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Remember that nasty ingredient called ‘Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil’ (it’s a common form of trans fat), that was fingered and condemned shortly after its widespread use. Soy and soy lecithin will be next.
Soy has been given a big name to live up to through a few years of intense marketing. The industry is worth billions and to go back on their word would mean instant failure of their business. So, instead of waiting for these companies to bite the bullet I thought I’d pull the trigger for them.
Fast Facts about Soy
Soy is native to southeastern Asia.
It’s a member of the pea family and grows from one to five-feet tall and forms clusters of three to five pods, each containing two to four beans per pod.
Soy has been a dietary staple in Asian countries for at least 5,000 years.
Soy, traditionally eaten in Aisa has undergone an 18 month fermentation process that allows soy to be more easily digested.
Soy is reported to reduce & increase breast cancer.
Soy has been shown to reduce fertility in birds and rats.
Monks used to use unfermented soy (similar to that we see in western supermarkets) as a way of suppressing their libido.
A Story about Soy:
In 1991, through an independent study to find out what was killing his rare birds, Richard James hired Dr Mike Fitzpatrick to ‘do some science’. James was adamant that it was the soya beans he was feeding them.
Over the next months, Fitzpatrick carried out an exhaustive study of soya and its effects. “We discovered quite quickly,” he recalls, “that soya contains toxins and plant oestrogens powerful enough to disrupt women’s menstrual cycles in experiments. It also appeared damaging to the thyroid.” This study prompted the British government to investigate Soy. The conclusion was that the general health benefits claimed for soya were not supported by clear evidence and that there are certain risks that come with soy.
Dead birds were like canaries in the coal mine…
James and his wife started breed the exotic birds as a retirement dream, feeding them soya feed because they had been brainwashed into thinking it was the best food for their beloved creatures. Though instead of nourishing them some of the birds were infertile, male birds aged prematurely and many died.
Canaries in the coal mine.
(Translation – ‘I’m not silly’)
But what about the Japanese, they’re healthy and they eat soy – right?
True, they do eat soy though it is different.
In the east they ferment their soya which reduces the levels of isoflavones by up to 3 times than modern factory processing. On top of that, modern American strains of soya have higher levels of isoflavones because they have been farmed to be more resistant to pests. A key way of dealing with pests is to stop them from breeding by making them infertile. And, you’ll love (or hate this…) Monks used to eat unfermented soya (similar to the products in our supermarkets) to reduce their libido! And Soy is marketed as Healthy!?
On breast cancer; a group of independent scientists concluded that despite suggested (by the marketing companies) benefits of lowering the risk of breast cancer there is also evidence to suggest soya stimulates the progression of the disease.
What!? What about edamame? They’re brilliant and green – right?
Well… they’re slightly better than the highly processed, unfermented, often genetically modified soya milk though they still have anti-nutriens and oestrogens. And, raw, mature soya beans contain phytates that prevent certain mineral absorption and contain enzyme inhibitors that block enzymes we need to digest certain foods.
And, of course – they make you fart.
The traditional fermentation process (which takes 18 months) makes soya’s amino acids available and lessens the impact of the antinutrients.
Most commercial soya products ESPECIALLY IN THE USA are not made this way any more.
The article I read about this goes on to tell us the soy is crushed, the oil then is ‘cleaned’, bleached and deodorised. And “The lecithin that forms a heavy sludge in the oil during storage was previously to be regarded as a waste product, but now it has been turned into valuable market in its own right as an emulsifier.”
Children are unfortunately being force fed soy
Here’s a fact that blew me away – according to the same article written by the Guardian (can you tell I like this article – thanks Felicity Lawrence) 30 to 40% of all infants in the US are raised on Soya Formula (instead of breast or cows milk)
Professor Richard Sharpe is the head of the Medical Research Council’s human reproductive sciences unit at Edinburgh University who has been studying the decline of male fertility in the past half century. When asked about his concerns over soya and it being used as an added ingredient in many foods his response was: “If someone said they were adding a hormone to your foods, would you be happy with that? There may be lots of effects, some of them may be beneficial, but would you be happy with that? I am not a fan of processed foods, full stop. And these quick fixes for protecting against ill-health – you know they can’t be true,”
Sue Dibb now food policy expert at the National Consumer Council, was a member of the CoT working group that compiled the final report says:
“The groups of adults of particular concern are those with a thyroid problem and women with oestrogen-dependent breast cancer. It worries me that soya is being pushed as a health food by a big soya and supplements industry. We ought to be taking a more cautious approach.”
Thanks Charles Poliquin for inspiring these 5 reasons not to eat soy:
(Charles Poliquin is a renowned and respected world class strength and conditioning coach)
1) Toxicity: Soy is one of the most sprayed crops around, the pesticides add to all of the other toxic matter we are exposed to.
2) Hypothyroidism: The goitragens in Soy can lead to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism in short is when the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone (hormones that control metabolism).
3) Blocking Mineral Absorption: Soy is high in Phytates, Phytates (not digestible by humans) make it very difficult to absorb certain minerals like zinc and iron (and macro-minerals calcium and magnesium). Eating meat actually blocks the phyates so if you want to eat soy / tofu then eat it with meat (totally understanding this probably defeats the entire reason you’re eating soy)
4) Soy is linked to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD): There are soy ‘formula’ avilable to replace breast milk with a soy based product, these infant formulas contain around 80 times more manganese than breast milk. High levels of manganese are linked to ADD.
5) Cancer and Soy: As usual they’re keeping their claims fairly loose to avoid legal complications – fair enough, though the claims are serious enough to take a very good look at this. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine says Soy may play a role in the risk of several forms of cancer such as breast cancer and cancer of the uterus. Why? Because soy protein contains substances that may influence estrogen levels. Their advice is that anyone with such hormone-sensitive condition should contact their doctor before even thinking about consuming soy. My advice is avoid it. Especially unfermented, refined and concentrated soy protein powders and soy milk.
Want more reasons to avoid soy?
Many of the Soy milk products are also high in refined sugar. Sneakily they brand it as ‘healthy’, pumping it full of sugar to make it sweeter. Avoid it.
The Guardian Newspaper:
“Whether you know it or not, you’ll probably be eating soya today. It’s in 60% of all processed food, from cheese to ice cream, baby formula to biscuits. But should it carry a health warning?”
Pregnant or planning to be?
(Quote from ‘Wholesome Baby Food’)
“Rice Milk, Soy Milk and Nut Milk should never be confused with (or used as a replacement for) breast feeding or infant formula… These alternative “milks” do not have the right amount of nutrients needed to sustain healthy growth.These milks should not be offered to a baby under 12 months of age and you should consult your pediatrician about introducing them.”
From Scientific America:
“Newbold and other researchers are not convinced that eating more soy is healthy for everyone. Infants fed soy formula ingest six to 11 times more genistein (isoflavone) on a bodyweight basis than the level known to cause hormonal effects in adults.”
“Giving an infant or child estrogen is never a good thing”
Another study by Wen-Hsiung Chan in Taiwan showed that genistein (isoflavone) led to reduced fertility and abnormal embryo development in female mice.
The NHS (National Health Service) say:
COT (Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food) identified three groups of people where the evidence suggested there might be a potential risk from consuming large amounts of phytoestrogens. These were:
– infants fed on soy-based infant formula
– people who have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
– women diagnosed with breast cancer
Rich Eats Conclusion:
Avoid Soy, tofu, soy based products, and products that contain soy lecithin.
When I initially made this proposal to a friend his reply was ‘Good Luck’. On this one I’m quite content without luck. I will just avoid Soy. Don’t take my word for it, get stuck into the sources at the bottom of this page and read more. Come back to me with any positive news you have about soy… I’d love to hear it! Empower yourself with information about the foods you’re putting inside your body because it’s becoming more and more apparent that most food manufacturers and their marketeers most certainly couldn’t care less about you.
If you’re drinking soy for calcium you can get ample from the right nuts and green leafy vegetables.
What to eat with your sushi?
Squeezed lemon juice. Or find a traditionally fermented soy sauce.
A quote from The Naughty Nutritionist, Kaayla Daniel Phd at the Charles Poliquin Convention:
Eat soy safely: “Opt for fermented soy, such as miso, and use it as a condiment and not as a food staple”
Oh and on top of all of that is the Genetically Modified Organism question (GMO)
Almost all soy in then USA is GMO.
Scientific American, 2009
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2010
University of California, Irvine (2002)
Wholesome Baby Food:
Charles Poliquin (2012)
Pub Med Health, 2010) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001393/
The Guardian, 2006