An extensive body of literature indicates that soy food consumption leads to significant decreases in total cholesterol (10–19%), LDL cholesterol (14–20%), and triglycerides (8–14%).
Soluble fibre in soy beans assists with: Lowering of blood cholesterol levels, especially LDL (the “bad”) Cholesterol
The US Food and Drug Administration’s health claims on viscous fibres, soy protein, plant sterols, and nuts indicate that substantial research of these foods supports their ability to lower serum lipids and, as a result, reduce the risk of heart disease.
In a 2012 study it was demonstrated that a beverage consisting of 30 g soy protein and 4 g phytosterols added to a Mediterranean-style, low-glycaemic-index diet led to better improvements in lipid markers, such as triglycerides and total cholesterol, in women who were postmenopausal, overweight and had high lipid levels than a low-fat diet without these key phytochemical-rich foods.
- Essential fatty acids found in soya products (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid): Protect cell membranes (including blood vessel lining): admitting healthy nutrients and barring damaging substances, i.e. protecting one from developing atherosclerosis, and thus protective against heart disease
- Soya products do not contain and of the unhealthy saturated fats which accelerate a build-up of plaque in the arteries.
- Isoflavones / plant sterols found in soya have proven cholesterol-lowering effects.
Prevention of heart disease:
- Soy foods may help to prevent heart disease by reducing total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, blood pressure and possibly preventing plaque build-up in the arteries (atherosclerosis).
- A huge collective research study done in 2012 showed that soy (isoflavones) had an effect of lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension (high blood pressure), but not in those with normal blood pressure.
Written by Sue Scharff – Dieticians at Work