Myth: “Soy products are a health food (especially for women).”
Not only are the refined soy products everywhere in our food supply not a health food, they’re actually wrecking our endocrine health.
As more and more data has emerged in recent years about the dangers of eating a diet rich in animal products, soy product offerings have exploded at health food and other grocery stores as an alternative “wonder food.” They include soy protein powders and bars and meat replacements (hot dogs, burger patties, and more).
But soy products are now in virtually every bread, cereal, boxed, canned, or processed food in the modern world.
America’s soybean growers have hit the motherlode and now sell waste products of the soybean as “soy isolate protein powder”: this food is refined, processed, and separated from the whole food. Even the whole food is problematic, because the isolates are so ubiquitous that adding any more to the diet seems unwise unless you have completely opted out of all boxed, canned, prepackaged foods.
We have been told the Japanese have lower rates of breast, uterus, and prostate cancer, and that is attributed to high soy consumption. Unfortunately, Japanese people (and Asians) have higher rates of esophageal, pancreatic, liver, and stomach cancers. Soy causes these cancers in lab animals. Also, the Japanese tend to eat fermented whole-soy products such as miso, tempeh, and tofu—not refined products made from soy oil and isolated proteins.
The isoflavones in soy cause toxicity in estrogen-sensitive tissues and depress thyroid function, causing decreased metabolism as well as other thyroid diseases. Soy products now in virtually everything at the grocery store (breads, spaghetti sauce, cookies, even canned tuna) contribute to the epidemic of both diagnosed—and an estimated 10 million undiagnosed—thyroid problems. Most thyroid problems are in women over 40, and soy’s thyroid-depressing effects are likely contributing to the rise in obesity.
Soy lowers testosterone levels in men and causes malnutrition, especially in babies and children drinking soy milk or soy formula. Dozens of studies show that soy causes reproductive problems, immune problems, and cognitive decline. Doctors and researchers including Andrew Weil, Mary Enig, Kaayla T. Daniel, FDA advisors, and many others caution against soy consumption.
Furthermore, over 85 percent of soy grown in the U.S. is now genetically modified. We do not yet know the full extent of the consequences of these actions by American growers, but after frightening studies in Europe and other places showing that hundreds of negative effects ripple through the ecosystem when even one gene is changed in one species, many other first-world countries have banned GMO’s. The U.S. government continues to turn a blind eye. But there is a movement to label non-GMO foods. I highly encourage my readers to buy only foods with the non-GMO label (which also indicates that the food is organic).
There is strong preliminary evidence that eating GMO foods such as corn and wheat are very destructive to the human gastrointestinal tract and may lead to degenerative gut disorders affecting so many Americans, including celiac, Crohn’s, IBS, gluten intolerance, and more.
Fact: Soy is not a good alternative to meat and should be avoided because it promotes disease. Of particular concern are soy formulas for babies, soy protein powders and bars, soy-based hormone creams for women, and anything that features “soy isolate protein powder” or other non-fermented, refined products. The danger of soy product is coming to light, but many operate under the assumption that it is a nutritious food, especially for protein.