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Soybeans and Weight Loss

author image Natalie Stein
Natalie Stein specializes in weight loss and sports nutrition. She is based in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Stein holds a master of science degree in nutrition and a master of public health degree from Michigan State University.
Soybeans and Weight Loss
A spoonful of green soybeans on a wood table. Photo Credit: Magone/iStock/Getty Images

Not just for vegetarians, mature soybeans and green soybeans can be nutritious snacks or ingredients in dishes such as stir-fry, edamame hummus and veggie burgers. They are high-protein foods that are also good sources of calcium, potassium, iron and folate. Eaten in moderation and along with other low-calorie foods, soybeans can be part of a successful weight-loss plan.

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Control Your Calories

You need to consume fewer calories than you expend in order to lose weight. A half-cup of roasted soybeans contains 405 calories, 1/2 cup of green soybeans, or edamame, contains 188 calories and 1/2 cup of boiled mature soybeans contains 149 calories. To save calories, you can snack on edamame instead of roasted soybeans. Limit your portion sizes to prevent yourself from taking in too many calories.

Take Advantage of Protein

Protein is a filling nutrient that can help delay the onset of hunger after you eat a meal or snack. Soybeans are naturally high in quality protein. A half-cup of green soybeans provides 17 grams of protein, which is 34 percent of the daily value. Add edamame to soups and green salads to increase their protein content and make them more filling.

Reduce Hunger With Fiber

A half-cup of edamame contains 5.4 grams of fiber, while boiled soybeans provide 2.6 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup. The daily value for fiber is 25 grams. Fiber is a filling nutrient that can help you control your weight. For a high-fiber, calorie-controlled snack, add a small amount of edamame to a fruit salad.


Soybeans, especially the roasted type, are relatively high in calories, so adding them to your diet without compensating by eating less of other foods can cause weight gain. To lose weight, eat soybeans instead of higher-calorie foods. Make a veggie burger with soybeans, grated carrots and zucchini instead of full-fat ground beef. For a snack, having edamame instead of cheese and crackers can cut calories and saturated fat while still providing fiber and calcium.

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