal. I guess it depends on how you look at it. Thanks for pointing out my error Tweety.

Anyway, the main point of my post was about the cholesterol.  There is no cholesterol in tofu or any other plant food.


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