October 25, 1999

1 Min Read
FDA Approves Soy Health Claim

WASHINGTON--After two years of waiting for approval, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a health claim for soy protein. On Oct. 26, FDA authorized companies to include a health claim about soy protein's role in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease on product labels. The soy health claim was based on the conclusion that foods containing soy protein, as a part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

In studies, soy protein's cholesterol-lowering effects were tested against those of animal proteins such as beef and chicken. It was found that the soy protein alone was responsible for the heart health benefits.

Among the soy products included under the claim's umbrella are tofu, tempeh, soy-based meat alternatives and a number of baked goods. To carry the label claim, the foods must also meet FDA requirements for being low fat, low in saturated fat, and low cholesterol. Foods made from whole soybeans, which may not be low fat because of the fat in the soybean, are eligible for the claim as long as there is no added fat.

In order to qualify for the claim, the food in question must contain 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving. The claim will read, "Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of (name of food) provides __ grams of soy protein."

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