7 Reasons To Avoid Soy Like The Plague


In my last post I discussed the controversy about soy and the conflicting information being fed to the public. I was duly roped in in the 1990′s, but thankfully have become better informed due to the information and science presented by the Weston Price Foundation.

Here are the 7 reasons to avoid soy products like the plague:

1 - Soybeans contain potent enzyme inhibitors which block trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion. Constant consumption of soy products can result in gastric distress, deficiencies in amino acids and inpaired protein digestion.

2 - Soybeans are high in phytic acid or phytates. This organic acid is present in the bran or hulls of all seeds (so this includes all grains and nuts) and blocks the uptake of critical minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc. Phytates have been studied extensively and findings show that phytates contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries. Analysis shows that calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are present in the plant foods eaten in these areas, but the high phytate content of soy and rice based diets prevents their absorption.

Soybeans have the highest phytate content of all the grains and legumes and is resistant to phytate reducing techniques such as slow cooking or long soaking. Only a long fermentation will accomplish that, hence, fermented foods like tempeh and natto are very digestible.  Tofu or bean curd is not fermented and neither are any of the fake soy products in the marketplace, including soymilk.

Since the Sad American Diet is full of soy and grains that are not properly prepared and therefore have little available nutrition, we have many people that are over weight but starving for nutrients. This is obvious in the sky rocketing rate of obesity in America today.

3 - Soy products are highly processed under conditions of high pressure and high heat. This denatures the protein structure and make it much harder to digest. In fact, it is transformed so much that many people have immunologic reactions to it. Soy is highly allergenic.

Additionally, in order to make a product such as soy milk, the beans are soaked in an alkaline bath which produces a carcinogen called lysinealine. The alkaline bath also reduces the amino acid cysteine, which makes in an incomplete protein.

Another highly processed aspect of soy is the use of soy protein isolate in many soy products, including baby formula. Soy protein isolate has many steps in it’s processing, the end result of which is a denatured protein that is stripped of all the carbohydrate and fat, soaked and prayed with chemicals (traces of which may remain in the powder) and that has compromised vitamin and protein quality. Yet, even after all the processing, the tyrpsin inhibitors are still present making digestion even more difficult.

4 - Soy has been shown to irritate the digestive tract. There are many compounds in soy that have been shown to be very irritating to the mucus membranes of the digestive tract.

Oxalates can be irritating and when they precipitate out, may cause painful kidney stones.

Lectins are also present in soy and may cause clumping of the red blood cells, which is bad in and of itself, but may also cause immunologic reactions.

5 - Soy contains phytochemicals called isoflavones, including genistein and daidzein. These are said to be adaptogens — that is, they can block estrogen levels that are too high and so protect against diseases such as cancer, and they can raise low hormone (estrogen) levels to protect against menopausal symptoms in women.

But, by affecting hormone levels, isoflavones can also potentially promote hormone sensitive cancers in certain people. The studies are conflicting and it is possible that they affect individuals differently.

These phytochemicals are also important to the issue of baby formula. The Weston Price Foundation is adamantly opposed to the use of soy baby formulas as they can cause hormone disruption in the tiny infant. Israel has banned the use of soy infant formula. That tells you something.

6 - Soy is a goitrogen and may negatively affect the thyroid gland.

7 - Maybe this should be #1: 90% of the soy in commercial food is genetically modified unless it is organic. Soy products are found in most commercially prepared foods, from soybean oil, found in most salad dressings to soy flour, found in many commercial baked goods like breads and muffins.

What foods have you given up because of the soy component? Leave a comment and let me know!


The Ploy of Soy


The Whole Soy Story, Kaayla Danial

Photo Credit: Brendan c

This post is linked to: Foodie Friday, Food Trip Friday, Pennywise Platter, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Favorites, Friday Food, Fresh Food Friday, Sugar-Free Sunday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Mangia Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Meatless Monday, Delectable Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday Tasty Tidbits, Tasty Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, What’s on the Menu Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Foodie Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Creative Juice Thursday, Turning the Table Thursday,

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  • http://www.aroundmyfamilytable.com Wendy

    I knew there was a reason I didn’t like soy! Thanks for the great post!

    Around My Family Table

  • http://www.specialdietcreations.com Nicole

    I was a vegetarian for more than 15 years and ate soy in every form imaginable. I blame it, at least in part, for the horrific digestive issues I developed, which took years to heal and correct. Also, for the violent migraines I suffered from constantly — which vanished completely after I got off soy.

    Now I’m a primal eater who avoids soy at all costs. Thanks for the great post educating others on why to do the same!

  • http://realfoodforager.com Jill

    Hi Nicole Thanks for sharing! So many people have suffered from eating soy!

  • http://hcgresults.org Marla Vermillion

    What about soy lecithin? What is that exactly?

  • steve

    I got on the soy bandwagon in the 70s but rarely eat it anymore because of all the problems it causes me. In fact I doubt if I will ever eat it again.

  • http://catsandcasseroles.blogspot.com Abby

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • http://mykidsmychoice.com Rita

    I am printing this article and posting it in my store. Thanks, Jill~

  • http://mykidsmychoice.com Rita

    Could you do a piece on all the soy derivatives??

  • B Riggs

    I never ate “soyburgers” etc. because they had the smell of the food we fed cattle on our farm when I was a child. Now I am looking out for foods with soy in the ingredients and not buying them.

  • Dianne

    I have been avoiding soy for the last 10 years. I was told by several breast surgeons to avoid soy because of the possibility of the increased risk of breast cancer related to soy consumption.

  • http://thecrunchycoach.com/blog/healthy-diet Emily

    Soy candles: great. Anything soy to eat: not. Can’t agree with you more.

  • Adam

    I have had a severe allergy to peanuts and soy (all legumes) since I was born. (32 years) Any consumption will cause me to go into anaphylaxis shock. I carry an epi-pen to save my life. How frustrated I have become at the increase of soy in ALL processed food. I dont think there are many “boxed or packaged” foods that do not contain the warning Contains soy or May contain soy or Processed on equipment with soy….peanuts, etc….Soy protein is in so many things! Soy flour also! There are very very very few breads that do not contain soy or soy flour or the warning. Bread! (i try to bake my own) I can no longer eat candy bars and have never been able to eat “protein or energy” bars. Tuna anyone? not so fast. There is 1 can on the entire tuna shelf that is safe. (Textured vegetable protein is in all of them) Oh….and my scalp broke out when I realized soy protein is in many shampoos. What is going on??? My only safe haven is basic foods and things I make from scratch. Going out to eat is like playing russian roulette. Thank you for reading my vent. I am glad more people are learning the dangers of soy. Great article. Anyone out there with a similar allergy?

  • http://www.dyno-mom.blogspot.com Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    It is amazing to me how people just blindly accept that soy is healthy and choosing not to eat it is radically not. We avoid soy in all forms and work very hard to do so. You have to avoid it like the plague because soy consumption IS a plague!

  • http://realfoodforager.com Jill

    Thanks Rita!
    That is a good topic for a post — I will research it.

  • http://realfoodforager.com Jill

    HI Adam.
    Thanks for sharing. It must be very hard to be “on the alert” against soy every day. However, it forces you to cook most of your own food and that makes you so much healthier than most.

  • Dan

    This statement; “Maybe this should be #1: 90% of the soy in commercial food is genetically modified” is the topper for me here. Unless you are starving or spend more than 20% of your income on food then back off. GMO’s make is possible to feed billions of people. That’s billion, with a B. They make it possible to use less chemicals, to put important nutrients in the food of third world malnourished nations, and to keep our food from spoiling faster. Seriously, why are all these well fed rich people (rich compared to the world average) so bent on the destruction of a modern scientific miracle. As for Soy, just remember that diversity is the key to a good diet. Soy, milk, meat, fruits, veggies, water, water, water and the list goes on. Be glad you live where you have a choice and use it.

  • Joyce

    Dan, Please share the wonderful world-saving qualities of GMO crops with the thousands of farmers in India who have had their livelihoods decimated by them and have committed suicide.

    The better crop yields and less chemicals are pure propaganda and outright lies. Google Haiti refusing GMO to see why Haitian farmers don’t want Monsanto’s “gift” after their devastating earthquake.

    Do your homework on GMO and find out the truth about this “modern scientific miracle” instead of spouting the chemical companies’ marketing propaganda.

  • Dan

    I am not spouting any marketing propaganda. I do not work for a chemical company. I am reminding people that there is more than one way to feed the world and quite frankly, we need all of them. You talk of thousands in India who committed suicide because of GMO’s. How about the millions who would be dead if not for the GMO and the Green Revolution that allows farmers to feed people? Oh, sure I suppose we could get every Indian to grow their own garden. Let’s see, 1 billion people with a modest garden of 10′ x 10′…. hmm, my calculator does not seem to go that high. Oh well, may they can move to China with a larger population and even less land for agriculture. You assume I don’t know my topic? I know it from both sides of the fence and I know it from the propaganda that is Food Inc to the propaganda that is the Forestry Industry. Propaganda or marketing is everywhere but it takes an educated and open minded individual to see it all. I like this article because it does bring out good points but we must be reminded that there is no one right answer and as long as you and I are well fed we are not in a position to tell India, China, or anybody else with mouths to feed how to grow their food.

  • Israeli

    I totally agree with you that soy is problematic, and I try to avoid it as much as possible, but I just feel I need to correct some misinformation you have there.
    Israel, unfortunately, has not banned soy formula. Its still out there. There was a whole scandal because ONE soy based formula, Remedia, was found to be lacking in nutrients, to such an extent that some babies died from Remedia and others became very sick and/or disabled. Remedia was taken off the markets and parents sued the company who had to pay millions (or billions?) in damages.
    But just because Remedia is off the market doesn’t mean soy formula is in general. There are plenty of other brands of soy formula sold in Israel, some even given to babies in hospitals.
    Soy, unfortunately, is EVERYWHERE in Israel. They mix it with the ground meat to stretch it further, they stick it in every different type of food and label it as having “vegetarian protein”, etc… Even CHEESE is made with soy in it to stretch it further, as is the Hummus.

    Unfortunately, Israel is rather BEHIND in the soy game, not ahead of it.
    Oh well.
    One day.

  • http://shrinktofitblog.com Heather

    Hi there! I’m stopping by from FTLOB – I just wanted to say hello and that I am a new follower! Thanks for sharing this info – I am newly vegan and it’s very informative. I am still investigating soy products for myself. I do love me some tofu… I don’t seem to have any short term side effects from it – but it’s important to know that there may be some long term ones!

  • http://realfoodforager.com Jill

    Thanks you for the correction. I will look into this. So you live in Israel? As it is a Kosher nation, I would suspect soy is used a lot as a vegetarian protein.

  • http://www.kskspot.blogspot.com KSK

    It can also destroy marriages – I just posted about my tofu snafu… :)
    But this is very informative! Thank you!
    *Stopping by from FTLOB!

  • http://www.momsfrugal.blogspot.com Donna

    In trying to avoid it, I’ve been SHOCKED at how many places they hide it! EX. vegetable broth=soy broth

  • http://femmefrugality.blogspot.com femmefrugality

    Whoa! I never knew any of this! Seems like there should be a PSA about it…

  • http://RAINBOW-TheColoursofIndia Sanghamitra

    Very informative post! Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  • http://www.sillysimpleliving.com SillySimple

    well, I guess that means I should scratch tofu off my grocery list. Actually, I have been following the controversy surrounding soy it’s health benefits (or lack of health benefits) for a while now. My Mom is a cancer survivor and her doctors put her on a strict no soy diet (which is easier said than done, but she does it).

    Personally, I take a moderate approach to soy consumption. I love some edamame and tofu on occasion, but not every day– and I am attempting to purge processed foods from my diet so soy goes along with that.

    Here’s to praying that the research on this topic becomes more clear, and the health message becomes clearer along with it!

  • damaged justice

    Dan, there is more than enough real food to feed all the people in the world. The problem is distribution, not production.

  • Melissa Boersma

    Dan – Then, you must not have read all of the recent articles showing that GMO foods are slowly wrecking havoc on our soils and are not turning out to be as “great” as once thought. So-called “super weeds” are becoming an issue because they have developed resistance to the Round-up that is sprayed onto them when planted. Have you read anything (books/articles, etc) that teach about what exactly GMO foods are or how they are grown and manufactured? Essentially, the genetically modified corn seed is planted at the same time a squirt of herbicide, a squirt of pesticide and who knows what else is squirt into the hole. That is NOT “less chemicals” to me. There are a lot of studies done that show that GMO foods are a potential source of cancer as well as other issues – to me, that is not helping the Billions of people at all. What would help those people is to teach them how to use sustainable farming – farming that uses responsible means to plant, reduce weeds/chemicals, harvest and then be able to use that same land again next year.

    Also, there is proof that the yields of GM crops are decreasing. It is VERY dangerous to have crops off all similar “DNA” because if a pest or disease wipes out one, it will wipe all of them out.

    I would highly suggest you read up on the dangers of GMO and the benefits of sustainable farming. Just my 2 cents worth.

  • K

    Monsanto is the company that brought us Agent Orange—what makes you think that we can trust them now, since they blatantly betrayed our trust then, Dan? Like most trans-national corporations, Monsanto is not out to feed the hungry mouths of the world. It’s out to make a profit. As such, it will do anything to ensure its shareholders are earning money, at the expensive of farmers’ livelihoods and our collective health. I would suggest reading some literature by Jeffrey Smith, which would give you the science behind our opposition to GMOs, instead of blindly believing the disinformation peddled by Monsanto’s PR department.

  • http://articles.earthlingshandbook.org ‘Becca

    Here is another perspective on the science.

    My family eats non-GMO organic tofu about twice a month and edamame occasionally. We avoid soymilk, isolated soy protein, soybean oil, and packaged foods with soy additives because we believe the high level of processing damages the food; we also avoid the highly processed corn products that are in many foods.

  • http://wineladycooks.blogspot.com Winelady Cooks

    WOW this is very enlightening. I never realized how problematic soy could be. I’ll definitely be checking the packaged products when I’m shopping.

    Thanks so much for this information (I came via Turning the Table Thursday).

  • Maryanne

    I just found your blog today. Thanks for a great post. I’ve been avoiding soy for a few months now because I knew it was damaging to our health, but now I KNOW why I’m avoiding it! I know this is nuts, but I’ve been avoiding it ever since the FX show, “The League,” said that one of the male characters was growing breasts because of all the soy he was eating. =) I briefly looked it up online, and I stopped eating it. I was only eating it rarely in the form of soy sauce or tamari, but I’ll stop that too. Scary stuff. I’ve been on a primal diet for several months now and I’m enjoying feeling better than I have in a long time.

    I wonder if Bragg’s Liquid Aminos tastes the same and is soy-free? I’ll have to look into it.

    By the way, what do you mean, goitrogenic? Does this mean it promotes goiters in people with hypOthyroidism? If so, I wonder what it does to people with hyPERthyroidism, like me.

  • http://imnotatrophywife.com [email protected]

    could not agree with you more. I am always surprised at how many women have a soy based diet. I have read bits and pieces about soy in the last five years. thanks,

  • http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/ Miz Helen

    Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  • http://utry.it Amy

    Wow, this is new to me and I’m glad I stopped by. I drink soy milk once in a while and cook with tofu. So, for myself and my family’s health, sounds like I should avoid both products? I’m going to research a bit more on this subject. Thanks for sharing.

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