Meatless meatballs, soy latte, scrambled tofu, soy yoghurt – there is a lot of soy products on the shelves these days and it has become a part of many people’s daily diet. Soy products has definitely got the reputation of a health food and is marketed as a good source of protein and a healthy substitute for dairy. But is this really true or have we just become fooled by clever marketing? How did such a ‘healthy food’ emerge from a product that in 1913 was listed in the American USDA handbook, not as a food but as an industrial by-product?
So what are they not telling us?
Soy contains a high number of phytoestrogens. These are an oestrogen-like chemical which is produced by plants. A study estimated that babies who are being fed a soy-based formula are being fed the equivalent of around five birth control pills worth of oestrogen every day. This amount of oestrogen is thought to be responsible for the increased amount of learning disabilities and cases of ADD/ADHD. It is also thought to be responsible for the fact that girls are now going through puberty from as young as eight or nine years old. The consumption of soy products is proven to be especially harmful for men as it has been known to cause them to form breasts and its reported to lower or even destroy their sex drive. Studies also showed that it causes men to lose arm, chest and leg hair. Consuming large amounts of soy products have been connected with cases of breast cancer and studies show thyroid dysfunction among many other alarming diseases.
That being said, not all soy products are unhealthy. Soy products are classified into two main groups: fermented and unfermented. The fermented products are the good guys, soy sauce, miso, tamari, tempeh and properly prepared Chinese tofu.
Examples of unfermented products are soy milk or any other dairy substitute and meat substitutes like quorn and most tofu brands.
To make things worse there is Genetically Modified soy, and this is to be avoided at all costs! The hazards of GM are some of the worst innovations of modern day bio-technology. Not only are all GM products unhealthy to humans and animals but also to the normal plants that grow in the surrounding area. Due to the natural process of winds causing cross-pollination neighboring fields of what were once natural variations of plants are getting mutated.
Its important to know that Over 90% of all soy products from america are genetically modified and the american soy beans also have one of the highest percentages of pesticides.
Today you will find GM-soy products presents in up to 70% of all food products found in US supermarkets, including cereals, breads, pasta and most meat (as animals are fed GM-soy feed). Im just saying – read your labels people and look for organic.
Makes you think again huh?!
I hope I have cleared up some questions concerning soy and it’s potential hazards. To sum it up briefly here is my advice, eat fermented soy products and enjoy its benefits, keep intake of unfermented soy products low and the most important thing to remember is to stay clear of all genetically modified products!