Why Not Soy?

In spite of glaring reports from alternative circles, soy is still considered a miracle food by many people. Even the medical community - who should be aware of the real affects of soy - still recommend this food as a great vegetarian source of protein and nutrients. This, however, is not true.

I like to call soy an “anti-food.” That may sound harsh to some of you, but what soy does to us is so dangerous, so profound it deserves to be labeled harshly. Here’s just some of the things in soy that, in my opinion (and many other’s), make it an anti-food:

Phytoestrogens: These are essentially plant hormones. I know a lot of people who buy organic milk to avoid hormones, but don’t realize that soy products are actually even more dangerous. Phytoestrogens interfere with normal hormone regulation. This can really throw our systems out of whack, causing problems like PMS (premenstrual syndrome), cystic fibrosis and even breast cancer in women. In men, these phytoestrogens can cause high estrogen and a decline in testosterone production. This leads to fat weight gain, decreased libido and all sorts of other problems (I know you guys out there don't like the sound of that). We should also be concerned about the negative impact these plant hormones have on fertility.

Trypsin Inhibitors: Trypsin is important for protein assimilation, so these inhibitors interfere with protein absorption - ironic, considering soy is considered by many to be a valuable protein source. These trypsin inhibitors have led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders (including cancer) in test animals.

Phytic Acid: Soy contains very high levels of phytic acid, which interferes with the use of valuable minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. The phytic acid in soy is also extremely resistant to soaking, sprouting and fermentation (which works to neutralize phytic acid in other foods like grains; Cheeseslave made a great post about soaking grains this week).

Soy can also cause problems with the absorption of other nutrients, like vitamin B12 and vitamin D - yet another reason why high soy consumption is causing rampant nutrient deficiencies in vegetarians and vegans. Soy can also damage the thyroid, which may explain why thyroid dysfunction is so common nowadays.

Furthermore, during processing soy takes on an even uglier face and forms neurotoxins like MSG. Processed soy also contains high levels of aluminum, a highly toxic metal linked to many health problems (like Alzheimer’s).

Experts like Sally Fallon Morrell, head of the Weston A. Price Foundation, are highly concerned with the amount of soy in our children’s diets today, often beginning with soy formula at birth. I was shocked to read this statement on the Weston A Price Foundation website:

"Babies on soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least 5 birth control pills per day."

Soy is just not meant to be eaten - at least, not the way we eat it today. Remember, traditional cultures ate only small amounts of highly fermented soy (i.e. fermented for six months). Fermented soy was often eaten with foods like fish broth, which would counteract some of the adverse effects like thyroid damage.

So, this is why I say no to soy. What has been your experience with this food?

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  2. It makes me cry that i fed all my babies Soy Formula....it is what my pediatrition suggested because I am unable to nurse. I just hope and pray that the effects can be reversed. Thank you for a great and informative post.

  3. Omid - Thanks, I appreciate your kind words!

    Christy - Remember we all do the best we can with what's available at the time. Just be thankful you have some better information now; making positive changes can still bring great benefit to your kids. I can think of so many things I should have done when my children were babies, but I try think positively - I am really happy I know how to do better now!

  4. I've cut soy out of my diet for no other reason than I have Crohn's disease and it's extremely difficult for me to digest it - really rough on my intestines anyway.

    Thanks for the informative post.

  5. I'm wondering what you suggest for people who can't drink milk? I have Celiac's Disease and dairy really bothers me sometimes. Milk more than cheese. I simply can't tolerate Milk or Ice Cream of any kind made with dairy products. If I don't have GI troubles, I end up with so much mucus I have a constant cough. If I don't drink milk I don't have it.
    I usually use organic unsweetened soy milk, but I'm wondering if I should try something else. I don't think I would like Almond milk, I've tried Rice milk and it's pretty good. Hemp Milk is just so expensive.

    Any suggestions.

  6. Coconut milk is a safe alternative to dairy. It's naturally flavorful and sweet so it doesn't need a lot of additives. Many people do enjoy almond milk and rice milk (I've heard you can make your own almond milk at home). I would watch out for the added sweeteners, etc. though, in storebought varieties. And I would definitely use something other than soy. It's just not worth the risks.

  7. For Wendy- Another option is goat milk. Many who cannot tolerate milk from cows can tolerate this milk- or even raw milk.