What Makes Soy Such a Risky Food to Eat?
Here is a summary of soy’s most glaring problems.
- 91 percent of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM). The genetic modification is done to impart resistance to the toxic herbicide Roundup. While this is meant to increase farming efficiency and provide you with less expensive soy, the downside is that your soy is loaded with this toxic pesticide. The plants also contain genes from bacteria that produce a protein that has never been part of the human food supply.GM soy has been linked to an increase in allergies. Disturbingly, the only published human feeding study on GM foods ever conducted verified that the gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of our gut bacteria and continues to function. This means that years after you stop eating GM soy, you may still have a potentially allergenic protein continuously being produced in your intestines.Even more frightening is the potential for GM soy to cause infertility in future generations, which has been evidenced by recent Russian research.
- Soy contains natural toxins known as “anti-nutrients.”Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens. Some of these factors interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein. While a small amount of anti-nutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating is extremely high.
- Soy contains hemagglutinin.Hemagglutinin is a clot-promoting substance that causes your red blood cells to clump together. These clumped cells are unable to properly absorb and distribute oxygen to your tissues.
- Soy contains goitrogensGoitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function.
- Soy contains phytates.Phytates (phytic acid) bind to metal ions, preventing the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc -- all of which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in your body. This is particularly problematic for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates (so it is helpful—if you do eat soy—to also eat meat).
- Soy is loaded with the isoflavones genistein and daidzeinIsoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen. These compounds mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen, and have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues. Soy phytoestrogens are known to disrupt endocrine function, may cause infertility, and may promote breast cancer in women.Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy.
- Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganeseSoybeans are processed (by acid washing) in aluminum tanks, which can leach high levels of aluminum into the final soy product. Soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk.
- Soy infant formula puts your baby’s health at risk.Nearly 20 percent of U.S. infants are now fed soy formula, but the estrogens in soy can irreversibly harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. Infants fed soy formula take in an estimated five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day.Infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen in circulation as those fed other formulas!Soy foods are both heavily sprayed with pesticides and genetically modified (GM). More than 80 percent of the soy grown in the United States is GM. And more than 90 percent of American soy crops are GM.Since the introduction of GM foods in 1996, we’ve had an upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems in the U.S. population, and animal studies thus far have shown devastating effects from consuming GM soy.You may want to steer clear of soy products for no other reason than a commitment to avoiding GM foods... unless you wish to be a lab animal for this massive uncontrolled experiment by the biotech industry.
Tips for Avoiding Unwanted Soy Foods
Soy foods to avoid include:TofuTVP (texturized vegetable protein) or soy protein isolate, which contains a large amount of msg, which you should definitely not consume
- Soybean oil
- Soy cheese, soy ice cream, soy yogurt
- Soy “meat” (meatless products made of TVP)
- Soy protein
- Soy infant formulaThe best way to eliminate non-fermented soy from your diet is to avoid all processed foods and instead purchase whole foods that you prepare yourself.If you do buy packaged foods, you can check the label to see if it contains soy. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, which took effect in January 2006, requires that food manufacturers list soy on the label, because it’s one of the top eight food allergens.So, even if soy is hidden in colors, flavors, or spice blends added to foods, it must be clearly stated on the label.One other common source of soy is lecithin which is used as a emulsifier in many foods and supplements.