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Add soy protein to your diet to help lower cholesterol

Soy protein

Did you know: Medical nutrition therapy may lower cholesterol by up to 20-30%, depending on individual response. A heart healthy diet is much more than just about watching your fat intake. In fact, it is a portfolio of some key foods that is needed to really lower cholesterol. This includes soluble fibres, nuts, soy protein, and plant sterols. Dietitians not only provide nutrition education, but also the counselling to help people make the behaviours changes that lead to improved cardiovascular health.

Soy protein has been shown to help lower LDL (lousy) cholesterol, yet a lot of people are not sure how to incorporate it into their diets. To lower cholesterol, aim for 25g of soy protein each day. Even if you are not looking to lower cholesterol, soy is high in protein and isoflavones, and is recommended as a part of a healthy diet.

Here are examples of food sources of soy protein:

Food Protein
Soy beans (edamame)  ½ cup 14 g
Tofu ½ cup 10 g
Tempeh ½ cup 16 g
Soy milk 1 cup 7 g

Give this recipe a try to start incorporating some soy into your diet!

Tofu Stirfry

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 package extra firm tofu (397g), rinsed and patted dry with paper towel, and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ package mushrooms (75g), chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a non-stick pan, sauté tofu in 2 tsp oil over medium-high heat until golden brown, and set aside.
  2. Over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic, and vegetables (except scallion) in the remaining olive oil.  Add water and cook until vegetables have softened.
  3. Return the tofu to the pan, and stir in soy sauce and sesame oil.
  4. Add scallion, cashews, and black pepper.  Cook for 2 more minutes.

For a healthy and balanced meal, enjoy with leafy greens and brown rice!

Nutrition Information (per serving):

268 kcal, 18g fat, 19g protein, 19g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, 195mg sodium, 335mg calcium, 9mg iron

Click here if you are interested in attending our next Healthy Heart, Healthy You group education session with a registered dietitian.

To connect with a registered dietitian, patients of the Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team should ask their family doctor for a referral. If you have prediabetes or diabetes, you may call SUNDEC at 416-480-4805.

About the author

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Annie Hoang

Annie Hoang is a Registered Dietitian with the Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team.

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