Soy, is it healthy or DANGEROUS !?!
Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Soy has raised quite the ruckus over the last few years. There are a TON of misconceptions out there. Here's what you need to know, from a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant on the effects of having soy in your diet.
Soy beans, have been consumed for THOUSANDS of years. However lately, they gave been quite controversial... why?
Soy can be found in soooo many food products out there, and not just special vegan food like soy milk, and mock meats. You can find soy as an additive in all types of food in the form of soy flour, soy bean oil, and textured vegetable protein. Like in your fav packaged protien bars and powders.. a lot contain an ingredient called 'soy protein isolate'.
Overly processed foods are never 'healthy'. Period.
As well, a lot of soy is one of the most mass produced crops in the world! A lot is used in animal feed, and processed foods. A lot of soy found today is GMO, I recommend consuming non-GMO foods most of the time.
You can also find soy in edamame, which is actually whole soybeans, As well as in tofu. It is in fermented products such as tempeh and miso.
These sources contain isoflavones, what is a class of PHYTOestrogens. Which can have positive effects to the body, such as lowering the risk of colorectal cancer and breast cancer in some studies.
Soy contains many nutrients such as protein, fibre, vitamin K, folate, iron, and zinc.
I suggest fermented soy is likely the most health promoting.
Other studies display negative effects such as increasing the risk of certain hormone related cancers. As well as mood swings and irritability.
Soy is not estrogen, however over consuming things that contain phytoestrogen can mimic the effects in the body leading to these effects.
Before we go any further, I just want to remind everyone that every body contains estrogen. Estrogen is vital for body functions.
It totally depends on the body. As well as how much you are consuming.
There are two separate estrogen receptors in the body, phytoestrogens found in soy products favor estrogen receptor beta. Our own endogenous estrogen favors receptor alpha.
The effect that soy has on the body depends on the ratio between alpha to beta.
Phytoestrogen in soy has been studied to positively effect the symptoms related to menopause by increasing the amount of estrogen in the body.
I feel the need to highlight in this post that dairy milk contains actual estrogen that the body registers as the hormone estrogen and the potential to lead to health risks.
Again it all totally depends on the hormonal profile of each individual as well as liver detoxification efficiency. I would super recommend having a chit chat with your naturopath at your next appointment to determined what is a good amount to be consuming for your individual body.
So the bottom line, there is a TON of conflicting research out there. I encourage you to do your own, and double check where your information is coming from and who the studies are funded by. As well as take notice of how you feel after consuming it as soy is a common allergen.
Soy is considered a safe food to consume in appropriate amounts as long as one is not allergic or sensitive to it.
Personally, I do consume soy. However, not everyday, and not all the time. I view it as a convenient and delicious choice to consume on occasion. Being plant based, if I am in a coffee shop and soy milk is the only available choice I for sure will choose it over dairy milk. (Side note as your barista next time your at a coffee shop for oat milk . . . it is A-MAZ-ING !