Soy beans, soy milk, tofu, soy sauce?? Soy products seem to be everywhere! And a common belief seems to be that soy is always a great alternative to milk/dairy when you’re trying to make healthier choices in your life. Let’s talk about how much of that is true, and revisit some of the common ideas regarding soy.
Consuming soy-based products has been shown to suppress the fat storage mechanism and to prevent increases in abdominal fat. Soymilk, though, like cow’s milk, may interfere with the benefits of tea such as chai. But as long as it’s shaken, it can provide the same amount of calcium as cow’s milk. Phytoestrogen intake through soy consumption in menopausal adult women may help to reduce hot flashes, while for young girls it is effective may help delay the onset of premature menarche and puberty. Tofu, tempeh, and edamame appear to help lower cholesterol but not in great amounts as with other beans. In short, consume Organic Fermented Soy products such as Tempeh, Miso and whole Soybeans.
Before we begin to think that soy is the golden plant-based protein, let’s talk about something you need to know:
Did you know that soy can inhibit the absorption of some important vitamins and minerals like Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc? Additionally, soy (as in soy milk) can have adverse effects on an infant’s hormonal, brain, and Central nervous system development? Other studies relate soybean consumption not only to hypothyroidism, but also to low energy levels, poor mineral absorption, and infertility.
Avoid foods that have “soybean oil” as soybean oil is likely to be partially hydrogenated. It is important to avoid ANY product that admits to be “hydrogenated,”as it refers to oils with trans-fatty acids that has been chemically changed from a room-temperature liquid state into a solid. The health community often refers to hydrogenated products as “poison”, so don’t put it in your body. If you see it on the label, go ahead and put the product back.
If you’re looking to avoid soy and soy constituents altogether, it will be a difficult task to take on unless one chooses basic foods and avoids processed ones. Even then, some soy gets into the diet, indirectly, from soy constituents in the feed of farm animal and farmed fish (in aquaculture).
The key is to as much as you can, avoid all processed, and when you can’t, eat so in moderation.
Good luck in your food journeys everyone! Stay happy & healthy!