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I recently watched a video by Dr. Mercola…he taught me quite a bit about why soy is in everything (in America) and why we are so sick.
First of all, I learned that the reason soy is in everything in the U.S. is because it’s grown here. A while back, everything that needed an oil was made with Palm or Coconut oil. Problem with that? Except for Hawaii, neither are grown in the U.S. So…the government decided to make those oils “bad” for us and make corn and soy oils “good” for us. It’s cheap, easy to make, and helps out the American farmers…so that’s that.
I have read many, many reports and opinions on soy. Some claim that soy is terrible and the root of all evil – causing a variety of diseases and disorders. Some claim that soy is great and can reduce prostate and breast cancer in men (funny how the soy-is-bad people say that it CAUSES prostate and breast cancer in men). However, the few reports that I came across saying that soy is fine and shouldn’t be avoided or limited were U.S. Department of Agriculture meta-analysis of “up-to-date available epidemiologic studies”… surprising to me? Not really. I have a hard time believing reports that benefit the source so blatantly. But, this is just to make people aware. There are other options of protein: whey, eggs, meat, peas, quinoa, nuts and nut butter, beans, chickpeas, tempeh and other FERMENTED soy products (miso, natto, tamari), hemp, leafy greens, chia seeds, sunflower/sesame/poppy seeds, seitan, unsweetened cocoa powder… With all of these options, you can come up with some great alternatives without the question of health and safety.
Why do vegetarians and vegans use soy?
The thing is…vegans and vegetarians use soy as a protein. They use it often as a main source of protein. I know many vegetarians, and it seems that they all take a protein powder (soy fortified) or eat tofu. One thing about the vegetarians…some of them aren’t any healthier for not eating meat. If it’s a personal choice to not murder animals for their nutritional offerings…I understand. I also understand that for many, processing meat proteins are difficult. Others just don’t like meat. Another reason to not eat meat is because it is often full of unhealthy stuff – GMO feed, antibiotics, etc. So, I’m not knocking vegans or vegetarians. I totally understand. BUT, what worries me is that they supplement with a soy protein. I’m going to talk about GOOD soy proteins later…just let’s get through the bad stuff first.
Why is Soy Protein Bad for You?
Why should we avoid soy proteins and soy in general?
90 – 95% of soy is GMO…that means it’s genetically modified. What does THAT mean? It means that a soy gene is modified to provide resistance to Round-Up. Yes…the weed killer. That way, farmers can spray their soy crops with Round-Up and not kill the soy plant or damage it in any way. It DOES make for a more effective harvest.
Second and third generation (in mice) shows harm. GMO foods cause sterility / infertility in mice by the 3rd generation.
It was first modified to confer herbicide resistance in 1996.
BUT…of the 5% that isn’t GMO, it still has some pretty bad statistics.
Soy as a Goitrogen
There is a lot of information on this…but basically some claim that soy inhibits thyroid function. Others say it doesn’t. Some say that in order to negate this, one would just need to steam or cook the soy…but others say that’s the case with some veggies like kale and cauliflower, but cooking soy doesn’t help. The point is, there is enough information and research on this to say it’s possible that soy might contribute to a poorly functioning thyroid. Whether it causes it or contributes to it…I can’t decipher.
But here is something that claims that soy, GMO or not, is bad for those with thyroid problems…and can actually cause thyroid problems to occur.
Top 11 Goitrogenic Foods:
Mustard and Mustard greens
Soy and Estrogen
Again, this is very complex and debated. Some believe that soy mimics estrogen and can cause hormonal trouble. Others disagree. I’m not a doctor or a scientist, so I don’t know. But it’s always good to read up. It’s something about the isoflavones and the endocrine system…and cancer. Better safe than sorry.
Soy and Phytic Acid
Again…there are those that say yes, and those that say no. But in the case of soy and phytic acid, there is more of a consensus that the relationship is negative. Soy is high in phytic acid, as are other foods. With those foods, soaking will reduce the phytic acid…but not with soy. Only with fermentation does the phytic acid lessen. (more on that later.) Here’s more research on phytic acid and what it does, but basically it prohibits mineral absorption. This is not always a bad thing, but we do need some minerals, many actually. So, yet another reason to avoid soy…especially if you have mineral deficiencies.
And more ways that MSG is hidden in our foods, labeled under tricky names. Soy is one of the top foods with MSG.
Soy Infant Formula and Infant Formula Fortification Protocol
With all of the above possible negative theories (I say theories, because again, there are two sides to every coin)…why would we want to feed soy to our babies? If a child has a milk / lactose issues, and breastfeeding isn’t an option, soy is the next go-to formula.
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation:
Toxicologists estimate that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day. By contrast, almost no phytoestrogens have been detected in dairy-based infant formula or in human milk, even when the mother consumes soy products. A recent study found that babies fed soy-based formula had 13,000 to 22,0000 times more isoflavones in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula.
The article has been written dozens of times, and there is a way to take milk and make it baby friendly…and healthy.
Here’s the original information: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/10/22/infant-formula-part-one.aspx
- Kiddie Krill - one per day
- Organic egg yolk - 1 yolk daily added at four months of age
- Organic cream ideally non-pasteurized and non-homogenized — If you are unable to find a local dairy farmer who will cooperate with you please try this link: http://www.realmilk.com/where.html.
- Omega Nutrition pure sesame, walnut, safflower, sunflower, oils (rotate with above) - 1 teaspoon daily
- One teaspoon high quality coconut oil. This oil needs to be heated to 76 degrees to become a liquid.
Base oils as safflower, sunflower and sesame can be blended into the formula.
Omega 6 in Soy
I hate to keep sending you to other places…but it’s just too much science for me to post here. However, Omega 3s are the good ones. Omega 6s are bad when consumed at too high of a ratio. We should be consuming Omega 6 and Omega 3 at a 1:1 ratio. Most Americans are at a 16:1 ratio.
I can’t paraphrase all of the science behind this, so if you want more information – Google it, or start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-6_fatty_acid
Good Types of Soy
Again, I know I keep saying this: I’m not a scientist or a doctor. I know some of these websites seem a bit “conspiracy theory” like. I understand that there are two sides to every coin. But, I also know that people are trying to eat well and they keep getting sicker. I also know that the food industry has sneaky ways of labeling things.
So, I take this all with a grain of salt…but, it’s something to think about. Trying to eat healthy? Take a look at all the processed foods you eat with soy of some sort. Try taking those foods out of your diet for a week…probably two to get a good idea of soy’s effect on your health. Then, let me know! I’d love to hear more.