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The Good And Bad About Soy

Soy has been promoted as a health food for decades. Due to its high protein content, soy is also very popular among vegans and vegetarians. So soy really is a health food? Are all soy products the same? What is the latest research on soy and disease?

Soy is cheap to grow and cheap to process, so this is the dream of food manufacturers. The industry has marketed soybeans as an ancient health food. They claim that Asian cultures have consumed soybeans for thousands of years and associate their longevity and health with the use of soy. But if you look closely at Asian culture, you will find that:

  • First, they only use soy as a spice and do not eat it as a main item or in large quantities,
  • Second, they eat fermented soybeans that are very different from the unripe soybeans commonly consumed by Americans, as follows:
Sample Flour Bean Foods

soy milk

soya ice cream

soy cheese

soy yogurt

Soy protein separates energy bars and protein powder

textured vegetable protein (TVP)

edamame (green soybeans)

hot dog soy or sausage



soy bean

soy flour

soybean oil

soya chips

peanut butter

soak soya

In traditional Asian diets, people eat soya beans, which means that soybeans have been reared with beneficial bacteria, yeast, or mold. This type of soy is completely different from the unprocessed and processed soy products (as listed above) that are sold in American grocery stores.

Why Flour Peanuts are Not Recommended

Humans have no history of eating so much unsaturated soy. It wasn't until fifty years ago that we introduced a variety of unprocessed soy foods.

If you are getting more than 35 grams of soy protein daily from unsaturated soy, you should be aware of the following anti-nutrients in this type of soy and its effect on your health.

Phytic acid that damages the absorption of minerals. Plant seeds, such as nuts, edible seeds, beans / beans, and grains contain phytic acid. Soy is high in phytic acid, which damages the absorption of iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and calcium. The mineral deficiency caused by phytic acid is rarely a concern for meat eaters as their diet is more diverse. However, vegans and vegetarians who consume a lot of high phytic acid foods at each meal may be at high risk for overtime mineral deficiencies.

Oxalates that have been associated with kidney stones. Calcium oxalate stone is the most common type of kidney stone. Oxalate is a natural ingredient found in many foods but is highest in spinach, wheat bran, beans, beer, coffee, soybeans, and chocolate. Oxalate cannot be metabolized by the body and released via urine. When too much oxalate and too little urine, the oxalate can bind to the calcium in the urine and form crystals that attach to a dense mass (kidney stones). To avoid calcium oxalate stones:

  • Drink enough liquid like water.
  • Reducing sodium in your diet as salt causes more calcium to be excreted in the urine.
  • Eat high calcium foods with foods rich in oxalate (like spinach salad with cheese) so that oxalate can bind to calcium in the stomach and intestines rather than the kidneys.
  • Reduce oxalate rich foods.
Goitrogen that suppresses the thyroid gland. Goitrogen can prevent the thyroid from getting the required amount of iodine and disrupt the normal production of thyroid hormone. Raw vegetables from cross families (eg broccoli, kale, cabbage) and soy contain goitrogen. The consumption of soy may eventually lead to inactive thyroid causing symptoms such as weight gain, mood swings, coldness, fatigue, insomnia, and inability to concentrate and remember. To overcome this problem, make sure your intake of iodine (for example, seaweed, seafood, dairy) is adequate when consuming soy.

Trypsin inhibitors that interfere with digestion. Trypsin is the digestive enzyme needed to digest the protein properly. Trypsin inhibitors are plant defense mechanisms. By possessing these harmful components, wildlife knows that any food that has a trypsin inhibitor is food to be avoided. Soybean rich in trypsin inhibitors, therefore, consuming so much soy can lead to gastric problems like bloating and gas in some individuals.

Lectins that collect red blood cells. Plants produce damaging proteins called lactins in defense of hungry animals. Soya contains a lecture class called hemagglutinin that promotes blood clotting and impairs blood flow. Hemagglutinin can also damage the gut in the intestines, allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream and causing autoimmune and allergic problems to people who are sensitive to leukemia.

Why fermented soy is better

Soy soaked is much healthier than non-reacted soy. The long fermentation process reduces some of the anti-nutrients, resulting in a form of soy:

  • rich in probiotics or healthy bacteria that are vital to the health of the gut and immune system,
  • lower in phytic acid that prevents the absorption of minerals,
  • easier to digest and less likely to cause gastric distress,
  • low in lactin (hemagglutinin) that promotes the accumulation of red blood cells, and
  • high in the form of MK-7 vitamin K2, an essential nutrient to support bone and heart health. (Food-free soy does not contain vitamin K2.)
Top 4 Fermented Beans

Natto. The soybeans are sticky and curved with a strong, distinctive taste. Breakfast is popular in traditional Japanese cuisine.

Tempeh. Originally from Indonesia, it is a soybean cake that is grown with a strong texture and taste.

Miso. Soy beans are grown in rich and salty texture. It is commonly used to make miso soup in Japanese cuisine.

Soy sauce. Originally from China, it is a liquid seasoning made from fermented soybeans and roasted grain (wheat). Tamari is a soy sauce made without cereals, so it's gluten-free.

Considerations When Eating Pori Drinks

Quantity may be the key. Asian culture does not eat large amounts of soy. They usually use fermented soy foods as herbs instead of the main ingredient. The average intake of soy protein in the Asian population is about 10-20 grams per day. This is very different from how many unreacted soybeans are taken.

The following shows the soy protein content of some soy-free soy products. Do you eat this variety every day?

Uncooked soy foods_____Serving Size_____Protein (grams)

Grinding protein vibrates____________1 oz_____________25

Soy beans, roasted _____________ 1/2 cup ___________22

Soy burger__________________1 patty___________14

Tell, exactly ___________________4 oz_____________14

Edamame, boil _____________ 1/2 cup __________12

Soy milk____________________8 oz______________8

Soybeans butter________________2 Tbsp. ___________ 8

Soy cheese__________________1 oz______________6

Soy yoghurt ______________ oz______________4

In addition, unsaturated soy is a hidden component of the American diet. Research estimates that soy is present in 70% of all supermarket products and is widely used in the fast food chain.

  • Soy is used to bulk and bind many processed foods so that food companies can place higher amounts of protein on them.
  • Soybeans are used for fiber in bread, cereals, and snacks.
  • The big one is soybean oil which is the most consumed vegetable oil in the world. It is used in cooking oils, salad dressings, and many processed foods.
  • Finally, 70% of soybeans grown in the United States are used for animal feed, with poultry being the highest livestock sector that consumes soybeans, followed by pigs, dairy, beef, and aquaculture. These animals were then fed by us.
Soy is largely genetically modified. 94% of soybeans grown in the United States are "Roundup Ready", meaning they are genetically bioengineering to survive the use of Monsanto's toxic Roundup herbicide. In March 2019, a San Francisco federal jury unanimously approved that Roundup cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The decision is the second in the United States to find a link between glycosylation and primary herbicides. Therefore, even if you eat soybean meal, make sure it is organic.

Soy is one of the top eight allergens. They are cow's milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies. If you have a soy allergy or sensitivity, watch out for "hidden" soybeans as they are commonly used in many processed food products.

Research on Sickness and Disease

Soy is unique in that it contains a high concentration of isoflavones or plant estrogen (called genistein and daidzein) that is structurally similar to human estrogen but has a weaker effect. They can bind estrogen receptors in a variety of tissues, including those related to reproduction, as well as bones, liver, heart, and brain. In human tissues, isoflavones can have completely different effects - they can mimic estrogen or block


Soy is a controversial food that has been widely studied for estrogen as well as anti-estrogenic effects on the body. Supporters claim that soy can relieve heat flashes, prevent osteoporosis, and protect against hormone cancer. Opponents worry that it can actually increase the risk of cancer, causing thyroid problems, and other health problems.

To date, there have been concrete conclusions about soy, but this may be due to the wide variation in how the study was planned - the type of soy used (overcooked), the quantity used, and the duration of exposure (since children vs adults). That is, Asian people have been eating traditional soybeans that have been ingested for thousands of years and have reported neutrality to benefit many health conditions.

Average Isoflavone Intake in Asia is 25-50 mg / day.

Fermented Soy Foods _______Serving Size____Isoflavone (mg)

Natto______________________1 oz_____________23

Temporarily, cooked _____________3 oz_____________30

It is ______________________1 oz_____________12

Soy sauce__________________1 Tsbp .___________ 0.02

Breast cancer

Excess estrogen stimulates the growth and proliferation of breast cancer cells. So, it has been thought that soy foods increase the risk of breast cancer because soy contains isoflavones that can mimic our estrogen.

However, it also shows that the risk of breast cancer in Asian countries is lower than in Europe, North America, and Australia / New Zealand due to traditional lifelong consumption of soy foods. So who's right?

So far the study has not provided a clear answer. Some show little benefit while others show no association. However, no research has shown that soy causes breast cancer, even in women with previous cancers. In fact, it appears that soybeans may have a role in preventing low estrogen in breast tissue, leading to a slight reduction in breast cancer risk and breast cancer recurrence.

In addition, the protective effect is more apparent for women who start eating soy early in life. Women from Asian countries generally start eating soy foods found in traditional Asian diets at an early age. Fermented soy contains healthy bacteria that can convert isoflavone daidzein to equol. Equol is believed to prevent the negative effects of estrogen. Studies show that 50-60% of adults in Asia have gut bacteria that produce acne compared to only 25-30% of adults in Western countries. This may also explain why Asian women who eat soya appear to be benefiting more than Western women who generally use unprocessed and processed soy.

Symptoms of Menopause

In theory, the potential estrogen effects for soy isoflavones can help reduce heat and sweat at night that accompany menopause by stimulating estrogen-like stimuli while stabilizing estrogen levels. Thus, soy is a popular alternative treatment although it is not clearly supported by studies that show conflicting results. However, in Asian countries where fermented soybeans are consumed daily, women report lower rates of menopausal symptoms (10-20%) than women in the United States (70-80%).

Memory and Cognitive Functions

Menopause has been linked to mood swings and memory problems. Low levels of estrogen in women can reduce the number of estrogen receptors in the brain needed for cognitive functions such as memory and learning. Soof isoflavone daidzein has been hypothesized to reduce cognitive decline. Unfortunately, the experiment has produced conflicting results with some showing benefit and others not benefiting.

Endometrial Cancer (Uterine)

It is thought that the development of endometrial cancer may be associated with prolonged exposure to unused estrogen, an estrogen unbalanced by hormone progesterone. Excess estrogen compared to progesterone can lead to endometrial thickening and, ultimately, endometrial cancer. Several studies have examined whether high intake of soybeans with anti-estrogenic activity in uterine tissue may be associated with lower risk of endometrial cancer. The result cannot be concluded.


Decreased estrogen production in menopause puts middle-aged women at risk for osteoporosis (loss of bone mineral density). As estrogen receptors are present in bone, whether soy estrogen may play a role in maintaining bone health and preventing bone loss has been proposed. To date, the results of observational and intervention studies examining the potential for soy protection against osteoporosis have been inconsistent.

Prostate cancer

The incidence of prostate cancer is highest in Western countries and lowest in Asian countries, where soy foods are a regular part of the daily diet. Soy isoflavones, in particular genistein and daidzein, are found to accumulate prostate tissue and may act as weak estrogen and have protective effects on the development of prostate cancer.

Interestingly, observational studies have found an increased risk of prostate cancer among Chinese and Japanese men who migrate to Western countries and practice Western diets, but not to those who continue to eat traditional foods.

Heart health

Based on several studies showing that the reduced daily amount of soy protein reduces harmful LDL cholesterol, in 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed food companies to demand low-fat and cholesterol-lowering products and "soy protein" could reduce risk heart disease ". The FDA also recommends that consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily can lead to lowering the amount and level of LDL cholesterol.

However, since the next scientific discovery has not shown sufficient evidence to show a clear link between soy protein and reduced risk of heart disease. In October 2017, after reviewing additional research, the FDA proposed to abolish soy's cardiovascular health claims. At this time, the agency has not made a final decision.

Conclusion on Soya

  • Always avoid soybeans without being processed and processed due to the presence of anti-nutrients.
  • Eat traditional soybean meal but always buy organic soy. The process of fermentation reduces anti-nutrients, introduces probiotics to soy, and makes it more digestible.
  • It seems that eating traditional Asian foods that include a small amount of regularly-administered soy foods has led to lower breast and prostate cancer rates in Asia. Women in menopause also report less symptoms than they do in Western countries.
  • Studies show that it is safe for breast cancer survivors to consume a small amount of average soy.
  • The findings of the research on the benefits of soy on memory and cognitive function, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease cannot be concluded.
  • Although scientific studies have failed to provide concrete evidence that soy can help prevent many diseases, this may be due to the wide variation in how soy is studied - the type of soy used, the quantity used, and the duration of exposure.


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