There are many Americans who are worried about their health and that’s why they are trying to implement some changes in their diet. This is the reason why some of them have replaced meat and eggs with tofu.
There is no doubt that the soy industry supports this change and they do everything they can to make this change look like a good move, but the truth is that tofu and other processed soy products are not healthy.
You will actually feel better if you stick to organic eggs, raw dairy products and meat that comes from animals that are fed naturally. According to many experts, the soybean products consumed in Asia can be very helpful, but the ones consumed in the Western countries (processed soy products) are not healthy because the processing procedure keeps anti-nutrients in the products and there is evidence that the procedure itself leaves carcinogenic and other dangerous residues too.
Health Problems Associated To Soy
There are reports of many different health issues related to soy-rich diet and some of them include:
- Thyroid problems like weight gain and hair loss.
- Early puberty.
- Brain damage.
What is even worse, the latest studies have confirmed that processed soy doesn’t lower cholesterol which is one of the reasons why people turn to this product.
Another thing that is good to point out is the fact that babies and children can feel the hormone-mimicking effects of soy in a more intensive way.
That’s why experts recommend avoiding tofu even when women are pregnant.
Now Let’s Check Some Other Facts About Soybeans
- They are rich in natural toxins. These anti-nutrients found in soybeans include a large amount of inhibitors that compromise the work of the enzymes necessary for proper protein processing. Even cooking cannot completely remove their negative effects. After a longer period of use people can expect gastric distress and lack of amino acid uptake which leads to pancreatic problems and cancer.
- They contain goitrogens. This means that they affect the thyroid function in a negative way.
- They contain hemagglutinins. These compounds lead to clustering of red blood cells.
- They are rich in phytates. Phytates prevent proper absorption of minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium and without proper absorption the body won’t work properly.
- They are genetically modified. At least 80% of soybean products are genetically modified and they come with one of the highest percentages of contamination by pesticides.
You Can Still Eat Soy in a Safe Way
There are actually several types of soy that are completely healthy and they are all fermented. Once the long fermentation process is finished, the level of anti-nutrients and phytic acid in soybeans becomes very low and their useful properties become available for our body.
This fermentation process also lowers the levels of potentially dangerous isoflavones, that have a structure similar to estrogen, and have the ability to disrupt the normal production of estrogen.
So, in case you like soy and you want to continue eating it without affecting your health in a negative way and actually feel some health benefits, you can stick to these healthy options:
- Tempeh – this fermented soybean cake has a solid texture and tastes like mushroom.
- Natto – these fermented soybeans have a sticky texture and those who like cheese will love them because they taste similar. Natto is packed with nattokinase, a strong blood thinner. It is also a good source of vitamin K2 and helpful bacteria.
- Miso – Miso is actually a type of soybean paste with buttery texture. It is often used in miso soup.
- Soy sauce – the traditional soy sauce is created by fermenting soybeans, enzymes and salt. Just make sure that you are using unprocessed soy sauce.
Keep in mind that all soy products that have been processed, like soy burgers, soy milk, soy energy bars, soy cheese, soy protein powders, soy ice cream and other similar products cannot be considered as healthy foods.
If you want to keep yourself protected from their damaging effects, you should stay away from processed foods in general because many of them have processed soy ingredients.
According to many famous nutritionists, the easiest and simplest way to keep yourself protected is to use whole foods and prepare these foods on your own. In case you don’t have time to prepare food on a daily basis and you want to use packaged and ready made foods, check the label and find out whether they contain soy.
Remember that many food manufacturers use some other “hidden” names for these ingredients (natural flavor, bouillon, textured plant protein etc.), so try to learn more about these terms too.
Stick to unprocessed, fresh and fermented foods and avoid processed foods. This rule should be practiced in the case of soy products too.