So you’re going vegan or vegetarian and the first thing you do is run to Whole Foods and get a bunch of “meat alternatives”, which by the way, is a phrase I cannot stand. You feel empowered! You’re excited. This new lifestyle is going to be a breeze right? Because it’s in almost all meat alternatives, there have to be some health benefits right? Because healthy people eat tofu, it’s good for you. You would think that soy is a super-food the way it’s been marketed to vegetarians and vegans. These “meat alternatives” might make preparing a meatless meal easy but you might as well continue to eat meat if you’re trading a diet of 70% meat for 70% soy.
The media makes us think that Asians consume a large amount of soy. Asians tend to live longer and healthier than Americans, so it must be because of the soy right? All they had to do was run with that narrative for us to think that soy was not only perfectly okay to consume but that it was healthy as well. The type of soy that Asian’s consume is in a fermented form like nato, miso, tempeh or in a condiment. Fermented beans and grains have a lower lectin and phytate content.
What are lectins and phytates ?
Lectins will mess with your leptin sensitivity (hunger and energy expenditure signals). Which makes your brain think that you’re hungry even when you’re not. Leptin resistance could lead to insulin resistance, which could lead to metabolic syndrome. Levels of phytates in soy are also very high.
Levels of phytates (phytoestrogens) in soy are also very high. The phytic acid in soy decreases your body ability to absorb minerals like zinc, calcium, iron, and magnesium. So eating a diet rich in those minerals would not benefit you if you’re pairing it with a soy rich diet. Consumption of soy foods increases the body’s need for Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, calcium and magnesium alone. All which you can no longer absorb because of soy. These phytates mimic the body’s natural estrogen hormones. For men, this can lead to a testosterone imbalance, infertility, low sperm count, and increased risk of cancers. For women, it can cause estrogen dominance, which has been linked to infertility, menstrual troubles, and cancer.
What does soy have to do with estrogen and testosterone?
Soy contains plant estrogens in the form of isoflavones which effectively raise your estrogen levels and therefore lowers your testosterone levels. Those hormones are in competition so more of one means less of the other. Improper balance of testosterone to estrogen in men can lead to a lower libido, fat accumulation around the waist and loss of energy, stamina and virility and even man boobs (gynecomastia).Having abnormally high levels of estrogen doesn’t mean you’ll be more of a woman. It could disrupt your periods, fertility and put you at risk for breast cancer.
How does soy affect babies?
What we feed our babies is always a first concern of course. Most formula nowadays contains a large amount of soy. They even push an all soy formula. Proper hormone ration is uber important at this age. Too much estrogen at this stage can cause underdeveloped testicles and problems when puberty comes like gynecomastia, lack of facial hair and emasculation. It is said that the amount of estrogen-producing soy in some formula is like consuming 4 birth control pills per day. Would you give your baby birth control pills?
The genetic modification of soy
Soy production is killing our planet, literally. Monsanto ( the worlds most dangerous corporation ) the largest soy producer now sues every farmer who gets their soy cross-pollinated by Monsanto’s patented GMO crops. Cross-pollination is natural. When I worked on a farm, I learned that how things are usually done. Now it’s completely illegal. What sense does that make? It should actually be the opposite where the farmers sue Monsanto for infecting their crops. They have a very strong political power because of the lobbying they do and all of the money they pay out. There is some evidence that this gene can mutate and create a pesticide-like toxin in the body.
Soy crops are probably the most destructive of all the “mono-crops.” All most ALL of soy crops are now genetically modified. Livestock gets sick eating it and it depletes all of the nutrients in the soil in which is is grown. Some factory produced cuts of meat are now injected with extra soy. Save yourself the trouble and stay away from soy!
Check this study out for more information. & try to decrease your intake of soy!