The Ploy of Soy

   By estherblum  Oct 21, 2009

The ploy of soy is a big one. There are so many claims that it has health benefits and is the perfect substitute for animal protein. I used to eat a lot of soy myself, but over the years I have unearthed some hard truths that now make me think twice about consuming soy. 

It’s true, many studies have shown traditionally fermented soy--which is the form that is very popular in many Asian cultures--aids in preventing and reducing a variety of diseases including certain forms of heart disease and cancers.  But just to be safe, I recommend using these products as a condiment, and not the mainstay of your meals.

I’ve come to believe through my years of research and practice, that soy is not the wonder food product makers claim it to be. Let’s delve deeper into some of the bigger problems with soy:



·     Soy lacks methionine?an essential amino acid required to build muscle. I guess that’s why you don’t see a lot of vegetarian body builders.

·     Soy suppresses thyroid function because it contains phytoestrogens that can disrupt hormonal balance.

·     Soybeans are high in phytic acid, which, in large amounts, can block the uptake of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc in the intestinal tract.

·     Soybeans are very new to the food chain of modern man, since it was never used for food in paleolithic times.  Many people are not only allergic to soy, but suffer with extreme gas and bloating from it.  If you have any type of autoimmune condition, especially colitis or celiac disease, you should remove soy from your diet immediately.

·     Soy is very high in arginine, and can exacerbate cold sores and herpes outbreaks.

If you’re trying to get soy out of your diet, you should know that soy is often a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and can have many aliases: Food processors are less likely to list the three letter word "soy" than a technical term such as "textured vegetable protein" (TVP), "textured plant protein", "hydrolyzed vegetable protein" (HVP), "vegetable oil" or "MSG" (monosodium glutamate). Ingredient lists also include words such as "vegetable oil", "vegetable broth", "boullion", "natural flavor" or "mono-diglyceride" that do not necessarily come from soy, but are likely to. Soy is found in everything from Pizza Hut to Baskin Robbins to vitamins and, yes?even asthma inhalers..

If you do consume soy, I suggest you use it judiciously and only in its fermented form: miso, natto, tempeh, soy sauces, and fermented tofu.  The fermentation process stops the effect of phytic acid and increases the availability of isoflavones. The fermentation also creates the probiotics--the "good" bacteria that increase the quantity, availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients in the body.

What’s your take on soy?  







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TVMmom by TVMmom | Springdale, AR
Apr 19, 2011

@Rileypark - try rice milk or goat's milk or even be brave and try RAW cow milk. In the raw form the lactase doesn't break down into lactose, which is what most people have an intolerance to. It's wonderful! And to some of the other posters above, soy is "evil". In small fermented amounts, it's fairly harmless for most people, but overall it does no one any good! And yes, there is scientific evidence to back that up.

MyEmptyCanvas by MyEmptyCanvas | KOSCIUSKO, MS
Oct 13, 2010

I never was into Soy (the blocks) .. and honestly, the only soy products I can consume are the chocolate soy milks (only on occasion). The regular and vanilla soy milks are horrible.

waustin by waustin | Porter, TX
Sep 24, 2010

I have Addison's Disease. I was advised to avoid soy. As part of my low potassium diet research I found that soy contains more potassium than meat, poultry and fish. People with kidney disease (my kidneys are damaged already) are told to NOT eat soy in any fashion. In our processed foods, this limits us. Processed foods aren't very healthy anyway, but if you are looking for convenience foods, you have to look very closely.

cupcakes4brkfst by cupcakes4brkfst | Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Aug 23, 2010

you should put up a post about how bad cow's milk is for you! good thing almond milk is so yummy!! :)

rileypark by rileypark | Glendora , CA
Apr 03, 2010

Is all that proven by scientific studies? I don't know what to think anymore. I hear alot about the bad things regarding soy, hoever, my son is allergic to cows milk and was told to stay away from nuts. So that leaves out organic cows milk, almond milk and he's only 4 so he needs and wants his milk. What to do?

babsywabs by babsywabs | Notre Dame, IN
Jan 03, 2010

* weight, not weith

babsywabs by babsywabs | Notre Dame, IN
Jan 03, 2010

You folks that say "everything in moderation" crack me up. Is arsenic OK in moderation? Rat poison? While I'm not suggesting that soy equates to either of those two items, it IS poison for some. Many years ago I began to drink soy milk and eat a few soynuts for snacks, after watching an Oprah episode where some doctor was suggesting that soy was helpful for breast health. Yes, I used the soy in moderation - isn't a cup a day on my cereal moderate? Within several months I had developed a goiter and all the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism - always cold, weith gain, hair falling out, etc. I began treatment, and after reading some articles on the web, eliminated all the soy I knew about from my diet. I will be on treatment for the rest of my life. Soy is not the miracle that some want us to believe.

tjshorty by tjshorty | york, NE
Dec 03, 2009

I never was to fond of soy, I can see the benefits. When I was nursing my daughter and tried to give her formula she would have a reaction. A nurse suggested that I use soy formula while nursing. That worked. I also think that there is to much hype about it.

Kailani96 by Kailani96 | New York, NY
Nov 30, 2009

I actually found out the other day that I was allergic to soy, but this article made me realize that I'm not going to miss my bloating and gas or my herpes breakouts! I can't believe just how much this product has been hyped up to be.

giggles8589 by giggles8589 | Boston, MA
Nov 17, 2009

The only thing Ive ever had soy was milk and I love 8th continent chocolate milk and silks milk tastes okay too, dont know if I would try much more than soy milk.

monica74 by monica74 | RNCHO CORDOVA, CA
Nov 12, 2009

We occasionally eat soy, but it's soy nuggets, that you find in the mexican markets, it looks dehydrated. We usually make tacos, or ceviche out of it. Taste really good, and once hydrated looks kind of like ground beef. I tried this for the first time in Mexico, my sister in law made it, I thought she was playing at first, cause I never seen it before, but it taste really good! We don't eat it regularly, maybe once every 2 months.

jenanne by jenanne | Sterrett, AL
Nov 11, 2009

I've heard that too much soy can have a negative effect on males due to the female hormones that are in them. I've never tried it so I honestly do not know whether or not I would even like it.

cnarita by cnarita | Independence, MO
Nov 09, 2009

I drink a small glass of soy milk in the morning or I'll have it with cereal. When my daughter came home from college she liked it so much that she switched to drinking soy milk instead of milk. I do believe having everything in moderation but I also think that I may need to look into this a little more and decide if we need to stop all together.

Saintfae by Saintfae | Strafford, MO
Nov 09, 2009

Wow, I have just started to give my year-old twins soy milk . . . think I will stop giving it to them. It's not worth the risk if there are doubts about it.

frogqueen75 by frogqueen75 | Berea, KY
Nov 09, 2009

I'm a migraine sufferer & an epileptic. When I started having seizures again after being very well controlled for several years, my neurologist asked if I'd made any dietary changes & I told her we were using soy milk/soy products more, since my toddler has a milk intolerance (I also do, but I just avoid dairy when it bothers me.) My neurologist FREAKED OUT & said that soy can cause major problems for women who have migraines, epilepsy, and other neurological problems due to its natural estrogen properties. What makes it worse for me is that I'm also in perimenopause (at the ripe old age of 33-and have been for at least 6 years) so my own hormones are "out of whack." I've been advised to avoid taking in any extra soy & that if I'm having trouble w/my own milk intolerance, to use rice or almond milk.