Friday, December 17, 2010

Truth About Soy Part 2

                                                  (all Images are from here)

 Thank you for all the great feed back and comments regarding my post on "The Truth About Soy Part 1". From the emails and comments I received, I can see that Soy remains a topic people are concerned about. As I mentioned, make sure the Soy that you do consume is FERMENTED (predigested, probiotics, healthy and teaming with immune boosting benefits and bacteria). Fermenting 'neutralizes' the bad compounds and toxins. Fermented foods just may be the "miracle" food we are all looking for. Include plenty of fermented foods in your diet, such as: Sauerkraut, Kefir, Miso, Tempeh, Natto(over flowing with K2- amazing for cardiovascular and bone health), Soy Sauce, Tamari (this is my favorite).

  As promised, here is part 2 as summerized by the Weston A Price Foundation:

What Makes Soy Such a Risky Food to Eat?

Here is a summary of some of the problems/dangers associated with Soy *Non-Fermented Soy:

91 percent of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM). The genetic modification is done to impart resistance to the toxic herbicide Roundup. While this is meant to increase farming efficiency and provide you with less expensive soy, the downside is that your soy is loaded with this toxic pesticide. The plants also contain genes from bacteria that produce a protein that has never been part of the human food supply.

GM soy has been linked to an increase in allergies. Disturbingly, the only published human feeding study on GM foods ever conducted verified that the gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of our gut bacteria and continues to function. This means that years after you stop eating GM soy, you may still have a potentially allergenic protein continuously being produced in your intestines.

Even more frightening is the potential for GM soy to cause infertility in future generations, which has been evidenced by recent Russian research.

2.Soy contains natural toxins known as “anti-nutrients.”

Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens. Some of these factors interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein. While a small amount of anti-nutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating is extremely high.

3.Soy contains hemagglutinin.

Hemagglutinin is a clot-promoting substance that causes your red blood cells to clump together. These clumped cells are unable to properly absorb and distribute oxygen to your tissues.

4.Soy contains goitrogens

Goitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function.

5.Soy contains phytates.

Phytates (phytic acid) bind to metal ions, preventing the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc -- all of which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in your body. This is particularly problematic for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates (so it is helpful—if you do eat soy—to also eat meat).

6.Soy is loaded with the isoflavones genistein and daidzein

Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen. These compounds mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen, and have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues. Soy phytoestrogens are known to disrupt endocrine function, may cause infertility, and may promote breast cancer in women.
We get enough phytoestrogens from our environment, body and plastics.
Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy.

7.Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese
Soybeans are processed (by acid washing) in aluminum tanks, which can leach high levels of aluminum into the final soy product. Soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk.

8.Soy infant formula puts your baby’s health at risk.

Nearly 20 percent of U.S. infants are now fed soy formula, but the estrogens in soy can irreversibly harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. Infants fed soy formula take in an estimated five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day.

Infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen in circulation as those fed other formulas!

There is also the issue of pesticides and genetic modification.

Soy foods are both heavily sprayed with pesticides and genetically modified (GM). More than 80 percent of the soy grown in the United States is GM. And more than 90 percent of American soy crops are GM.

Since the introduction of GM foods in 1996, we’ve had an upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems in the U.S. population, and animal studies thus far have shown devastating effects from consuming GM soy.

You may want to steer clear of soy products for no other reason than a commitment to avoiding GM foods... unless you wish to be a lab animal for this massive uncontrolled experiment by the biotech industry.

What Soy Products are Good For You?

 Soy can be incredibly healthful, but ONLY if it is organic and properly fermented.

After a long fermentation process, the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system.

You may have heard that Japanese people live longer and have lower rates of cancer than Americans because they eat so much soy—but it’s primarily fermented soy that they consume, and it’s always been that way.

Fermented soy products are the only ones you should consume.

These are the primary fermented soy products you’ll find:

•Tempeh a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor.

•Miso, a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture (commonly used in miso soup).

•Natto, fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor.

•Soy sauce, which is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes; be wary because many varieties on the market today are made artificially using a chemical process.

Please note that tofu is NOT on this list. Tofu is not fermented, so is not among the soy foods I recommend.

Vitamin K2: One of the Major Benefits of Fermented Soy

One of the main benefits of fermented soy, especially natto, is that it is the best food source of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is essential to preventing osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and diseases of the brain such as dementia, and protecting you from various cancers including prostate, lung, liver cancer and leukemia.

Vitamin K acts synergistically with vitamin D to keep you healthy.

Vitamin K is sometimes referred to as the “forgotten vitamin” because its benefits are often overlooked. It was named after the word “Koagulation,” to reflect its essential role in blood clotting. In fact, the enzyme nattokinase—derived from natto—is safer and more powerful than aspirin in dissolving blood clots, and has been used safely for more than 20 years.

If you enjoy natto or some of the other fermented soy foods, you can get several milligrams of vitamin K2 from them each day (this level far exceeds the amount of vitamin K2 found even in dark green vegetables).
Here are some links toNATTO supplements.
Unfortunately, the health benefits of many of the fermented soy foods fall by the wayside because many Americans do not enjoy their flavor.

If you don’t want to consume natto to get your vitamin K2, the next best thing would be to get use supplemental Vitamin K2 (MK-7). Remember, vitamin K must be taken with a source of fat in order to be absorbed.

Dose: Adults consume about 150 mcg of vitamin K2 daily

Tips for Avoiding Unwanted Soy Foods

For a simple rule of thumb, just remember that unless soy is fermented (tempeh, miso, natto, or traditionally made soy sauce), you’re better off avoiding it. One Soy Sauce that I recommend and absolutely LOVE is Kikkoman's Lite Soy (less sodium): Unlike other "less sodium' soy sauces, it has a wonderful flavor that doesn't taste heavy/bitter. It is great in ALL sauces, dressings, soups etc.

Soy foods to limit/avoid include:

Tofu (I do use this once in awhile- great for desserts/baking/sauces/smoothies and it's in Meat Substitutes like Yves Veggie crumbles/light life etc but I use it sparingly- I use Mori Nu Silken Lite Tofu)

TVP (texturized vegetable protein) or soy protein isolate, which contains a large amount of msg, which you should definitely not consume

•Soybean oil


•Soy cheese, soy ice cream, soy yogurt

•Soy “meat” (meatless products made of TVP)

•Soy protein


•Soy infant formula

The best way to eliminate non-fermented soy from your diet is to avoid all processed foods and instead purchase whole foods that you prepare yourself. Note to Vegetarians/Vegans etc: I  know Soy is a great source of protein. Try to minimize use as much as possible (if you eat Eggs/Dairy try to include them- cottage cheese/greek yogurt/Quark etc). Mostly focus on eliminating ADDED unwanted soy found hidden in all sauces, desserts, processed/packaged food.

If you do buy packaged foods, you can check the label to see if it contains soy. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, which took effect in January 2006, requires that food manufacturers list soy on the label, because it’s one of the top eight food allergens.

So, even if soy is hidden in colors, flavors, or spice blends added to foods, it must be clearly stated on the label.

One other common source of soy is lecithin which is used as a emulsifier in many foods and supplements. Most lecithin in the US is derived from soy but there are some newer products that extract it from organic sunflower. Many have switched to the organic sunflower lecithin.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SOY? Was there anything that surprised you in this article? Has this article made you reconsider your stance or give you "food for thought"? Do you regularily consume GMO Soy products? If you do use Soy, what reasons do you use it for?

If you wish to know more about soy, I have provided some additional links on this subject.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! This is the most complete and yet condensed treatise on soy I've read so far!

    I have MAJOR concerns regarding soy, as well as GM foods! The only soy products I consume regularly (not even daily, though) are tamari and / or Kikkoman soy sauce. I've also used miso for soups every now and then. Tempeh and natto I haven't tried so far, but I think I might. :)