Someone asked for a brief version of my infamous anti-soy rant... Since I sent it to them, I thought I would post it here as well. (Can we tell that if I wasn't a Barbie doll for a living I'd be a dietician?)
SOY IS TERRIBLE FOR YOUR BODY!!
1. Soy is naturally indigestible by humans.
Unless soy has been properly fermented for an extended period of time, it contains nothing of use for our bodies. If we eat it anyway, our body will strip itself of nutrients we already possess in an attempt to process it; we will then excrete both the soy and those nutrients and end up with a negative nutrient balance – not what we’re looking for when we eat! (Incidentally, no one in the world is currently properly fermenting soy, regardless of what the labels say.) This includes ALL forms of soy – soy protein, soy isolates, etc. Although a label may claim the soy ingredients add nutrients or protein to a food item, the fact that those things show up a certain level in a lab test does not translate into those same things being available to our bodies. Example: the label says six grams of protein, but if four of them come from soy and are indigestible, only 2 grams of protein are available to me when I eat that product. Producers, of course, are not required to make that distinction. In addition, I will lose nutrients attempting to digest those other four grams of soy protein, thus ending up worse off than if I’d just skipped the whole thing altogether.
2. Soy contains phyto-estrogens.
These are the plant version of estrogen, the female hormone. Eating or drinking soy is the equivalent of taking estrogen pills! Obviously, dosing your body with hormone pills is not a healthy idea. It causes serious hormone and chemical imbalances which lead to a wide variety of physical, emotional and mental illnesses. (Reference material available for all of this if you think I’m exaggerating.) Again, regardless of what the label says this is inherently true of ALL soy products. (The ramifications here are staggering, but since there’s no short version we’ll just stick with this.)
3. Soy’s popularity as a “wonder drug” is the direct result of an intensive, expensive and targeted marketing campaign.
Twenty years ago, no one ate soy except for a handful of oriental/asian cultures – and even they used much smaller amounts that we are led to believe. When food producers were looking for cheap “filler” to artificially inflate the protein content numbers in food they discovered soy protein. Extracting only what they needed left tons and tons of unusable soy waste that they then had to pay to get rid of. Resenting that cost, they hired top shelf marketing companies to create an artificial demand for soy that would allow them to recycle that useless scrap into other products they could brand as healthy and sell for profit. Hence, the modern positioning of soy as a “health food”, despite extensive proof to the contrary. If we all realized that we were being lied to because companies want us to buy the dregs of their production process so they can save money, wouldn’t that alone be insult enough to make us stop?
4. Most soy products require large amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners and chemicals to make them palatable.
Stuffing your body full of sugars and chemicals is never a good idea. Period.
5. Soy is completely unnecessary.
Soy is often touted by pseudo-nutrition groups campaigning against other foods for one reason or another. Almost every food on the market has a healthy, natural alternative other than soy. For example, people who claim to need soy due to dairy allergies typically consume highly processed, hormone-filled commercial milk. In most cases, raw organic milk will not produce any allergic reaction in those same individuals. Ditto for goats’ milk or rice milk. Vegetarians who want soy’s supposed protein content can, with a little research and awareness, supply their bodies’ entire protein needs from other all natural sources – raw seeds/nuts, beans, etc. Soy’s primary appeal is that it allows for a lot of imitation and convenience foods; it is thoroughly proven that cheap and fast foods are never going to provide the kind of real nutrition our bodies need to stay well.
That’s the end of my rant, though I have an entire reading list of suggestions for anyone who questions my facts or wants more information. There’s also westonaprice.org for the internet – inclined. :0)