I’m sure many of you have had a disapproving meat eater lecture you about how bad soy is for you. Somewhat ironic that much of the meat eaten world-wide is raised on soya grain. 98% of all soy grown in America, for instance, is fed to livestock rather than people directly, making American meat eaters the driving market of soy production in that country. Whoopsies!
So what is soy? Soybeans are the most widely used, least expensive, and least caloric way to get large amounts of protein with very little fat and no cholesterol. You can eat soybeans in many forms, including tofu, the beans themselves (also known as edamame), soy milk, miso, and soy powder.
Here is the breakdown on soy. (I’m going to get all sciency on your ass) Soy has phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are phytochemicals, or natural chemicals found in plants. These phytoestrogens work with and in the body similar to the hormone estrogen. Isoflavones are a type or group of phytoestrogens which are thought to be positive. Again, this group of isoflavones is thought to aid in preventing cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms.
Some people are worried that eating soy can cause breast cancer, because they believe that phytoestrogens have the same effect as estrogens, and can thus increase breast cancer in estrogen-positive breast cancers. ➡ But wait! The average woman living in East Asia eats about 10 times the quantity of soy foods as the average woman in the United States. Yet East Asian women have lower rates of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer than women in the United States.
But there is some research that eating too much soy could negatively impact a woman’s fertility, and we should probably be careful not to overload infants with too much soy in their formula.
However, the research is inconclusive, so to be on the safe side, don’t mainline soy. Enjoy your soy products, just don’t overload on them. #vegansofig