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.

Jon Herring is the former Health Editor and copywriter for Early To Rise. While his formal education is in finance, Jon has invested over 3000 hours in the study of health and nutrition. He is deeply motivated to provide people with the information and the inspiration to live a long and active life, filled with energy and free from disease. Jon has also been a student of direct sales and marketing since an early age. Before he was 10 years old, he was selling door to door, and he has been an active entrepreneur ever since. After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1993, Jon moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he learned how to build houses, climb mountains, catch trout, and ski fast down hill. However, after several years of poverty with a nice view, Jon returned to his hometown of Nashville to seek his fortune. Within two years – at the age of 26 – he had started a direct marketing business that was earning six figure annual revenues. In addition to his passion for health, Jon has a strong interest in business and investing. He is also a staunch advocate for honest government and the libertarian values of privacy, freedom, and personal responsibility.