Soy. Soya. Soy milk. Edamame. Soybeans. They’re good for us, right?
Unfortunately, not in the way we were taught to think. Soy is a success story of a very talented marketing agency that helped create and foster the belief that our current supply of soy is good for us. Soy is one of the most commonly genetically modified foods, after corn and wheat, and followed by cotton and potatoes.
Before I get to the professionals technical jargon (aka medical-ease) I have a solution you can use in place of soy for some of the more common uses.
1. Coconut Aminos – replaces soy sauce for all common soy sauce uses. Luckily, this coconut based sauce doesn’t have a
coconut-y flavor, a very low glycemic (GI of only 35), is an abundant source of amino acids, minerals, broad spectrum B vitamins, and has a nearly neutral PH. (You can click on the image to the right to visit our shop to purchase some from Amazon in case you would like to try our brand we use at home!
2. Almond, rice, coconut or hemp milk – all fantastic soy milk alternatives. No, you won’t be able to visit Starbucks for your fave soy latte and replace it with any of these other milks I mention, however, many more progressive coffee shops, juice stands and restaurants are now offering most of these to you.
On to the medical-ease…
We couldn’t have said it better than the professionals at Natural Health Strategies, so below is an excerpt from them on the dangers of soy. Read on to learn why you MUST avoid this highly toxic substance which is so often touted as a health food.
- Soybeans and soy products contain high levels of phytic acid, which inhibits assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. (Soaking, sprouting, and long, slow cooking do not neutralize phytic acid).
- Diets high in phytic acid have been shown to cause growth problems in children.
- Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders.
- Test animals showed stunted growth when fed trypsin inhibitors from soy.
- The plant estrogens found in soy, called phytoestrogens, disrupt endocrine function, that is, the proper functioning of the glands that produce hormones, and have the potential to cause infertility as well as to promote breast cancer in adult women.
- Hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer may be caused by soy phytoestrogens.
- Infant soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
- Soy has been found to increase the body’s need for vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
- Fragile soy proteins are exposed to high temperatures during processing in order to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein, making them unsuitable for human digestion.
- This same process results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines. (Doesn’t sound like anything anyone would want to eat, does it?)
- MSG, (also called free glutamic acid), a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing. Many soy products have extra MSG added as well.
- Soy foods contain elevated levels of toxic aluminum,which negatively effects the nervous system the kidneys and has been implicated in the onset of Alzheimer’s.
And what’s worse is so many of you are using soy as an infant formula alternative. Please read on to learn of the dangers to our children who are regularly fed soy.
- It’s been found that babies given infant soy formulas have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen than babies fed milk-based formulas.
- Babies fed exclusively on infant soy formula are receivingthe estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least four or five birth control pills per day! You read that right. Four or five birth control pills per day! Here’s the reference so you can check this out for yourself. [Irvine, C. et al., “The Potential Adverse Effects of Soybean Phytoestrogens in Infant Feeding”, New Zealand Medical Journal May 24, 1995, p. 318.] By contrast, dairy-based infant formula contains almost no phytoestrogens, nor does human milk, even when the mother eats soy products. (Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.)
- There has been an increase of delayed physical maturation among boys, including lack of development of sexual organs.
- Conversely, many girls today show signs of puberty, such as breast development and pubic hair, before the age of eight, and some even before the age of three.
- Both of these abnormal conditions have been linked to the use of soy formulas as well as to exposure to “environmental estrogens” such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene)a breakdown product of DDT.
Right around now, you’re probably asking yourself how so many people in Asia consume soy without trouble, right? So did a lot of the experts.
Oriental cultures consumed mostly traditionally fermented soy products such as miso, tempeh, natto, shoyu and tamari. (Tofu is not fermented, and falls into the dangerous soy foods category.) They consumed these soy foods in small amounts, as a condiment.
- Soy foods account for only 1.5 percent of calories in the Chinese diet, researchers found.
- The actual soybean consumed today is not the same one used by traditional Oriental cultures.
The Weston Price Foundation has a list of studies carried out from 1971 to 2003 showing the adverse effects of dietary soy.
To give you an idea of how condemning these studies are, here are just a few summaries. There are over 50 more!
Fort P and others. Breast feeding and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in children. J Am Coll Nutr 1986;5(5):439-441. Twice as many soy-fed children developed diabetes as those in a control group that was breast fed or received milk-based formula. It was based on this study that the American Academy of Pediatrics took a position of opposition to the use of soy infant formula. This objection was later dropped after the AAP received substantial grants from the Infant Formula Council.
Hawkins NM and others. Potential aluminium toxicity in infants fed special infant formula. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1994;19(4):377-81 (1994). Researchers found aluminum concentrations of 534 micrograms/L in soy formula, as compared to 9.2 micrograms/L in breast milk. The authors concluded that infants may be at risk from aluminium toxicity when consuming formula containing more than 300 micrograms/L
Sheehan DM and Doerge DR, Letter to Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305) February 18, 1999. A strong letter of protest from two government researchers at the National Center for Toxicological Research urging that soy protein carry a warning label rather than a health claim.
White L. Association of High Midlife Tofu Consumption with Accelerated Brain Aging. Plenary Session #8: Cognitive Function, The Third International Soy Symposium, Program, November 1999, page 26. An ongoing study of Japanese Americans living in Hawaii found a significant statistical relationship between two or more servings of tofu per week and “accelerated brain aging.” Those participants who consumed tofu in mid life had lower cognitive function in late life and a greater incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Strom BL and others. Exposure to soy-based formula in infancy and endocrinological and reproductive outcomes in young adulthood. JAMA 2001 Nov 21;286(19):2402-3. Although reported in the media as a vindication of soy infant formula, the study actually found that soy-fed infants had more reproductive problems and more asthma as adults.
Medical Conditions Possibly Attributable to Soy Consumption
Weston Price Foundation
Symptoms of Disorders Possibly Attributable to Soy
Weston Price Foundation
So do yourself a favor please, and stop eating soy. If you can’t do that, then please try to reduce it to only once a week. There’s not enough research pointing to whether that reduction will help eliminate all these dangers mentioned above, but we have to believe its a good start.