Is soy bad for you? I get this question a lot.
If you've been following me for a while, you know that I don't eat soy or soy products.
It isn't the health food it is touted to be!
Soy, is a member of the legume family and present in foods across the US. It's a common ingredient in infant formulas and many other processed foods.
A 2011 statistic states that the soy market amounts to 5.2 billion in the U.S. The energy bars and soy milk make the two largest categories!
Why I won't touch tofu?
Research on the health benefits of soy foods has produced more questions than answers. In the last decade, soy is one of the most common food allergens among young children.
Isoflavones are naturally found in soy and show estrogen-like activity. To date, studies on the effect of soy isoflavone consumption have reported mixed results.
Researchers agree on the complication in soy research. The reason, these studies differ in the isoflavone intake among those considered as regular soy consumers.
Why I recommend you should avoid soy? – 4 Valid Reasons
1. Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens in soy are found to demonstrate estrogen-like activity.
Studies show that this alters body's innate hormone balance and damages the reproductive system.
Studies on mice show that genistein, an isoflavone compound disrupts fertility in rodents. The study showed that genistein regulated hormones. It also affected estrogen receptors and the development of the reproductive system.
2. Goitrogenic: “Goitrogen” is any substance that can cause enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Studies show that soy isoflavone compounds interfere with iodine absorption and disrupt thyroid function. A disrupted thyroid leads to weight problems.
3. Phytates: Phytates are present in all grains, nuts and seeds.
They are enzyme inhibitors that block nutrient absorption in the digestive tract.
Soaking grains and seeds rids the phytates. But it is impossible to use the same method with soy as they are so high in phytates.
Only fermentation can get rid of the phytates.
4. Trypsin inhibitors: Soy is full of trypsin inhibitor.
Trypsin is an enzyme you need to digest protein. When this enzyme is inhibited it can cause stomach cramps, bleeding and diarrhea.
Furthermore, 90% of the soy in the US market are genetically modified.
They're also sprayed with pesticides. The soy is treated in aluminum tanks and are acid washed to make processed soy.
If you are into clean eating, these are good enough reasons to keep away from soy.
Bottom line: Soy wreaks havoc on hormonal balance.
Here are some tips for finding ‘hidden soy' ingredients on labels.
What to look for in your food label?
Foods with soy must be labeled and declared that it ”contains soy” under FDA labeling laws. Yet, there are many products that are not covered by FDA allergen labeling laws and so sneak into your food.
The following ingredients found on a label show the presence of soy protein.
- Bean curd
- Edamame (soybeans in pods)
- Hydrolyzed soy protein
- Kinnoko flour
- Kyodofu (freeze dried tofu)
- Okara (soy pulp)
- Shoyu sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Textured soy flour (TSF)
- Textured soy protein (TSP)
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
- Yuba (bean curd)
Besides these products may contain soy
- Artificial flavoring
- Asian foods (e.g. Japanese, Chinese, Thai, etc.)
- Hydrolyzed plant protein
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
- Natural flavoring
- Vegetable broth , Vegetable gum and Vegetable starch
Soy can be disruptive!
Soy can cause an increase in body weight, damage skin, lead to allergies and a host of many medical issues.
The best way to cut soy from your diet is to avoid all processed foods. Be sure to read the food labels before you buy sauces, soups or dips. This should be easy if you are into clean eating.
Yours in Health,
P.S. I hope you will share this info. with your friends and I welcome your comments below.