The Verdict on Soy: The Good, the Bad and the Questionable
There's a lot of conflict and confusion about soy: Does it prevent or cause cancer? Does it protect your heart and ease menopause symptoms? iVillage Health Editor-at-large, Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom, sets the record straight
Solid research supports the idea that 3-4 daily servings of soy can lower total cholesterol, particularly LDL (the artery-clogging “bad” cholesterol). Soy has been documented to block some of the cholesterol from being absorbed during digestion. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that food containing 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving can carry a “heart-healthy” label. It’s not magic food, of course. Eating soy does not offset the artery-clogging and LDL-elevating effects of a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol. To benefit, you need to eat soy foods as part of a heart-healthy diet that’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Try replacing meat with tofu or tempeh once or twice a week.