Seek Out Soy
Soy-based foods (for instance, tofu, edamame, soy milk, or soy smoothies) contain LNA and isoflavones, antioxidants that have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. "But soy's biggest benefit is that it replaces saturated fat in the diet. If you're eating soy at some of your meals, you're probably not eating as much red meat," says McCoin.
Food Fix: To get at least 25 grams of soy protein a day—the amount studies show may help lower heart disease risk—choose whole soy foods rather than foods that are fortified with isoflavones. Look for calcium-fortified soy milk (which contains seven grams of soy protein per cup), edamame (11 grams of soy protein per half cup), roasted soy nuts (17 grams per one-fourth cup), or tofu (10 grams soy protein per half cup).
By themselves, isoflavones haven't proven to be cardio protective. Even if you or your family members aren't big fans of soy—most soy products have a milky, beany taste—you can trim the saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet by simply eating more vegetarian meals. "If you have high cholesterol or a family history of heart disease, aim for one meatless meal per day," McCoin advises.