Soy – Happy & Unhappy Facts to Know

Soy Facts

From 1992 to 2006, the sale of soy foods increased from $300 million to almost 4 billion dollars, according to the Soyfoods Association of North America. Simultaneously, the soy industry has accumulated many mixed messages about the benefits and dangers of soy. Some of these messages include: ‘Soy is a great alternative source of protein besides meat.’ ‘Soy can decrease a man’s testosterone.’ And ‘Soy can cause breast cancer.’

So what do we do with all this mixed information? Well, here are the facts to set your mind at ease and inform you of the truth. Soy can be very healthy, and it also can be very unhealthy if you do not consume the right kind.

According to the Consumer Attitudes About Nutrition from 2008

  • 33% of Americans consume soy beverages and foods, at a minimum, once a month.
  • By 2007, 85% of Americans believed the message that soy products are healthy.
  • 70% of consumers believe that soybean oil is good for them.

Unfortunately, these statistics show the smart marketing tactics of the soy industry to make significant business gains, and that is what they are getting- enormous financial gains.

Unhappy Facts About Soy

  • 91% of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM). Because of this, soy is loaded with a toxic pesticide.
  • Soy contains hemagglutinin; this is a substance that promotes blood clots, causing our red blood cells to clump together, which prevents the distribution of oxygen to our tissue.
  • Natural toxins called “anti-nutrients” are found in Soy, this means that if too much soy is ingested, the anti-nutrients could interfere with the enzyme needed to digest protein; although typically, this would not be a problem, Americans are eating so much soy; this danger is something worth considering.
  • Soy can interfere with women’s menstrual cycle and can cause infertility. The FDA does not regulate this enough. Even just two glasses of soy milk a day can alter the menstrual cycle and cause these adverse reactions.
  • Soy foods to avoid: Soybean oil, “soy” meat products, soymilk, soy cheese, soy ice cream, edamame, baby formulas containing soy, and tofu.

Happy Facts About Soy

  •  Soy can be very healthy, so long as it is organic and fermented properly.
  • With the right fermentation process, the “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are lowered, allowing soy to maintain more of its beneficial properties for the digestive system.
  • Which fermented soy products are ok? Tempeh, Miso, Natto, and some soy sauces.
  • Vitamin K2 found in fermented soy. Vitamin K2 helps prevent osteoporosis, dementia, cardiovascular disease and various cancers.

Does Soy Cause Cancer In Women?

It is true that soy can act as an estrogen and with extra estrogen, cancer is more likely to grow. However, just because the isoflavones in soy in animals has promoted tumor growth, doesn’t mean that it directly affects humans the same way. The reason being is because people process isoflavones differently than animals. So, some advice would be to follow the “happy facts about soy” and avoid as many process soy foods as possible and stick to organic and fermented soy to reduce your risks for cancer.

Should Men Eat Soy?

Clinical studies do not support the fear that men eating soy could reduce their testosterone. In one case study that found a man affected negatively through the consumption of soy, he had diabetes and was consuming higher than average amounts of it. On a more positive side, soy could help decrease men’s chances of prostate cancer.