Consuming foods rich in soy may help lower your LDL cholesterol level—but not for the reason experts once believed. Until recently, researchers thought that estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones were responsible for the beneficial effect of soy on cholesterol levels.

But the effect appears to be much less direct: People who consume soy products tend to eat them instead of meat and full-fat dairy, which are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Foods rich in soy include tofu and soy milk.

Publication Review By: Gary Gerstenblith, M.D., and Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D.

Published: 05 Jul 2013

Last Modified: 05 Jul 2013