One nut per fruit! My fave!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Soy-Joy for the Girl and Boy (yeah, I rhymed)

Thank that "being" up there (whoever that might be for you) that we had spring break this week and that I did absolutely nothing except work and watch mind numbing television, for now I am going to blow your mind, again, with some crazy facts and questions that will haunt you.

Neil Barnard, MD, claims that, "women averaging [eating] one cup of soymilk or about one-half cup of tofu daily have about a 30 percent less risk of developing breast cancer." Wow, that's some great stuff, right? He also claims that "many soy products are high in protein" and that manufactures sell this up by putting so much soy in a product that it can give the customer too much protein.

Too much protein? Well, again, according to Barnard,
Overly high protein intake may boost the amount of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in the bloodstream, a phenomenon known to occur with cow's milk.

So, basically, he is saying that eating too much protein (mostly from soy and cow's milk) can heighten the possibility of insulin growth in the body. If you've been reading any of by blogs, then you probably know that I will disagree with this particular argument.

This week I want to take a little trip through society as a whole, because much of what we eat is based on what we learn as a child in our society, so I think it's important. I realize that many people, in the past, have believed that soy (like cow's milk) is healthy and a good source of protein. This especially is targeted toward vegans. Although Americans claim to have an open mind toward many subjects and cultures, we are not without our faults and choose fast food restaurants to nourish ourselves, our young and our old. The fear I have, as I'm sure many nutritionists and smart doctors have, is that it will only get worse in the future. People will become more obese and the planet will become more polluted. (I'm not sure how pollution just worked its way in there, but I'm going to roll with it.)

With this fear in mind there should be someone telling America what really is healthy for you so that maybe things could be different in the future. This brings me back to the facts about soy. It was mentioned earlier, as a popular belief confirmed by Barnard, M.D., that soy is effective in preventing breast cancer in women. But, according to Nexus Magazine, Volume 7, Number 3 (April-May 2000):
Thousands of women are now consuming soy in the belief that it protects them against breast cancer. Yet, in 1996, researchers found that women consuming soy protein isolate had an increased incidence of epithelial hyperplasia, a condition that presages malignancies. A year later, dietary genistein was found to stimulate breast cells to enter the cell cycle - a discovery that led the study authors to conclude that women should not consume soy products to prevent breast cancer.

Since 1996, research has not been reported that breast cancer cannot be prevented by eating soy protein isolate, which is basically a version of soy that is processed and bleached and processed again. In the grand scheme of things it is important to see things in perspective, therefore, let's look at the real protein needs. According to Healing Daily, soy is a source of protein but also contains “phytic acid [which] blocks the body's uptake of essential minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron and especially zinc.” Overall, soy has more protein than a food without protein but also has more phytic acid than any other food with protein; therefore it is less than sufficient as a true source of nutrients.

My main topic was to haunt you with the scary facts about soy and I wonder whether America will actually research the true value of foods or just keep eating “diet” foods that aren’t really healthy. If I were to be an optimist for a moment, I would be able to imagine a world of fit individuals who loved to learn about health and nutrients and worked out to get to a picture of perfect health… but, as it were, I am no optimist. Is it possible for people to become healthier as they learn about health… yes, will the majority of people do it? I think that picture is impossible as most people don’t like to put work into what they eat… hence “fast food.”


  1. One of my mother's friends is a dedicated natural food dieter, and she always rails me for eating soy. She's convinced its poison. I can't say either way, but it does seem to me that there's a lot of scientific ambiguity regarding soy's nutritional value, right?

  2. It is interesting to hear that soy is not as "healthy" as it is cracked up to be. Coming from a family who tends to eat healthy but doesn't go overboard, I always thought my cousins were crazy to drink soy milk by choice. I swore up and down I would never drink anything that awful (no offense to anyone who enjoys it) no matter how healthy it was. Now, I feel as though the "joke is on them" so to speak. All this time they were sacrificing "better" tasting food and they really were not even being much healthier. I personally do not believe that "healthy" can be used as a general term. To be healthy is different for each individual. For example, my mom 5'4" 120lbs watches what she eats to maintain her weight. I, on the other hand, 5'9" 140lbs eat fast food at least 3 or 4 times a week and believe in dessert after every meal. For my height I am underweight, I have average blood pressure and have never had a significant health problem (knock on wood). Every person is different and needs to figure out what his or her body needs to be "healthy".

  3. @UsfBulls1028_ wait until you hit 50 - When you are young your body tolerates a huge amount of abuse without showing signs of the damage being done - Oh boy , how true the saying - Youth is wasted on Youth - All that fast food crap you consume today will haunt you in later years _WAKE UP