Soy for Health with Lila Ojeda, R.D.

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Research has shown that consuming one to three servings of soy daily can help reduce one's LDL levels by six percent. Join Lila Ojeda, RD who will discuss how to incorporate soy into your diet.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Moderator: Please welcome Lila Ojeda, RD. We are discussing the benefits of soy. Hello Lila!

Ojeda: Hi. I'm glad to be here tonight. Thanks for having me. This will be a fun topic!

Moderator: What exactly are the benefits of soy? Hey all... Feel free to ask a question anytime.

Ojeda: Well, there are basically 4 major benefits that are in the spotlight these days. Those include: cholesterol, cancer, osteoporosis and menopause (helping those of course). Some list as many as 10 benefits from eating soy, but these have the most research done on them. Is there one in particular you'd like to hear more about?

Moderator: Let's begin with cholesterol.

Ojeda: Sounds good. Studies have shown that eating about 20-50 grams of soy/day (we can go into how to get this amount of soy later) has shown to decrease total and LDL (or the bad) cholesterol. The overall ratio of HDL:LDL is improved (HDL stays the same), which means there is less risk of heart disease, atherosclerosis and blood clots which can lead to heart attacks. But there is one very important fact to remember about most of these studies: Most are comparison studies, meaning the Asian population (that generally eats more soy) was compared to the US population. And there other factors to consider. Americans not only eat a high fat diet, but are also very sedentary AND eat little soy. Asians are generally just the opposite and eat more soy along with more whole grains and fruits and veggies. So, it is hard to say if the soy alone is causing lower cholesterol and other benefits, or if their all around healthier lifestyle (compared to Americans) is the reason. The Asian diet consists of lots of beans, fruits and veggies, is low fat and contains 24-45 mg of isoflavones (the type of plant chemical in soy that contributes to benefits), while Americans eat a diet that is too high in fat and calories, few fruits and veggies, and only contains 5 mg of isoflavones (20 mg of soy isoflavones is found in 8-10 grams of soy protein). The FDA recommends about 25 grams /day to get cholesterol lowering effects, but this can be done quite easily. For example, 1 cup of soy milk contains 8 grams and there are some GREAT flavors out there. There are tons of ways to incorporate soy into your diet. Any questions? I could go on and on.... :)

Moderator: What is the best source of soy?

Ojeda: There's no "best" source of soy. It all depends on what you like to eat. There are a variety of ways to get soy in your diet: soy milk, cooked soybeans, tofu, TVP, premade soy products such as breakfast links, corndogs, burgers, etc. There is also soy flour that you can use in place of some of your regular flour when you bake. There are soynuts and soynut butter (tastes similar to peanut butter and is quite yummy). All are good sources of soy. Some may be easier for you to incorporate into your diet depending on what you like. 1/2 cup of soynuts has 34 grams of protein - that's all the soy you'd need in a day. But be careful, those nuts are almost as high as all the other nuts in fat! But it's definitely a better type of fat for you. They just about have soy everything these days!

dhwilkins_WebMD Am I the only one here?

Moderator: Nope. We're all here.. Do you have a question for Lila Ojeda, RD?

dhwilkins_WebMD This is about Soy, right?

Moderator: Yes.

dhwilkins_WebMD I was diagnosed ~6mos ago with Type2 diabetes, and read some information (here) that soy might, among other things, be good for diabetics. So, today I bought some powder stuff (isolate shake stuff) and some roasted nuts (salted). Which is better for my condition.

Ojeda: Neither is "better" for your condition. Again, it's just a matter of how you'd like to incorporate soy into your diet. I haven't read any information saying that soy will help diabetes but it's something that everyone can add into your diet. If you substitute some soy protein here and there instead of eating a lot of animal protein (that is generally high in cholesterol and saturated fat), this will be good for you.




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