Some time ago, Sally Fallon and Mary Enig wrote a piece about soy called “Tragedy and Hype” and depicted soy as the worst thing since Hitler. As a result, the controversy concerning soy never ends.
Those against soy say it will depress thyroid function, cause cancer, negatively affect sperm, and on and on and on. The other side says soy will lower cholesterol, reduce hearth disease, and decrease the risk of cancer.
Choosing sides can be hard, especially if you rely on who presents the strongest and most passionate case. What needs to be done is to logically present the pros and cons and then leave it up to individual choice.
We know that soybeans are complete proteins and calorie for calorie have twice as much protein as red meat and cheese and ten times more protein than whole milk. We know that soybeans are a good source of omega-3s and have more iron, calcium, phosphorous and B vitamins than eggs.
Entire civilizations have been eating soy for generations without any ill effects and those civilizations have had lower instances of cancer and heart disease. Most importantly though, most of the studies depicting soy’s negative effects have been conducted on animals and these basically are unreliable because relating the effects on animals to humans is like comparing apples to oranges. Some good cases in point would be that Thalidomide tested safe in animals but caused devastating birth defects in children, Phen-phen tested safe in animals but caused heart abnormalities in humans, and the arthritis drug Opren tested safe in animals but killed humans.
But there are adversities as well. None of those civilizations ate soy in the quantities that we eat now, nor in such highly processed forms.
Basically, they ate tofu, tempeh, miso and the soybeans themselves. Today, we eat soy “meats”, “cheeses”, “ice creams”, supplements, and soybean oil, which is prevalent in tons of processed foods.
Then there’s Monsanto giving us genetically modified soy to the tune of 90% of the total soy crap, uh, crop produced and paying off their buddies in the Fraud and Drug Administration to make sure that GM soy is not labeled.
Okay, so when we eat soy and we only eat organically grown soy, why is there such drama? Basically, it’s all focused on the isoflavlones and the phytoestrogens, which are the chemical compounds found in soybeans and other plant foods as well. The safety of these has been questioned because the isoflavones and the phytoestrogens structurally resemble human estrogens.
But, in the studies conducted by those that are opposed to soy, they used an isolated, concentrated amount of soy isoflavones that are way more what a normal person would consume. And again, the studies showing negative effects were conducted on animals that metabolize soy differently than we do. For example, we love to eat chocolate. But, give it to a dog and it dies.
Also, when you take certain components of foods and isolate them and test them, they could prove to be harmful. However, if you eat them as part of the complete food, they are perfectly safe.
Previously we just started to get into the fact that many foods contain substances that could be harmful when consumed in isolation but perfectly fine when consumed as a whole food.
Mushrooms, broccoli, lentils, grapefruits, peanuts, spinach, chard, and celery are all examples of this. There are pesticides that occur naturally in grapefruit, lentils and broccoli that if you eat in isolation can cause mutations.
Peanuts contain cancer-causing aflatoxin. Spinach and chard contain an acid that can diminish calcium absorption and celery contains toxins that can damage the immune system.
But, when these foods are eaten whole, they are health promoting and the sum of their parts offer protection from the possible dangers from an isolated component.
So, when you start playing around with their chemistry you will discover “dangers”. Dose a mouse with a thousand milligrams of soy isolavones and it develops breast cancer cells.
Let’s talk about the accusation that soy negatively impacts thyroid function. This arose due to one study done in Japan over 15 years ago. Yet, the more recent studies done in the U.S. that did not support the Japan study failed to get as much blaring publicity.
What happened was that 17 people ate pickled, roasted soybeans every day for three months and half of them experienced a thyroid enlargement of hypothyroidism symptoms like fatigue or constipation.
So, does the fact that eight or nine people, some experiencing fatigue or constipation, prove that soy has a negative effect on thyroid function?
Maybe some of the soy negativity is nonsense. On the other hand, could it be that soy is a wonder bean that will reverse baldness, make your eyebrows thicker or give you a ripped “six pack”? Who cares?
The point is that tests could be conducted to produce a desired result. Does anyone in their right mind eat 10 servings of soy a day? No. Do people go out of their way to take soy supplements? Doubtful. Do most people see soy as a miracle food or drug? Hardly. But, do people eat soy products? Yes.
We know there is still much to be learned about soy, but the majority of research has shown it to safe and nutritious when consumed sensibly – maybe one or two servings daily. Do your own research if you feel compelled to. Just don’t give in to someone else’s’ research which could be biased. Remember, many anti-soy “medical” studies have been funded by the dairy and meat industries. Not long ago, the dairy industry petitioned the Fraud and Drug Administration to prevent the word “milk” from following the word “soy”. Soymilk anyone?
If you are basically a flesh eater and you decide to eat soy products, know one thing: it’s not going to taste like what you are used to eating. If you concentrate on getting rid of your flesh addiction and experiment with various soy products, it may take a few weeks or a month to figure out which products suit you. But, it is still a processed food and should be consumed in moderation. Why? Because the more processed, the less wholesome. You know you can be really healthy by not eating soy or flesh. It just takes a bit of common sense.
All you need for good health is a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fresh juices, smoothies and some super foods like chlorella and spirulina. Then add avocados, olive oil, coconut oil and flax and chia seeds and you’ll get your essential fatty acids. It’s not rocket science. It’s just using your intelligence and making informed choices.
To learn more about Hesh, listen to and read hundreds of health related radio shows and articles, and learn about how to stay healthy and reverse degenerative diseases through the use of organic sulfur crystals and other amazing superfoods, please visit www.healthtalkhawaii.com, or email me at [email protected] or call me at (808) 258-1177. Since going on the radio in 1981 these are the only products I began to sell because they work.
Oh yeah, going to www.asanediet.com will allow you to read various parts of my book – “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”, containing a wonderful comment by Mike Adams.