I don't know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
'Cause I’m being taken over by fear"
~ Lilly Allen ~ I Don't Know ~
Over the past year I have had various conversations with family and friends regarding certain foods and if they are "good" or "bad". And I started to believe that food is not necessarily bad, it's just that we have bad behaviours when it comes to food. This is assuming we are talking about wholesome, natural, organic food. When we start to look at genetically modified foods, well then it's a whole different ballgame. And one food in particular has got my attention ~ SOY. And what I have found is that when it comes to Soy, it's not as healthy as we all once thought.
You see Soy was first used as a food during the late Chou dynasty. At this time, the soy plant was initially used as a method of fixing nitrogen in their soil. Soybean did not serve as a food until the discovery of fermentation techniques to make foods like tempeh, natto and tamari within the Asian cuisine. Asians consume soy foods in small amounts per day as a condiment, and not as a replacement for animal foods. But have you noticed that soy is now found in most of the products we buy ... from protein shakes, to bakery goods to energy bars. Soy whats wrong with Soy then?
- Most modern soy foods are not fermented to neutralize toxins in soybeans, and are processed in a way that denatures proteins and increases levels of carcinogens. Cancer patients are being warned to avoid foods rich in soy because they can accelerate the growth of tumours.
- Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. At dietary levels, they can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells.
- Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems. Low thyroid function is associated with difficulties in menopause. Soy will destroy your thyroid. Many foods are goitrogenic (thyroid suppressing), but soy is king of them all. Goitrogens work by preventing your thyroid from getting the necessary amount of iodine. Eating as little as 30 grams (about 4 tablespoons) of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain and fatigue.
- A recent study found that women with the highest levels of estrogen in their blood had the lowest levels of cognitive function; In Japanese Americans tofu consumption in mid-life is associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease in later life.
- Numerous animal studies show that soy foods cause infertility in animals.
- The soybean also contains hemaglutinin, a clot promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.
- Soy contain protease inhibitors, which as the name suggests, inhibit the action of proteases (including trypsin). Protease are enzymes that are involved in the process of dismantling proteins for use by the body. Studies show that soy contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function.
- Soybeans contain very high levels of phytate and their are numerous reports of reduced bioavailablity of various metals such as calcium, copper, iron, manganese and zinc. This has particular significance for vegetarians and infants fed soy-formulas. Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D.
- The soybean plant has the ability to absorb manganese from the soil and concentrate it to an extent that soy-based infant formulas can contain as much as 200 times the level of manganese found in natural breast milk. In babies, excess manganese that cannot be metabolised is stored in body organs. Around eight percent of the excess manganese in the diet is stored in the brain in close proximity to the dopamine-bearing neurons responsible, in part, for adolescent neurological development.
- The implications are that the one in eight infants raised on soy formula during the first six months of life may be at risk of brain and behavioural disorders that do not become evident until adolescence.
- Vitamin B 12 deficiency has been recognized as a serious result of soy consumption for many years.
- Soy is deficient in Vitamin B1.
- Numerous artificial flavorings, particularly MSG, are added to TVP products to mask their strong “beany” taste, and impart the flavor of meat. MSG, (also called free glutamic acid), a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing. Many soy products have extra MSG added as well.
- Fragile soy proteins are exposed to high temperatures during processing in order to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein, making them unsuitable for human digestion.
- The GMO Compass database records that as of 2008, 92% of soy crops in the U.S. are genetically modified varieties. GMOs are continually shown in independent studies to cause serious harm in the human body, a frightening prospect when considering that soy derivatives are found in virtually every processed food product
For some vegans, SOY has become a prefix for almost every other item in their diets—from soy milk and soy ice cream to soy nuts and soy burgers. Yet after reading the long list above, why take the risk? And since there are so many other options to choose from, we realize that one doesn't need any soy to follow a healthy vegan or vegetarian diet.