Soy And Diet

The Question Of Soy And Diet

 

 

As the video above states, many people have been led to believe that soy and soy products are the greatest thing since sliced bread! However we at Weight and Fitness Solutions believe that soy is an over rated food product in a well balanced diet.

A lot of the health claims made by the soy industry are simply marketing tactics to make us spend our money on soy products.

A History Of Soy And Diet

The soybean origin gets its start in Asia. An oil-rich bean that grows in fuzzy green pods,

soybean plants were grown in Asia as green manure—an organic fertilizer to be plowed under to enrich the soil for crop plantings. The natives found that soy consumption led to digestive discomfort, bloating, and gas. Not until they came up with fermentation methods did soy begin to be used as a food for humans.

Fermented soy products such as miso, tempeh, natto, soy sauce, and tamari are fine to eat occasionally; fermentation deactivates some of the anti-nutrients in soy that cause digestive distress and mineral loss in bones. However, the majority of soy products sold in the United States are unfermented, so the naturally occurring toxins are intact. Unfermented soy products also are processed in a way that makes their proteins impure and increases the amount of carcinogens.

Some people argue that since Asians have been eating soy for thousands of years and have an incidence of cancer far lower than Americans, small amounts of natural fermented soy in the average Asian diet (9.3–36 grams [2–4 teaspoons] of soy per day as a condiment) may well have a protective effect.

Unfortunately, because of the theory that more is better in our diets, we have taken this information and applied it incorrectly to highly processed, unfermented, low-quality soy products like tofu (a single cup of which weighs 252 grams). Many of us eat several cups of soy products daily.

Soy Foods

In the West, the soybean has been used mostly as soybean oil, which is found in most products labeled as vegetable oil, margarine, or shortening. The soy protein left over from soy oil extraction originally was fed exclusively to animals—poultry and, more recently, farmed fish. All detrimental to a nutrition healthy diet because the problem is that animals can consume only so much soy before developing serious reproductive and other health problems.

In addition, soy gave food technologists an opportunity to develop cheap meat substitutes. The most unhealthy modern soy food products are manufactured using high-tech processes. They include ready-made foods such as soy sausages, soy burgers, chicken-like soy patties, packaged soy milk, protein powders, energy bars, veggie burgers, low-carbohydrate pastas, and chilis, as well as countless foods containing soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, and texturized vegetable protein.

Soy Isoflavones

Hormonal Effects

Just about all soy products on the market contain the phytoestrogens (plant-derived estrogens) known as isoflavones. Soy isoflavones have been shown to decrease the testosterone levels of rats, monkeys, and other animals, including humans.

In adults, soy consumption may disrupt normal hormone levels, affecting the reproductive system in women (resulting in heavier menstrual flow, increased cramping, and infertility) and decreasing testosterone levels in men (which decreases libido and lowers sperm count).

Health Tips and Concerns

Soy consumption causes low energy, depression, hair loss, poor skin, weight gain and diminished sex drive.

The effects of soy are serious, especially when it comes to the health and development of infants who are fed soy formula(check your labels!). Infants are extremely susceptible to the effects of soy because formula constitutes most, if not all, of their diets.

Figures from the Swiss Federal Health Service indicate that, on a daily basis, an infant who is fed soy formula receives an amount of estrogen equivalent to that found in three to five birth control pills. That’s a lot of estrogen for anyone, however this amount is especially dangerous for infants whose development requires the right hormones in the right place at the right time. In boys, the onset of puberty may be delayed, and pediatricians are increasingly reporting cases of emasculated boys who reach puberty with breasts and tiny penises. In girls, the onset of puberty may be accelerated, and reproductive problems may occur in adulthood.

Thyroid Effects

Soy isoflavones damage more than the reproductive system in adults and children. People who consume high amounts of soy protein each day e.g., in soy milk and in high-protein energy bars, which contain soy isolates—the most concentrated source of soy, often complain of fatigue, low energy, depression, hair loss, poor skin, weight gain, and diminished sex drive—all symptoms of low thyroid function. When tested for hypothyroidism, these people almost always test positive.

Action Steps

•Get into the habit of reading the labels on food purchases and get rid of everything in your cupboards that contains soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, texturized vegetable protein, and soy bean oil. Possible products include many packaged energy bars, crackers, veggie burgers, and vegetarian look-alike products. You know……those “health food” items. Look at our post on Processed Foods for a lesson on label reading.

• If you have been consuming soy for a long time,it might be a good idea to get your thyroid function checked. If you suffer from hypothyroidism, then eliminating soy from your diet may have a positive effect on your positive health.

More On Soy and Diet From the Web:

Soy allergy is a type of food allergy It is a hypersensitivity to diet any substances from soy causing an overreaction of the immune.…Continue Reading…..

The reference for this post came from: The Whole Soy Story-The Dark Side Of America’s Favorite Health Food by Daniel Kaayla (2005)