Soy Tofu with Vegetables – Image Courtesy: Jennie Li
Why is Soy Bad for You – The Soy Problems
What’s bad about soy? Doctor Mercola confirms what I discovered about a year ago. All of those soy alternatives that we vegetarians have long been consuming with the intention of better health are NOT healthy for us. Mercola blames the miscommunication of the true value of soy on the massive public relations done by the soy industry. However, the largely genetically modified crop can inhibit thyroid function, increase estrogen levels in babies using soy formula, and screw up our digestion.
Dangers of soy: The Negative Soy Side Effects
So the real question is: is soy bad for you? Soy is loaded with trypsin inhibitors that prevent proper protein digestion; goitrogen which inhibits thyroid function; phytic acid, a fiber that impairs absorption of minerals; and phytoestrogens which dangerously increase the estrogen hormone.
What Then? A Soy Alternative?
Fermented soy is best
Mercola, advocates the use of fermented organic soy which would include tempeh, natto and miso – but not tofu. Fermented foodsoffer predigested nutrition, which gives our intestinal track a big break. Fermenting food also manipulates the chemical make-up of the product, in order to turn potential poisons into viable nutrients.
What Foods Are Rich in Soy?
No more soy nuggets or soy corn dogs
My family and I have been guilty of consuming soy nuggets, soy protein powder, soy eggnog around the holidays – not to mention the soy based vitamin E which is hidden in supplements like cod liver oil. Surprisingly enough, after going soy-free for about a year, I did have a reaction to a soy-based skin cream. We now use it sparingly, and seem to be okay with it.
I find raw almond or cashew milk to be a good alternative for making shakes or adding to coffee or tea.
Hidden sources of soy
- Oil used to fry packaged chips and crackers
- Commercial nut or hemp milks
- Packaged organic meals
What’s a Consumer to Do?
I figure that we can either feel dooped by the health food industry, or we can strap on our thinking caps and realize that every industry needs to profit. That profit may be at the expense of our health, of course. All we can do is continue to educate ourselves. And, of course – READ LABELS!
How Much Soy Do You Think was Consumed in Historical Asia?
Dr. Mercola has a report that may surprise you. It surprised me. Here is a small excerpt from the same article about infant feeding:
Ever heard the industry line that ‘soy formulas must be safe because Asian infants have been eating soy for centuries’? Just another piece of false advertising, a little like the claims that ‘soy formulas are better than breast milk’ that many parents that have fed soy formulas testify to. And to set the record straight, soy was seldom used in infant feeding in Asia.
Gina Laverde is a Chicago-based writer, researcher and health coach whose expertise in natural health stems from her experiences recovering her son from autism.