Study Finds Substituting Soyfoods for Meat Increases Insulin Sensitivity, Reduces Cholesterol

Metabolic syndrome, which raises your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, impacts 34 percent of American adults.

In a promising small-scale study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers investigated the effects of a weight-maintaining moderate-high-protein, soy-rich diet on metabolic syndrome, insulin sensitivity and other cardiovascular risk factors. In this randomized crossover trial, 15 postmenopausal women with abdominal obesity consumed two different diets each for four weeks; both diets had the same carbohydrate, fat and protein amounts, but different protein sources. One diet contained protein from mainly meat, dairy and bread, and the other diet partly replaced meat with soy meat alternatives and soy nuts – containing 30g/day of soy protein. Compared with the mixed-protein diet, the soy-protein diet resulted in greater blood sugar stabilization, 4 percent decrease in total cholesterol and 9 percent decrease in LDL (the bad) cholesterol.

This study concluded that partly replacing meat with soy in a moderate-high-protein diet has clear advantages for metabolic syndrome, namely insulin sensitivity and total and LDL cholesterol.