From 1996 to 2006 Soy became the “healthiest food on the planet” and really took over the market. People were buying stock in soy left and right because it was touted to be the miracle food.
Over the past 7 years, scientists have been finding out some really scary things about soy, making it known that soy is not necessarily going to make you healthier and might even pose several health risks.
Some little interesting facts about soy:
1. Soy is loaded with phytoestrogens which can block the hormone estrogen and have adverse effects on human tissues!
2. Soy contains phytates which prevent absorption of life enhancing minerals.
3. Soy contains goitrogens which lead to depressed thyroid function.
4. Soy could actually cause breast cancer
Mega doses of phytoestrogens in soy formulas are putting your infant’s normal sexual development at risk.
Modern soy food from soy milk to soy burgers are processed, which means they contain natural toxins called “anti-nutrients”. These anti-nutrients deter the enzymes needed for protein absorption. If you are eating over 35 grams of soy a day, this will become toxic in the body. Soy is now found in everything processed. You will see on the label soybean oil or soy lecithin. You will find this in yogurt, dressings, condiments, breads, and pasta sauces.
Soy can in fact be healthy but ONLY if it has been fermented.
Once a long fermentation process is done, the phytates and the anti-nutrients in soy are lowered and the digestive properties are then available to the body. The only real “natural” soy products that has healthy properties are fermented tofu, tempeh, Miso soup & soy sauce.
We all have heard the claim that Japanese people live longer and have less heart disease because they live on a high soy diet. But, the truth to the matter is, Japanese people consume less soy than the Americans do who frequently sip on soy milk, eat processed vegetarian soy burgers and consume soy cheese.
Japanese people get about 8 grams of soy in their diet daily whereas the average soy burger contains 9 grams of soy, which Americans eat frequently. If one is having soy milk in their coffee or over their cereal, putting soy cheese on salads, and eating soy burgers for lunch or dinner, they could be getting upwards to 20-35 grams of soy in a day. And most of those soy products are processed and genetically modified.
The best advice I have for you is to overall stay away from Soy. If you are a vegetarian and want to get protein in, buy fermented tofu or tempeh that you have to prepare yourself. There is also a new line called Korn that has vegetarian options without using Soy. For the rest of you, try your best to stay away from anything processed. Most processed food uses Soy Lecithin as filler. And of course, start looking at labels to make sure soy is not in the ingredient list. A little bit of soy in your diet will be fine, but if you have changed over to vegetarian products because you think they are healthier; perhaps reconsider this decision. You may be better off going back to eating lean meats that are grass fed and not loaded with hormones.
For more information on the real truth about soy, check out the book:
Dr. Daniel, Kaayla. “The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food”
Jessica Janc, Director of Nutrition, Premier Fitness Camp
Jessica Janc has been a part of the Fitness Industry for 20 years. She attended the University of Utah where she studied Exercise Sports Science with an emphasis on Nutrition. She has been an ACE certified Aerobic Instructor and Personal trainer for nineteen years. She studied under the Stott Pilates Method, is Bosu Certified, Madd Dogg Spin certified and teaches many other fitness classes at Purefitness Sports Center in Carlsbad. Jessica is Ace Certified in Lifestyle and Weight Management and is a Sports Nutritionist certified through the National Association of Sports Nutrition (NASN).