Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Top 3 Reasons Avoid Soy Products


Sitting at the sushi restaurant with my wife, I was staring at bottle of soy sauce while nomming on salmon and began to get lost in thought, thinking about all the ways these beans have wormed their way into our society. I can think of few questions I want to hear less than "Soy products and soy protein are good right? Less saturated fat?" 


People are often surprised when they learn about the negative health effects of soy. The first thing they usually point out is that Asian cultures have eaten soy for thousands of years, apparently with great health benefits. There are a few factors to consider here, which brings us to point #1 of why you will no longer eat soy.

1. The Reality of Asian Soy Consumption

My wife's parents are both first generation Chinese-Americans and have helped me with this article by answering a few questions. First things first, yes it is true that Asian cultures do consume soy, but primarily in its fermented forms: miso, tempeh, soy sauce and tamari. The fermentation process drastically decreases the protease inhibitors and phytates in soy, almost to the point of elimination. (Discussed in a previous protein blog post)
Tofu is the only non-fermented form of soy that is historically common in Asian cultures. On top of this, They only eat soy products in small amounts, more as a condiment or sauce than a main dish. A bowl of miso soup is very different from a tofu-based entree where tofu is taking the place of meat (just typing that made me angry). The average Asian diet  includes about 9-36 grams of soy per day. Now compare that to a cup of tofu or soy milk, about 240-252 grams per SERVING. That appears to be a substantial difference in daily soy intake, wouldn't you say?


2. Soybeans Are Processed With Hexane

Hexane is a synthetic, petroleum based solvent that soybeans are immersed in to create soy protein isolate. Hexane provides manufacturers with a cheap way of separating the oil from the protein in the soybeans. The CDC has labeled hexane as a neurotoxin and the EPA has labeled it as a hazardous air pollutant. This basically means  that most of the soybeans used in the fake meats, the protein bars, and the soy protein powders have all had a hexane bath. It also poses short and long term health hazards to those who come into close contact with it.

As if these reasons aren't enough to avoid hexane, it also causes sever digestive problems and has been known to cause copious amounts of flatulence (farts, just to be clear). So if you have been munching on Clif bars and wondering why you have to keep the windows rolled down, now you know why.

3.   High Estrogen Compounds  In Soy


Study after countless study has shown the link between soy intake and increased levels of estrogen in both men and women. As weightlifters, this should be of great concern to all of us. We need to be eating foods and doing activities that increase our testosterone and HGH. Eating or drinking soy will negate these effects and can actually reverse them. 

In 1992, the Swiss Health Service estimated that women consuming the equivalent of two cups of soy milk per day provides the estrogenic equivalent of one birth control pill. That means women eating cereal with soy milk and drinking a soy latte each day are effectively getting the same estrogen effect as if they were taking a birth control pill. 

A study at the Harvard Public School of Health in 2008 found that men who consumed the equivalent of one cup of soy milk per day had a 50% lower sperm count than men who didn’t eat soy.

This effect is even more dramatic in infants fed soy formula. Babies fed soy-based formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula. Infants exclusively fed soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least five birth control pills per day.

These are just a few of the many reasons why you need to eliminate soy from your diet. You don't have to be a 9 to 5 tree-hugging hippie to eat a lot of soy, just flip around the food labels and see the ingredients, it's absolutely everywhere. Be like me and cook all of your own food and eat animal proteins and soon, you will become strong like bull.

Sources:

Olguin MC and others. Intestinal alterations and reduction of growth in prepuberal rats fed with soybean [Article in Spanish]. Medicina (B Aires) 1999;59:747-752. Rats fed soy-based chow had reduced growth and an increase in gastrointestinal problems compared to controls.

http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/studies-showing-adverse-effects-of-soy

 http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/11/2584.full

ChrisKresser.com

IEH assessment on Phytoestrogens in the Human Diet, Final Report to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, UK, November 1997. This exhaustive report on phytoestrogens, prepared by the British government, failed to find much evidence of benefit and warned against potential adverse effects.

Fukutake M and others. Quantification of genistein and genistin in soybeans and soybean products. Food Chem Toxicol 1996;34:457-461. Average Isoflavones consumption in Japan was found to be about 10 mg per day.


16 comments:

  1. definitely shared this with a few people and my page.

    been trying to get a few friends to drop tofu for months.

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  2. Hexane is not synthetic, it is toxic though.

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  3. Is it bad to eat edamamae then?

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  4. "Asian cultures have eaten soy [or insert any other Asian fare] for thousands of years, apparently with great health benefits."

    1) Asians are smaller, probably due to diet. My boyfriend is half Chinese, half Korean, and he's 5'11 and a pretty solid 200 lbs. His brother is even bigger. Their mom made the conscience choice to feed them a more "American" with lots of meat to help them grow bigger. They are a LOT bigger than their cousins who were raised on traditionally Asian foods.

    2) A good point was brought up in a recent "Paleo success story" about how myopia is super common among Asian cultures, and kids usually need glasses early on in grade school. So despite them seeming generally health, aka: lack of disease, they still have their own set of developmental problems that is likely linked to diet.

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    1. But don't mistake the American diet as healthier. A growing body of evidence points out that the globalization of the Western diet is the root cause of metabolic syndromes and a many other forms of diseases. The UN declared it a worldwide issue greater than the burden of infectious diseases. So this American diet you speak of is probably also due to the high amounts of human growth hormones and other chemicals that the FDA and the USDA has allowed into our foods specifically those that are mass produced.

      The smaller size of peoples of Asian descent are also due to a combination of genetics, environment, evolution, adaptation.

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    2. This comment isn't talking about the SAD (Standard American Diet), but a diet high in meat protein. The diet our government wants our kids to eat is causing health issues and kids are in fact getting smaller. NY State recently passed new standards for school lunches in the state. On hamburger day, the kids will get exactly 1.5 ounces of meat. The max meat that a child, regardless of grade, will get in their lunch is 2 oz. Considering the poverty that many children in this state live in , this may be half of the protein they will eat ALL DAY.

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  5. What about Protein? Every bottle of Protein I see has soy in it.

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  6. But don't mistake the American diet as healthier. A growing body of evidence points out that the globalization of the Western diet is the root cause of metabolic syndromes and a many other forms of diseases. The UN declared it a worldwide issue greater than the burden of infectious diseases. So this American diet you speak of is probably also due to the high amounts of human growth hormones and other chemicals that the FDA and the USDA has allowed into our foods specifically those that are mass produced.

    The smaller size of peoples of Asian descent are also due to a combination of genetics, environment, evolution, adaptation.

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  7. Good point Chris P. What about protein powders?

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  8. Plant based diets don't have to include soy. Get your protein from nuts seeds leafy greens beans & spiralina. Ask for almond or rice milk the next time you order a latte. There are many Vegan dudes now who are living proof that to get lean go green without loosing your strength. Eat consciously as nature intended.

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  9. Seriously, what about edamame? It's a bean, for pete's sake! It doesn't have to be processed with any toxic nonsense. It just requires soaking and boiling or steaming, like any other bean. Do I really need to toss the edamame out of my salad?

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  10. Hexane is also used to extract D-Alpha Tocopherols (as Vitamin E) to stabilize fatty acids common in supplements (e.g. fish oil).

    TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

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  11. I wrote an entire research paper on this exact topic, also presented it at a undergraduate research conference and even people at that level thought I was crazy and were speechless when i told them all this. great to see others agree!!

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  12. Those are soy that are processed naturally. Milled like ordinary soy and the dining restaurant london are quite good in making one.

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  13. What about edamame beans?

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  14. This info is helpful and similar to what I have always personally found. I have a soy allergy , and it refreshing to see people starting to talk about soy with an open mind.

    www.sanssoy.blogspot.com

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