Tuesday eats: why i don’t drink soy milk

I used to drink the stuff a bit. I got sucked in by the health messages.

don't get sucked in by the soy myth!!

Then I got told it’s a no-go for anyone with thyroid issues.

Then I learned it’s really a no-go for everyone. I know soooo many of you drink it in your coffee or tea.. Perhaps you’d like to reconsider that (and turn to FULL-FAT milk…more on this later):

Why do we think it’s healthy, then?

We’ve kind of been conned, to be honest.The story is this: in the olden days, tropical oils, like palm and coconut, were the basis of American food production. Problem was,  they’re not grown in the US …cos they’re tropical. So a campaign was launched to demonize the these oils and push soy (and corn) as the healthy alternative. We, in Australia, then adopted these health messages blindly and I”m guessing the soy farmers here ran with the bandwagon.

Why is it so crappy?

Most soy grown is genetically modified (GM) soy. DrMercola explains on his site:

The GM variety planted in 91 percent of US soy acres is Roundup Ready—engineered to survive being doused with otherwise lethal amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Monsanto produces both the Roundup Ready soy seeds and the herbicide Roundup.The logic — if you can call it that after all factors are considered — behind GM crops such as soy is that you can decrease the cost of production by killing off everything except the actual soy plant.

So these toxins cause all kinds of problems, including fertility issues…this has been proven many times over.

What about the organic stuff?

Still super crappy for you. Soy contains the following bits and pieces, which are not going to make you happy:

  • Goitrogens block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism. Soy milk is a significant contributor to thyroid dysfunction or hypothyroidism in women.
  • Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen, which is why some recommend using soy therapeutically to treat symptoms of menopause. But, says, Dr Mercola:
    Typically, most of us are exposed to too much estrogen compounds and have a lower testosterone level than ideal, so it really is important to limit exposure to feminizing phytoestrogens. Even more importantly, there’s evidence it may disturb endocrine function, cause infertility, and promote breast cancer, which is definitely a significant concern.Drinking two glasses of soy milk daily for just one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy.
  • Phytic acid prevent the absorption of  calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Bad news for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates.I’ve mentioned phytic acid before, in regards to brown rice. Soaking brown rice (and beans) gets rid of the phytic issue… not so with soy. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans.
  • Anti-nutrients” which interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein.

All of which is pretty CRAPPY!!!

Is any of it healthy?!!

Yeah, ONLY when it’s fermented – so miso and tempeh are the go (but not tofu, which isn’t fermented!!). When soy is fermented it’s an excellent sources of health-promoting natural probiotics. The fermentation process also breaks down the goitrogens, isoflavones and the phytic acid. Phew.

NOT that I’m here to tell you what to do, but the above made me shift my ways. And every nutritionist I know is against it.  Every now and then I’ll have a bit of tofu, but it’s not something I turn to. To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of it anyway.

Want to know more….read The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food

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