Soy:  Healthy of Harmful?

Soy has been regarded as a health food for years.  However, all soy is not created equal.

The Asian population has given soy consumption a rather good name.  Indeed, soy has been used in Asia for centuries, namely in products such as soy sauce, natto, tempeh and miso. These foods are a good source of Vitamin K2 which helps prevent osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, dementia and many cancers. The health benefits of these Asian foods were noted over years and eventually US food processors decided to bring soy to mainstream North America.  This turned out to be a very profitable endeavor.  According to The Soyfoods Association of North America, sales grew from $300 million in 1996 to $4 billion in 2006. The change in society’s perception of soy resulted in a huge growth in sales.  This was spearheaded by a brilliant marketing campaign backed by a large advertising budget. What most Americans don’t understand is that soy comes in two main variations:  fermented and unfermented.  The soy primarily consumed in Asia is fermented.  Sadly, to cut costs, the type sold to most Americans in the name of “health” is both unfermented and processed.  There are literally thousands of research papers on soyWhen it comes to soy-consumption, this makes a huge difference.

The Dangers of Unfermented Soy

  • 91% of soy in the US is genetically modified (GM).   Why would we want to genetically modify something that has showed such benefits in its original form? The ugly truth is that it’s cheaper to produce GM soy.  Indeed the savings are passed on to the consumer, but there is something else passed on to the consumer… the toxic herbicide called Roundup.
  • Soy has one of the highest percentages of pesticide contamination of any foods.
  • Soy is high in phytic acid, which is present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. This substance can block the uptake of essential minerals – calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc.
  • Soy contains goitrogens – substances that depress thyroid function.
  • Chemicals in soy increase breast cancer in woman, brain damage in both men and woman, and abnormalities in infants.
  • Soy consumption can lead to thyroid disorder.
  • There are almost 30 different studies concluding unfermented soy is toxic and has adverse effects in humans.

More Risks of Soy:

  • GM soy has been highly linked to allergies. What’s scary is that even if you remove all soy from your diet, your intestines may still produce allergenic proteins for years to come.
  • GM soy has the potential to cause infertility in future generations.
  • Soy has toxic amounts of manganese and aluminum due to being processed in aluminum tanks with an acid washing process.

Soy Formula for Infants

Soy infant formula has 80 times more manganese than found in breast milk.  Infants that drink only soy formula are ingesting nearly five birth control pills of estrogen daily. Imagine what that can do to a baby’s sexual development and reproductive health!

Be advised that unfermented soy makes up a majority of the soy found in our country.  It  can be a challenge to eliminate all unfermented soy from your diet, but one with great reward.  Be sure to read food labels and/or purchase whole foods that you prepare yourself. Soy is one of the top eight food allergens.  Thanks to the 2006 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, soy must always be listed if it is in a product.