Is Soy Safe?

by Kathy LeMoine

Many of us concerned about health and wellness have questions about soy. Kaayla Daniel, PhD, CCN, author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food cites seven tips about safe soy consumption:   

  1. Use soy as a condiment. Soy was traditionally eaten in Asia as a condiment, not as a staple food.   
  2. Less is more! Stick to small portions of the Good Old Soys  -- Miso, Natto, Tempeh and unpasteurized Shoyu. Old-fashioned fermenting makes these foods nutritious, delicious and healthful. And few people are inclined to eat these foods to excess.
  3. Beware of Tofu! It looks pure and white, but the truth is it’s a bland cube without a leg to stand on! Seriously, it’s a precipitated product and not fermented. That means you can precipitate a health crisis if you do more than consume occasionally. A few cubes in your soup, okay. A half pound slab, is too much! 
  4. Avoid soy milk. Although soy milk is not the worst soy product in the marketplace, but it’s the one most likely to be consumed to excess. It’s certainly good that soy’s hormone havoc-producing isoflavones go missing in rice, hemp, almond milks, but those products too are high in sugar and propped up with dubious flavorings and additives.
  5. Don’t be a Pod Person! Enjoy a few edamame at your favorite Japanese restaurant if you will, but a whole bag for snacking in front of the TV? This is not a case of success from excess. 
  6. Watch out for anything squeezed out of an extruder. You wouldn’t eat styrofoam packing materials or plastic toys, would you? Textured vegetable protein and some soy protein isolate products are manufactured using virtually the same technology. The difference is extrusion techniques for food put more flavorings and colorings into the mix.
  7. Avoid hydrolyzed plant protein, as it is usually soy. Hydrolyzed whey, corn, wheat and other products are every bit as bad.    

For most of us, limiting our intake of soy is good enough. However, those who are allergic or sensitive to soy might need to totally remove soy from their diet. Not necessarily, but here’s a few points to ponder:  

Allergic to soy?  Know where soy can be found and avoid these foods at all costs. Simple enough in theory, but nearly impossible in practice, at least for anyone who eats processed, packaged and fast foods. More than 60 percent of supermarket and health food store products contain soy ingredients. Nearly 100 percent of fast foods contain soy. Although most allergic people attempt to stay soy free by reading labels, a better way is to eat “real foods” and cook everything from scratch. That avoids the risks of mislabeled and cross contaminated products not to mention the ongoing frustration, exasperation and time wasting of label reading.

Sensitive to soy?   It’s possible you react poorly to modern industrially processed soy products, but can enjoy the  occasional serving of miso soup, natto or tempeh.   The operative word is “occasional.” And the way to go is real foods, whole foods and slow foods. 

Suffering from digestive distress, thyroid disease, reproductive disorders or infertility? At risk for cancer? You might want to carefully consider your soy intake. The Israeli Health Ministry urged women at risk for breast cancer to take it easy on the soy. Will the U.S. be next? 

For the latest information about soy, Radiant Life encourages you to check with Kaayla at: Traditions Speaker/HOME.html

Look for Kaayla at Wise Traditions 2011. She will be speaking on November 13th in Dallas.

Radiant Life is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of this educational bonanza!

Hope to see you there!




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