Archive for September, 2011
Soy foods are the healthiest foods you can put on the table. Eating two servings of soy foods, like two glasses of low-fat soy milk, reduces risks for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and overweight. Over the last 20 years I have done research on soy foods for blood fat levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease in diabetes, and obesity. In three dozen publications I have documented the health effects and safety of soy foods.
Soy foods are about the best choice for “fixing” abnormal blood fat levels. Two servings of soy protein (about 14 grams per day) lower the ‘bad-guy’ LDL-cholesterol, raise the ‘good-guy’ HDL-cholesterol, and reduce other ‘bad-actor’ blood fat triglycerides. Daily intake of two servings of soy protein has the potential to lower heart attack risk by 15 to 20%. Soy foods also lower blood pressures, further reducing risk for heart attack or stroke.
Diabetic individuals get special benefits from soy foods. In addition to improving blood fat levels, soy foods protect from kidney disease or actually improve kidney disease if it has developed. Soy foods have specific benefits in lowering blood glucose levels and also help in weight management.
Soy foods are widely available in the supermarket. Soy milk, such as Silk, soy burgers and other meat substitutes, edamame (green soybeans in the pod or shelled), soy beans (use like pinto beans in cooking), tofu, and soy shakes (try Revival soy shakes).
Soy foods are very safe. Like all proteins, there is the occasional soy protein allergy. Soy protein allergy is less common than peanut allergy and about as common as milk protein allergy. Soy protein does not affect thyroid function or interfere with effectiveness of thyroid hormone use. It does not have an adverse effect on male or female children. Some people recommend that women who have breast cancer should not use soy protein. My careful review of this area suggests that soy protein is protective from breast cancer and I have recommended its use to patients and family members who have a history of breast cancer.
So, select soy foods that you like and enjoy them daily.