Monday, March 7, 2011

Define That Food! Soy Lecithin Defined.

March is National Nutrition Month, so I'm going to be spending some time in the next few weeks getting a little more curious about what's in the food I eat and educating myself about those mysterious ingredients that I see and wonder...what is that anyway?

Today, it's Soy Lecithin.  I shop pretty clean, but I see this ingredient even on items that I buy at Earth Fare or in the Greenwise section at Publix.  So, in the spirit of National Nutrition Month, I googled it to see exactly what it was.  Here's what I found out:

According to Nutritional Supplements Health Guide, soy lecithin is a mixture of phospholipids derived from the processing of soybeans and generally used as a natural emollient and has been utilized in various food and industrial applications.

That meant absolutely nothing to me, so I kept reading.  Here's that statement translated into something a History major (like me) can understand (thanks

Soy lecithin a by-product of soybean oil used as an additive in food like candy bars and baked goods to make the dough easier to work with. It's not bad for you unless you're allergic to soy, and its been found to be good for brain development, increased memory, and heart disease prevention. Ultimately, its a convenience factor for food manufacturers: it replaces more expensive and faster-perishable ingredients and extends the shelf life of products.  Naturally, I would rather go the route of baking our own breads and cereal bars and whatnot, but from what I've read, unless you have an allergy to soy this product is not going to cause you much harm.

So, now you know.  I am by no means an expert, though, so if you are and know differently, please share your wisdom with a comment! 

By the way, has a bunch of fun games, quizzes, recipes and more to help your family learn about the food you eat and get those kiddos more food savvy, as well.  Check it out and learn something today. :)

Good day!

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