Top 5 Soy Foods for Your Heart Health

America's top heart hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, shares the best soy products for boosting heart health. Eat them often to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

by Martha Miller Johnson


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Cleveland Clinic?s Top Soy Picks
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Cleveland Clinic's Top Soy Picks

    Each of the following soy products is loaded with nutrients that can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help you lose weight. To get the most out of the soy you eat, follow these serving suggestions:
    -- Use any of these soy picks in place of meat in at least two meals per week.
    -- Choose whole, less-processed soy foods over soy supplements or soy protein powder.
    -- To lower cholesterol, eat at least 25 g soy protein daily.

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Top Heart-Health Soy Foods: Soy Milk

    Benefits: Vitamins B1, B12, and D; protein; niacin; folate; calcium; copper; iron; magnesium; zinc; manganese; potassium

    What to look for when buying soy milk: Can be purchased in refrigerated cartons, or in aseptic cartons or cans that have long shelf lives. Many stores carry affordable generic brands.

    Storing: Soy milk keeps in the refrigerator 7-10 days.

    Using: Try vanilla soy milk on cereal or in coffee or tea instead of cream. Try hot chocolate soy milk instead of hot cocoa. Use unflavored soy milk for milk in most cooking recipes.

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Top Heart-Health Soy Foods: Soy Cheese

    Benefits: Vitamins B1, B12, and D; protein; niacin; folate; calcium; copper; iron; magnesium; zinc; manganese; potassium

    What to look for when buying soy cheese: Brands can taste quite different, so sample several. Find them refrigerated with regular cheeses or in the organic health food section of the grocery store.

    Storing: Store in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

    Using: Can be substituted for regular cheese in salads or sandwiches. Make sure you get a brand that specifies it will melt if you want to heat soy cheese.

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Top Heart-Health Soy Foods: Soy Nuts

    Benefits: Folate, magnesium, manganese, protein, phytoestrogens

    What to look for when buying soy nuts: Often found in natural food stores.

    Storing: They can keep in the refrigerator for up to two months. Or freeze in a tightly sealed container for up to three months.

    Using: Mix with nuts, dried fruit, and mini chocolate chips for a snack. One serving of soy nuts is 1 ounce, or about 1/4 cup.

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Top Heart-Health Soy Foods: Tofu/Tempeh

    Benefits: Vitamin B1, protein, niacin, folate, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium

    What to look for when buying tofu/tempeh: Often sold frozen. Medium or firm tofu, typically found in the dairy section of the grocery store, is the best to cook with.

    Storing: Leftover tofu must be stored refrigerated, covered with water. The water must be changed daily to stay fresh.

    Using: Replace or reduce ricotta cheese with silken tofu in stuffed shells or lasagna. Slice tempeh into stir-fry during the last few minutes of cooking.

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