Contrary to what you may think or what you have been lead to believe soy foods were not widely eaten by the Orientals. Soy consumption may be somewhere from 9.3g to 36g a day in the Far East, with the average in Japan being only 18g a day.
Even the China Study written by staunch vegan diet advocate T. Colin Campbell reports that only 12g of legumes are consumed per day in China with only a third of that being soy. So when the soy industry tells you that soy foods have been part of the Eastern diet for over 5000 years bear in mind that this was only in very small amounts.
Also consider that they would have consumed traditional fermented soy products such as miso, tempeh and natto not soy milk, soy cheese, textured vegetable proteins added to burgers and sausages etc… The traditional soy foods undergo a time honoured and slow processing that removes the many toxins, anti nutrients and indigestible chemicals found in the soy beans. Modern processed soy foods contain all of these toxins.
These toxins include:
- Protease inhibitors that inhibit the digestive enzymes trypsin, chymotrypsin and elastase. Fermentation of soy (as in traditional soy products) inactivates most of these, however soy milk and tofu still contain them. This can lead to pancreas hypertrophy and hyperplasia and possibly lead to pancreatic cancer.
- Phytates that bind and carry minerals out of the body. Only soaking and fermenting break them down. Tofu, soy milk and soy protein carry most of their phytayes intake and can lead to anaemia, zinc deficiency and calcium deficiency.
- Lectins that are indigestible and can lead to gastro instetinal damage and food intolerances. It is now widely believed in functional medicine that food intolerances contribute to autoimmune diseases.
- Saponins that also damage the GI tract, act as protease inhibitors and are known goitrogens that can damage the thyroid. Only alcohol extraction removes them. Once again few saponins are found in traditional soy products.
- Oxalates which decrease calcium absorption and may lead to the formation of kidney stones.
- Manganese, which is an essential mineral, however soy beans contain quite a bit of manganese and if you over eat soy you can get manganese toxicity, especially in infants fed soy infant formula that may lead to brain damage.
- Fluride which if consumed in excess is a neurotoxin.
- Aluminium which is a metal that has no known health benefit in humans. The aluminium is taken up by the soy beans from the soil, during processing and from tap water used in food processing.
- Phytoestrogens such as the Isoflavones genistein, daidzein and glyciein. These oestrogens can increase the oestrogen burden on the body and lead to health problems associated with excess oestrogen. Soy products also lower testosterone.
- Goitrogens that affect thyroid health and inhibit thyroid peroxidase – an enzyme essential for the formation of thyroid hormones.
Doesn’t sound such a miracle food after all, eh? Next i’ll discuss the biased and distorted views the soy industry will have us believe about soy and cancer.
Read The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T. Daniel from whom I have based this article.