Is soy good for you? Or bad for you? If you watch TV, you’ll get the message that soy is a wonder food. In fact, 80 percent of Americans think that soy is healthy. Is that true? No way, José. Let’s dive in:
This isn’t your (Asian) Father’s Soy.
First of all, soy isn’t just in soy milk or tofu anymore. It’s in a lot of stuff. Usually it’s labeled as soy protein isolate, soy flour, soy lecithin and soybean oil. Let’s take a look at a couple products that contain soy that you aren’t even aware of:
Wonderbread (Soybean Oil)
Chipotle’s Fajita Vegtables (cooked in Soybean Oil) – I literally gasped at that!
Chips Ahoy Cookies (Soy Lecithin)
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream (Soy Lecithin) – Say it isn’t so!
The list really goes on and on. I had no idea…My Dad was recently tested for food allergies and sensitivities. He test positive for soy. After doing some research, it was amazing how much soy is in our food. There is so much stinkin’ soy that most Americans get about 9% of their calories from soy.
How is that even possible? It’s actually really simple – food manufacturers are using soy as a replacement for real animal products because it’s cheaper than the real thing. Look at the McDonalds ingredient list. The word soy shows up 315 times.
It’s just common sense (at least to me), that you should eat things the way nature intended it.
What about all the skinny Asian people? They must eat tons of soy! Asian’s eat soy products are fermented and unprocessed – tempeh, and miso. This is important because the fermentation process partially neutralizes the toxins in soybeans.
Asians also eat soy foods as a condiment, not as a replacement for animal foods (I’m looking at you Soy Milk). Chinese about 2 teaspoons per day. Nothing close to the 9% of calories consumed by Americans.
So, why is soy bad for you?
Dr. Mercola talks about this through an interview:
Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story:
Today’s high-tech processing methods not only fail to remove the anti-nutrients and toxins that are naturally present in soybeans but leave toxic and carcinogenic residues created by the high temperatures, high pressure, alkali and acid baths and petroleum solvents.
Dr. Daniel also points out the findings of numerous studies reviewed by her and other colleagues — that soy does not reliably lower cholesterol, and in fact raises homocysteine levels in many people, which has been found to increase your risk of stroke, birth defects, and yes: heart disease.
Other common health problems linked to a high-soy diet include:
- Thyroid problems, including weight gain, lethargy, malaise, fatigue, hair loss, and loss of libido
- Premature puberty and other developmental problems in babies, children and adolescents
- Brain damage
- Reproductive disorders
- Kidney stones
- Weakened immune system
- Severe, potentially fatal food allergies
What about Man Boobs?
As a man, I don’t want more estrogen (no offense, women). Soy contains a high level of phytoestrogens – plant compounds that is very similar estrogens.
A study at the University of North Carolina gave “megadoses” of soy to men. I was appalled at what they saw: nipple discharge, breast enlargement (gynecomastia) and slight decreases in testosterone.
Even Buddhist monks knew soy was bad for you – they ate tofu to reduce their sex drive. Guys: stay away from soy.
What about women? Is soy bad for women?
Women want to stay away from soy, too. Studies show that high doses of phytoestrogens (see above – the stuff that mimics estrogen) from soy may contribute to breast cancer. The soy phytoestrogen encourages cancer in breast cells.
So, is soy bad for you?
In short, yes. The way that soy has been made into our everyday food, you should avoid it if possible. Eat real foods that are less processed. Less processed foods = less soy.
Eat real food. If you MUST eat soy, keep it in your Miso Soup – next to all the Sushi.