Does soy reduce cholesterol?

Answers from Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.

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.

Feb. 23, 2012 See more Expert Answers