Let’s Talk About Soy, Baby

Hi everyone!  I’m back in town after a great weekend with friends and looking forward to sticking around this weekend for a change!

So one of the reasons that I started this blog is to help shed some light on all those nutritional misconceptions out there.  In the last few months, I’ve learned some scary things about soy products, but I look around and see a lot of people choosing it, thinking it’s a super healthy option.  It’s no wonder that soy has  grown into a multi-million dollar industry over the last 20 years.  You can now walk into any grocery store and find an entire section devoted to soy burgers, tofu, soy cheese and so on.  Before I knew about its dangers, I used to drink a good bit of soy milk since I don’t do so well with a lot of dairy (Adios, Soy Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks!).

So here’s some good info for you to know about soy from the Weston A. Price Foundation (Weston Price is pretty much the forefather of holistic nutrition. This site is another awesome resource for people looking to incorporate a whole foods diet):

  • High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.
  • Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
  • Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
  • Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body’s requirement for B12.
  • Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.
  • Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
  • Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
  • Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
  • Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.

I’ve learned that fermented soy products like miso, kefir and tempeh are ok in small amounts.  If you’re looking for a non-dairy milk alternative, try almond milk or coconut milk.  They’re both great in cereal or protein shakes.

You can get this coconut coffee creamer at Whole Foods...to die for!

You may not think you’re eating a lot of soy, but it’s in a lot of unexpected places, like cereals, snack foods and condiments.  Once again, we gotta read those labels, know what to look for, and know what to avoid!  Just because soy products can be found in the natural section of the grocery store, that doesn’t make them good for you.

And, if you or someone you know is feeding their baby a soy formula, please please please read or pass along this article and look at all the studies about soy that are posted on the Weston Price site.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or comments on the topic of soy!

2 Comments

Filed under Healthy Tips, Rants and Cravings

2 responses to “Let’s Talk About Soy, Baby

  1. Unfortunately, edamame is not the best for us, but it’s not the worst of the soy products.

    According to Dr. Mercola (www.mercola.com), “Edamame–the green immature soybeans–contains fewer of the toxins found in the mature beans and so can be eaten occasionally. People who are not allergic or sensitized to soy can consume these whole soy products safely at the levels eaten traditionally in Asia, which is to say in small amounts as condiments, not staples.”

    So in my opinion, it’s alright to enjoy some edamame OCCASIONALLY, but just don’t make it a regular thing!

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