If you embark upon reviewing the many studies done on soy, you would definitely realize that the risks associated with unfermented soy products outweigh the possible benefits.
However, note that this refers to unfermented soy products. On the other hand, fermented foods like soy sauce, tempeh, or natto, which have been long used by Asian people, are not linked to the risks as unfermented products are.
Most health-conscious Americans have been manipulated into believing that unfermented soy products, such as soy cheese, soy burgers, soy ice cream, and soymilk, are basically good for them.
How Did Soy Foods Become So Popular?
Soy food sales increased from $300 million to nearly $4 billion from 1992 to 2006, as reported by Soyfoods Association of North America. What brought to this tremendous increase is the shift in attitudes about soy, which was no accident since the soy industry spent a little fortune in advertising.
According to the survey Consumer Attitudes About Nutrition 2008 (by the United Soybean Board):
- As of 2007, 85% of consumers perceive soy products as healthy
- 33% of Americans eat soy foods or beverages at least once a month
- 70% percent of consumers believe soybean oil is good for them
- 84% percent of consumers agree with the FDA’s claim that consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily lowers your risk of heart disease
The Dark Side of Soy
Unfortunately, a great deal of the soy offered on the American market is not health food, except for fermented soy. What`s more, GMO soy is also present on the marker, which is contaminated with pesticide residues which wreak havoc on your body.
Asian people eat small of amounts of whole non-GMO soybean products, while western culture indulges in soybean that had been previously separated into protein and oil, and is nothing but unhealthy.
Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story, shows a strong link soy between consumption and malnutrition, digestive distress, infertility, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, and even cancer and heart disease. Other health risks include:
- Kidney stones
- Immune system impairment
- Severe, potentially fatal food allergies
- Impaired fertility
- Danger during pregnancy and nursing
- Breast cancer
- Brain damage
- Infant abnormalities
- Thyroid disorders
The ones who advocate soy claim that soy-based foods act as preventive measure against colon, prostate, and breast cancer as well as asthma, osteoporosis, and strokes. However, the same soy proponents fail to mention soy`s risks and dangers which are backed up by massive research.
Yet another fact needs to be brought up, that is 80% of world`s soy is contributing to deforestation. Some soy proponents even suggest that the solution to this is for all of us to become vegetarians, ignoring the nutrition.
What Makes Soy Such a Risky Food to Eat?
1. 91% of soy grown in the US is GMO
While genetic modification is done to increase farming effectiveness and supply the consumers with less expensive soy, the truth is that this soy is packed with toxic pesticide. GMO soy is associated with an increase in allergies and other health risks. The only human study on GM foods which has been ever published confirms that gene inserted in GM soy ends into the DNA of our gut bacteria, meaning that even years after stopping eating GM soy, you may still have allergenic protein in your intestines.
2. Soy contains natural toxins known as “anti-nutrients”
Soy foods are packed with anti-nutritional factors like phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, estrogens, goitrogens, soyatoxin, and saponins. Some of them will not cause a problem as long as eaten in moderate amounts while some of them interfere with the enzymes needed to digest food.
3. Soy contains hemagglutinin
Hemagglutinin is a substance which promotes clotting, causing the red blood cells to clump together. Consequently, these clumped cells lose their ability to absorb oxygen and distribute it to your tissues.
4. Soy contains goitrogens
Goitrogens are substances which disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering iodine metabolism, thus disrupting thyroid function.
5. Soy contains phytates
Phytates are antioxidant compounds which attach to metal ions and prevent the absorption of minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. This is especially problematic for vegetarians as eating meat lowers these mineral-blocking effects.
6. Soy is loaded with the isoflavones genistein and daidzein
Isoflavones tend to mimic and even block estrogen, causing adverse effects on some human tissues. Soy phytoestrogens like isoflavones are known to inhibit endocrine function, may cause breast cancer in women, and may cause infertility. As little as two glasses of soymilk a day for a month provides sufficient amount of these compounds to affect your menstrual cycle.
7. Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese
Given that soybeans are processed in aluminum tanks, it`s not surprising that they contain high levels of aluminum. What`s more, it has been scientifically shown that soy formula has nearly 80 times more manganese than human breast milk.
Up to 20% of American infants are fed soy formula, whose estrogen content many harm the baby`s sexual development. Infants fed soy formula have 20,000 times higher estrogen in circulation when compared to those fed other formulas.
What Soy Products are Good For You?
Organic and properly fermented soy is the only healthful soy since the fermentation processes reduces the anti-nutrient content and enhances its beneficial effects. Some of the soy products which are good for you include misso, natto, tempeh, and soy sauce.