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The truth about soy--the whole truth--remained unknown to me for over a couple of years after I began drinking soy milk. As a bodybuilder, I always supplement my protein intake with protein shakes. I used to mix the powder in cow's milk.
After a while I noticed that I got bloated and experienced stomach cramping. At first I thought that broccoli was causing it. I removed broccoli from my diet, but still experienced the bloating and cramping.
I next removed milk from my diet. Once I did that, I didn't experience any more stomach discomforts. It was then that I substituted soy milk for the cow's milk. I had heard nothing through the advertising media but the health benefits of soy, especially the milk. The media cleverly hides the truth about soy.
"Vegetarians and health enthusiasts have known for years that foods rich in soy protein offer a good alternative to meat, poultry, and other animal-based products. As consumers have pursued healthier lifestyles in recent years, consumption of soy foods has raised steadily, bolstered by scientific studies showing health benefits from these products. Last October, the Food and Drug Administration gave food manufacturers permission to put labels on products high in soy protein indicating that these foods may help lower heart disease risk..."
Soy and its derivatives such as soy lecithin, soy sauce, soy protein isolate, soybean oil, etc. are in or a part of hundreds of food products. Vegetarian foods such as veggie burgers are practically staples. Until I discovered the truth about soy, I regularly ate veggie burgers.
Large scale cultivation of the soybean didn't begin in the United States until after World War II. Production quickly rose to 140 billion pounds of soybeans per year. Now the United States produces more than 50 percent of the world's soybeans.
Historically, soybeans have been eaten for thousands of years. They originated in the Orient. However, the soybean was not used for food until a method of fermentation was discovered. This happened during the Chou dynasty (1134 - 246 B.C.) The first soy products were tempeh, natto, miso, and soy sauce.
The soybean inherently contains toxic and otherwise harmful substances. Enzyme inhibitors interfere with the digestion of protein and can result in pancreatic disorders, and even cancer. Cooking is not sufficient enough to disable these inhibitors. This is the truth about soy that soybean growers and processors don't want you to know.
Soybeans contain hemaglutinin. This substance causes red blood cells to lump together. Hemaglutinin and the enzyme inhibitors have been called growth depressant substances.
The soybean is also high in phytic acid or phytates. Phytic acid is an organic acid naturally found in the bran or hull of all seeds. Phytates block the assimilation of the minerals calcium, copper, zinc, and iron. Soybeans have a higher phytate content than any other grain or legume that has been studied. Not even a long and slow cooking process will reduce this content. Only fermentation can accomplish that.
Because of the high phytic acid content of soybeans, they should not be used as a meat substitute. That will result in severe mineral deficiencies. Unfortunately this is not widely known because the truth about soy is concealed.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reveals that commercially processed soy products, especially textured soy protein have very high oxalate levels. Oxalate will bind with calcium in the kidneys increasing the risk for kidney stone development.
The production of soy milk is interesting. The beans are first soaked in an alkaline solution to remove as much of the enzyme inhibitors as possible. The phytic acid content remains though. However, the alkaline soaking produces a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) called lysinealine.
Another health-destroying aspect of the creation of soy products from the soybean is that monosodium glutamate is formed during processing.
Unless the soybean has been fermented, all soy products should be avoided. Only the process of fermentation can nullify all the health-destroying aspects of the soybean. It should also be noted that even in countries where soy products are native, they are not eaten in the quantities that Americans eat them.
As I mentioned earlier, soy products and derivatives are included in many food products. You will have to scrutinize food labels very carefully to weed them out. Don't buy soy sauce or any soy protein powders. Avoid soybean oil in snack foods.
Unfortunately textured vegetable protein or textured soy protein is a meat substitute. It is given to children in school lunch programs. Left on the ground, animals will not touch it. Animals have excellent instincts when it comes to food. Anything that they avoid, we, too, should avoid. More...
Soy Myths Exposed
Myth: Use of soy as a food dates back many thousands of years.
Truth: Soy was first used as a food during the late Chou dynasty (1134-246 BC), only after the Chinese learned to ferment soybeans to make foods like tempeh, natto and tamari.
Myth: Asians consume large amounts of soy foods.
Truth: Average consumption of soy foods in Japan and China is 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) per day. Asians consume soy foods in small amounts as a condiment, and not as a replacement for animal foods.
Myth: Modern soy foods confer the same health benefits as traditionally fermented soy foods.
Truth: Most modern soy foods are not fermented to neutralize toxins in soybeans, and are processed in a way that denatures proteins and increases levels of carcinogens.
Myth: Soy foods provide complete protein.
Truth: Like all legumes, soybeans are deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine. In addition, modern processing denatures fragile lysine.
Myth: Fermented soy foods can provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets.
Truth: The compound that resembles vitamin B12 in soy cannot be used by the human body: in fact, soy foods cause the body to require more B12.
Myth: Soy formula is safe for infants.
Truth: Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders. Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D, needed for strong bones and normal growth.
Phytic acid in soy foods results in reduced bioavailabilty of iron and zinc, which are required for the health and development of the brain and nervous system. Soy also lacks cholesterol, likewise essential for the development of the brain and nervous system.
Megadoses of phytoestrogens in soy formula have been implicated in the current trend toward increasingly premature sexual development in girls and delayed or retarded sexual development in boys.
Myth: Soy foods can prevent osteoporosis.
Truth: Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, both needed for healthy bones. Calcium from bone broths and vitamin D from seafood, lard and organ meats prevent osteoporosis in Asian countriesnot soy foods.
Myth: Modern soy foods protect against many types of cancer.
Truth: A British government report concluded that there is little evidence that soy foods protect against breast cancer or any other forms of cancer. In fact, soy foods may result in an increased risk of cancer.
Myth: Soy foods protect against heart disease.
Truth: In some people, consumption of soy foods will lower cholesterol, but there is no evidence that lowering cholesterol with soy protein improves one's risk of having heart disease.
Myth: Soy estrogens (isoflavones) are good for you.
Truth: Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. At dietary levels, they can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Eating as little as 30 grams (about 4 tablespoons) of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain and fatigue.
Myth: Soy foods are safe and beneficial for women to use in their postmenopausal years.
Truth: Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems. Low thyroid function is associated with difficulties in menopause.
Myth: Phytoestrogens in soy foods can enhance mental ability.
Truth: A recent study found that women with the highest levels of estrogen in their blood had the lowest levels of cognitive function; In Japanese Americans tofu consumption in mid-life is associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease in later life.
Myth: Soy isoflavones and soy protein isolate have GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status.
Truth: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently withdrew its application to the FDA for GRAS status for soy isoflavones following an outpouring of protest from the scientific community. The FDA never approved GRAS status for soy protein isolate because of concern regarding the presence of toxins and carcinogens in processed soy.
Myth: Soy foods are good for your sex life.
Truth: Numerous animal studies show that soy foods cause infertility in animals. Soy consumption enhances hair growth in middle-aged men, indicating lowered testosterone levels.
Myth: Soybeans are good for the environment.
Truth: Most soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered to allow farmers to use large amounts of herbicides.
Myth: Soybeans are good for developing nations.
Truth: In third-world countries, soybeans replace traditional crops and transfer the value-added of processing from the local population to multinational corporations.
Source: Weston A. Price Foundation; www.westonaprice.org.