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The Soy Controversy

Posted Oct 30 2009 12:00am
As a long-time vegetarian turned pescatarian, I've always relied on soy as a source of protein and to add some variety to my diet. When I was a teenager and into my early twenties, I loved the fake meat versions of soy and when I stopped drinking milk, I turned to soy milk. It seems every version of an animal food has a soy alternative. Great news, right!?! Or not.

Imagine my disbelief when I listened to a lecture last week by Dr. Kaayla Daniel which by the end had unraveled my dependence on soy as health food and practical alternative to meat and dairy. First, many of the soy products we buy in grocery stores are actually processed versions of soy and as we know, processed = unhealthy, even deadly. And soy milk contains the synthetic vitamin D2.

Also, the FDA has long made health claims for soy, including it's use in the prevention of heart disease. However, studies have shown that these claims don't hold up. Keep in mind that soybeans are a cash crop in the US, farmed in excess and along with corn it is one of the top government subsidized crops. Other governments have issued warnings against the food. Why hasn't ours?

The discrepencies concerning soy go on and on but I'll try to sum it up for you here. If you want more information, you can read more at: www.thewholesoystory .

Some of the dangers of soy, include
  • soy is hard to digest
  • soy contains phytates which block mineral absorption
  • the phytoestrogens in soy are plant hormones -- fake hormones that act like real ones and disrupt normal hormone function
  • isoflavins in soy interfere with production of estorgen, testosterone and other hormones
Timing of exposure to phytoestrogens is of particular importance and they should especially be avoided during
  • pregnancy
  • infancy -- this one is sensitive as many babies are given soy formula
  • puberty
  • reporductive years
  • menopause
The good news is that soy can be enjoyed in moderation and in its natural form. Some of the safer soy foods which tend to be fermented are
  • miso
  • natto
  • tempeh
  • tofu
  • edamame
Don't take my word for it. Be a curious consumer and explore for yourself. I've learned that government recommendations shouldn't be taken at face value. There's always more to the story than what we're told.
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