Tofu & Tempeh – Whole foods for a wholesome diet!

Our store shelves today are awash with food-like products masquerading as the real thing. As best-selling author Michael Pollan notes, if any food you buy contains more than two or three ingredients, chances are you’re getting more food substitute than real food. That’s another reason why Surata Soy Foods Tofu and Tempeh give you great return on your food dollar. Our products are the real deal; made from only whole foods: organic beans, herbs, and grains. No special additives, no fillers, no substitutions for what Nature intended. This page is devoted to some of the health benefits found in all Surata products. Check out the contacts and info below to learn more about the differences between a real food and a raw deal!

Foods like Surata’s Tofu and Tempeh are included in the FDA’s list of approved foods that can carry the Heart Healthy label. Since Surata products are made with the whole soybean — rather than with soya flakes, like so many other brands of tofu — and contain no fat other than what is found in the bean itself, Surata products qualify for this important health distinction.

Coronary heart disease, one of the most common and serious forms of cardiovascular disease, is a major public health concern because it causes more deaths in the United States than any other disease.

Scientific studies show that 25 grams of soy protein daily in the diet is needed to show a significant cholesterol lowering effect. In order to qualify for the FDA’s health claim, a food must contain at least 6.25 grams of soy per serving. Surata’s products contain over twice this amount per serving. Moreover, the versatility of the tofu and tempeh recipes found in this website make this an easy—and delicious— goal to reach.

Study Suggests Soy Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

A recent study found that the more soy foods women eat, the lower their blood pressure becomes, especially among older women.
In the study, researchers evaluated the association between consuming different amounts of soy products and blood pressure among 45,694 Chinese women participating in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study.

Both systolic blood pressure, which is represented by the top number in a blood pressure reading, and diastolic blood pressure, which is the pressure on the bottom number in a reading, were tested in the subjects two to three years after they completed a food intake survey.

The investigators found that soy protein intake was inversely associated with both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Therefore, the more soy protein the women ate, the lower their blood pressure was. For example, as compared with women who ate less than 2.5 grams of soy protein per day, those who consumed at least 25 grams of soy protein per day had a systolic blood pressure that was an average of 1.9 mm Hg lower and a diastolic blood pressure that was an average of 0.9 mm Hg lower.
Furthermore, the relationship between higher soy intake and lower blood pressure became stronger with increasing age.

Women older than 60 years of age who ate at least 25 grams of soy protein per day had a systolic blood pressure that was an average of 4.9 mm Hg lower and a diastolic blood pressure that was an average of 2.2 mm Hg lower than women eating the smallest amount of soy foods.

This study was published in the May 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.




(It should be noted that the benefits listed below may not apply to all people. Much depends on an individual’s diet, health, and sensitivity to soy. More importantly, the benefits described below are largely applicable to whole foods like tofu or tempeh. Foods which isolate some of the nutrients in soy and convert them into adulterated products like textured vegetable protein (TVP) can actually be harmful if consumed in large quantities. For more information, see below)


Soy foods, especially tofu and tempeh, contain antioxidants – compounds which protect cells from damage caused by unstable oxygen molecules called “free radicals”. Free radicals are believed to be responsible for initiating many forms of cancer, as well as premature aging.


Asian women, who typically eat a soy-based diet, have much lower levels of breast cancer than do Western women. Test tube studies and tests involving laboratory animals have shown that compounds in soy can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.


Scores of studies from around the world attest to soy’s cholesterol lowering properties, especially for people with high cholesterol levels.


A recent U.S. study showed that Americans who make tofu a regular part of their diet had significantly lower rates of colon cancer than those who did not eat soy.


Hip fractures caused by osteoperosis are a major problem among elderly women in the U.S. Japanese women have half the rate of hip fractures as U.S. women; preliminary studies suggest that soy may help retain bone mass.


Half of all menopausal women in the U.S. complain of hot flashes; a problem so rare in Japan that there’s not even a word for it. Some researchers believe that special compounds in soy called phytoestrogens may help Japanese women stay cool.


Studies show that soybean peptides can boost the immune system, helping the body fight disease.


Soy protein is easier on the kidneys than is animal protein, and may slow down or prevent kidney damage in people with impaired kidney function.


Several studies have linked soy consumption to lower rates of lung cancer.


A major study of Japanese men in Hawaii found a direct correlation between consumption of tofu and tempeh and lower rates of prostate cancer. Some studies of soy compounds suggest that they can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.

Does soy present any health concerns?

Rumors have occasionally circulated about the supposed adverse health consequences of eating soy. For a thorough review of these alleged problems, we refer you to the excellent article on soy by John Robbins, which can be accessed at (“What About Soy?”). To quote from the article:

“….when soybeans are made into soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and the other common forms of soy foods, their protein digestibility is enhanced and becomes similar to animal foods. Any negative impact on protein digestibility due to the presence of the enzyme inhibitors found in soybeans is rendered nearly irrelevant in such foods. And even simple soybeans, with their reduced digestibility, are so high in protein and in all the essential amino acids that they could still easily serve as the sole source of protein in a person’s diet if that was necessary for some reason.”

One of the main points of Mr. Robbins’ article is that most problems associated with soy consumption are when it is consumed in a processed and concentrated state such as soy isolates. Soy isolates, or pure isoflavones, may cause problems when consumed in large quantities.

Like any nutritious food, soy is best eaten as part of a well-balenced diet, one that is low in saturated fat and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. More importantly, soy is best consumed in cooked and fermented whole foods where the full nutritional benefits of soy are readily available, such as tofu, tempeh, miso, nato, yuba, soymilk, etc.