Over the past decade, more and more health-conscious people are starting to ask "Is soy milk bad for you?" This question comes as more and more former vegetarians work hard to repair damaged health that seems to have resulted from years of relying on this bean to replace high quality protein in their diet. Here is how soy became so popular in the west.
Since the time of Hitler and Mussolini, the soybean has been increasingly recognized as a protein replacement that could feed large numbers of people on the cheap — it made up a substantial portion of their soldiers’ rations. Today, soy is said to be powerful enough to lower breast cancer, slow or reverse bone loss, lower cholesterol, reduce excess weight and stave off hot flashes.
However, if soy is potent enough to keep breast cancer rates so low in Asia, what then is responsible for their soaring rates of esophageal, stomach, thyroid, pancreatic and liver cancer? Why is it that both children and adults suffer from more broken bones in since the soy campaign began in the west 20 years ago? Clearly cholesterol levels and obesity are skyrocketing since soy was introduced to the west. And did you ever know a menopausal woman to have a sunny disposition simply by consuming this bean?
Here are just a few of the soy facts I shared with my What Your Baby Needs Before Conception class. Bear in mind that I am only keeping to the facts here. So, is soy milk bad for you? You be the judge:
1. Claims that soy has been around since “time immemorial” are false. Soy was first consumed only about 2,500 years ago. It was called chiang, a fermented product and ancestor of today’s miso. It was used to preserve meat and was consumed in very small quantities — basically whatever clung to the meat.
2. In ancient Chinese literature, soy was considered the only legume that should not be eaten. Later it was discovered that fermentation neutralized or at least weakened many of soy’s harmful anti-nutrients and the warning was (somewhat) lifted.
3. Tofu, a.k.a. meat without a bone, was introduced a few hundred years after the benefits of fermenting soy were discovered. It was eaten only by monks as an aid to spiritual development and sexual abstinence. Although it was probably not recognized at the time soy lowers testosterone levels — a good way to keep the monks focusing on spiritual development instead of women.
4. The phytoestrogens in soy bind to estrogen receptors creating serious hormonal imbalances resulting in infertility, miscarriage, lowered libido, precocious puberty in girls and breasts, hypospadias* and testicular cancer in boys.
5. Over 80% of all soy grown in the US is genetically engineered — another reason why soy is linked to infertility and miscarriage. Genetically engineered foods also cause infertility in offspring.
6. Talk to any farmer and they will tell you that soy (along with corn and skim milk) is the fastest and surest way to fatten up an animal. Goitrogens in soy are particularly hardy and block iodine uptake to the thyroid gland, which stokes the body’s metabolic fire. In a few people it speeds up the thyroid resulting in the opposite problem (extreme weight loss) and premature aging. For these people it often ends up exhausting the thyroid over time and eventually leading to sudden unexplained weight gain.
7. Soy bio-accumulates aluminum, a toxic heavy metal associated with cognitive decline.
8. Soy contains fluoride, which is associated with cretinism, learning disabilities, violence and ADD in children.
9. Soy contains toxic levels of manganese an otherwise helpful nutrient in trace amounts. High levels of manganese are considered by many to be the true cause of mad cow and related diseases of the brain including learning disabilities, violence and ADD.
10. Soy’s protease inhibitors impair protein digestion. Protease is the enzyme that breaks down protein.
11. Soy is not a complete protein. It is missing four essential amino acids — amino acids the body must get from food. Combining it with grains does not improve it’s profile much. Your body will not wait around to for you to get the missing aminos from other foods at a subsequent meal. Therefore, the aminos in soy are essentially useless. Traditionally, Asians always consumed soy foods with animal foods such as fish or pork to help round out the protein content.
12. Soy is listed on the FDA’s poisonous plant database where it has confirmed over 250 known side effects.
13. Soy is one of the top seven allergens. It is steadily climbing to the #1 position.
If there are some benefits to soy, they would be revealed by consuming it similar to the traditional Asian way — about two teaspoons per day or less and fermented. In fact, after World War II small amounts of miso were given to Hiroshima victims to reduce the incidence of stomach cancer.
Japan and China are increasing their rates of soy consumption thanks to a US campaign led by soy producers to “reconnect Asians with their traditional diet.” Despite consuming soy in its fermented forms, the increases are resulting in the many problems listed above.
Read labels on soy milk and other products very carefully. Soy parades under many names: genistein, textured vegetable protein (TVP), vegetable oil, protein isolate, vitamin E, and lecithin. It also shows up in some of the least expected places: gravies and sauces, milk, meat (fresh and processed), supplements, medications, breads, mayonnaise and farm-raised fish. But no matter where it shows up, its effects are still the same.
The governments of New Zealand and Israel require a type of “Surgeon General’s” warnings on many soy-containing products, but especially infant formula. We would all do well to completely avoid these once-considered inedible forms of this highly toxic legume to protect our fertility and our babies’ health.
So what do you think? Is soy milk bad for you?
*Hypospadias is a condition in which a boy is born with the opening of the urethra towards the underside of the penis.
About Adrienne Hew
Adrienne Hew is a Certified Nutritionist and the Nutrition Heretic Podcast Host, but is best known online as an author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.