Soy It Isn’t So

I’ve written several times recently about the unhealthy aspects of soy. Not only does it mimic the hormone estrogen, soy can also increase homocysteine, an important risk factor for heart disease.

But what about all the marketing hype that suggests soy lowers your cholesterol? Well, despite the media push to promote soy in this way – and a positive recommendation from the American Heart Association (AHA) – a careful review of the research suggests that eating soy is not an effective way to lower cholesterol.

In fact, as evidence to the contrary has started to mount, the AHA is backtracking on its recommendation. In a Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism review of published studies, researchers concluded that the compounds in soy had no significant effect on cholesterol.

However, there are several important foods that can help improve your cholesterol – almonds, in particular. A recent study of men with high cholesterol showed that almond butter, as well as raw and dry-roasted almonds, helped to significantly lower cholesterol levels within four weeks. The researchers found that blanched almonds did not have the same effect … so stick to almonds in their natural state.