For decades the mainstream media has been telling us how healthy it is to add more soy to your diet. Soy, soy milk, and soy flour are in almost all packaged foods today. But is soy really that healthy or have the billion-dollar marketing campaigns from big corporates tricked us into believing their truth?
If you take a look at research studies, you may be shocked! There are thousands of studies linking soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, infertility, cancer, and heart diseases.
The last one came as a shock to me. Born with a heart rhythm disorder and high levels of cholesterol, I’ve been told for years to drink soy milk, cook with soy-based oil or butter, eat soy-based yogurt, add tofu to my diet, etc. So as a dupable person, I fell prey to the misleading commercials and even my doctor advised to eat it more often. So why would I doubt the superpowers of soy for my health?
The Shocking Truth, How I Almost Got Breast Cancer Thanks To Soy
Not so long ago I discovered the dark side of the soy industry myself. I don’t eat a lot of meat or fish and lately, I was even trying to cut out more. Meaning tofu, soy burgers, soy cheese was more on the menu! After a few weeks, my both breast were so painful I couldn’t stand to wear a bra any longer. All my breast glands were painfully swollen and the doctor immediately redirected me to the specialist for a mammogram and ultrasound screening.
Luckily those lumps and bumps weren’t breast cancer, but swollen milk glands. They also found lots of calcifications throughout both breasts. Having these calcifications (and over-stimulation of milk glands) doesn’t mean cancer, but they can be the onset of it.
Doctors told me it could be soy, coffee, or other things I was eating regularly that caused an imbalance in my hormones. I quit eating soy that day and 2 weeks later all went back to normal. And that’s how I discovered the truth just in time and unfermented soy products are no longer on my menu at our home.
But What About The Asian People? They Eat Tons Of Soy And Are in Perfect Health! Or is this Just An Illusion?
For centuries Asian people have been consuming fermented soy products such as soy sauce, miso, natto and tempeh and reaping its benefits.
Originally, soy was used as an inedible plant to fix nitrogen in the soil. The ancient Chinese already knew back then that soy contains many toxins. Only after they discovered how to neutralize the toxins through fermentation, they started to use the fermented soy in small amounts, about 9 grams a day, for cooking.
Only recently we started to consume large amounts of unfermented and processed soy products like soy milk, soy cheese, soy burgers and soy ice cream. This was a result of massive investments in the advertising of the soy industry. Big money has and still is being made with our health at stake! We’ve been manipulated into believing that soy in part of a healthy lifestyle. Processed soy snacks or shakes contain over 20 grams of unfermented soy protein in only one serving.
So in contrary of what we think, Asians only use moderate amounts (about two teaspoons daily) as a condiment, but not as their primary protein source. And all soy products they use are fermented!
Scroll down to learn more about the health risks of soy!
Soy, A Risky Business For Your Health
Almost all soy products, except the fermented soy, available on the western market are not a health food. They have been linked to many diseases such as breast cancer, brain damage, thyroid disorders, kidney stones, allergies, infertility, infant abnormalities and much more.
What Are The Hidden Dangers Of Soy
- Over 80% of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM) to make the soy plant resistance to a toxic herbicide called Roundup (active ingredient is glyphosate). Resulting in an increased yield but loaded with toxic pesticides that end up in our food chain. GM soy has been linked to an increase of allergies and infertility
- Unfermented soy contains natural toxins, such as saponins, goitrogens, hemagglutinin, oxalates, phytates, protease, estrogens, etc. Hemagglutinin is a clot-promoting substance, goitrogens are known to block the synthesis of thyroid hormones, phytates bind to metal ions which prevent the absorption of many minerals and vitamins. When eaten in large amounts, like in our American diets, those toxins can be very dangerous and be the onset of many diseases and allergies.
- Free glutamic acid (MSG) is formed during the soy processing and more is added to mask the natural bad taste of soy. MSG is a potential neurotoxic compound, which may alter the normal activity of the nervous system in such a way as to cause damage to nervous tissue.
- Promotes breast cancer, infertility, and hormone imbalances. Phytoestrogen mimics and blocks your natural estrogen, disrupting the hormone balance within your body. Did you know the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, but soy is not on their list? A high intake of these phytoestrogens can lead to a testosterone imbalance, infertility, low sperm count and increased risk of cancer for men. For women, it can cause estrogen dominance linked to infertility, menstrual issues, and cancer.
- Promotes vitamin B12 deficiency. Soy contains a compound which resembles vitamin B12 but can’t be used by the human body. So especially among vegans, it contributes to a B12 deficiency.
- Harmful to your children. Soy infant formula, full of estrogens, is being fed to our newborns instead of breast milk. The estrogens in soy milk can harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. Each day your baby is fed soy formula equals feeding it the same amount of estrogens presented in 4 to 5 birth control pills. Soy also contains high levels of manganese, almost 80 times more than in breast milk. This often leads to neurological problems and ADHD.
- High levels of aluminum found in soy products. During the production process, soybeans are washed with acids in aluminum tanks, which leads to high levels of aluminum ending up in the final product. High levels of aluminum can lead to all sorts of health problems.
Take Home Message
Although soy can be incredibly healthful, we should pay more attention to it and stop believing the billion dollar sponsored campaigns.
It is only safe in its organic, GMO-free and properly fermented state. … and in moderation (about two teaspoons daily). Only through proper fermentation the toxic compounds are reduced and can be added to your diet to reap the benefits on your digestive system.
Tempeh, miso, natto and traditional made soy sauce are OK. Tofu, soymilk, soy cheese, soy meat, edamame, soy sprouts, and soy infant formula is not fermented and should be avoided like the plague.
Personally, I don’t eat soy or soy-based products anymore. The ‘almost-getting-breast-cancer’ scared the hell out of me.
What do you think about soy? Risky business or not? Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences with soy in the comment box below…
Thanks for reading. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.