Soybeans (US) or Soya beans (UK) (Glycine max) are a high-protein legume (family Fabaceae) grown as food for both humans and livestock. The word soy is derived from the Japanese word shoyu (soy sauce/soya sauce).

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... In numerous studies, supplementing diets with soy or replacing animal-derived foods with soy-based foods, such as tofu, has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in individuals who had either high or normal cholesterol. Fats are generally classified as saturated or unsaturated according to their chemical structures. Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature. Mainly derived from animal sources, saturated fats are more likely to result in high cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition to substituting polyunsaturated plant fats for the potentially more harmful saturated animal fats, it is believed that soy may lower cholesterol levels in at least two other ways. First, it may be absorbed before cholesterol in the intestines, thereby blocking some of the cholesterol that would ordinarily be taken up by the body. More cholesterol would then stay in the intestines to eventually be eliminated from the body. In addition, soy may also promote an increase in the secretion of bile acid. Because cholesterol is a major component of bile acid, more cholesterol would be used to produce bile and less cholesterol would circulate in the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows manufacturers to claim cholesterol reduction on package labels if the food supplies at least 6,250 mg (6.25 grams) of soy protein in each serving. ...
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