7 Reasons To Avoid Soy Like The Plague

7 Reasons To Avoid Soy Like The Plague post image

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 sprayed 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

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Leave a Comment

  • Stefanie August 2, 2013, 3:07 pm

    Thanks for the post! My daughter (3.5 yo) is allergic to dairy and tree nuts. I’m concerned about the amount of soy that she consumes, but what do I give her instead that will provide her with the calcium and vitamins she needs? Ugh.

    • Jill August 2, 2013, 4:25 pm

      Make sure she gets cod liver oil every day and switch to coconut products. If she can have butter that would be great — or ghee.

  • Keith June 19, 2014, 1:37 am

    My wife and I were vegetarian for 21 years. She started getting migrane headaches so bad. I had headaches and sever neck pain for years. Oh and thyroid problems.
    Short story and a lot of money later SOY. We are so sensitive now and its in everthing. Even apple juice maked 100% apple juice. Anything marked natural flavors,or guargum is soy. Some olive oils are cut with soy and they are not requiered by law to list it. May have to go Amish just afraid of being shunned for bathing everyday.

  • lara July 17, 2014, 6:33 am

    may I ask you if you believe properly fermented soy sauce is ok

    • Jill July 17, 2014, 10:22 am

      Yes it is OK as long as you have no allergies to soy.

  • Umiko August 8, 2014, 6:25 pm

    Being from Japan this may be a cultural thing or genetic ethnic problem. Soy is eaten every day and we live longer than the Westerners who shun soy. I am healthy, my mother is still very healthy and my relatives live a long time (90s+). It could be the way western companies grow the soy or the additives they use but soybeans, fermented and NOT fermented have been one the mainstay of my diet. We eat it every day, often several times a day with no problems. I have not seen the problems this article states so I think it is not accurate to blame the beans themselves. Blame the way food is grown in your community and the additives to the food. The beans themselves are healthy unless you have an allergy or genetic issue such as predisposition to estrogen sensitive illnesses.

    • Jill August 8, 2014, 8:42 pm

      It is my understanding that in Japan most soy is fermented and eaten in small quantities (as a condiment). This is considered healthy. But here, we eat soy products that have not properly prepared the beans by a long fermentation. That is the main problem – aside from the fact that 90% of the soy crop here in the US is now genetically modified so you are starting with something that already is a huge question mark in terms of what it will do to the digestive system.

  • Carrie August 9, 2014, 1:31 am

    Love this post, but please fix the spelling/grammatical errors. Thank you.

  • Sarisa De La Cruz August 9, 2014, 12:58 pm

    What about edamame in his pure forme? I sometimes put it on my salats. I just boil it for a few min and put some sea salt. Is this ok to eat?

  • Judy September 16, 2014, 8:11 am

    do you know of a vitamin D supplement that does not contain soy

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  • kathy aleman November 15, 2014, 2:00 pm

    This is a very off article on all soy proteins..I will post a rebuttal to all seven concerns.

  • Brooke February 22, 2015, 4:58 pm

    I’m so glad I found this post! Soy is a huge migraine trigger for me. Eating out is very difficult, as are parties and catered events. I’m fine as long as I eat my home-prepared foods, but a little soy-oil mayonnaise (most mayonnaise) at a party and I can go into a three-day migraine jag. I feel less alone after reading these comments.

    • Jill February 22, 2015, 5:26 pm

      Hi Brooke,
      You are certainly not alone. Soy is highly allergenic for a lot of people. It is hard to manage, but home cooked meals are the best way to avoid it.

  • Louise Amor May 28, 2015, 5:35 am

    I have just started taking Lunarich, which has been documented as helping people with ALS, or motor neurone disease. I have a form of this. the product is soy-derived. Any comments please?

  • Asya August 9, 2015, 5:52 pm

    Hi, it’s also important to mention that soybeans are not actually beans! This has even been clarified by the UN. But chick “peas” are (incredibly healthy) beans. Weird naming.