How To Avoid a Big "But"

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How To Avoid a Big "But"

02nd Aug 2014

Some “food for thought” on soy

What? Soy?? I thought I was getting some information on decreasing the size of my back side? No, I am not talking about weight loss here, I am talking about one big “but” The big “but” I refer to is the “but” that comes out of people’s mouths when you offer some information on food processing. It normally goes like “but, but it’s can’t be bad if the government says it’s okay” Well, like I always say, look at the health of the nation and as the key question “why would people be making themselves fat and ill?”

One of the key contributing to the health of the UK and other nations is the “advancements” in food processing. There was of course a time when all women could do was breast feed. There was a time when all we could eat was what we could get. That’s not the case anymore. We have been brain washed into believing that food made in factories is better than food found in nature like animal fats (this is a nutrition discussion not a moral one)

On that basis, let’s start with a question I had at bootcamp the other morning about soy.

Did you notice it?

Go have a lot in your cupboards. If you have a number of processed foods in there, look at the labels. You may find that “soy” is mentioned or “vegetable oil” Now then, the important to note is that vegetable oil is not really vegetables like dark greens. It is more than likely corn oil or soy ben oil. Soy beans are a cheap mass produced “food” that are used in a lot of food like products including baby formula. If you learn nothing else from reading this, then this is the most important point. The food industry is trying to make profit and the best way to do this is to increase shelf life of their products and make them as cheap as they can.

Is Soy bad for us?

In short, the answer is “maybe” This is the key word when it comes to making nutritional choices. The question I always ask is this “is it worth the risk?” So if I present some evidence that may suggest that these foods may not be that great, you can then make a choice about you eat or not, fair enough?

All I always ask is to park the morality and disbelief. Just because we don’t believe something doesn’t make untrue.

Some Technical Points To Consider

You have something called your “endocrine system” which is basically your hormones. This is finely balanced and is responsible for everything from weight gain to mood. In simple terms, you don’t want to mess with this that much. This is where processed soy comes in. Soy contains Phytoestrogens which “can” act as an endocrine disruptor in mammals (humans) There are counter studies that say phytoestrogens have some beneficial effects on health but these are “indirect” and “inconsistent” There is some supporting evidence that lifetime exposure to these substances can cause tumour development (cancer) and reproductive defects.

Reference Soy as an endocrine disruptor: cause for caution?

Key Point Soy is non essential for human consumption. We don’t need to eat soy to survive. We certainly don’t need processed soy like I mentioned above. Again, before we get all moral, based on this, is it worth the risk?

Is ALL Soy Bad?

No it’s not! If we look at the diet of the far east, there is a lot of soy consumed. The difference is that soy consumed in the Far East is mostly “fermented” soy. The bad news is that most commercially available soy is non fermented.

Examples of fermented soy

  • Miso
  • Natto.
  • Tempeh .
  • Soy sauces .
  • Fermented soy milk and tofu .

Other Considerations

One thing to look out for when purchasing any products that contain soy or not is whether they are “GMO” or “Non GMO” See, 93% of the World’s soy bean crops are genetically modified. Make sure you get “non GMO” soy as well (which rules out most commercially available soy products) GMO soy has been linked to allergies and hormone disruption.

Soy Allergies

It is also known that some people have allergies to soy. If for example, you have a child that suffers from diarrhoea or vomiting after taking a vegetable oil based infant formula it may be a soy allergy.

See here for more on baby formula Omega 6 Vegetable Oil & Baby Formula

Conclusion & Learning Points

The key point to remember here is that processed food of any kind can never be that good. I haven’t presented any hard “truths” here just a different perspective. All I will say is this, no one ever got really ill from eating a real whole food diet. Go check your cupboards!