Soy’s Heart Health Effects
The contentious protein source needs to be viewed in context.
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Soy protein products often use labels claiming the ingredient lowers the risk of heart disease; in light of emerging research, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants the claims removed.
Despite mixed research about the cardiovascular benefits of soy protein, many dietitians still believe it to be a great addition to a healthy diet.
“The FDA is merely saying they cannot link soy protein (in isolation) to a reduced risk for heart disease,” explains Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., a registered dietitian at UCLA Medical Center. “However, there is evidence to suggest that the substitution (not merely the addition) of soy protein or any plant-based protein for an animal-based one can lower risk for heart disease.” Soy protein products offer many additional health benefits. They’re great sources of calcium, iron, magnesium, and folate notes Toby Amidor, a New York City-based registered dietitian.
“There is no need to avoid soy protein,” Hunnes emphasizes. Some of the best forms are edamame, tofu, and soy milks (buy organic to avoid GMOs) to get the benefits of their plant-based origins and added fiber.”