Soy by the Numbers

Soy, eaten moderately, can help your heart.

Soy proteins, like tofu, can help
keep blood fats in balance.

Soy protein can help lower your risk of coronary artery disease. But to reap its cholesterol-cutting benefits, you need to stick to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet while eating two to four daily servings of 8 ounces of soy milk, 4 ounces of tofu, 1 ounce of soy flour, or a half cup of textured soy protein. Be aware, however, that soy is a plant estrogen that could potentially accelerate breast cancer in women at high risk for it if consumed in these amounts. One nutritional expert, Walter Willet, suggests eating only a few servings a week, though women suffering discomforts of menopause may wish to boost that for a while as long as they do not have breast cancer. Discuss this concern with your doctor.