We see it everywhere and it’s included in practically every vegetarian dish, as well as many “health” foods. However, soy is not all it’s cracked up to be. Since the 1990’s soy products have quickly grown to be at the top of the list of health foods. But in more recent years, more and more studies have been done that show that soy is not as healthy as we once believed.
First, we need to know that there are two types of soy foods.
1. Processed soy (soy milk, veggie burgers, soy cheese, products that contain soy flour-which is more than you realize until you start reading the labels, etc)
2. Fermented soy (natto, miso, tempeh, soy sauce)
Processed soy is where the problem seems to be (1). Processed soy has been linked to:
*lower testosterone levels (and increased estrogen levels) in men
*early on-set of puberty in girls and early onset of menopause in women
The reason that processed soy has been linked to these things is because of the phytoestrogens that it contains. Phytoestrogen is basically fake estrogen. So when you eat processed soy, you are feeding your body additional fake estrogen hormone that it does not need and increasing the estrogen in your body causing all kinds of side effects such as the ones listed above.
Now the argument has been that Asian countries have been consuming soy products for thousands of years…this is true BUT what we need to note is that the soy products that they consume are primarily FERMENTED.
When soy is fermented it not only neutralizes the toxins that are in soy but it creates probiotics (good bacteria) within the soy itself.(2)
So when you eat fermented soy you are not only getting the protein from it, but the probiotics as well.
Fermented soy has been found to aid in the following (3):
*prevention of cancer
*aids in digestion
*builds immune system
So all this to say- DITCH the processed soy and KEEP the fermented soy! There are lots of healthier options out there for you!
If you want more information on soy, feel free to check out the links below or check out The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T Daniel