ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - Jun 27, 2011) - From fine china at a five star restaurant to a paper plate at a backyard bar-b-que, selecting a variety of healthy foods for every meal is the foundation of a good diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently unveiled a new icon to help people plan healthier diets -- MyPlate. The new icon focuses on filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables and then filling the other half with healthy grains and lean proteins. The USDA's ChooseMyPlate.gov site encourages consumers to select a variety of proteins including plant-based proteins such as soy.
"Soy is a healthy choice that more people are trying out -- whether it's for a 'Meatless Monday' tradition or as a part of a vegetarian diet," said Simon Lusky, research chef at Solae, LLC. "It is a source of high-quality protein and is low in saturated fat. You can find products with soy protein in any grocery store -- and the prices are comparable to meat products."
A recent International Food Information Council survey on Functional Foods showed that 46 percent of consumers are concerned about cardiovascular disease -- and that 65 percent of consumers are aware of soy's heart health benefits. Soy protein has been clinically proven to lower cholesterol. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's authorized health claim for soy protein says: "25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." One soy burger can provide up to 10 grams of protein or more.
"Summertime is the season for grilling and cook-outs. It's a great time to experiment with soy protein while still serving your family their favorite meals," said Lusky. "Many soy protein products -- such as Match® meats -- cook in the same way as ground beef and turkey. Soy protein is extremely versatile so you're able to take your family's favorite burger recipe -- and increase the heart health benefits of the meal with using soy -- and it will still taste delicious."
A variety of soy protein products for grilling are available in grocery stores. The food ingredients label will say "textured soy protein" or "isolated soy protein."
"A number of products are available to choose from -- whether you're in the mood for a hot dog or a hamburger," said Lusky. "Pre-made burgers are available for a fast healthy dinner, but you can also buy mixtures that mimic the texture and function of ground meats."
Lusky says you can develop a burger that's half ground meat and half soy protein if you want to reduce the saturated fat in your meal.
"It is important to follow the same food safety rules when you're grilling with soy protein," said Lusky. "You won't have the pink color of the meat to use as a guide, so be sure to cook until the internal temperature of the burger is at 155 F."
Click here (http://www.solae.com/~/media/Files/E-Newsletter/Greek_Burger_Recipe.pdf) for a soy protein burger recipe developed by Chef Simon Lusky.
Solae, LLC is a world leader in developing soy-based ingredients for nutritious, great-tasting products. Solae provides solutions that deliver a unique combination of functional, nutritional, economical and sustainable benefits to our customers. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the company was formed through a joint venture between DuPont (NYSE: DD) and Bunge (NYSE: BG) in 2003. Solae is a recipient of 2011 Ethisphere's Ethics Inside Certification and was recognized as one of 100 "World's Most Ethical Companies" in 2011. For more information, visit www.Solae.com, or follow the company on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/SolaeLLC, Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SolaeLLC, and LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/Solae-LLC.