My latest blog discusses the road blocks to eating healthy in our modern society. It’s hard to deny that one of the main contributors to our obesity epidemic is the increased consumption of over-processed sugary carbohydrates. Still, it’s hard to drop that cannoli when we are swayed daily to make fast paced food decisions, that don’t necessarily favor nurturing our bodies with a well cooked and planned meal.
A wave of dietary books on paleolithic eating and cutting carbs has become a solution by many health experts to slim down America. Still, many dislike the idea, or taste of, a more animal based diet…so the situation brings to question, “Is Soy ok?”
Well, first, let me say as far as for eating more protein, I agree that its a solution for balancing blood sugar, decreasing cravings, and trending away toward sugary treats (read my latest blog at dr-lobisco.com for why). I recommend healthy, organic meats and wild caught fish, various nuts, seeds, and legumes. But Soy?
Let’s look at this… onto soy….. or not to soy….
It’s been exalted, it’s been cursed, it’s caused mass confusion, it’s created great debate amongst health experts……I’m talking about soy. Poor little bean!
Below is a summary on the controversy and the rebuttal from two famous medical doctors.
Side 1: Villain (Dr. Mercola)
protein bars contain soy, either as their dominant or secondary source of
protein. The soy industry’s media blitz has been so phenomenally successful
that nearly everyone has been brainwashed into thinking soy is actually
Enlightened consumers avoid unfermented soy because it
levels of phytic acid, which reduces assimilation of calcium, magnesium,
copper, iron, and zinc – and is known to cause growth problems in
inhibitors interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic
disrupt endocrine function and can potentially cause fertility problems
and breast cancer.
processing of soy protein forms a toxin, lysinolalanine, and a carcinogen,
nitrosamines. Soy also has high aluminum levels, which are toxic to your
nervous system and kidneys.
Furthermore, soy increases your requirements for vitamin D
and B12… and hinders thyroid function, making it extremely challenging to lose
weight, besides other problems.
Worse yet, soy is one of the world’s most genetically
The bottom line? In my opinion, soy is NOT a health
food. Soy’s media hype only makes you believe it is.
Source: Dr. Mercola. “Chocolate Breakthrough: Eat This to Help
Build Muscles and Fight Aging”. March 8, 2012. http://proteinpowder.mercola.com/whey-protein-bars.html?e_cid=20120308_DNL_art_1
Side 2: Questionable Hero:
The Soy Controversy (Dr. Hyman)
How soy lands in the “harm” camp has to do with the protein receptors contained in and on the surface of many human cells, including cancer cells. Receptors have a particular affinity for certain molecules and are very finicky about what shaped molecule they will accept. It must be a fit, like a key fits a lock. The hook-up is important because it tells a cell how to behave. It can be a neurotransmitter chemical or a hormone such as estrogen, even a specially designed drug. Some “keys” will activate a cell’s activity (agonist) and some will block one from occurring (antagonist).
Studies show soy can do both.
Cells can’t distinguish soy molecules’ plant-derived estrogens from human estrogen because it has the same shaped key. Some cancer cells have estrogen receptors that fuel their growth. In fact, one treatment strategy for women with estrogen-positive breast cancer is to rid or block the body of any estrogen. The theory holds that the phytoestrogens in soy may act similarly to human estrogen causing breast cancer cells to grow. On the other side of the argument, some think that the plant estrogen could protect against breast cancer by hedging into the receptor slot in place of human estrogen, derailing estrogen’s ability to fuel cancer growth.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (December 2009) tracked 5,000 women with breast cancer living in Shanghai, China and found that those who ate diets high in soy – more than 15 grams a day – had a 29% reduced risk of death and a 32% decrease in the risk of cancer recurrence.
A review of the research found no significant effects of soy on the thyroid except in people who are iodine deficient — a condition that is rare in this country.Another well-designed study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (iii) studied the effect of realistic amounts of soy protein on hormones, including thyroid hormone. It found that soy had no significant effects on these hormones.
Yet the only large, long-term study on humans, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, (ii) found that there were no major health differences in 811 men and women between the ages of 20 and 34 who had been fed either soy or milk formula as infants.More recently, a report issued by the National Toxicology Program Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction concluded that there just isn’t enough human or animal data to say for sure whether soy formula harms a baby’s developmental or reproductive health.
When you are considering the media reports about soy, here are some things to remember:
1. The dangers of soy are overstated (and the benefits may be, too).
2. We eat far too much processed soy (and processed foods in general). Stay away from those in your diet including soy protein concentrates or isolates, hydrolyzed or textured vegetable protein, hydrogenated soy bean oil, non-organic sources of soy, and soy junk food like soy cheese and ice cream. Don’t eat them.
3. Whole soy foods can be a source of good quality protein and plant compounds that help promote health.
4. Eat only organic soy. Stay away from genetically modified versions.
5. Replace soy oil with olive oil, fish oil, nuts, and seeds.
Source: Hyman, M. Dr. Hyman’s Discussion about Soy on the Dr. Oz Show. September 9, 2010. http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/09/29/dr-oz-show-soy/
Here’s my take. I do concur that fermented and non-GMO soy
products are the way to go if one consumes soy. Dr. Hyman and Dr. Mercola agree with me, yeah! 🙂 It’s known that
non-organic soy does contain aluminum, GMO, pesticides, and many imbalanced
phytohormones from processing.
I enjoy Dr. Hyman’s suggestions because it puts it back to bio-individuality and to the very educated consumers or practitioners hand. It’s true with any food, for some man it’s a cure, another a poison. How do you know? Listen to your body, if your confused, research and ask for help. That’s what we’re here for!
Now, click over to my “Drop the Cannoli, Grab a Whole Food” blog on my homepage and read about other hints to get back into your optimal food vibe! 🙂
What are your thoughts??
…..I’d like to hear from you…….