Is Soya Chunks good for Diabetes? Check benefits & Side effects

Soya chunks, derived from soybeans, have gained popularity as a versatile and nutritious plant-based protein source. These small, textured pieces are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a favoured choice among vegetarians, vegans, and health-conscious individuals. Soya chunks are often used as a meat substitute in various cuisines worldwide, including curries, stir-fries, stews, and salads, due to their ability to absorb flavours and mimic the texture of meat. Their convenience, affordability, and nutritional value have contributed to their widespread consumption and integration into diverse culinary traditions globally.

Soya Chunks For Diabetes

Nutritional Value of Soya Chunks

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, here is the nutritional breakdown of 100 grams of soybean:

Nutritional Value of Soya Chunks
Nutrients Amount
Water 8.54 g
Energy 446 kcal
Protein 36.5 g
Total lipid (fat) 19.9 g
Carbohydrates 30.2 g
Dietary fiber 9.3 g
Sugars 7.33 g
Calcium 277 mg
Iron 15.7 mg
Magnesium 280 mg
Phosphorus 704 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Potassium 1800 mg
Vitamin C 6 mg

Glycemic Index of Soya Chunks

According to the National Institutes of Health, Soyabean scores low on the glycemic index – approximately 16. Hence, soybeans are regarded as a beneficial choice for individuals managing diabetes. With a low glycemic index (GI) of below 55, foods like soybeans are digested slowly, resulting in gradual and steady increases in blood sugar levels. This characteristic makes soybeans an advantageous option for those seeking to regulate their blood sugar levels. However, since soybeans are typically consumed in moderate portions as a protein source, their impact on blood sugar is generally minimal compared to carbohydrate-rich foods.

Read More: Best Indian Diet Plan Chart for Weight Loss

Benefits of Soya Chunks

Benefits of Soya Chunks

Soya chunks are considered a healthy alternative to meat in many countries, especially in India, where people often refrain from consuming meat due to various reasons. Soya chunks offer numerous benefits, even for those suffering from diabetes.

Aids In Diabetes Management

Including soya chunks in your diet is good for diabetics. According to the NIH, Soya chunks contain isoflavones, which can lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and prevent blood sugar levels from rising too much. Incorporating soya chunks into meals provides a nutritious and satisfying option for individuals looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels and support overall health.

Good For Cardiovascular Health

Soya chunks are beneficial for cardiovascular health due to their low saturated fat content and high levels of unsaturated fats. These plant-based protein sources help lower LDL cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. According to the Better Health Channel, eating soya chunks supports heart health and helps prevent Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).

Additionally, soya chunks contain isoflavones, which have antioxidant properties that promote heart health by reducing inflammation and improving blood vessel function. Including soya chunks in the diet can contribute to a healthier heart and overall cardiovascular well-being.

Helps Relieve Menopausal Symptoms

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, soya chunks can be helpful for women experiencing hot flashes during menopause. Hot flashes occur due to lower estrogen levels, but the isoflavones in soybeans are similar to estrogen. Eating soya chunks regularly, which contain isoflavones, might provide similar effects. Isoflavones weakly bind to estrogen receptors, acting like estrogen. This can help alleviate symptoms because the ovaries produce less estrogen during menopause. Always consult a doctor if experiencing these symptoms and avoid self-medicating.

Promotes Weight Management

According to the National Institutes of Health, soya chunks support weight loss due to their high protein content. A 100-gram serving of soya chunks contains about 36.5 grams of protein, promoting a feeling of fullness and potentially reducing calorie intake. Moreover, increased protein consumption may enhance daily calorie expenditure through its higher thermic effect, aiding in burning more calories, according to research.

Carries Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Soya chunks possess anti-inflammatory properties due to their rich content of isoflavones, particularly genistein and daidzein. These compounds have been shown to inhibit inflammatory pathways in the body, reducing the production of inflammatory molecules such as cytokines.

As per the findings of BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, protein and phenolic compounds are the main bioactive constituents that help exhibit the anti-inflammatory effects of soya.

Additionally, soya chunks contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which further contribute to their anti-inflammatory effects by neutralising free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. Incorporating soya chunks into the diet may help mitigate inflammation and promote overall health.

Read More: Is Rice Good For Diabetes?

How Many Soya Chunks Can You Eat Each Day?

Soya chunks are packed with protein and can be eaten daily, but it’s important to eat them in moderation. A good amount is about 25 to 30 grams (around ½ cup) per day. It’s best to prepare them at home to get the most nutrition out of them.

How To Eat Soya Chunks For Diabetes?

A simple and diabetes-friendly recipe using soya chunks is Soya Chunk Stir-Fry.


  • 1 cup soya chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)


  • Start by rehydrating the soya chunks in hot water for about 15-20 minutes or until they become soft. Once done, drain the water and squeeze out any excess moisture from the soya chunks.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add minced garlic and ginger, and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  • Add chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.
  • Add the sliced bell pepper and julienned carrot to the skillet and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften.
  • Now, add the rehydrated soya chunks to the skillet and mix well with the vegetables.
  • In a small bowl, mix together low-sodium soy sauce, vinegar, chilli flakes (if using), salt, and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce mixture over the soya chunks and vegetables in the skillet. Stir-fry everything together for another 3-4 minutes until the soya chunks are well coated with the sauce and the vegetables are tender yet crisp.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.
  • Serve hot as a nutritious and delicious meal option for diabetes management.

This recipe provides a balanced mix of protein, fiber, and vegetables, making it suitable for individuals with diabetes. It’s important to monitor portion sizes and choose low-sodium ingredients to keep the dish diabetes-friendly.

Read More: Is Cauliflower Good for Diabetic Patients?

Side-Effects of Overconsumption of Soya Chunks

Side-Effects of Overconsumption of Soya Chunks

While soya chunks are generally considered safe when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, overconsumption may lead to certain side effects due to their high protein content and phytoestrogen levels. Some potential side effects of overconsumption of soya chunks include:

Digestive issues:

Soya chunks contain oligosaccharides and complex carbohydrates that may cause bloating, gas, and digestive discomfort in some individuals, especially if consumed in large amounts.

Hormonal imbalance:

Soya chunks contain phytoestrogens, plant compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. Overconsumption of phytoestrogens may disrupt hormonal balance in some individuals, leading to potential issues such as menstrual irregularities or altered thyroid function.

Allergic reactions:

Some individuals may be allergic to soy protein, which can cause allergic reactions such as itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Overconsumption of soya chunks increases the risk of triggering allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.

Mineral absorption interference:

Soya chunks contain compounds called phytates, which can bind to minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium, reducing their absorption in the body. Overconsumption of soya chunks may lead to potential mineral deficiencies over time if not adequately compensated for in the diet.

Thyroid function disruption:

Excessive intake of soya chunks, particularly in the form of unfermented soy products, may interfere with thyroid function in some individuals due to their goitrogenic properties. Goitrogens can inhibit the production of thyroid hormones and may affect thyroid function when consumed excessively.

It’s important to consume soya chunks in moderation as part of a varied and balanced diet to minimise the risk of potential side effects. 

Read More: 7 Day Indian Diet Plan for Diabetic Patients


Soya chunks offer a multitude of benefits for diabetes management and overall health. Their nutritional value, including high protein and fiber content, supports weight management and aids in controlling blood sugar levels. Moreover, soya chunks promote cardiovascular health, relieve menopausal symptoms, and possess anti-inflammatory properties. However, it’s crucial to consume them in moderation to avoid potential side effects like digestive issues, hormonal imbalance, allergic reactions, and interference with mineral absorption and thyroid function. By incorporating soya chunks wisely into a balanced diet, individuals can enjoy their health benefits while minimising risks.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is it good to eat soya chunks every day?

Eating soya chunks every day can be beneficial as they are rich in protein, fiber, and other nutrients. However, moderation is key to ensuring a balanced diet.

Does soya chunks increase blood sugar?

Soya chunks have a low glycemic index and do not significantly increase blood sugar levels when consumed in moderation.

Do soya chunks have sugar in them?

Soya chunks typically do not contain added sugar unless they are flavoured or processed with sweeteners. Check the label for added sugars if concerned.

Should diabetics avoid soy?

Diabetics can include soy in their diet, but it’s important to monitor portion sizes and choose unsweetened varieties to avoid excessive sugar intake.

Is soy good for type 2 diabetes?

Soy can be beneficial for type 2 diabetes due to its low glycemic index and high protein content, which helps in managing blood sugar levels when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

Does soy increase insulin?

Soy does not directly increase insulin levels but can contribute to better blood sugar control due to its low glycemic index and high protein content.

Is soya good for men?

Soya can be beneficial for men as it provides a good source of plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals that support overall health, including muscle strength and heart health.

What are soya chunks made of?

Soya chunks are made from defatted soy flour or soy protein isolate, which is a processed soybean meal with the fat removed. They are then texturised to resemble meat-like chunks.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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