10 Jul Soy :: Healthy or Not
Have you ever wondered if soyfood is good for you or not?
Soyfood has become VERY CONTROVERSIAL that it confuses the heck out of people.
Some say soy is genetically-modified, herbicide laden, promotes breast cancer while others think they are health food with good quality protein and increases bone strength.
One day is good for you, another day it is bad for you.
Who should you listen?
Let’s take a look at the science.
In where I live, soy based products like tofu, soymilk, beancurd, tau kwa are very common and they form a part of our culture.
If you take a look at the Japanese or women in Asia, generally we have lower breast cancer rates than US. There’s something that we’re doing right which is protecting us, right?
Could it be the SOY?
With dominant brands like Mr Bean, Jolly Bean in Singapore, it is hard to miss soy wherever you turn –MRT stations, malls etc.
That is why when I left Australia for good, I was so happy because I could reach for soymilk so easily.
So, the big question –
Is soy good or bad for you?
When you do your own research, you’ll notice that the evidence on soy is terribly CONFUSING.
While some papers like this and this point to the direction that eating soy products lower breast cancer risk and improve survival, other paper like this says soy can cause thyroid dysfunction and leaky gut issues.
And many, many other information out there that makes us even more baffled whether you should eat soy or not.
We know now that study after study claiming that soy promotes breast cancer has no grounds (though I can’t say for genetically engineered crops) and thyroid dysfunction may be a real issue for some people, hence its not for everybody.
Remember too, NOT all soy foods are the same.
Here’s my take and understanding given my research. The BOTTOM LINE –
If you want to eat soy products,
#1 Go for whole soy or fermented food like tempeh, miso, edamame, tofu, soymilk – NON-GMO or ORGANIC version. Why take risk when you can easily get organic soy products which excludes GMO?
#2 Avoid processed refined soy like soybean oil. Too much omega-6 tips ratio balance of favouring omega-6 more than omega-3 leading to pro-inflammatory. It’s not that omega-6 is ‘bad’. The biggest problem is that we’re consuming too much omega-6 and consuming too little omega-3. We’re already lacking healthy fat what more eating processed and unstable oil. I wrote about this here and which oil to avoid.
#3 Consume 2-3 servings of soy a day, not in crazy excess to maintain low IGF-1. Nobody drinks 10 cups of soymilk anyway.
Men, please do not be worried. Eating soy does not reduce fertility and does not reduce testosterone levels.
Claypot tou foo, anyone?