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Soy for Baby-Boomers
The first soy product I used was when I bought a soy ‘beverage’ as I was transitioning away from milk and ‘soft’ dairy (sour cream, whipping cream and ice cream, etc.).
I was next introduced to more soy products through an incredible book called UltraMetabolism: The Simple Plan For Automatic Weight Loss by Dr. Mark Hyman. In the first half of the book, Dr. Hyman goes into some science, in layman’s terms, on what prevents weight loss, and how to lose weight; he also provided a section with an eating plan as well as recipes. Several of his recipes used tofu, made from soy – including soft tofu, or soy yogurt in a morning smoothie, to a firmer tofu in a Waldorf salad. I quite enjoyed his book and almost all the recipes I tried.
Dr. Hyman also has an article on the pros and cons of soy, you can read it here.
Benefits of Soy
Soy can be high in many nutrients such as Manganese, Selenium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin B6, Folate, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1) and Vitamin K. also fat and protein. But soybeans are also very high in phytates, substances that bind minerals and reduce their absorption, so one may not get the full spectrum of nutrition as listed above.
An article by Dr. Hyman says, “Fermented soy is better than non-fermented soy.” He goes on to say, “…soybeans — along with other beans, nuts, and seeds — contain compounds called phytates, which bind to minerals inside your body and contain some potentially harmful compounds.
The Asian cultures that have traditionally consumed soy typically ferment it first. This process breaks soy down and makes it easier to digest. Plus, fermentation adds extra nutrients and probiotics (“good” bacteria) to soy. For these reasons, I prefer fermented soy foods, like miso, natto, tempeh, tofu and some brands of soy milk.”
Downsides of Soy
Because most people don’t eat soybeans in their natural state, they mostly eat a processed version such as tofu, tempeh, soy oil, etc. the high processing can actually decrease the bioavailability of any nutrients.
Soy Contains Isoflavones That Function as Endocrine Disruptors
Health Line says, “Whole soybeans can be nutritious, while refined soy-derived products like soy protein and soybean oil aren’t nutritious at all.
Whole soybeans are rich in micro-nutrients, but they also contain phytates which block absorption of minerals. Soybeans are very rich in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can cause problems.”
Soy has been called a hormone disruptor that can be harmful to humans. Also, almost all (90%) soy grown in the USA is now GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and generally sprayed with Round-Up herbicide during harvest. That was enough to turn me off eating soy!!
Maybe, like Dr. Hyman suggests, one could stick to fermented soy products like miso, natto, tempeh, tofu and some brands of soy milk. I would also suggest to make sure you can find GMO-free and/or organic soy products.
DISCLAIMER: I cannot and will not say that any one aspect of nutrition is the end-all, be-all. (Please consult your own health care provider to find out what is best for you.)
I will explain to you my understanding and my practices, but I know from trial and error that what works for me may or may not work for you… Listen to YOUR body…
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