High intakes of animal protein are associated with high rates of coronary heart disease. However, high intakes of soy protein are associated with low rates of the disease. Research shows that soy foods offer more protection for your heart than any other food that can be consumed.
- Soy foods reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke by lowering the bad LDL-cholesterol by 15 to 30 points and lowering triglycerides while raising the good HDL-cholesterol.
- They also lower blood pressure, thus reducing risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Soy foods contain isoflavones with potent antioxidant properties that act to protect the arteries from oxidized fats by preventing the oxidation of lipid particles.
- Soy foods act to reverse hardening of the arteries in a similar manner to the statin drugs. Evidence indicates that the combined use of soy protein, soluble fiber, and plant sterols have the potential to decrease serum LDL-cholesterol values by 25-30% which is equivalent to the effects of the statin drugs.
- They improve blood vessel health by helping the blood dilate to increase blood flow to the heart or brain.
After reviewing clinical studies of soy foods, the FDA approved the health claim that daily soy intake is heart-healthy. There is an overwhelming amount of research supporting the claim that soy can help prevent heart disease.
For a happy heart, enjoy two servings of soy protein per day, as I do. Increasing your soy food intake can provide you with long-term heart protection; the sooner you start enjoying soy the better for your health.
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Soy foods have been used around the world for thousands of years because so many people realize its healthy qualities. Extensive research documents the many health benefits of soy foods; the FDA approved the health claim that daily soy intake is heart-healthy. Soy foods are produced from the soybeans grown in the United States and other countries. These foods are nutrient-rich foods that contain the following:
- high-quality protein
- healthy fats
- plant estrogens (isoflavones)
- vitamins and minerals
The advantages of whole soy foods, as opposed to foods with soy ingredients, are that the whole soybean has many health promoting benefits in addition to those provided by the ingredients alone. Some popular whole soy foods include whole soybeans, green soybeans, also known as edamame, and dry roasted soy nuts. In order to experience the benefits of soy foods, two of the following serving sizes are recommended per day: ½ cup of cooked soybeans, 2/3 cup of green soybeans in the pod, 1 oz of roasted soy nuts, one glass of soy milk, ½ cup tofu, or six grams of isolated soy protein.
Research shows the following conditions and diseases benefit from soy foods:
- Coronary heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure: View blog, “Soy for your Heart” for more details.
- Menopause, breast cancer, osteoporosis: Read blog, “Soy and Women’s Health,” for more information.
- Cancer: See upcoming blog, “Cancer Fighting Food: Soy.”
- Diabetes, obesity, kidney disease: Upcoming blog titled, “Soy for Renal Health,” will have more details.
Soy foods are one of the healthiest foods you can put on the table and are a tasty way to add variety to your diet.
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Many of my patients have dropped their total cholesterol by 80 points through an intense diet. Their LDL (bad-guy) cholesterol has decreased from 150 to 90 points! In our research in Kentucky we documented for hundreds of patients that we could lower the LDL cholesterol by 35-45% through our high carbohydrate, high fiber diet without weight loss or exercise. These diets were rich in oats (oatmeal and oatbran), beans (pinto and other dry beans), vegetables and fruits.
Dr. David Jenkins at the University of Toronto has also demonstrated in hundreds of people that they can lower their LDL-cholesterol by 35-40% using his ‘Portfolio Diet.’
Both diets are high in complex carbohydrate and soluble fiber while being very low in red meat, processed meat, high fat dairy foods, and eggs.
And you do not have to lose weight to do this! But, if you are a few pounds overweight, this diet will help you make those love handles smaller.
So, with serious attention to your diet your can drop your cholesterol by 80 points and your LDL bad guys by 60 points.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
Your blood cholesterol level is a major cause of heart attacks. The foremost way to lower your cholesterol and protect yourself from heart attacks is to limit your intake of meats, processed meats (sausage, hamburger and lunch meat), high fat dairy foods (ice cream, milk and butter) and eggs.
The American Heart Association recommends the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change, which includes a diet limited in meat, animal fat and high fat dairy foods as well as walking 30 minutes daily. The goal also is to achieve a desirable, non-obese weight.
Know Your Numbers
- LDL-cholesterol (the “bad guy” type)- desirable is less than 130 and ideal is less than 100 mg/dl (for persons with heart disease the goal is 70 mg/dl);
- HDL-cholesterol (the “good guy” type)- desirable for women, more than 50; and for men, more than 40 mg/dl;
- Triglycerides (the other type of blood fat), less than 150 mg/dl.
Most people can lower their “bad guy” (LDL) cholesterol by 25 to 45% by making changes to their eating habits. I lowered my high LDL cholesterol from 200 to 110 through diet alone.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )