Crisp tofu bites, low-fat ranch dip make a guilt-free snack

If you’re looking for a meat substitute, try versatile and plant-based tofu. It’s made from soy, and we have good news about that: Soy contains natural plant compounds called isoflavones that reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Because isoflavones can mimic behaviors of the hormone estrogen, a common fear is that the isoflavones in tofu can increase the risk of cancer. A review of studies shows, however, that isoflavones do not increase breast, thyroid or uterine cancer. In addition, they can help post-menopausal women manage hot flashes, fatigue and mood disturbances.

Unfamiliar with tofu? It’s a bit similar to cheese, which is made from milk. In this case, milk from soybeans is pressed out and the remaining curds are pressed into cakes like little blocks of soft cheese. Unlike cheese, tofu is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated fats.

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