Health Vitamins & Nutrition Centre, Langley BC
Myths and Truths about Soy
  • November 14th, 2011
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  • Briony Martens B.Sc ROHP
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Myths and Truths about Soy

During the Chou Dynasty (1134-246 BC) the soybean was first designated as a sacred grain along with barley, wheat, millet and rice. Buddhists learned how to ferment soy to enhance its nutritional value so it was suitable for consumption. Soy has, since the 1970`s, been rotated with corn on the fields, the production of both these crops has increased dramatically in the last twenty years driving down the cost with the vast majority being genetically modified. A very small percentage of the product is actually made nutritious for humans, most of it is processed into livestock feed and by products which end up in plastics, adhesives, paints, inks, solvents and processed foods. Soy beans contain what has come to be known as anti-nutrients, components that actually prevent the absorption and utilization of nutrients, and enzyme inhibitors that have shown to cause intestinal problems, and damage bodily functions at a cellular level.

Myths and Truths According to author Sally fallen, and Westin A. Price

Myth: Asians consume large amounts of soy
Truth: Asians on average consume about 12 grams a day or 2 teaspoons. It is fermented and used mainly as a condiment.

Myth: Modern soy, that which is produced in North America, has the same health benefits as traditionally fermented foods
Truth: Most modern soy foods are not fermented so the anti-nutrients and toxins are not neutralized.

Myth: Soy foods provide a complete balanced protein
Truth: Soy foods contain all the essential amino acids however two of these amino acids are in such small quantities that some argue that it should not qualify as complete.

Myth: Fermented soy can provide vitamin B12 for those with a vegetarian or vegan diet
Truth: The vitamin B12 found in soy is not bioavailable therefore the body cannot utilize it.

Myth: Soy formula is safe for infants
Truth: Soy products have shown to stunt growth and lead to pancreatic disorders in test animals due to the presence of anti-nutrients. Soy also does not contain any cholesterol, which may seem like a positive aspect, but cholesterol is very important in brain and nervous system development.

Myth: Soy estrogens (iosflavones) are good for you
Truth: Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disruptors. At dietary levels soy has been shown to prevent ovulation and stimulate growth of cancer cells. Eating as little as 30 grams, 4 tablespoons, a day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain, and fatigue.

Myth: Soybeans are good for developing nations
Truth: In third world countries, soybeans replace traditional crops and transfer the value-added of processing from the local population to multinational corporations.

Conclusion: Soy has been around for thousands of years. Since the industrial revolution there has been a shift to mass production of crops for the sole purpose of profit, unfortunately at the expense of the environment and our health. Soy is a prime example of a crop that falls into this category. Soy by products can be found in two thirds of all processed foods, so if you are trying to avoid soy products the best thing you can do is stop eating anything pre-made or pre-packaged. If you are interested in including soy in your diet the only acceptable options, which are actually very beneficial to your health and not harmful to the environment, are organic fermented soy products, which include miso, tempeh, tamari, and natto. If you are concerned about whether soy is appropriate for you and your current health condition contact us at the store and chat with one of nutrition specialists or professional health practitioners.

For more in depth information from Westin A. Price and Sally Fallon visit the link below

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