I’ve often been the first person people hear about the negative attributes of soy from. They are shocked to know that is messes with both male and female hormones. Soy is often touted as a superfood or healthy alternative, but it’s not. This article says it best. Reposted:
Soy Milk is one of my pet peeves. Every time I am standing in line for a coffee I cringe when I hear the words ‘Soy latte please’. The reason this is so frustrating to hear, is that the customer is trying to make a positive choice with their health. However, we’ve been misinformed about soy and unfortunately you are better of having full fat whole milkin your latte.
For some unknown reason soy gained a lot of traction as a super health food over the past decade. My feelings are that this was mainly due to vegans and vegetarians discovering a complete (contains all the essential amino acids) source of protein, something extremely rare among plant foods. Unfortunately, the positives end right there. Soy is one of the most genetically modified crops, where in the USA over 90% of the soy crop is GMO. It is true that here in the UK are laws surrounding GMOs are more stringent, but the sorry state of affairs in the USA still affects as we import their products. The soybeans are also subject to high levels of herbicides, such as Glyphosate, which has been linked to adverse side effects such as reduced sperm count, early death and respiratory problems. Let’s dive further to see how soy is wreaking havoc in our bodies.
THE 4 DISASTERS OF SOY
- Promotes estrogen-sensitive cancers
Soy contains a high amount of isoflavones, which basically mimic the role of estrogen by activating the estrogen receptors in the body. Males usually want to try keep estrogen as low as possible, but even for females too much can create mayhem in the cells. This is why it is not surprising that animal studies have shown soy isoflavones to cause breast cancer.
- Disrupts male reproductive health
Similarly, as above, soy acts an endocrine disruptor to males. In one study carried out on 99 males, those that had eaten the most soy in the previous three months ended up with the lowest sperm count. As with most studies, this doesn’t prove causality, but the association is an interesting one to note. So if you’re a guy who doesn’t wants to get their girlfriend pregnant, step away from the soy milk.
- Places stress on the digestive system
Interestingly, when soy is touted as a complete protein many leave out the fact that it is actually very hard for our bodies to digest, due to it containing phytic acid. Phytic acid makes mineral absorption almost impossible. Similarly, oxalic acid presence in soy beans causes it to bind to magnesium and calcium, making absorption a no go. This means you could be eating all the superfoods in the world and not be getting any of the benefits!
- Interferes with the function of the thyroid
The main culprit here is isoflavones, again (can you see we don’t like isoflavones?!). This time they inhibit the enzyme thyroid peroxidase, which is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. A Japanese study showed consuming 30 grams a day (about 3 cups of soy milk) for three months raised TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels, which then fell after soybeans were removed from their diets. They also experienced symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as thyroid enlargement, constipation and tiredness.
WHAT SHOULD YOU PUT IN YOUR LATTE?
Firstly, ask yourself why are you putting soy milk in your latte? Is it because you are vegan? Is it because you are lactose intolerant? Is it because you think it is healthy? Hopefully I disproved the last, but for the rest here are some possibilities:
- Whole fat milk from organic grass-fed cows. Fats have unnecessarily been given a bad name, as I explained in this article. (Elle: Butter is even better!)
- If you are lactose intolerant, try organic goat’s milk. I finally got my sister off soy milk and she then asked if I wanted to try the goat’s milk she had replaced it with. It really didn’t taste any different to cow’s milk!
- If you are a vegan and you are crying out for a substitute, then unsweetened organic almond milk is probably your best bet. Just watch out for some of the brands in the supermarkets as they contain lots of added sugar so look at the label wisely to pick a sugar free brand!