Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Soy: Does it reduce cholesterol?

Does soy reduce cholesterol?

Updated: 02-23-2012

Answer

Possibly. 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. However, eating soy-based foods can still be good for you because soy-based foods contain less saturated fat than meat does and also provide other beneficial nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber.

If you substitute soy for animal-based products, this switch — rather than the soy itself — may reduce your cholesterol.

Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you're interested in adding more soy to your diet.

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