When you’re looking for low-fat protein sources for your aging relative, one food you may think of is tofu, which is made from soy. You’ve likely heard that soy has many health benefits. One of the things you may have heard is that eating soy may help to lower cholesterol levels. But, is that true or just a myth? It seems to depend on who you ask.
The Soy Debate
As of right now, the FDA considers soy to be one of the foods that can help to reduce bad cholesterol. However, the actual scientific evidence behind those claims is not consistent, so they are thinking about removing it from the list. If that happens, companies that make soy foods won’t be able to label them as “heart healthy.”
Recently, researchers decided to take another look at the existing evidence in an attempt to shed new light on soy’s cholesterol-fighting abilities. They looked at the data from 43 studies. 41 of them specifically examine how soy affects LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. The scientists concluded that soy protein is an effective way of reducing cholesterol. In fact, the data showed that it can reduce cholesterol by between three and four percent. Experts think that the benefit may actually be greater in real life situations because when people add soy protein to their diet, they often eat it in place of other kinds of protein that contain saturated fat.
Benefits of Soy
The potential for lowering bad cholesterol isn’t the only health benefit of eating soy. Some other benefits your aging relative may enjoy by adding soy to their diet are:
- Soy has been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.
- Eating more plant-based proteins, like soy, may help to lower blood pressure.
- Consuming soy protein also increases fiber intake.
- Foods made from soy contain omega-3s, which are good for cardiovascular health.
- Soy contains lots of vitamins and minerals, B vitamins, zinc, and iron. Some soy foods are also fortified with vitamin D and calcium.
- Soy protein is easy to use because it is versatile. Tofu can be used in place of meat in a stir fry or simply seasoned, sprinkled with olive oil, and grilled or sautéed in a pan. Soy protein powders can also be added to smoothies.
Senior care can help to add more soy foods to your aging relative’s diet to help them manage high cholesterol and improve their overall health. Senior care providers can plan and prepare meals that use soy foods. A senior care provider can also drive the older adult to the grocery store and assist them to shop.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Northfield, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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