With people becoming more health conscious, soy products are booming. But is soy good for you? People are swapping meat and milk for soy, without really doing any research. While a change may be good, you also need to consider the darker side: is soy bad for you?
Soy milk, soy yoghurt, tofu are all touted as safe and healthy foods. They have no cholesterol. They are have no saturated fat. Studies show that Chinese and Japanese people, who eat a lot of soy products, have lower incidences of breast and prostate cancers.
The western soy industry is a multi billion dollar industry. Money has a tendency to overrule safety standards.
Nowadays, soy is everywhere. It’s in cereals, health promoting foods, supplements and vitamins (vitamin E), processed foods, canned foods, bread, meat, chocolate. The oil is commonly used in tinned foods such as tuna, and is a common fast food oil. It’s even in pet and animal food. It comes under various names such as:
- textured vegetable protein
- hydrolised vegetable protein
- soy protein isolate
- glutamate (MSG)
- aspartate (a component of aspartame)
Every part of the soy is used. For example, soy protein isolate was used to make cardboard. So what’s it doing in food, you may ask. By breaking down the parts of the soy into different components, you create digestive problems in those who consume them. All parts of the product are required for complete digestion.
Along with milk, eggs, wheat, corn and nuts, soy is one of the main triggers of allergic reactions. It can be a high grade emergency response or a low grade mild response. The trouble with continuous low grade allergy responses is that over time, they eat away at your health.
Soy contains estrogen. In the east, this is removed or nullified by fermentation. So while Japanese and Chinese fermented soy is good for you, the unfermented western soy is bad for you.
Women who eat a lot of soy can experience a lack of menstruation or greater problems around fertility. Men can suffer from a lack of sexual interest due to a lowering of their testosterone levels.
What’s the verdict; is soy good for you or is soy bad for you?
My suggestion is to avoid all the processed foods which contain the by products of soy, such as those listed. Avoid the obvious soy products such as soy milk, yoghurt, cheese and tofu. Never give soy baby formula. Only use fermented or eastern soy (miso, natto, tempeh) and limit your consumption to no more than nine grams a day.
Cooking your own soy beans is far less hazardous than buying processed soy products.
Along with cotton, corn and canola, soy is one of the key GM foods.
To discover the best foods, the healthiest foods, that will keep you not only healthy but trim, check out Healthy Eating For Weight Loss.