Eating more tofu reduces risk of heart problems
A 10-year study shows that eating tofu and soybeans more frequently reduces the risk of developing heart disease.
The survey, published Monday, by Prof. Baik In-kyung of the department of food and nutrition at Kookmin University, says that eating 20 grams of soybeans or 80 grams or more of tofu every day reduces chances of contracting heart-related diseases by upwards of 27 percent.
She claimed that ‘hansik” or Korean food uses tofu in healthier ways than other ethnic Asian cuisines _ the Japanese eat less tofu and the Chinese fry it.
The study was conducted on a group of people who consume the same amount of beans or tofu once per week, or none at all.
``We found that compared to people eating a single portion of beans and tofu once a week, or less, those who consume either 3 to 4 times a week are up to 14% less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases,’’ Prof. Baik said. ``If you eat a single portion daily, the risk of contracting heart disease will go down by 27 percent.’’
The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Prof. Baik’s team conducted the study from 2001 to 2010, involving 9,026 people without heart problems or cancer. The participants resided in Ansan and Anseong, Gyeonggi Province.
The research team divided the subjects into four groups, based on their levels of soybean and tofu consumption. They then studied the correlation between the consumption of these and the contraction of heart disease.
She then said the study’s results prove that hansik, containing beans and dishes is a healthy diet, stressing it should be promoted among meat-loving Westerners.
``We also found that drinking green tea helps prevent heart disease. But among foods, beans and tofu play a significant role in boosting human health. I lived in the United States for 10 years but did not see many people eat beans or tofu,’’ the professor said. ``We should publicize the health benefits of our dishes containing beans and make hansik popular overseas.’’
A ministry official also said the latest findings show that it is important to eat beans and dishes made from them to prevent heart disease.
``We will promote the health benefits of hansik and help private sector businesses develop a wide range of tofu and bean-based dishes to suit foreign tastes. This will help globalize Korean food,’’ he said.