Soy is typically considered a health food since it’s plant based and lower in saturated fat. It’s a favorite among vegetarians as their main source of protein. Even if you don’t buy soy, it’s in practically everything you eat. So, is soy healthy? It depends on who you ask.
There are many websites promoting the benefits of eating soy. It’s even part of the “dietary guidelines.” They claim it prevents heart disease, lowers cholesterol, and helps prevent breast cancer. Before you jump on the bandwagon and start adding more soy find out why I avoid it and you should too.
Soy contributes to:
→ Declining brain function
→ Digestive disorders
→ Immune deficiencies
→ Increased cancer risk
→ Thyroid malfunction
Corn is the number one crop grown in the USA followed by soybeans. According to the USDA, 94% of the soybeans grown are genetically modified (GM). GMs, also known as GMOs or GE (genetically engineered), are foods that have their DNA code altered. This makes crops more resistant to disease and droughts.
GM foods were originally created to create a larger amount of products at a lower cost. By creating plant disease and insect resistant crops it saves the farmer money. In order for crops to be insect resistant the introduction of a toxic gene entered into the DNA of the plant. The USDA claims this toxic gene isn’t harmful to humans consumption.
Another concern is GM crops are heavily sprayed with herbicides (Roundup). It’s in the soil and inside the food, you can’t wash it off and they have zero nutrients. By genetically altering crops they can withstand heavy doses of pesticides. This keeps disease and bugs at bay. But who wants to eat toxic herbicides?
Soy contains isoflavones which are weak estrogen like compounds. When eaten in large amounts it causes health problems including a hormone imbalance. For women, it’s linked to menstrual problems, infertility, and breast cancer. For men, it can lead to decreased sperm count and erectile dysfunction.
Studies also found evidence that soy interferes with thyroid function. The thyroid gland is an organ located in the neck and releases hormones into the bloodstream. A recent study showed women who ate soy had a higher risk than men for developing thyroid problems.
Soybeans are a legume and promoted as a health food. Unfortunately, this is another topic with lots of controversy without a lot of science to back it up. Although diets such as the Paleo or Mediterranean diets eliminate legumes. Both diets show better health results in people.
Many people with a gluten intolerance cross-react with other foods such as legumes. Another reason for health concerns could be because legumes aren’t easily digested. This is extremely bad for people suffering from digestive problems or a leaky gut. If you have an autoimmune disease, like multiple sclerosis (MS), you more than likely have a leaky gut.
Chronic Inflammation causes most autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and some cancers. Certain foods like wheat and soy, produce a protein that is an inflammatory substance. Soy is also one of the most common food allergens, especially in children. Your body could recognize soy as a foreign invader creating an inflammatory reaction.
The majority of soy products is for soybean oil. Soybean oil is high in omega-6 which can lead to inflammation. Avoiding inflammatory foods while increasing anti-inflammatory foods will help your healing process.
If you would like to learn more check out How To Reduce Chronic Inflammation.
To process soybeans, they use aluminum tanks which leach into the final product. Heavy metals may lead to neurological problems and is one of the triggers to MS.
Farmers feed most conventional meats soy and grains. It builds up in their tissue and passes on to you when you eat it. Soy is very cheap for the farmers and helps fatten them up quickly when it’s time to sell them.
Even if you were to buy “organic” it doesn’t mean they weren’t eating soy or grains. You need to carefully read the labels and make sure you are buying “grass-fed” beef, bison, and lamb. Also, when buying poultry and pork check the label to make sure they weren’t fed soy.
Always Read Labels
Farmers even feed soy to farm raised fish, instead buy “wild-caught” fish. If you have a hard time locating grass fed meats check out Eatwild. They include a state-by-state directory of farmers in your local area.
Food manufacturers like to hide ingredients by giving it many different names. It is in just about every processed food making it hard to avoid. Baked goods, canned tuna fish, cereals, margarine, and vegetable oil are just a few.
Soy is even found in baby formula! Exposing an infant to GMs and isoflavones is a horrible idea. Studies showed that girls fed soy go through puberty at a much younger age. Never feed your infant soy based baby formula.
Other Names for Soy:
→ Soy sauce
→ Soy based flours
→ Soy based dairy
→ Soy protein
→ Soy oil
→ Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
→ Artificial flavorings and natural flavorings may also contain soy
Not All Soy Is The Same
Not all soy is bad for you. Asian cultures have used small amounts of traditional fermented soy for centuries. Fermented foods include healthy bacteria for your gut. During the fermentation, process enzymes break down making it easier to digest.
All soy whether it’s fermented or not is grouped together. This is how food manufacturers take advantage of this and label all soy as healthy. It’s important to stay away from processed soy. Stick with the naturally fermented soy in moderation.
Choose Organic Fermented Soy:
- Shoyu (soy sauce)
In The End
Don’t fall for all those advertising gimmicks about all soy being healthy. It is now a multi-billion dollar industry that is costing you your health. Unfermented soy is dangerous and you should avoid them. Instead, include only organic fermented soy on occasion to help nourish your body.
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