For many people in the United States, it has been difficult to try to decide whether or not to think of soy and soy-based foods as a part of a healthful diet. The closest official recommendation that most people can find is a rather conflicting one that is quite complicated to understand.
The reason is that the research conducted on soy consumption has been broadly contradictory. As soon as one study looks as though it has provided solid evidence for one outcome or another, the results of another are released that contradict the original findings. It has made it very difficult for people to be able to know whether they should be eating it for sizeable benefits, or avoid it at all costs in order to sidestep many unwanted health hazards.
That said, when all is said and done, it appears as though soy is indeed a good part of a healthy diet, provided three or fewer servings of it are eaten per day.
That said, as though these recommendations weren’t confusing enough, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recent did something it had never done before. What happened was that, for the first time ever, has proposed the revoking of a health claim it had previously authorized.
The health claim in question was first approved in 1999, when the FDA said that packaged soy products could be used to help reduce the risk of heart disease due to the soy protein it contains. That said, the FDA is now considering retracting that approval, changing their minds on the subject.
This is an important proposal as the FDA has only ever given its approval to 12 claims on food packaging (such as that vitamin D and calcium can help to lower osteoporosis risk). Among those 12 claims was that packaged soy products were allowed to say that they could say that they helped reduce heart disease.
Though there does continue to be a certain amount of evidence that links soy protein with a lower risk of heart disease, when the FDA looked at the total body of scientific evidence, there is enough doubt cast to suggest that the relationship between heart disease risk and soy protein may not be as solid as previously believed.
The FDA released a report in which it explained that the contradictory research was published after they had already made the approval for the claim. Now the evidence that soy protein could reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels is considered to be inconsistent at best.