At PurMEDICA, we’re committed to finding the best, healthiest and most effective ways to improve your overall health. While we specialize in nutraceutical products, we also want to introduce you to additional foods and ingredients that have known health properties. You’ve probably heard of soybeans, but what you might not know is that they’re good for lowering your cholesterol levels as well. Following are five facts you should know about using soybean extract for cholesterol.
1. Soy Targets LDL (Bad) Cholesterol
The first thing you should know is that there are two kinds of cholesterol: high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which makes up good cholesterol, and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol, which is considered bad cholesterol. What’s special about HDL cholesterol is that it gathers cholesterol from other parts of your body and delivers it to your liver where it’s processed out of your body. LDL cholesterol the type you want to rid yourself of with soy extract. The danger of LDL cholesterol is that it can lead to an onset of heart disease when it builds up in your arteries.
In regards to using soybean extract for cholesterol, studies have shown that soy only helps to lower your bad cholesterol levels by roughly three percent. For this reason, soy extract is often considered mostly beneficial for individuals with high cholesterol levels rather than those who have a health cholesterol level and are simply trying to keep that level healthy.
2. Soy Can Serve As a Substitute for Several Foods
Once you realize how many different soy products there are, substituting them for some of your normal foods becomes much easier. Before you write off meat imitation products, at least give them a try. Just as there are several different soy products, there are several different brands that make soy products. If you truly want to lower your bad cholesterol levels, try different products from different brands until you find a few you like.
For dishes that call for chicken, use firm tofu instead. Just like chicken, you’ll have to add some seasonings and spices to give the tofu some flavor. A lot of people like to use soy sauce, but be aware that most soy sauce has a lot of sodium in it. Soy protein can be used in place of ground beef, and soy dogs can be just as good as regular hot dogs. If you decide to switch from cow’s milk to soy milk, make sure it’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D and that there’s not too much sugar in it. Soy products are also available as cheese, nut butter and edamame for a nice snack.
3. Not All Soy Is Created Equal
Don’t be so quick to dive into the wonderful world of soy that you neglect to read the labels of the products you’re buying. While “soy” is part of their name, soybean oil and soy sauce don’t actually contain soy protein. As you’re looking over labels, check to see that the product is low in sugar, salt, saturated fat and cholesterol. You won’t be doing yourself any good if you’re ingesting too much of the very thing you’re trying to get rid of. Finally, products that have “soya” as part of their names are made from soy.
4. Soy Should Be Used in Moderation
If you’re relatively uninitiated in the ways of soy, it’s best that your start slow. You’ll notice there’s a definite difference in the taste and texture of soy. Switch out your animal proteins for soy a few times a week, which is the most effective way to decrease your risk of heart disease while you lower your levels of saturated fat levels.
Rather than eating as much soy as you can, you’ll instead want to add some variety to your everyday diet. Be sure you still get plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, beans and nuts. While you may want to lower your cholesterol levels, you can’t neglect the rest of your body’s needs. Your palate will thank you, and so will your health.
Another reason we recommend that you start slow when using soybean extract to lower and control your bad cholesterol levels is that you might be one of the few people who have a bad reaction to soy. Such reactions include diarrhea, stomach pain and loose stools. There’s also a chance you could be allergic to soy. If you notice these symptoms or anything else that’s out of the ordinary, stop eating soy and talk with your doctor.
There is also some concern that soy can have negative hormonal effects in men. Controversy exists about this, so be sure to talk with an experienced nutritionist if you’re concerned for your hormonal health while eating soy.
5. Soy Has a Number of Other Health Benefits
Besides ridding your body of LDL cholesterol, there are several other advantages of eating products containing soy extract. For one thing, soy is a plant source that has eight essential amino acids, which makes it the only complete non-animal protein. Whole soy is also a great source for a number of nutrients, including calcium, B vitamins, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids. Eating plenty of protein is especially important for women who are older than 70, because many of them aren’t getting as much as they need every day.
No matter if you need to reduce your bad cholesterol levels or if you’re simply trying to eat healthier, including more soy in your diet can be of great benefit to you. PurMEDICA is here with an entire line of nutraceutical products to help you be at your healthiest and your best. See for yourself how much of a difference you feel by increasing your daily soy intake.