I am kind of a coffee snob. I try to only do organic coffee. I dislike weak coffee. Give it to me muddy, please. And please lord, do not give it to me in a styrofoam cup. Sometimes I like a little creamer to cut the “rock gut” but I don’t drink dairy so I lean towards places that offer alternative milks. Turns out I’m a snob about that too. You learn something new everyday :). I’m currently on my travels for work, and my choices at this moment are regular milk or soy. While I do appreciate the offer for something other than dairy, I do not say yes to soy milk and often wonder why places still offer it, given the wide array of non-dairy milks. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering its not up to coffee shops or other businesses to make healthful choices for us. Now this has me thinking: maybe most people don’t know. I know that just a little over 5 years ago, I didn’t know. And I myself grew up on all things soy. “Prosage Link” (soy sausage), “Wham” (soy ham….cool name, I know), soy chicken nuggets; soy loca en la cabesa. . . . My parents were first generation vegetarians for most of my childhood, what can I say? Though that was thought to be a healthy superfood at the time, and actually a lot of folks are still of the same mind, what we know now instantly makes our daily soy festival a thing of the past.
You might want to think twice about your vanilla soy latte or your soy chicken patty at your favorite vegan joint for these 4 reasons:
Soy is estrogenic. Phytoestrogens, found in soy, have the capability to mimic estrogen, causing levels to rise which can then lead to estrogen dominance, which can then lead to a whole slew of problems. For women, this can mean disruption of your cycle, your fertility, and may even raise your risk of breast cancer. For men, this monkey wrench in the balance of your testosterone to estrogen may mean fat specifically around the waist, low libido, loss of energy, and heres what I consider to be one of the worst parts for y’all: man boobs, also referred to as gynecomastia.
Soy is goitrogenic. Meaning, it enables your thyroid from properly using iodine, which can then lead to hypothyroidism, a thyroid that is working at a much slower speed, which then slows down metabolism. Symptoms of a hypothyroid include an inability to lose weight, constantly feeling cold, and hair loss.
Soy steals your highly needed minerals. Phytates, found in soy block mineral absorption in the human digestive tract.
Soy is mostly genetically modified. Next to corn, soy is one of the most genetically modified foods (GMO) out there, with a whopping 94% being genetically modified. The problem with this is that we don’t completely know the harmful repercussions of consuming these franken-foods. We do know however, that modifying genes means modifying the blueprint that makes protein. As with most adverse food reactions, it is usually the protein that is causing it, i.e. gluten (the protein found in wheat), so we can only expect not-so-great outcomes. In fact, 19 european countries have recently put a ban on GMOs for various reasons and, though there have not been many long term studies, one study did find that rats that were fed GMO maize had severe liver and kidney damage, as well as hormonal disturbances. There is so much more I want to write regarding what GMOs do to our soil, and to farmers but I will save that for another post…..
So, when is soy okay? Soy is definitely not best when processed, but it can have some value in its organic, whole and/or fermented form. Meaning, miso, tempeh and natto can be okay in small amounts. There is even some debate about whether this is a healthful choice, and since I lean on the crazy, hormonal, not-sure-who-I-am-today side, I choose to avoid it.
If you’re someone who didn’t know about the dangers of soy before, and you’re still on the juice, don’t worry. It’s totally replaceable with much better options. Consider a nut, hemp, or coconut milk instead. It’ll be more nutritious for you, anyway. You can also use Coconut Aminos instead of soy sauce for sushi. If you’re vegan or vegetarian and your concern is protein, consider adding rice and beans (together) to your diet for a complete, vegan protein, instead of a silly soy patty of some sort.
Lastly, read the ingredients. Soy can be in foods and products that you least expect them to be in. Since the list is pretty long, I’m just going to leave this right here.
That’s the rumor on the streets, folks!