Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Soy: Is It The Healthier Option?

Soy has become very popular. Especially to people who are/or have to eliminate dairy from their diet. Soy comes in many forms, from soy milk all the way to “meat” options. Even to people on a diet, soy seems like it is a healthier option. I’ll admit, I have used a lot of soy based products, just because soy is in A LOT of health foods. Many vegetarians and Vegans rely on soy because it’s a big source of protein. But the real question is, is it really healthy for you?
Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid soy just because I’ve been hearing and reading many things about it and the effects it can have. I’ve been confused because I was drawn into believing soy IS a much better alternative. And since there is organic and all natural foods that contain it, how bad can it be? Well, the effects of soy aren’t to pretty by any means.
Unless the soy you are consuming is fermented, you’re putting your health at risk. Fermented soy is the ONLY soy that is considered to be a real health food. But how can you tell the difference? Soys labeled, Miso, Tempeh, and Natto are considered to be fermented.
Natto is a fermented soy product which is high in Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D, which together provide health benefits, such as improving bone density, reducing the risk of heart disease, and cancer.
Miso and Tempeh don’t contain those vitamins, but they are excellent forms of health promoting natural probiotics.
It’s important to understand that the fermentation process of soy is what makes it a healthy addition. The fermentation breaks down the goitrogens, isoflavones and other harmful elements in the soy. Tofu is not fermented, therefore it should be avoided.
What does this all mean? 

It means that most of the soy found in the US is NOT fermented. It is genetically modified soy. Ew? Genetically modified anything should be avoided at all costs! It’s no where near natural…
About 91% of all soy made in the US is doused with lethal amounts of  Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Why would you want to consume something that is genetically modified, and on top of that sprayed with a lethal herbicide?!? Well if you’re like me, you have probably been misinformed and didn’t know that, until now.
Other names that soy can be hidden in:
Going with Organic soy isn’t an option either. It still contains everything that non-fermented soy contains. Therefore putting yourself at risk for health issues.
Consuming 2 glasses of soy milk a day for a month can contribute to health issues. And that is a scary number…considering when I went dairy free, I first turned to soy milk…
Here are some health issues from consuming any non-fermented soy product:
Also, some research has shown that soy doesn’t directly effect the person who consumes the genetically modified soy, it’s the second and third generations that can deal with the effects. 

Soy products to avoid:
  • Soy cheese
  • Soy ice cream
  • Soy yogurt
  • Soy “meat” (meatless products made of TVP)
  • Soy lecithin
  • Tofu
  • Soy Protein
  • Isolated Soy Protein Powder
  • Protein Bars made with soy
  • Protein Shakes made with soy
  • Infant Soy Formula- Which is said to be the most dangerous soy product out there.
Infant Soy Formula-  Many children are allergic to conventional formula, and these parents can easily be convinced that soy formula is the solution. Sadly, soy formula is far worse than conventional formula. It’s due to its excessive levels of phytoestrogens. The estrogens in soy can irreversibly harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. Infants fed soy formula receive a level of estrogen equivalent to five birth control pills every day! Infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen in circulation as those fed conventional formulas! In addition, soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk, which can lead to brain damage in infants, and altered behaviors in adolescence.
So when trying to avoid dairy, and need an alternative. Choose oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, and for some who aren’t lactose intolerant, goat’s milk. All of these are better options. What about when getting a beverage out and I can’t have milk, and the only option is soy milk? Well that’s the problem I am faced with right now. I enjoy a trip out and getting a Chai with soy milk lately. But now, I’m just going to have to make mine at home. I have used rice milk and almond milk as alternatives. Since most places don’t have any other dairy free options besides soy. It’s best to avoid the drinks.
I always am saying STAY AWAY from processed foods. Soy is HIGHLY processed, therefore should be avoided. Unless it is the fermented kind. So soy is NOT a healthier option.
Cheers to health! :)