As an official Weston A. Price member, when it comes to soy, I’m biased in my thinking…
I think 98% of the soy consumed in the US is a serious health hazard.
I know I’m going to get raked over the coals by some of you, but I’m no stranger to controversy. I’ll confess that years ago I also fell for the “soy is good” dogma when several of my children proved to be lactose intolerant. Everyone was touting the health benefits of soy and I never questioned what they told us.
But before I get into all the reasons to avoid soy, I will say some good things.
Fermented soy is okay.
Clarification: Fermented soy is good in very small amounts (think as a condiment).
In these articles on fermented soy from GreenMedInfo, you’ll see that fermented soy from foods like natto, miso, tempeh, tamari (the “original soy sauce”) and fermented bean paste contribute to a number of health benefits like increased bone mineral density, preventing bone loss in “ovariectomised rats”, and reduced fracture risk. These are all good things.
Even Sara Pope, from the Healthy Home Economist gives fermented soy a little credit in this article, but with a strong word of caution: “Fermented soy is a nutrient dense food that is a fantastic addition to the diet with one caveat. Fermented soy must be consumed within the context of an iodine rich diet.”
Therefore, if you eat the typical American low-fat diet, which is incredibly devoid of foods containing thyroid protecting iodine, and then suddenly decide to go wild eating fermented soy all the time because you saw something positive about it on the evening news – this could still pose a problem for your thyroid health!
By now you might be thinking, “Don’t Asian women eat a lot of soy and have lower breast cancer rates?” I once thought so, but I learned in my research that we tend to think of Asians consuming lots of soy, but that’s not true. Most consume very small amounts every day and that is primarily fermented soy.
Now let’s look at all the reasons you should think twice before grabbing that box of soy milk on your way home from work.
Here’s 10 reasons to avoid soy:
- Soybeans are one of the top 10 allergenic foods.
- Over 90% of the soy in our foods is genetically modified (GMOs) and according to the ultimate authorities on GMOs , the Institute for Responsible Technology, genetically engineered foods are likely contributing to the ridiculous rise in food allergies.
- Soy is a goitrogen – simply put, it interferes with normal thyroid function by inhibiting your body’s ability to use iodine. Since we have an epidemic of hypothyroidism in the US, and soy is in everything, might it be the culprit?
- Soy is full of the isoflavones genistein and daidzein which are phytoestrogens and they mimic human estrogen in the body. Thus soy is an endocrine disruptor. These are chemicals (natural and man-made like BPA) that interfere with the body’s endocrine system and can produce “adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.”
- Soy formula is really bad for babies! When a baby is exclusively fed soy formula, it’s comparable in estrogen levels to taking 5 birth control pills a day! Not convinced? Read Why Babies Should Not Be Fed Soy from the Weston A. Price Foundation.
- Soy accelerates puberty! Known as precocious puberty, this can create a host of problems later in life, not the least of which is breast cancer. Every year puberty can be delayed lowers the risk of future breast cancer by 7%! Read more in this article from Holistic Squid.
- Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese. In Dr. Mercola’s article below on the so-called “miracle health food” he explains that soybeans are processed by acid washing in aluminum tanks which can cause the aluminum to leach into the food. Aluminum is a neurotoxin – no thanks!
- Soy plants are sprayed heavily with pesticides. Aren’t our bodies subject to enough chemical assault? We don’t need more toxins in our bodies.
- Soy contains high amounts of omega-6 fats and most of our diets are way too high in omega-6 fats which contribute to inflammation. You need more omega-3’s in your diet – not omega-6.
- Soy can make men’s breast grow! Read about one man’s nightmare with soy milk in Men’s Health where the author, Jim Thorton, refers to soy as a gender-bending nightmare! A lot of men use protein drinks with soy in them – stop! We’ve got plenty of protein drinks that don’t have soy in them, like Raw Protein Beyond Organic Protein Formula from Garden of Life.
That’s enough to convince me that soy is bad – but if you want more convincing – read the articles below, or better yet, get Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s book The Whole Soy Story. Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, calls it “the most important nutritional book of the decade.”
The Soy industry pays handsomely to convince us all that soy is healthy – don’t let them sell your health to the highest bidder.
If you are a recovering soy user or suffered some ill effects from it, please share your story below.