Q. Is soy good or bad for an overweight breast cancer survivor? I’ve heard both.
A. Breast cancer survivors have sometimes been warned to avoid soy-based foods because of the natural estrogen-like compounds soy contains. A recent study of survivors from Shanghai, China, showed that is not necessary. In fact, women in this study who ate the most tofu, miso and other soy foods were less likely to experience a recurrence of their breast cancer than those who ate the least soy-based foods (Journal of the American Medical Association, Dec. 9, 2009).
Experts caution that this good news may not apply to supplements containing soy compounds such as genistein. You should be able to enjoy miso soup, tofu and tempeh without worry.