Today I want to discuss one of the most consumed foods in the US and that’s soy. And it’s a hidden “protein” source in so many products, especially “health” and “vegetarian” products.
Soybeans are beans and thus, legumes. They originated from Asia and are eaten in small quantities there, but as the WHOLE bean.
Unfortunately, over 95% of “soy” eaten in the US is made from the soybean into foods such as tofu, soybean oil, soy milk, and various soy proteins.
This is NOT the natural form of this food. It’s been modified.
In fact, well over 90% of soy produced in the world is Genetically Modified (GMO) and the crops are sprayed with the herbicide Roundup, which is associated with numerous adverse effects on health.
And because it’s so cheap, soybean “meal” is given to livestock – which is NOT a natural food for them. And it’s also found in so many processed foods, including “health” foods.
So, let’s get right to it and see why I suggest you avoid soy.
High In Omega 6 Polyunsaturated Fats
Soy is very high in Omega 6 fats, which causes a bad inflammatory response, insulin resistance, and weight gain. Thus, never eat soybean oil.
High In Phytates
Soy is also very high in phytates, substances that bind minerals and reduce their absorption.
Soy contains large amounts of biologically active compounds called isoflavones, which function as phytoestrogens… that is, plant-based compounds that can activate estrogen receptors in the human body.
These isoflavones are classified as endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with the normal function of hormones in the body.
So, what does this mean for you?
Bad For Women
The increase in estrogens from soy isoflavones can cause breast health issues. There are lots of clinical studies backing this up.
For example, in one study after only 14 days of eating soy protein, there was a significant increase in proliferation (increase in number) of the epithelial cells in the breasts, which are the cells that are most likely to turn cancerous.
And in another study, there was a 29.2% increased number of breast epithelial cells when were supplemented with soy protein.
There are also human studies where soy caused disruptions of the menstrual cycle, leading to delayed menses and prolonged menstruation.
Bad For Men
Now, let’s talk about the guys.
Exposure to soy isoflavones in the womb can lead to adverse effects on sexual development in males — small penises!
In one human study, 99 men attending an infertility clinic were studied. The men that had eaten the most soy for the past 3 months had the lowest sperm count.
Soy and the increase in estrogen also cause a reduction in testosterone, leading to lower muscle mass, increase belly fat, and of course lowered libido and even impotence.
Bad For Your Thyroid
Soy can also inhibit the function of the enzyme thyroid peroxidase, which is essential for the production of thyroid hormones.
This slowing of your thyroid seems to be a consistent problem with soy intake and thus, causes you to have a slower metabolism and gain fat.
Also, lower thyroid product causes hair loss and a decrease in protein synthesis – leading to muscle loss.
Mental Health Issues
Finally, soy consumption has long been associated with various mental health issues.
And the newest research shows that it can also aggravate seizures as well.
If you want to have some whole, soybeans once in a while – that are non-GMO – go ahead. But my suggestion is you stay away from all soy — including soybean oil and all soy “proteins”, which are found in almost all “vegetable protein” products.
It’s a cheap ingredient that’s bad for your hormones, health, fitness, and longevity.
However, the good news is that once you stop eating soy, a lot of these negative effects will be reversed over the next 2-6 months.