Category: Foods

The Dangers of Soy are Everywhere – Do You Know Where Your Soy Is?

You may think that avoiding the dangers of soy is just a matter of not buying soy products. Typical products you may find in your local grocery or health-food store include:

  • Tofu: If you can find the fermented form of tofu, that’s great. But most tofu is not fermented and presents all the problems discussed previously.
  • Soy Milk: Often used by people with lactose intolerance or who are avoiding saturated fats. In addition to the negatives of soy, this is a highly processed product. The processing adds even more dangers to it.
  • Soy Cooking Oil: Another highly processed product treated with high heat and chemicals to make it useable.

Soy nuts, soy nut butter and edamame are other snack-like products you may find in your local health-food store.

Other highly processed soy products are found almost everywhere. From bread to diet protein drinks. These include:

  • Soy flour
  • Soy grits
  • Textured soy protein
  • Soy protein concentrates
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Hydrolyzed soy protein
  • Soy lecithin

Start reading the ingredients list on the foods you buy and you will be amazed! Some ingredients go by other names, but don’t let that fool you. They most likely are from soy. These include:

  • Textured vegetable protein
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Vegetable oil
  • MSG
  • Lecithin
  • Mono-Diglyceride

If you’re a fast-food junkie, you may be exposing yourself to the dangers of soy and not even know it because most fast-food is made with some form of soy.

Not So Healthy

Those who promote the use of soy often do so with the best of intentions. There are a lot of health claims for soy. Unfortunately, there is little evidence apart from the benefits of fermented soy discussed previously.

Some researchers hoped that soy could help with some of the aging-related problems in women. This study found that it doesn’t. Other researchers hoped that soy could help with breast cancer, but one study found that it could make things worse.

Still Unsure?

Fans of soy may say that there are other studies that do show benefits to eating soy. I often have people comment “Yeah, they come out with a study that says one thing and then a year later, they come out with another that contradicts it!” It is confusing sometimes. But here’s the way I look at it:

Suppose someone tells you to jump over a cliff because there’s a nice pool of water a few feet below. It’s a hot day and it sounds inviting. Then another person comes along and tells you if you jump over that cliff, you’ll fall a thousand feet to the rocks below. Are you going to spend a lot of time contemplating who’s right? Or are you going to back away from the cliff !!

I’m not saying you’re going to die young by eating a little soy now and then. But I don’t think it’s a wise idea to be drinking gallons of soy milk, eating pounds of tofu or pigging out on junk food. It’s not good for your health or for losing weight. There are plenty of healthy and natural vegetables, fruits, nuts, and animal products to choose from and help you stay clear from the dangers of soy.

For more in-depth information on soy, I suggest reading The Whole Soy Story  by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN.

The Dangers of Soy

The dangers of soy make it less of a health food and more of a health problem. “Soy is dangerous? But I thought it was supposed to be a health food!” Yes, that’s what we’ve been sold on, but a mountain of evidence points to the contrary.

The soy bean is toxic in its raw form and has to be cooked to be edible. It wasn’t even used as food until about 2500 years ago. And then it was only eaten in small amounts in a fermented form. It did make a good fertilizer though, so it was grown as a crop to be plowed under to replenish the soil.

Today it’s everywhere. From health-food stores to fast-food restaurants. Even if you think you’re not eating it, you probably are. The dangers of soy include:

  • Antinutrients: These actually prevent good nutrition. Soy contains:
    • Protease Inhibitors that inhibit enzymes that help digest protein.
    • Phytates that cause iron deficiencies, block the absorption of zinc, calcium and other minerals.
    • Lectins, which often cause problems with the digestive and immune systems, as well as blood clotting.
    • Saponins. These break down red blood cells, inhibit some enzymes and can contribute to thyroid enlargement.
    • Oxalates can block the absorption of calcium as well as lead to kidney stones and vulvodynia.
  • Potential Allergic Reactions: Soy is one of the top 8 allergens today. If you’re allergic to peanuts, you’re probably allergic to soy as well.
  • Phytoestrogens: These are plant estrogens that are often seen by the body as Human estrogen and can alter the body’s hormonal balance. Isoflavone (a type of phytoestrogen found in soy) was linked to memory loss, senility and Alzheimer’s in this study.Phytoestrogens can also affect the reproductive system of both men and women. In women, soy consumption can lengthen menstrual cycles. In men, soy can affect fertility, testosterone levels and sex drive. It can also lead to “man boobs.”
  • Goitrogens: These block the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Isoflavones found in soy are also goitrogens. They can cause hypothyroidism (low thyroid), which can lead to goiter. They also can inhibit the action of thyroid drugs.

Is All Soy Bad?

Not all soy is bad for you. The fermented soy foods that have been eaten in Asia for a couple of thousand years now are OK, even beneficial when eaten in moderation. These are:

  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Tempeh
  • Soy Sauce (when prepared in the traditional, long-fermentation-time way)

In these soy products the dangers of soy are mostly neutralized by the fermenting process when prepared in traditional, non-highly-processed ways. The fermentation increases the levels of vitamin K and produces good bacteria that helps in digestion. These foods are eaten mostly as a condiment with other foods.

More about the dangers of soy here