Soybeans and soy products are no doubt a cost effective, low fat, cholesterol free food, touted for its high protein content and generally accepted as a “health food.” Recently, however, the safety of using soy and soy products has come into question. Many people are confused about how healthy soy really is.
Soy, when it comes in its natural (organic), unprocessed (naturally fermented), unaltered (no GMO soybeans) form and consumed in small (approximately 2 ounces daily) portions, is in fact GOOD for you. Soy contains a group of natural plant chemical called isoflavones that can have a positive hormonal effect on healthy people, even preventing some cancers. It also contributes to lowering blood pressure and improving heart health. Fermented soy foods allow us to digest them better and fully absorb the valuable nutrients more readily. Fermented soy also provides good for you probiotics.
Soy when consumed in its highly processed form is BAD for you and should be avoided. Manufacturing of these “fake foods” remove healthy dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals and leave only the protein source. The protein is most often mixed with fats, starches, sugars, dairy, wheat proteins and a host of chemical fillers to make these products. Soy protein also lurks inside many protein bars, candy bars, baked goods, dairy treats, salad dressings and infant formulas. Always read the label of any manufactured product you buy and when it comes to BAD soy, look for the following words; defatted soy flour, organic textured soy flour, textured vegetable protein, isolated soy protein, soy protein concentrates, and soy concentrates.
Please take note that women that have or have had estrogen sensitive forms of breast cancer and people who take medication for thyroid disorders should refrain from using soy products until you have checked with your doctor.
BAD SOY CHOICES include;Meat substitutes (FAKE hotdogs, burgers, lunch meats, cheeses, etc.), Commercial Soymilk, Textured Vegetable Protein, Soy Protein, Any GMO soy product
GOOD SOY CHOICES include (again, only in moderation);
Boiled soybeans (edamame), Tofu (soybean curd), Natto (fermented soybeans), Miso (fermented soybean paste), Soy sauce (tamari), Tempeh (fermented soybean cake)