By Sofia Segounis, Nutritionist
Soy products are popping up everywhere in our supermarket—even in skin creams and lotions. Why is the humble soybean receiving so much attention?
Soy has many health benefits and can act as a perfect substitute for many of your favorite unhealthy food choices. As milk, veggie burgers and soy cheeses, or as the perfect addition to any stir-fry, regular consumption of soy can help reduce your risk of heart disease, ease the symptoms of menopause and help prevent osteoporosis.
Soy for a Healthy Heart
In October 1999, the Food and Drug Administration gave manufacturers permission to label products that contain soy with the health claim, "May help lower the risk of heart disease". This health claim is only allowed if the product has 6.25 grams or more of soy protein per serving and is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This number came from studies that found a diet containing as little as 25 grams of soy protein per day can help to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol), as well as reduce hypertension. However, ingesting 25 grams of soy protein per day without following a proper diet will not produce heart health benefits.