Flashback Friday: Is Miso Healthy?

Flashback Friday: Is Miso Healthy?

Miso is packed with sodium, which is linked to both stomach cancer and high blood pressure, so is it safe to consume?

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Indeed, miso paste, a whole soy food, can be used as a “green light” source of saltiness when cooking. That’s why I use it in my pesto recipe in How Not to Die (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/book-trailer-for-how-not-to-die/). It can help you in Shaking the Salt Habit (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/shaking-salt-habit/).

For delicious miso-containing recipes, check out:
• Recipe: Soba Noodle Soup (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/recipe-soba-noodle-soup/)
• Recipe: Veggie Mac & Cheese (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/recipe-veggie-mac-cheese/)
• Recipe: Garlic Caesar Salad Dressing (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/recipe-garlic-caesar-salad-dressing/)

Not convinced that salt is bad for you? Check out these videos:
• High Blood Pressure May Be a Choice (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/high-blood-pressure-may-be-a-choice/)
• Sprinkling Doubt: Taking Sodium Skeptics with a Pinch of Salt (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/sprinkling-doubt-taking-sodium-skeptics-with-a-pinch-of-salt/)
• The Evidence that Salt Raises Blood Pressure (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-evidence-that-salt-raises-blood-pressure/)
• Sodium Skeptics Try to Shake up the Salt Debate (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/sodium-skeptics-try-to-shake-up-the-salt-debate/)
• Sodium and Arterial Function: A-Salting our Endothelium (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/sodium-and-arterial-function-a-salting-our-endothelium/)

Not convinced that soy is good for you? See:
• Is Soy Good Healthy for Breast Cancer Survivors? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-soy-healthy-for-breast-cancer-survivors)
• Increased Lifespan from Beans (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/increased-lifespan-from-beans/)
• Who Shouldn’t Eat Soy? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/who-shouldnt-eat-soy)

Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flashback-friday-is-miso-healthy and someone on the NutritionFacts.org team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/flashback-friday-is-miso-healthy. You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

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48 Comments

  1. wow I never realized that my daily opium habit could lead to stomach cancer… the more you know!

  2. But we do need some salt don’t we? I mean, we can have too little salt? I think you need to say this when you talk about salt because, when you don’t, my reaction is to stop having it altogether.
    It would be interesting if it were possible to make miso without salt, and ask one group to have regular miso, and another group to have unsalted miso, and see how they do in comparison with each other.

  3. There might be a correlation between eating miso soup regularly and replacing less healthy options.
    According to my understanding of Japanese culture most people either eat traditional breakfasts (miso, small piece of fish, rice and natto/fermented soybeans) or white milk bread with jam.

  4. Lower risk of cancer compared with 0 risk of actually living a life. So it’s a choice.

  5. Table salt maybe, but not Himalayan salt….. It contains up to 84 trace minerals…. Coming close to nourishing the body which has and needs a 102 minerals.

  6. Wow this is so old… Probiotic effects not even mentioned. This is probably a segway to that though

  7. keep in mind, this japanese study involved people who origianlly had NORMAL blood pressure. So unless your blood pressure is perfect don’t go freely eating bowls of miso soup.
    Just because some healthy japanese people ate a high salt food and don’t have high blood pressure, you can’t claim unhealthy americans can eat the same food and it won’t effect them…

  8. One day, I had no salt, and the next day I was 7 pounds lighter. Apparently I had become sensitive to salt, so I quit using it (very difficult). This week I made my own salad dressing using soy milk and Bragg’s Amino Acid at a ration of 2 cups milk to 1 tablespoon Bragg’s. That caused a 3 pound weight gain even though I had only about 1/2 cups. As far as I know, I don’t have increased blood pressure, so I’m not sure if the results of the water retention and the study with blood pressure, but I can say the soy didn’t prevent the deleterious lower leg edema.

  9. I still would not eat Miso even if the soy counterbalance the salt. That stuff has too much sodium regardless!

  10. Just wondering, how much soy do Koreans eat? Is it a regular part of their diet? If so, maybe they need to up the amount, or perhaps more research is needed to see why the soy isn’t counterbalancing the salt in their diet?

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  12. Do you know if the salt in those studies contained fluoride? Do you know if it was consider as variable? As far as I know salt in miso cannot contain fluoride or iodine

  13. I’d still say because of the salt one should at least limit the consumption of miso and not overdo it. If I am ever needing a more salty taste to any dish, I’ll add miso to it instead of see salt. That’s for sure.

  14. I have kidney issue so I have to avoid salt (3g per day), I was thinking of all the ways I could use miso instead of salt (of course not in huge amounts, I would still count every gram), does anyone has any ideas, besides dressings and stir fry sauces? I make a "hummus" with miso, chickpeas and garlic (no tahini), as well as miso soup. Anything else?

  15. A lot of conjecture , but I don’t eat miso soup everyday , only when I go out for something special , then I eat the radioactive seaweed and get my iodine too lol
    Almost 30 days vegan ! Lost weight feel great and have much more energy.

  16. *hm* Two things:
    1) Miso soup is rarely eaten on its own and usually accompanies traditional, full course or homestyle Japanese style food (not Ramen, fried noodles or chicken, but the healthy kind). So Miso soup consumption in Japanese might just be a proxy variable for a more traditional and overall healthy diet.
    2) Miso soup and umeboshi with 30% less salt are widely available. Even in overseas Asian marts. It would be interesting to see, if there are any differences (in outcome for the people consuming the less salt variants).

  17. … or maybe the soy attracts the salt and after the applicable nutrients have been stripped out of the soup, the salt is just pooped out?

  18. Interesting. Koreans eat kimchi at every meal, but they also consume lots of miso. I love miso soup & in authentic Korean restaurants you can fill your bowl as often as you want & that goes for Kimchi too. Eating with Koreans was always a great experience bec they never once complained about the food. Ever!

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  20. Theres other YouTube videos that say Lack of salt can lead to early death.

    I don’t know what to believe now.

  21. excellent!! I will be cooking my large batches of soup with miso instead of bouillon. Thank you for all the work you do to help society be healthier.
    Blessings,
    🙂
    Patti

  22. But they recommend Salt tablets to POTS syndrome patients lovely how they try to kill us faster.

  23. When I make my ginger miso tahini date avocado sauce to put on top of stir fries, I have noticed that I get edema (noticeable swelling of my ankles) due to the sodium content of the miso paste. I have noticed it with a full serving of miso tofu in a salad as well.

  24. Anything that sounds like something Jar-Jar Binks might say before he eats it is a hard pass for me.

  25. Poorly drawn study. About 50 miles away from a double blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. There’s nothing magic about miso.

  26. very interesting to see health benefits of soy milk… is there a video comparing different plant milks to see which is the healthiest?

  27. I guess avoiding snacking would dramatically improve my health…bc I always reach for salty or sweet foods for snacks.

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