Nowadays, there are many people, who in the struggle to preserve their well- being and lead a healthier lifestyle, decide to replace eggs and meat with tofu in their diet. However, although the soy industry would have you believe that this is a smart move to improve your life habits, it is a fact that processed soy, which includes tofu, is far from the healthy variant.
In opposite, it is much better to consume organic eggs, grass-fed meat and raw dairy products than processed soy.
An expert in the area, Dr. Daniels says that “Unlike in Asia where people eat small amounts of whole soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities–protein and oil. There’s nothing safe or natural about this.
Today’s high-tech processing methods not only fail to remove the anti-nutrients and toxins that are naturally present in soybeans but leave toxic and carcinogenic residues created by the high temperatures, high pressure, alkali and acid baths and petroleum solvents.”
All processed soy variants contain phytates that block mineral absorption and trypsin inhibitors that block proper digestion, and the worst options are in fact the fractionated products like soy protein isolate and hydrolyzed plant protein.
Even though tofu is a whole soy product and does not possess all the harmful properties, it remains to be a product which still contains the same anti-nutrients.
Soy Causes Health Issues
A high- soy diet is related to many health problems such as:
-- Brain damage
-- Reproductive disorders
-- Developmental problems in babies, children and adolescents and premature puberty
-- Thyroid problems, including malaise, fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, lethargy and loss of libido
-- Soy allergies
A team founded by Dr. Daniel and her colleagues has reviewed studies on the subject and came across interesting discoveries.
Namely, they have found that soy does not reliably lower cholesterol, but raises homocysteine levels in many people. This is linked to the increase of the risk of heart disease, stroke, and birth defects. Dr. Daniel actually concluded that soy can increase your risk of heart disease.
Consequently, she and other experts have sent a petition on 65 pages to the FDA in order to ask them to retract the health claim that “soy prevents heart disease” which was approved back in 1999. We are left to hope that they will decide to do the right thing.
As mentioned above, children and babies in the development stages are especially vulnerable to soy’s hormone-mimicking effects. This was also showed by a Lancet study which proved that the daily exposure to estrogen-imitating chemicals for infants who consume soy formulas was 6-11 times higher than adults consuming soy foods.
Moreover, the concentration of these hormones in the blood was 13,000 to 22,000 times higher than estrogen in the blood. In other words, an infant exclusively fed with soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of up to five birth control pills per day, based on body weight.
It is extremely important for you to note that the effects of these soy products are so potent that it is highly advisable that they should be avoided by pregnant women in order to ensure the safety of their unborn child. Your babies should never be fed soy infant formula, or toddler soy foods.
In addition, you should know that:
-- The majority of soybeans (over 80%) are genetically modified, and they contain one of the highest levels of pesticide contamination of all foods.
-- Soybeans also contain hemaglutinins, which cause red blood cells to clump together. Soybeans also have growth-depressant substances, which are not fully eliminated by processing.
-- Soybeans are a source of natural toxins, also known as antinutrients, which means that they also contain a large quantity of inhibitors that deter the enzymes needed for protein digestion. In addition, these enzyme inhibitors are not completely disabled during ordinary cooking, so they often cause extensive gastric distress and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake, which can afterwards cause dangerous pancreatic impairments and cancer.
-- Soybeans are also very high in phytates, which prevent the absorption of minerals which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in the body. These include calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
-- Soy contains goitrogens, which are often linked to depressed thyroid function.
Is there a healthy way to enjoy soy?
Fortunately, the answer is positive. There are a few types of soy that are healthy, and all of them are fermented. These result from a long fermentation process, after which the phytic acid and antinutrient levels of the soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties, such as the creation of natural probiotics, become available to the digestive system.
The fermentation process also provides a reduction of the levels of dangerous isoflavones, which are similar to estrogen in their chemical structure, and can interfere with the action of your own estrogen production.
If you are one of those who enjoy soy and would prefer to consume it without being afraid of its potential harmful effects, but benefit from it instead, the healthy soy products are the following:
- Miso, which is a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture;
- Tempeh, a fermented soybean cake product with a nutty, mushroom-like flavor and a firm texture;
- Natto, which is extremely beneficial soy variant since it is the highest source of vitamin K2 on the planet and has a very powerful beneficial bacteria, bacillus subtilis. It is another product from fermented soybeans, but has a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor. Natto is loaded with nattokinase, a very powerful blood thinner. It can be found in any Asian grocery store.
- Soy sauce: there are many varieties of soy sauce on the market which are made artificially using a chemical process. However, traditionally, soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes.
To conclude, studies show that all processed soy products, such as soy milk, soy burgers, soy cheese, soy energy bars, soy ice cream, soy protein powders, are harmful to our health. In order to avoid their damaging effects, we all need to avoid processed foods, for the vast majority of them contain soy ingredients.
At this point, Dr. Daniel says that “The best — and maybe the only — way to completely avoid soy in the food supply is to buy whole foods and prepare them ourselves.
For those who prefer to buy ready made and packaged products, I offer a free Special Report, “Where the Soys Are,” on my Web site. It lists the many “aliases” that soy might be hiding under in ingredient lists — words like “bouillon,” “natural flavor” and “textured plant protein.”
All in all, we are all aware of the basics of healthy eating and we all know the rules which should be followed in order to preserve our health. Namely, processed foods should be avoided, while we should all turn to unprocessed, fermented, and fresh foods as the ideal food alternatives.