– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Soy proteins have the power to help lower cholesterol levels, researchers report.
In light of officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) planning to remove soy from the list of heart healthy foods, investigators from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto have set out to provide a meta-analysis of 46 existing trials that evaluated soy in order to determine the effects of soy, a type of legume native to east Asia, on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is often labelled “bad cholesterol”.
Accordingly, they found that soy protein reduced LDL cholesterol by three to four per cent in adults, a “small but significant” amount.
“When one adds the displacement of high saturated fat and cholesterol-rich meats to a diet that includes soy, the reduction of cholesterol could be greater,” lead author Dr. David Jenkins said. “The existing data and our analysis of it suggest soy protein contributes to heart health.”
The edible bean is able to be used in the place of many meat and dairy substitutes, with traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans including soy milk and tofu, as well as fermented options like soy sauce, fermented bean paste, and tempeh.
Regarding the findings, Dr. Jenkins and his team hope that the FDA officials will revaluate their view of soy protein as it pertains to heart health.
“We hope the public will continue to consider plant-based diets as a healthy option,” he added. “It is in line with Health Canada’s recently released Food Guide, which emphasises plant protein food consumption by Canadians.”
Full study results have been published in The Journal of Nutrition.