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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