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Corn+Soybean Digest

Cooking Cardiologist Prescribes Soyfoods

Richard Collins is one physician who practices what he prescribes. He's a gourmet chef who usessoy as a staple in a high-protein, low-fat menu.

Called the "cooking cardiologist," Collins is also director of The Heart Institute in Omaha, NE. He's convinced that soyfoods have helped his patients live longer.

Four years ago, The Heart Institute was the first in the nation to stress that heart disease can be reversed. Research had indicated that a high-protein, low-fat soy diet may have a lot to do with that.

"But, I decided, before I put a patient through a soy diet, I would try it myself," Collins remembers. "I lost 20 pounds, had more energy and felt better."

Now he's busy teaching patients how to reduce their fat intake and increase the amount of protein they consume. "They're no longer 'fat-tigued,' " he quips.

More than 2,600 Americans die each day from heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. And Collins, as a practicing cardiologist, is seeing more heart attacks in younger people.

He is especially concerned with the increase in number of pre-menopausal women suffering from the deadly disease.

"Prevention is the key to winning the fight against heart disease."

Although Collins travels extensively, giving cooking seminars to doctors, patients and others, he hopes his video, "Soy Healthy Cooking," can reach more people.

The video comes with a brochure of 45 recipes mentioning soy brands that are distributed nationally. That's so cooks can more easily find necessary ingredients. Recipes range from pasta and pizza to apple crisp and chocolate mousse. His version of an egg-and-sausage, fast-food breakfast sandwich, which usually contains 29 grams of fat and 400 calories, holds only 4 grams of fat and 250 calories.

"It tastes great," he adds.

Collins recommends replacing some high-fat foods with products such as tofu, soy beverage and soy flour. But don't just cut up some tofu, stir-fry it with vegetables and decide it doesn't taste good.

Instead, find recipes that are much like what you may already be making. Just substitute a fourth of the all-purpose flour with soy flour, or put soy beverage instead of cow milk in your oatmeal.

He says consuming at least 30-40 grams of soy each day makes a difference healthwise. That can be achieved by drinking a chocolate tofu "smoothie," adding tofu in place of meat or cheese and using soy beverage or part soy flour when baking.

Start putting soy in three or four meals a week, he suggests. But know that not all soy foods are beneficial. Highly processed soy foods, such as soy protein concentrates, don't provide needed health benefits.

Once you've made soy work in your recipes, he recommends two servings of soy per day, plus five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables -- and limiting foods high in fat.

Collins' video gives research and nutritional information. It also shows Collins preparing various dishes from his recipe booklet.

To order, call 800-869-4956. The cost is $17.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling.

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