Over the past 2 decades or so, soy has been touted as the best thing since sliced bread. Yet some people say you should avoid soy.
Cheap, low fat and packed with protein, you can find it in nearly everything. It’s a vegan source of protein, so it’s what tofu and tempeh start with. It’s in cereals, snack bars, smoothies, soy sauce, veggie burgers, baby formula, and OTC menopause treatments. Yes, you read that right, menopause treatments.
The problem is soy is not just a protein. It is a phytoestrogen and has endocrine (estrogen) like effects on the human body (which is why it’s found in menopause treatments) (Source). It is not a healthy food. Quite the opposite. 95% of soy is GMO (Genetically Modified) and full of pesticides (yuck!) (Source). It has been linked to digestive problems, cognitive problems including ADD and ADHD, a decline in fertility (through estrogen overload), and thyroid dysfunction. Makes that soy latte sound pretty unappealing, doesn’t it?
Resources about avoiding soy
Obviously if the word soy is on the label you will know to avoid it but as usual, manufacturers are a bit crafty and use a lot of different labels that mean soy. Visit Dairy & Soy Free Mama’s website for a list of hidden soy ingredients.
For even more information, there is a great book The Whole Soy Story written by Kaayla T. Daniel PhD CCN.
So now what?
You might be thinking, “well there goes my favorite veggie burger.” Never fear! You can learn to make them at home.
But what if you like tofu or are vegan? Stick to fermented soy, like tempah. Avoid soy from sources that aren’t organic and drastically cut down on soy consumption. Increase other protein sources in your diet, like beans, quinoa and nuts. Use almond or coconut milk in those lattes. I know you can do it!