Which soy product was recommended as a cholesterol-busting food when eaten in combination with 2 other foods?
A. Soy sauce
A. Soy sauce - 6%
B. Tofu - 28%
C. Edamame - 48%
D. Miso - 16%
Dr. Neal Barnard, founder and President of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, appeared on the 3/23/12 episode of The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Barnard says that by using the right supplements and foods people can change their cholesterol levels.
Combining the right foods is one key to lowering your cholesterol by 30 points, according to Dr. Barnard. Here are the foods he recommends to eat daily, together or at least within 12 hours, to support healthy cholesterol levels:
- 1 ounce of okra
- 2 ounces of tofu
- 1 ounce of almonds
- 1 pat of Benecol Spread
Dr. Barnard says that combining tofu with these foods can help to lower cholesterol by 30 points. I did some searching online and found conflicting information.
Tofu, edamame and miso would be your best sources of soy, with soy sauce at the bottom of the list used as a seasoning.
Dr. Barnard also recommended taking 1,200mg of Red Yeast Rice daily with food and to give it 6 weeks before it can start to change cholesterol numbers. He also recommended eating ½ cup of oyster mushrooms daily and allow 6 weeks for results.
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D., states on MayoClinic.com that “although eating soy-based foods can slightly reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol level, the American Heart Association has concluded that soy doesn't significantly lower cholesterol.”
The reason cholesterol levels are lowered when people eat soy, says Dr. Behrenbeck, is that they are often replacing higher cholesterol animal proteins when they eat soy. So according to Dr. Behrenbeck it's not the soy, it's cutting out high cholesterol foods.
On the other hand, HealthyHeartGuide.com states, 27 clinical studies have shown that soy can indeed lower LDL cholesterol. “One of the studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1995 concluded that soy protein can significantly lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as triglycerides (fats), another leading risk factor of heart disease.”
I guess it depends on who you wish to believe. The fact still remains that reducing your intake of cholesterol as well as focusing on healthier food options and exercise are still good bets for over-all heart health.
Dr. Neal Barnard is the author of the 21-Day Weight-Loss Kick Start: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, And Dramatically Improve Your Health.
For more resources on cholesterol and cardiovascular health, I love these two books: