Is Soy Healthy?

Is Soy Healthy

I’ve gotten several emails lately, asking about various forms of soy and if it can be healthy or not.

If you don’t feel like reading the rest of this post, the answer can be summarized in one sentence:

Soy is not healthy, it can cause health problems and it’s widespread use is destructive to the planet… don’t eat it!

Want to know why? Read on…

Soy is a legume, and as such, has the same harmful components that other beans do. But there is more. Some other harmful properties of soybeans are:

In addition to being harmful to our bodies, soy production is harmful to the planet and to livestock who eat it as well. Almost all soybeans grown today are genetically modified and “Round-up ready.” They contain a gene that allows them to be directly sprayed with pesticides without dying. There is some evidence that this gene can mutate and create a pesticide-like toxin in the body.

This mutation means that soybeans can be (and are) sprayed with large amounts of pesticides and herbicides during their cultivation. In addition, soybeans strip the soil of many nutrients, leaving soil depleted. (On a personal note, I live in an area where soybeans are grown, and have witnessed first hand how much the soybeans are sprayed during their growth and how harmful these chemicals are to other plants and vegetation)

Animals who are fed soy can suffer many of the same health consequences as people who consume too much soy, and these harmful properties are then passed on in their meat.

What about Asian Countries Where Soy is Consumed In Large Amounts?

I often get this question when I talk about the negative properties in soy. It is assumed that people in Asian countries consume a lot of soy, and since they are thin, soy must be healthy.

It is important to note that people in these countries do not consume as much soy as we assume they do. In fact, in most places, soy based foods are served as a condiment, not a main course and not as a replacement for animal protein. In addition, these foods are fermented or traditionally prepared, which minimizes the harmful factors.

In many countries, soy based foods are consumed with seaweed containing foods or traditionally made broths, which both have high nutrient concentration and can help mitigate the harmful effects of the soy.

An Inferior Protein Source

Besides the lectin and phytic acid in soybeans, they aren’t the complete protein source they are touted to be. Like all beans, they lack the amino acids Methionine and Cystine. While they are often promoted for being able to provide Vitamin B-12 to those eating a vegetarian diet, the Vitamin B-12 in soybeans can not be used by the body and actually cause the body to need more B-12.

As I often say about grains a beans: there are no nutrients in these foods that can’t be found in higher amounts in meats, vegetables and healthy fats, so stick to those and avoid the lectins and phytic acid!

A Note on Fermented Soy

If you are going to consume soy, it is least harmful in its fermented state. Foods like Tempeh and Miso have some health promoting properties and many of the harmful anti-nutrients are fermented out. These are fine in moderation. Just look for ones that have been traditionally fermented.

Soy is Everywhere!

If you stay away from tofu and soy milk, you might still be consuming much more soy than you think!

Practically all processed foods contain some form of soy. Even some canned tuna contains a soy protein as part of the broth! Check the foods you buy for these ingredients: Soy lecithin, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, texturized vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein or any other phrase containing the word “soy.”

Foods containing any of these ingredients contain soy and all the harmful components that go along with it!

What are your thoughts? Do you consume soy? Have you in the past? Tell me below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Ugh.  This makes me so sad.  My 6 yo has allergies to all nuts – so to make it easier on me, I started making pb&j with soynut butter for both of my boys.  I’m so upset at myself – for what I’ve been feeding the boys for all these years.  I’ll be switching my non-allergic son back to a nut butter, and giving my 6 yo turkey and cheese – which he actually likes better!

      • We tried that a while ago, Melissa…  We think he had an allergic reaction to it, so we just stayed away from it.  They cannot test for sunflower seed allergies, so we can’t know for sure – I may try again just to see if he still has the same reaction as he did 3 years ago…  Thanks for the suggestion!  I had forgotten about it…  It’s pretty good, but the soynut butter actually takes the most like peanut butter.  
        Truthfully it’s more about me being lazy and wanting the convenience of pb&j for my kids’ lunch.  😉

        • My sisters always loved cream cheese and jelly sandwiches. It wasn’t for me but that might be a non-nut alternative maybe.

        • I used to love sunbutter but an ALCAT food sensitivity test reveal sunflower as one of my reactive foods. I love almond or walnut or macadamia nut butter !!!

        • Oooo what if you make pumpkin seedbutter. I know you can buy unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds without the shelling at whole foods stores in the bulk aisle. Maybe that might work as a great alternative to PB.

    • applebees cooks everything in soy and hydrogenated soy.

      all the dressings are soy based. every dressing i find in the store, including mayonnaise, has soybean. oh and don’t forget the TBHQ and dimethylpolysiloxane :-) i’ll let you decide for yourself what you think about that. but that is A LOT of soy to be eating in 1 meal and not even be aware of it.

      • I’ve recently found out I am allergic to soy, and there ARE some good store bought mayos that are soy free now :-) Hellman’s Canola is soy free and so is “Just Mayo”, a new brand I found at Wal-mart. It’s free of all the major allergens. :-) I know this is an old post, but just in case someone is reading this like I am. lol

    • This is just more anti soy propaganda..

      Been a soy consumer for 63 yrs..

      So that should tell you something.

      Most anti soy types are sponsored by the USDA.

      By the way… I don’t have weight issues, cancer nor have I changed my sexual orientation
      ..

      Plus I don’t suffer arteriosclerosis.

      Listen to experience… not sponsorship.

      • I can absolutely promise you that I am in no way sponsored by or affiliated with the USDA and they also would not have any incentive to tell people to avoid soy. the USDA is the Department of Agriculture and they are largely responsible for the recommendations to eat MORE wheat, corn and soybeans.

        • I never realized the tuna I eat has soy in it!! I am fighting estrogen dominance and wondering why I’m seeing such slow progress in getting my hormones back in balance. I’m such a label reader, too. It usually takes me over an hour to shop because I’m forever reading labels. Thanks for this information! Glad I stumbled on this site.

        • I can assure you that countless generations of asian families do, in fact, eat a lot of soy based food products like tofu (I hate the taste of it myself). It is not just used as a condiment. Where did you get that information?

          So would you recommend eating pork, chicken and beef over soy based meats as a healthier substitute? Your article could really use reputable references to back up the claims you’re making.

        • When I eat soy it feels like a hole is burning in my stomach. It took me a LONG time to figure out what it was. Soy and Wheat which are both in everything, I cannot eat anymore and when i do, I get sick.

          The comment about you working for the USDA is complete bull. You are the TRUTH, they are the ones spraying all of our food and genetically modifying everything! It’s only when the voices of the people get loud enough (and stop buying their crap) will things change.

        • Wellness Mama, I share your passion for health, but your statements about soy are not supported by the evidence.

          “Soy may not be a super-food (such as broccoli) but the preponderance of evidence does not suggest that eating moderate amounts of unprocessed (edamame or soy beans) or lightly processed (tofu or soy milk) soy creates hypothyroidism or causes cancer.”
          ~ Dr. Joel Fuhrman

          Certainly all non-organic soy should be avoid as it is GMO Round Up Ready. Like all heavily processed foods, processed soy, e.g. soy protein isolate, soy oil, etc. should be avoided due to low nutrient to calorie density. However, moderate amounts organic soy beans, edamame, tofu, tempeh, and miso have been used in traditional Asian diets that have low rates of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine has recommended natural soy as a dietary treatment of menopausal symptoms for a millennia. Perhaps they researchers and traditional cultures know something you don’t?

          https://www.drfuhrman.com/faq/question.aspx?sid=16&qindex=5

          • Thank You for the counter perspective, I really appreciate hearing both sides. It would seem to me though, that using soy as a natural supplement for menapausal women validates the statement that soy mimics estrogen in the body. Menapausal women need more estrogen. But, everyone else Doesn’t.

        • Wonderful to see young people aware of good food choices. I, too, was blown away by the soybean information. Plus, most soybeans are GMO and I try to avoid those!

      • Once you start to notice anti-soy sponsorship, you see that it is rampant. It is not just the usda. There are other private organizations funding this kind of misleading and misinformation such as the Weston A price Foundation that is funded by the meat and dairy industry.

        • Been a soy drinker all my life (22y) as well. I drink fortified soy, which has helped me with iron and B12 deficiency. I drink 2-3 cups a day! My parents ware both soy drinkers and had 2 kids. My grandparents were all soy drinkers and they are all alive and well today, with no sign of any illnesses related to hormones.

          As for the anti-soy stuff, everyone is entitled to their opinions. I personally believe that the isoflavone tests are still too preliminary. Have you actually read the scientific papers? Many (not all) of them actually say they do not affect men’s reproductive system AND decreases the chance of breast cancer in women. Until the scientific community can actually agree on the topic, I am going to continue consuming soy milk.

      • 63 years of living is supposed to evoke an awed reaction? Not trying to discredit those years, and I see the point you were trying to make, but check back in for a reply when you are 90+ if you’d like to be convincing. By the way, I am neither an advocate nor a protestor of soy.

      • Well said Ira!! I have been drinking soy milk and eating tofu and soy beans for 10 years…. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been!!

      • Amen Ira and Tracy! And according to the writer, we should avoid broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage as well because they have the same effect. As long as the soy is certified GMO free, it’s fine. We’ve been using soy long term with no bad results, years of experience of it here.

      • Yeah I agree. Most importantly are the various studies done independently around the world. No scientific data exists to make the claim that soy is unhealthy. In fact, studies show a link between the consumption of soy and good health. Areas where soy is consumed the most have lower cases of breast cancer, lower heart disease and better blood pressure. I would recommend picking up a scientific journal first.

      • hey i am reading all this…i am vegetarian always have been…eat veggie brand foods..was told soy is bad for me…..how do i know if it is or not? worried

      • I appreciate you writing this article, but I have to disagree with your statement regarding the consumption of soy foods in Asian countries. Being from and traveling back and forth to Asia (I am from Bangladesh), I have definitely seen otherwise. There are plenty of Asian main dishes which are solely soy – ma po tofu for example. The following article goes into a bit more detail: http://www.theveganrd.com/2011/03/soyfoods-in-asia-how-much-do-people-really-eat.html

      • Yes Ira, I agree, just another person that has believed the silliness against soy. Nothing is perfect and one can find issues with anything and everything if they look for it. Soy is a good product and nobody should ever avoid it due to another provoking fear. Read all the info, both sides and the neutral parties, and then decide for yourself whether or not to consume it.

    • Research dairy and allergies. Humans shouldn’t be drinking breast milk from a different species. Pretty sure human breast milk is for babies anyway? Definitely more harmful than soy. Especially giving it to kids still developing their bodies. Should be child abuse.

      • No, you’re pretty wrong here. When it comes to infants, soy based formula is further removed from breastmilk than another specie’s breastmilk. Yes, human breastmilk is healthiest, but some women are unable to breastfeed (at least 5%, that’s 1 out of every 20 women) and some women will have their milk fail in the first 6 months (30-40%.) Milk sharing is unsafe in it’s own right, from the fact you don’t know what’s in the woman’s milk, to processing, shipping, and contamination, and should only happen in situations where you can trust the other person. It’s pretty expensive too, and not feasible.

        In looking for an alternative, your choices for safe alternatives are to strap women up to a milking machine and force them to be milked for those who cannot give enough as well as control their diet and environment, or try to make another species’ milk as close to human milk as possible, while making it cheap enough that you don’t have people watering it down. Saying no alternative is necessary is naive and would lead to a large number of babies dying.

        Where dairy is an allergy, there is protein-based formula, which is probably the closest to human milk, but is the most expensive. Where dairy is an allergy, soy is probably also an allergy and should be a last resort. Soy formula is so overprocessed and so far removed from milk that it should be seen as a pretty unnatural source of nutrition and a last resort. Note, these aren’t MY recommendations, but health organizations concerned with formula quality. While we’re not sure about the phytoestrogens being processed the same as birth control pills, there’s plenty of other reasons to avoid soy formula.

        • Interestingly enough, some Cows have undergone trans-genesis, and biologists have inserted the gene for producing human breast milk into the cow genome. So, cows are now able to be milked for human breast milk, which is pretty awesome.

          • Cows producing human milk! That’s absurd and so far from natural. I get the point that it could help people in need. But scientist need to stop playing god they often don’t know the full repercussions of doing such things. That is so wrong definitely not awesome in my book!

          • James Faris, I would like to address each of your points.

            It is not ridiculous. The science behind it is quite extraordinary, and it is the safest way of mass producing breast milk in a healthy way. The way they do it is by taking a cell sample (could be some saliva) from the donor species, and then separate the entirety of the genome from the nucleus. They then purify the DNA, and then proceeding to extract desirable genes. Then once again, they do the same process, except they do not cut out the gene for the cow milk, and replace it with the breast milk genes. This genome is then implanted into a neutral cell, and placed into a surrogate mother. Then the calf will grow into a cow which can produce human breast milk. It is not unsafe because the animals do not get hurt in the process, and they are creating the exact kind of milk that humans do. Also, dairy farmers are obliged to keep their cows healthy. This is not cruel towards them. And, again, this is not horrible, as the host species (in this case, the cow) is not harmed in this process. The process is heavily regulated, so it is in fact a lot less horrible than a lot of things done to animals. It could be argued that this transgenesis could somehow have an adaptive advantage someday for both human and cows. However, I can understand that whether or not something is ‘horrible’ could be based off moral view-points and cultural influence. But I thought this was simply an interesting point to share.

          • Tiffany, what exact repercussions would there be for this particular transgenesis? Also, I hope you have read my previous reply, which states that the entire process is heavily regulated. This is not a simple school project, and is taken extremely seriously.

          • That is amazing, I didn’t know that could even be done, and is is cost efficient?

      • Actually I believe the point was to steam or cook the cruciferous vegetables, not to avoid them. Well said. Soy formula should be banned.

        • Cruciferous vegetables are best eaten only *lightly* cooked. Steaming or stir frying for a few minutes. Over-cooking largely reduces glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, the anti-cancer compounds.

        • This article is incorrect. Yes, soy contains phytoestrogens – aka isoflavones – which act as police, to ensure your body is producing the right amount of estrogens. For example, if there is too much estrogen in the body, the isoflavones will block it from affecting cells by attaching to the same spot on cells that estrogen normally would.

          http://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer/nutrition/how-soy-isoflavones-help-protect-against-cancer

          Soy is also supported by Richard Beliveau, in his book “Foods to Fight Cancer”. He recommends whole soy like soybeans, miso and tofu, in 2 ounces (50 grams) per day.

          Asian cultures have been eating whole soy for years, and Asian diets have been shown (with Indian and Mediterranean) to be far superior to Western Diets in terms of health and disease prevention.

    • Forgive yourself and let this go.
      You were doing the best at the time. It is not like you were
      giving them vaccines. You are doing your best, just remember to teach them
      that the TV teaches them to desire things they don’t need. It is fake, not real life.
      Just for fun.

    • I am allergic to peanut butter. I use Biscoff spread instead. It can be found in the same aisle as all of the alternatives. It’s absolutely delicious.

  2. Yikes! This is super scary. I used to drink soy regularly, but have since changed my ways. I can’t drink dairy, so I now use coconut or almond milk as a replacement. I feel bad for the people who aren’t educated on the effects of soy!

    • I used to drink almond milk, too…but I’ve recently been enjoying hemp milk.  It has more protein than almond and it tastes better.  PLUS Hemp has really helped improve my memory!!

      • Wow I feel bad. When my son was born we tried all different kinds of formula and they didn’t work so his doctor told me to put him on the soy formula and I did. Later on when he was older I gave him the organic soy milk. I wish I knew this back then. I just hope and pray it didn’t do any damage to him I can’t tell any damage cause he’s only 4. I will never do that again

    • l am glad that you put this on as l have just read the above and it is not good l like your self can not have any thing with cow milk so l started to drink soya milk some years ago l also asked my doctor about it at the time as some one said that it is not healthy so l will be going to ether coconut or almond milk

    • There are lots of conflicting articles about Soy…don’t just take one persons opinion about it. Read for your self and than decide. There are medical reports on why Phytoestrogen(phyto=plant) is NOT the same as a Body Estrogen.

    • Eat everything in moderation, and balance. Cook soy product with ginger and garlic is good for the health. Remember , cook it with ginger, garlic or chilli. Don’t cook it by itself. plus, it depends on your body PH level. Some food could be healing food for you, and some food may not be good for you, depending on your body type. Soy products is very anti-inflammatory, good for people with high blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, simply eat in moderation with right amount of ginger, garlic, chilli to balance it, and neutralize it.

    • @ Nicole: You nor “wellness mama” are educated in soy, I guess..? I may be wrong.
      Anyways, in Europe, most soy is (yet) not GMO and is therefore safer to eat than the American soy, which is almost always GMO. That’s why I understand Americans’ concern about consuming soy products, fermented or not. But fact is that non-GMO soy is good for you

      Here are some links to scientific articles on soy:
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018121350.htm
      http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1081/CNV-120023773

  3. I can attest to the insidious nature of soy and it’s everywhere.  While nursing I needed to go on a milk protein free and soy free diet.  It certainly jump started us into a better eating pattern.  Since I was doing it for our child I think it was easier as I wasn’t tempted to cheat knowing the significant consequences my child would experience.  Either way now I just assume that all food not prepared by me has soy in it!

  4. So thankful my family and I follow a Paleo/Primal lifestyle.  No soy in whole foods.  Thanks for posting this article.  My old chiropractor is going to start promoting a certain diet and they recommend a soy protein drink.  So sad that they think soy is healthier. 

    • Please do your own research, and listen to your educated chiropractor before buying into any blog you read on the internet.

    • If you buy meat from cows feed soy products then it will pass through meats to you. I make sure to buy mine from cows grass fed

      • How do you do that exactly? Are you there watching what “your” cow eats? Not being smart aleck, but “lapels” are just that unless you are personally working with an ” organic farmer” , you can only control the food your family eats. Be assertive portion size and “homemake” as much as you can. Don’t eat out! Resturants are there to make money they don’t care about your family’s health! Teach your kids how to cook! It’s becoming a dying art!

        • cattle eat soy or sorghum in the winter particulary from silage bins. if you grow up around ranches and farms you know what silage smells like 😉 P U! now that’s some fermented soy!

    • Soybeans are a whole food. What are you talking about?

      Eat a balanced diet and quit obsessing over this and that study done mostly by companies with a bias. It’s amazing that people jump on whatever bandwagon seems to be popular.

      As for the author of this article. Shame on you. Read.

    • I’m curious about that, too. I had always heard that processed soy, like soy milk and those fake foods, are the problematic ones but that edamame and miso are good.

      • No it’s fermented. Fermented soy is actually good for your body; miso and others are fermented. Non-fermented soy is bad.

    • Edamame is raw soy. When I was a child my family knew some farmers. One field was peas, the one next to it was soy. My sister and I were sternly warned NOT to eat the soy as it was grown only for cattle feed and was poisonous to humans. This was known in the ’60s.

  5. I have been avoiding soy for years, since I was diagnosed hypothyroid and have learned of the dangers.  Our dc had some soy formula, which I think the docs advised to use when they had diahhrea.  We also used to eat several foods with soy before I became aware of hidden ingredients.   Anyway, the last few you mentioned, like soy protein isolate, are also forms of msg, so it’s a double whammy.  I used to look for mayo, salad dressing, and bread without soy, and now it’s almost impossible to find them without it.  When I’m at a covered dish dinner, I generally avoid anything that looks like it may have mayonnaise or other suspect ingredients. Thanks for the encouragement to stay away from this non-health food touted as a health food.

  6. I think that, like most things, it’s the excess that is harmful. Soy isn’t as bad as you make it sound, as long as it’s only consumed in moderation–just like red wine, chocolate, meat, and butter.

    • I’d agree that if it is going to be consumed, it should be in moderation… but meat and butter should be more like daily staples than foods to just be consumed in moderation :-)

      • I am new to your site and am learning alot.  Can you please address the question about whether edamame is healthy for you?  I have it in my salads as my protein source – I love it and really don’t want to give it up if it is not harmful to my body.  I have done some research and have learned there are several benefits to soy beans.  Thank you for answering the questions.

  7. I just found your blog, and am thrilled to get some healthy living advice from someone who’s not trying to talk me into a vegan diet! Thank you for the post on soy; I’ve been wondering about that for a while. I think I’ll switch to almond milk on my cereal!

    Imilla: Have you tried sunflower butter for your boys?

    • I have Carla, but it’s been a while.  We think he had an allergic reaction to it, so we just stayed away from it.  They cannot test for sunflower seed allergies, so we can’t know for sure – I may try again just to see if he still has the same reaction as he did 3 years ago…  Thanks for the suggestion!  I had forgotten about it…

  8. I have a question about other foods which are supposedly phytoestrinergic and are usually considered OK, like flax and chia seeds.  Are they really OK?

    I was eating a lot of flaxmeal and had heavy bleeding for 8 weeks in a row.  In desparation I turned to the internet and found that flax is sometimes associated with bleeding.  When I stopped eating flax, the bleeding stopped.  Now I’m eating it in much smaller quantities a few times a week, and no bleeding, but I’m wondering if it is really safe or not?

  9. Your article is great!  Soy is so scary and as a vegetarian, it’s really the primary substitution for nearly everything.  I developed negative reactions to it, relating to hormones.  It’s just bad stuff.  Keep up the good writing!

    • Vegetarianism is bad, scientists have done studies saying that vegetarians would die off due to lack of protein leading to a smaller brain.

          • Sure, it’s an established theory. But the requirement was more likely energy, rather than flesh per se, meaning that high-calorie foods such as nuts would be as preferable to water-filled fruit. Anyway, there’s also the suggestion of how we started to cook food, which releases calories that are not accessible through raw food, and that this invention contributed to how our big brains started to become assets rather than energy-demanding burdens. It makes sense of course that if one doesn’t have to spend all day foraging, then there’ll be more time on hand to develop other skills. My issue is just that it’s a bit much to say that MEAT IS THE ONLY REASON. You know? I guess it’s not really that relevant, in the end.. Because we’re here now, evolved. And with a mind that’s at least capable of making rational and moral choices.

            Happy new year!

      • Except you can’t pass on acquired characteristics to your children…

        Even if eating meat gave you a bigger brain, your kids would have the same size brain that their genes determine.

        Similarity, even if a vegetarian diet *did* cause smaller brains (something I hotly contest given that vast swathes of the world are vegetarian due to economic or religious reasons) their children’s brain size would be decided by their genetics – NOT their parents diet…

        • Brain size has very little to do with genetics. Look up brain health in TED Talks. There’s a psychologist who did a number of studies to brain health and size. His findings clearly were bigger people had smaller brains. However he goes on to say that it’s about how the brain looks as well, if the activity is symmetrical and even throughout, that brain is healthier, and you will be healthier all around.

  10. I had no idea soy was so bad.  My son drinks non GMO organic soymilk like it is going out of style.  This is really the only soy we consume.  Looks like we will have to make a switch.

      • Have you READ the ingredients for the So Delicious coconut milk? I have and have never bought one because of it. I prefer to buy cans of coconut that are JUST COCONUT. Makes a world of difference! Here is a printscreen I took of this yucky “coconut milk”

    • Soy milk given to baby boy can cause their reproductive anatomy to be small due to the fact that soy mimics estrogen which is a female hormone. It also causes baby girls to have early puberty and can disrupt the thyroid because it gives them too much estrogen. It can also increase the risk of breast cancer in adults.

  11. It beats me as to why all along this non-health food was touted as a health food. So what were the researchers actually doing?

  12. I have chronic hypothyroidism and for the longest time I had trouble getting my thyroid medication regulated.  My doctor didn’t understand why the medicine wasn’t helping.  Then we found out the culprit.  I was drinking soy milk regularly. The soy prevented my thyroid from absorbing any of the thyroid medication!  Soy is soooooo horrible for the thyroid and definitely slows down your metabolism.  I hate that many weightloss shake mixes contain soy or soy protein, like Herbalife.  It defeats the purpose of loosing weight.  Shakeology doesn’t have any soy, so I stick with that.

    It’s terrible that the “soy is healthy” trend was just lead by soy advertisements to make the moolah.

    • Just a quick comment.  If drinking soy defeats the purpose of losing weight then why has Herbalife helped Millings of people lose weight while getting healthy?  They are the number 1 nutrition company in the world and have over 32 renoun doctors on their staff.  They reached 5.5. billion last year and have been doing great for the 32 years they they have been in business.  So before you go putting companies under the bus you might want to do some research yourself.  I’m all for others believing what they will but when you want to bring up names and bash them for things you might not know anything about, then thats where its not right.  WIth all do respect!

      • I’d be cautious about using business success as a measure of the quality of a product. Coca Cola and McDonalds typically do great, business-wise each year, but make nutritionally awful products. There are also companies like SlimFast which help people lose weight, but aren’t healthy.

        • The difference is Herbalife has business success because of the proven product results. I know countless people who have lost weight, lowered there body age, improved overall health, etc, just by using Herbalife products consistently.

          • I’m with WellnessMama on this one – All of these things (“people who have lost weight, lowered there [their] body [biological] age, improved overall health”) can be achieved without any branding – through a properly balanced diet & exercise – the natural way. Please don’t assume I’m against any business but to say that a company is responsible for the success of these people is incorrect. These people did it through their own determination & perseverance, with help from BrandX… but in doing it without formulated products, you are able to make it a lifelong change for the better. See a professional naturopath/nutritionist/herbalist instead of a sales rep who hasn’t formally studied this area.

          • I agree 100% that these things CAN be achieved without any branding. I also love and appreciate Wellness Mama. I am lucky enough to be a stay at home. I follow her blog and use her recipes for my children and myself. I also incorporate Herbalife shakes and supplements each day, because I believe it to be extremely difficult to eat enough food each day to get the best nutrition. I believe Herbalife goes hand in hand perfectly with my grain-free, low sugar diet. I am pregnant and have used this approach throughout 3 pregnancies and breastfeeding. I would not have it any other way. It requires a lot of time and money to be able to eat a properly balanced diet each and every day. Many people are simply unaware that a whole grain diet is in fact not healthy and sugar is poison. Those that ARE aware, may not have the time to prepare each meal from scratch. Herbalife is the best nutrition company in the world, backed by doctors, scientists, and even a Nobel prize winner. Given the time to learn about Herbalife, you will see it IS in fact a natural way and also encourages a healthy diet and exercise. Distributors of the products do not need to have “formally studied” because, if used properly and consistently, the products do all the work. Just as important, Herbalife enables people of all backgrounds and income levels to have perfect nutrition. :-)

          • Please do correct me if I’m wrong but… Don’t Herbalife shakes contain over 30% sugar? Are you familiar with the work of endocrinologist Professor Robert Lustig and the discoveries regarding the effects of sugar on leptin/grehlin and insulin production? I tried to post a link to an article here but it doesn’t appear to have posted, so you may need to google “the real reason you eat too much” – it explains it all very clearly :-)

            Spoiler alert: sugar actually increases our appetite…

          • That article makes no mention of the amount of sugar in a Herbalife shake??

          • That shake also contains approx. 35grams of SUGAR! It contains more sugar than protein… This means you will lose muscle mass too – meaning your metabolism/energy burning ability will slow down, so when you stop using the shake, it’s easier to rebound-weight-gain… No thanks, I’ll pass on that one too 😉

    • Try iodine therapy for hypothyroidism. Dr. Brownstein is THE authority on this. Your regular MD will NOT support you in this protocol unless he/she is cross trained for natural therapies as well

  13. I have only just started reading your site as i was keeping my daughter off dairy in an attempt to clear her eyelid eczma. I have read what you have written about soy, but had so far understood that phytoestrogens where good for preventing symptoms of the menopause. I have actually been feeling guilty that my famiky don’t consume enough legumes and beans. Now i am a little confused.?

    • There isn’t anything in beans and legumes that isn’t found in meat, vegetables, fruits and other foods, so there certainly isn’t a need for them. Have you removed any other foods from your daughter’s diet? In my past experience, eczema is almost always related to a grain, dairy, or occasionally nightshade or egg allergy. Taking gelatin (available in my “store” tab will also help the skin healing.

      • About the eczema… My son developed it on his hands, only after he started kindergarten where he washed his hands with antibacterial soap. Try some all-coconut oil saponified soaps instead. They clean wonderfully, don’t strip your skin of its natural protective oils, and as a bonus, coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial and moisturizing.

    • In my experience, a zinc deficiency &/or gut dysbiosis is most commonly found in eczema sufferers. Yes, food intolerances accompany this too but where the gut mucosa is healthy, fewer and fewer food intolerances occur. Interestingly, a search in Pubmed for zinc deficiency will find you a few cases which describe the mineral deficiency in many Arab countries which consume plenty of legumes… Yes, published in medical journals too! I thought this was really intriguing!

  14. One thing I am wondering about – if it has so much phytoestrogens then couldn’t women eat a ton of soy to rid themselves of menopause symptoms? Not saying that the other possible health problems (cancer for example) wouldn’t outweigh the want to rid the menopause but would that be possible?

      • Hi, I have known from reading about how soy in the past was the worst crop because of the amounts of pesticides used, but I have not heard these claims for many years. I recently was told by my doctor to drink soy based shakes for hormonal replacement, which of course I have been trying to do every morning. It does give me that full feeling for a while. I need to consume a lot of protein because I am hypoglycemic and have a tendency to use up my energy quickly. I have a very physically active job. So what’s your diet for these conditions?

    • There are many other effects than just the phytoestrogens (ie. thyroid issues), as Wellness Mama points out.  In addition, almost ALL of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified–as they hybridize the soy plant more and more for industrial convenience, they don’t look at the possible effects on the human body from soy consumption.  It’s not a natural product as it was sold to us to be in the 70’s, it’s an industrial product and the consequences of the industrialization have only just begun to be understood. 

  15. I really love this post – I have read it numerous times and suggested it to many friends.  Thanks for making this a resource. 

  16. I have been trying to avoid soy for several years now. I have severe hypothyroidism that is not yet under control. It’s a battle, what with soy flour in breads and cereals, and everything else that has some form of soy in it. Not only do I avoid it for my thyroid problem, when I eat soy products I get painful gas pains that at times have doubled me over with the pain. I wish it weren’t so complicated to eat these days. Right now I’m doing low carb so it’s not as bad, but when I wasn’t it was hard to even eat out. I had to look up ingredients in different restaurants menus to figure out things I could eat.

  17. I have been soy free for 8+ years, it gives me horrible migraines.  My son has autism and he is soy free because of headaches and other bad side effects.  I am disgusted corporations shove it in anything and everything they can! I wouldn’t take 4 birth control pills in a day, this would be the equivalent of a baby eating 4 birth control pills- sick! Check out the movie Food, Inc., it had good info about soy that you could see first hand.

  18. I think God gave us soy just like all plant foods and it is extremely good for our bodies. It has helped me in several major areas since I started drinking several glasses of milk a week and taking soy isoflavones daily for almost 3 1/2 years now. I am no longer lethargic. Most of my yeast problems are gone. My hair stopped falling out. My nails are much stronger. My children that can’t tolerate dairy drink it and give it to their children. NO MORE CRAMPS!! SOY is the perfect food for ME!!!

    • First, it is important to note that there is a big difference between eating whole, fermented soy and eating processed and refined soy products, which have no health benefits. Just because a food causes nutritional improvement, does not mean that this food is necessarily good for a person. Most people will see some improvement from eating only whole grains over processed grains. This doesn’t mean that whole grains are good, rather just that they are slightly better than what the person was eating before. Most people do not tolerate soy well, and especially for men, it can be very problematic.

  19. That is true, and I am just looking at the benefits I have gotten. The Bible is clear that although all things are permissible( that we  eat), not all things are good for all people. 1 cor. 6:12 

  20. We used to be on soy, started drinking the milk then went on to things like soy burgers so on & etc… fast forward to 3years later & my entire family minus one can’t stay healthy & my son isn’t growing. It was the soy. After seeing a nutritionist we went COMPLETELY soy free for over a year to detox: it had poisoned our systems. We had all kinds of health issues that went away within that year. & if you hadn’t guessed the reason the one kid was healthy was bc she hated all soy products we ate. I am so pleased to read this article & that is getting the Real Soy Story out.

    • My sister-in-law got PCOS after drinking soy milk, because she couldn’t have lactose. It’s definitely not good.

  21. I had read that soy is good when it is traditionally processed but that non traditional processes (such as soy milk you buy at the super market) is very hamful for the reasons you mentioned above. In your opinion is there any truth in this?

    • Traditionally prepared foods like soy sauce, when fermented, have much less of the harmful properties and are ok in moderation, but all soy products do have a relatively high level of estrogen-like compounds.

  22. I was wondering if you can provide any scientific study that was published to support your claims or you took your information from. I lived in Far East several years and almost invariably everyone eats soya or its products and among the 1.5 trillion people, I did not see any difference in health of people there compared to the west, especially the US. In fact people are healthier and only their youngsters started to develop obesity after they were introduced to the western fast food.
     
    I hope you can provide some research articles, studies, publications that supports your claims. 

    • Hi Dr K, which claims are you interested in references for? She has put in some hot links for some of the claims but you can search Google SCHOLAR for others. Yes, referencing is very helpful but I never just dismiss information purely because it doesn’t have any… I always research it first. Also, I’m grateful that she doesn’t go over-the-top with emotive language as many other journalists do – it makes it so hard to believe what they’re saying when they do that… This one seems quite balanced.

  23. I just wantd to say FABULOUS site; this is by far the best site I’ve come across with info on soy, fats, grains etc. Very easy to find ones way around.
    Well done!

  24. Interesting! I had heard a nutritionist once say that soy should only be eaten w/seaweed, as in seaweed soup and tofu. I had never heard anyone else say that and was wondering if there was any truth to that. I guess we should stick to that!! I love miso!
    I recently cut out the rice milk because of the arsenic concern, I guess soy milk might not be the best alternative! Too bad my kids don’t like almond and coconut milk, they might have to get use to it!

    • I too have cut out rice milk because of the arsenic concerns…I have found hemp milk (whole foods carries it) to be a really tasty beverage comparable to soy milk in its richness.

  25. I guess I’m lucky that I have fast acting negative results when I consume anything soy (except lecithin)… I discovered my soy intolerance many years ago when it’s popularity was just starting to peak – just around the time I discovered I’m lactose intolerant – back then, I was disappointed that I couldn’t “enjoy the benefits of soy” with everyone else… Since then, I’ve seen a lot of research pop up on Medline & Pubmed about the many ‘downsides’ of consuming soy… My body knows better than my brain did!!! These days I generally avoid it like the plague!

    REFERENCING:
    To those of you who want references – don’t be lazy & go look it up! On GOOGLE SCHOLAR, not just regular google or you’ll get more unreferenced journalism instead of science-based information. Searches like “soy AND goitrogen” “soy AND thyroid” Etc will yield plenty of results, then go back to biology 101 and study up on the many things the thyroid does in the body… Then you’ll understand how far reaching the effects of soy on the body can actually be!

  26. this article isnt fully correct for example legumes are nitrogen fixing so actually repair soil but they do draw from deeper in ground so can contain high levels of metals such as aluminium. and saying something is not healthy just because it may contain something is scaremongering. yes there is a possibility I might die from a bus but does it mean I will, no. oh and have qualifications in horticulture as well as BSc. I do enjoy soy occasionally but dont use it often, I do agree that Europeans over do things so think because certain cultures are known to use it in so many ways it must be used all the time.

  27. I’m trying to kick the soy habit, definitely notice a difference without it. Less PMS, water retention, less symptoms of estrogen dominance, faster metabolism. Unfortunately I love soymilk!

  28. I would just like to note that much of the research on soy and soy products is realtively new and controversial. There are many, many, many studies proving the exact opposite of this. In fact, the harmful effects of phytoestrogens in males and females is largely speculation and many studies saying they are harmful use uncharisticaly large amount over a short period of time. We do the same thing in most drug tests which is why 95% later fail in long term human trials. I have been consuming soy both as edamame and tofu for over 7 years ( I do not comsume process foods). My husband has been comsuming it in large amounts for the past 3. Both of us have seen a significant increase in energy, skin brightening, sex drive, and over all health. In fact, my once infertile husband is now fertile. Unlike others, we are not intollerant to soy and have benefitted from it without it being fermented. But as with anything, you need to eat according to your body. I am vegan because animal products make me sick. In fact, while consuming meat and dairy, I was sick all the time, felt lethargic, had severe ache, awful mood swings and PMS, and a host of other ailments. Most people say, “Well you weren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables.” Wrong. Prior to becoming vegan, fruits and vegetables were my main source of calories. I consumed meat and dairy as a side. Becoming vegan was the best thing I could ever do myself and eating soy has drastically improved my health. We need to focus on ourselves as individuals when looking at nutrition. What may be unhealthy for some isn’t for others. We can’t all be put into the same mold and that is the biggest problem with nutrition. It breaks everything down in to black and white and assumes we are all the same. You cannot do that.

  29. I’ve been practically raised-up on soy so i can say that what you affirm is far from the truth. My parents totally replaced meat with soy in my diet as a child. There is a secret into turning off all those harmful hormones and stuff that you mentioned. One must keep soy in water for 24 hours before boiling it for AT LEAST three to three-and-a-half hours (adding water from time to time) before eating it. That’s what they said about potatoes, when they found them and people died from eating their upper ground fruits: that they are poisonous for humans and animals and that all cultures should be burned. That was only lack of information. There are also entire communities living on soy so, just because you don’t know how to use it, don’t call it harmful.

      • Canola oil is made from genetically modified rapeseed. It is in everything “healthy, too.” I don’t know why there isn’t more being said about eliminating BOTH soy and canola, it is hidden in EVERYTHING!

        • Canola oil is not “hidden” in anything. It is blantantly advertised. Nor is it “in everything”. It’s usually a different kind of oil, if there is “_____ oil” at all.

          Canola oil is NOT GMO by nature. Rapeseed is poisonous. Canola is not. It was created by crossbreed ing, two plants having sex with each other. Just like domestic dog breeds. Not GMO.

          Also, just because something is sold at Whole Foods doesn’t mean it’s not GMO. They sell corporate-owned brands, Tom’s of Maine, and plenty of “natural” products or even companies like Ian’s which have both organic and non-organic versions!

          Some people don’t want to shop at Whole Foods and some don’t even care about GMO because there has only been one study done and its technically not obviously conclusive. Some people only look at chemicals in certian items or don’t worry about chemicals at all. Some people, hard as this seems to be for others to believe, are actually not billionaires and/or are unable to afford enough to eat. For those people, they couldbuy Hellman’s mayonaisse with canola oil which contains no ingredients that are both food and are harmful when found in nature, and which is a much better alternative to what they were previously buying which is Hellman’s or Wal-Mart brand mayonaisse with soy.

          • Canola was hybridized originally, but they have since created a genetically modified version. The amount of canola that is genetically modified continues to grow rather substantially, just as it did with soy and corn.

            If there has been one, inconclusive study done, then what makes you think it is safe? I would rather them have to prove safety before I am willing to consume something, rather than someone having to prove how damaging something is. But in reality, it is very easy to use common sense to figure out why GMO is dangerous – just ask and I am willing to provide my argument.

            As far as not being billionaires… I am extremely poor, but eat both organic and non-gmo. I found that being picky with what I buy actually saves me money and affords me the luxury of buying some specialized things I otherwise could not afford.

            Also, mayo is extremely, EXTREMELY easy to make. But it is much harder to do with store-bought eggs. Farm-fresh eggs are ideal. I only eat mayo that I make myself, and I love it.

          • Buying mayo in a store is just lazy and stupid and I can’t believe so many people still do it.

  30. I have some fish oil pills that say they contain Natural Vitamin E (soy). Is soy bad in that form too?

    • While doing research on soy, i found out that its only bad if you consume large amounts of soy… But, I think it would be okay since you getting something good out of it. When I went to the store almost everything has soy D: !!! Other thank that I think its okay. Any form of soy is considered bad though. To be on the safe side you should look for another kinda pill that doesn’t. It may be hard but worth the shot. :) if not you can always eat things that have vitamin E like veggies or fruits ^^

  31. soy gives me horrendous gut pain, took me a lot off suffering to find out it was soy, I am also any enemy of gluten. so I welcome this article. on point!

  32. Sure, lets just keep digging up all the dirt on our favorite fruits, and vegetables and meats until theres absolutely nothing left on the dinner table! That sounds like a great idea!
    Yea… sure its probably all true, but saying that eating soy is unhealthy is most definitely not true. One day you hear people say “don’t eat corn” next day you hear “don’t eat potatoes” then you hear “don’t eat red meat” for this that or some other reason.
    If your going to eliminate a certain food from your diet because of some article like that your bound to find another one that tells you you shouldn’t eat some other food. If your going to continue this silly game you might as well become a breathinarian or one of those sun gazers. As of right now, im going to drink as much soymilk as I want. Tastes great, I get the unsweetened kind. Im not lactose or dairy intolerant at all, I just SO much prefer the taste and texture of soymilk. My bones are perfectly fine. I eat lots of leafy greens as well, and no im not going to let some article tell me to stop eating greens because of the oxalates in them that leech calcium from my bones. Because my bones are perfectly fine, so while the oxalates may leech calcium they apparently aren’t leeching enough!

  33. My daughter decided to become a pescatarian and couple of years ago and along with that she started to eat more and more soy products thinking that it would be healthier and that it would help with digestion. Slowly she started having digestive problems until in the last few months she had been experiencing stomach crams every day. She was going to go to the doctor but had a trip to New York first. While she was out of town she went off her “healthy” diet. She was gone for a week and when she got back she was feeling 100% better. She wasn’t sure why she was feeling better but decided to stay off her diet. Recently she accidently ate what she thought was a chicken sandwich which turned out to be a soy chicken sandwich and when she got home she started cramping again. She decided to research soy and found all the negative effects to some people. I’m glad she was able to find out what was going on but I feel bad that she had to endure unnecessary suffering. I’m not judging anyone who chooses to eat a certain way, just telling you our experience. Hope it helps someone.

  34. Lots of things wrong about your article. The NYT just did a piece on soy in the Well blog debunking a lot of the myths you perpetuate in this article. Soy is healthy and can be part of a healthy diet. Not all soy beans or soy products are GMO’s or are grown with pesticides, and people in Asia have been eating soy and fermented soy for thousands of years to no ill effect. Plus, if you’re eating any kind of processed food whatsoever, soy lecithin is probably a part of it. Highly processed soy products and soy protein isolate are probably more of a problem than soy beans, tofu or tempeh, which is just a fermented soy product. No one should be consuming soy as their sole source of protein. Just like no one should be consuming meat as their sole source of protein. But soy can be part of a healthy diet. Like I said, tofu has been around for thousands of years, and soy beans are just beans. There’s nothing there to be afraid of.

  35. Hi Katie, I drink soy several times a week and one of my daughters (Christin, who is pursuing a career in nutrition something) has been gently informing me that it’s bad for me; I’ve actually begun to experience some of the milder issues you’ve mentioned soy consumption can create/exacerbate. So my question is, do I need to do some sort of soy detox or simply stop the beverage? I’m so ready to kick the soy habit!
    Thanks,
    Natalie.

  36. I was fed soy formula as an infant as my mother didn’t breast feed and I was allergic to cows milk. It was also more convenient for my parents than goats milk which they first put me on. I am almost 60, had endometrial cancer in my early 40’s and have hasimoto’s disease — an autoimmune thyroid disease. In my 40’s my body started to reject soy in any form. Had I not linked it to drinking soy shakes, I would have thought I had colitis. I cringe at the thought of babies on soy milk. I am so glad that this information is becoming more wildly known.

  37. Hi Katie, I drink soy several times a week and one of my daughters (Christin, who is pursuing a career in nutrition something) has been gently informing me that it’s bad for me; I’ve actually begun to experience some of the milder issues you’ve mentioned soy consumption can create/exacerbate. So my question is, do I need to do some sort of soy detox or simply stop the beverage? I’m so ready to kick the soy habit!
    Thanks,
    Natalie.

    • Safflower is very bad, this was bad enough to be openly and honestly disliked by everyone (government, corporations, etc.)… I’m sorry I can’t remember where I got the information from. I believe the danger was originally discovered through baby formula. I am thinking maybe Weston Price.

      • EVERYTHING IS BAD….!! DON’t EAT… Don’t BREATHE… DON’T LIVE..

        Live life folks… stop worrying about everything… you could get hit by a car tomorrow! No diet going to help you then!

  38. Hi all

    I see some references at one of the links, but none of them are cited, and none of the studies involve soy consumption. I have actually not been able to find any peer reviewed studies, not one, that link soy consumption to chronic health problems. The web is awash with claims that soy consumption is dangerous. I must ask: Where are the peer reviewed data that demonstrate this? Also, though relatively low in these “limiting amino acids” compared to meat, eggs and dairy, note that soy does contain the amino acids methionine and cysteine. If soy is used as a primary protein source and you are a vegan, it is important to include cereals, corn, nuts, and seeds to make up for the limiting amino acids in soy. I have a feeling that the Weston A. Price Foundation is in large part responsible for this anti soy paradigm. Keep in mind, WAPF also promotes the consumption of raw milk products and a meat based diet very high in saturated fats.

  39. I’ve been a vegetarian for 7 years due to th’s corruption in the animal industry, and I’ve lived on Morningstar products for the bulk of that time. I’ve always been skeptical of the FDA’s recommendations, and I’ve been having some issues that doctors can’t seem to fix or even explain. I stumbled upon this site in search of a natural way to balance my hormones, since some research on my part has led me to believe that’s what’s causing my trouble. I’m appalled at the things people (including myself) blindly put into their bodies. I can’t believe more people don’t question the authority of the FDA. Thank you so much for your articles. Please continue to to open the eyes of the public to the poison we’re feeding our children. Are there any suggestions for a strict (I do eat fish) vegetarian making these lifestyle changes?

  40. Recently I was REALLY low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money on the internet! I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this.. With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – 1csc

  41. What about black soybeans? they are not GMO. they are organic. I just recently started eating them. they taste different and are more like dried beans. I bought mine dried soaked them over night and boiled them for 90 min. I don’t know about the estrogen content but I do know that they are NOT GMO.

  42. I am curious as to whether or not the problem in soy arises from genetically modified crops. Do these same detriments in soy hold true for organic and non-genetically modified crops? There are cultures in other countries that eat natural soy products (soy beans, tofu etc) and they seem quite healthy. Has anyone read anything about this?

  43. Everything should be taken moderately …. Good or bad depends on each individual life’s style … Rules are made by men for … Take care !

  44. My daughter had soya milk as a baby. She is in her 20,s now and has polycistic ovary syndrome. Do you think there is any conection?

  45. “These phytoestrogens are so strong that a baby consuming only soy formula is consuming the equivalent hormones of 4 birth control pills a day!”

    Source please. This statement is alarmist and makes little sense given the high amounts of concentrated hormones included in birth control pills and the level of food regulation that should be in play to stop this. If this were true then why aren’t women prescribed soy beans to eat instead of taking the pill?

  46. “In addition to being harmful to our bodies, soy production is harmful to the planet and to livestock who eat it as well. Almost all soybeans grown today are genetically modified and “Round-up ready.” They contain a gene that allows them to be directly sprayed with pesticides without dying. There is some evidence that this gene can mutate and create a pesticide-like toxin in the body.”

    This comment seriously makes me cringe. Yes, there are GMO soy farms. They are probably the same as those soy farms that are being built in former rain forrest regions. And a LOT of soy is produced in former rain forrest regions! So this is very bad for the planet indeed. But why exactly do the producers feel the need to use GMO, why grow soy in the rain forrest? The reason is simple: Because the demand is huge and the prices have to be as low as possible. The irony: The demand does not come from vegetarians, but from the meat and dairy industries. Almost all of the soy production is being used for cheap livestock food.

    In other words: Every time you buy meat or dairy products that have not been ecologically produced, YOU are supporting the harmful production of potentially genetically modified soy beans in problematic regions. On the other hand, many vegetarians are ecologically conscious, which is probably why many soy drinks are eco-labelled and Alpro even advertises that its soy beans are neither GMO or grown in the rain forrest. Blaming the soy bean for this rather than the greedy producers or the customers who always want cheap, cheap, cheap, is like blaming robberies on the copper that coins are made of.

    (The rest of this article is written just as poorly; modern studies are not nearly as negative on the bad impacts of soy while also acknowledging some positive impacts. The results are simply not that sensationalistic. At the same time, studies have been critical of dairy for some time as well. And to suggest that the soy-based animal food might be the worst aspect of meat is quite honestly laughable—it’s linked to several medical problems, with red meat and industrially produced meat being the biggest health offenders.)

  47. Hello, dear Katie, first I would like to thank you for sharing all these articles. I read a lot of them recently as I started to have a healthy diet plan. I have to admit that I feel so upset when I read this one…first I read that grains are bad, so we should avoid them, it was already frustrated me, as I am from Taiwan and we eat rice or noodle as our daily main meal, even now I am living in Germany, I still prefer to eat rice or noodle as my main meal and with several different dishes (it is our food culture and habit). I want to try one month that avoid grains so I went to buy chickpeas and soy flour before I read your other articles, and then I learned from the other texts of you say beans are bad as well…..and then I thought well, at least I still have tofu and soy milk…and then I found this article….you can image how frustrated I am. I have some questions about them,
    1, I told my bf that grains are bad because they contain,,,,,,, then he checked and said, well, then you can still eat white rice, because when eliminate the nutrition meanwhile also eliminate the hramful elements from grains, is that true and can I still sometimes have some rice?
    2, we do consume pretty amount of soy daily, like we drink soy milk ( and our soymilk is actually taste totally different then west countries) as breakfast because many pp don’t like milk and we have always learned that soy milk is better espcially for women, and the vegetarian in my country consume even more soy products, like tofu ( non vegetarian also ) and many food instead meat are produced from soy. my question is if soy and also rice is really that bad, then why asian usully tend to more slim and look younger and have less chronic illness?

    I am not here to criticise or challenge , I just feel pretty upset as we have totally different food culture with west countries, and somehow that make this change become more difficult.

    • The words above should make the anti grains and soy people think again. Entire cultures have lived and thrived on grains. Whereas eating tons of meat & dairy has led us to enormous rates of obesity, heart disease and degenerative diseases. Those eating rice and soy for hundreds years did not have it.
      Have you studied works of Dr McDougall, Dr Esselstyn, Dr Campbel? They show enormous benefit in organic whole grains, vegetables, legumes and huge risks behind consuming tons of meat and dairy.
      No, I am not advocating huge amounts of soy either, I am hardly consuming it. But I do not see how whole soy products can harm so heavily. Of course some isolated so proteins, fake meats, etc are not health foods, just like all other highly processed foods. Cooking at our homes from whole foods should be promoted more.
      I have personally improved my health a lot (postpartum arthritis symptoms) after changing my diet to significantly less meat and dairy consumption (from every day to once a week). I have not eliminated it 100% just because I am not there yet, I do not believe in radical changes overnight.

  48. And the alternative is to switch to meat instead? Yeah, right. I’d rather suffer from soy- and bean-induced diseases for lifetimes – if it really is ALL THAT BAD for you – than support the harm and exploitation incurred on animals by the meat and dairy industries.

  49. For at least 10-12 years, I drank soy milk, ate soy meal replacement bars, edamame, soy nuts…..I was so healthy! Until I wasn’t. First, I had a hysterectomy as a result of fibroid tumors directly related to too much estrogen. Than I had breast cancer. 100% estrogen positive.

  50. What about soy that is non-GMO and organic? I buy the Wildwood extra firm tofu. Is it the soy itself that is harmful in its natural state or is it the unhealthy process it is being put through? Thanks! :)

    • I would also like to know this! Is it the food in it’s natural state or the processes it goes through? I love tofu scramble so I’m definitely very upset =(

  51. A lot of your research links come from studies funded by the USDA and the ADA. If you dig deep enough into “independent” studies you’ll see those powerful government agencies meddling with those studies too. I’m not some anti-government, conspiracy theorist, rather a normal person who questions everything. And if you do your own research you’ll find that these agencies know how to spread false information to protect their meat & dairy constituency. There’s no need to scare people with false claims. “Processed-anything” is certainly bad, but soy in general isn’t going to cause cancer or man-boobs.

  52. Have you read Lierre Keith’s the Vegetarian Myth, in which she explains – among many other very interesting topics – the reasons why we should all STOP eating soy; I was so shocked after having read her chapter on this subject, I immediately stopped my soymilk intake and now use goat’s milk in black tea and coffee (otherwise I don’t drink milk at all) We now occasionally use fermented soy sauce to add extra flavour to sauces and try and avoid as much as we possibly can processed foods, which I find tough on our two boys…..They are not allergic (as far as I can tell) to anything so we’re lucky there and as they grow older, now 15 and 17, they gravitate to healthier foods themselves!! which I find hugely encouraging.

  53. My mother has been telling me and my sisters this for years and it seems people are only realizing the side effects now, cheers to the new generations of moobs and infertitlity…

  54. I have a story to share. I am a woman in my mid twenties. I was always very health conscious and was having a very active life style, with riding my bike everyday, doing jogging, gym,…
    And I ate very healthy. Part of my healthy eating was Tofu, and Protein shakes, especially after workouts, but also during the day. In 2012 I purchased a Soy Protein Shake, because I heard very good things about it. I really liked the taste. I mixed it with Soy milk and sweetened it with Honey or Maple sirup.
    Over the next couple of months, I consumed this Soy shake every day (1 to 3 shakes per day)

    Then suddenly I realized that I didn’t have as much energy as I used to have for my sport lessons. I got hot flashes, every time I started a lesson in the gym or went for a run in the park, I felt hot and cold, and hot and cold, and sweating abnormal!
    I did not know what was happening. All my life I used to have so much passion for sport and it was never difficult for me. Never exhausting.

    Soon after I started experiencing Hair loss. It got more and more, so much, that I would sit in my bath tube and cry of all the hair I saw in the tube.
    I used to have very thick hair, that I needed to cut then.

    I dont know what caused what, but I really became depressed by all this. I was sleeping a lot, my digestion, that used to be fine, was weird, with diarrhea, instead of a normal and fast digestion.

    I got 2 cysts in my breast. And I had long and painful menstruations.

    I made a blood test and it showed that my Thyroid antibodies were elevated.
    My liver values high, cholesterol high, Vitamin D low…

    I did not make the connection to soy at this time. At some point I stopped eating soy, because I didn’t like the taste anymore. I started to take a hair vitamin supplement, and ate a normal diet.

    It took some time, till everything went back to normal. I was struggling for almost a year, till i felt better, my hair loss stopped, the hot flashes disappeared.
    My thyroid antibodies went back to normal.

    Only when I looked back, I saw, that all this could have been caused by soy, because it was the only thing that I changed in my diet at this time. I now avoid it like the pest (: even soy lecithin or soy sauce I am not touching.
    I am eating a normal diet, with eggs, butter, meat, fish, bread, I love healthy and not healthy sweets, but only with natural ingredients, like butter, flour, chocolate.

    Thats it, hope this helps to someone!

  55. That explains it…..I am trying to eat healthier, and although I am not menopausal yet, the transition has started….so I bought some soy milk…..

    I bought the chocolate one and had it as a snack….and it wasn’t that bad…it was in those little containers that look like the juice cartons I use to put in my kids’ lunch boxes when they were little…..

    And then by the time I got home from work……wow!!! It felt like I had menstrual cramps! Spent the night taking Pepto……and still feeling bloated!!!

    Thanks for the info!

    :)

  56. Great information but what’s the alternative…to this alternative? I’m dating someone who is vegan but not really by choice but becaue they are allergic to dairy (not lactose but will break out in hives, etc.) and does not eat meat as it really makes him feel ill, also cannot tolerate seafood or fish. So there is soy, we use it in a lot of different meals and he uses soy creamer as well. The creamer isn’t my concern as for that, there is a lot of of alternatives (hemp, almond, etc) but meat substitutes are a little harder. I see a lot more hummus in his future…

  57. Well, to say I feel EXTREMELY sad and shocked after reading this is the understatement of the year!!!!!!!! I am addicted to (organic) Edamame. I steam it and eat it as a snack approx. 2x a week and I LOVE it to death. I can’t imagine my life without it. :-( :-(

  58. I’ve read this entire post and am very concerned that you haven’t posted any scientific study references. I have been following this diet for some time and must say I do feel good on it. I have been able to go off of all hormone treatments, seen a fibrocystic breast syndrome minimize, and lost quite a bit of body fat simply by stopping the wheat and refined sugars. I occasionally will each corn tortillas chips and pasta, but usually see side effects immediately, so I have to weigh the trade off when I am making the choice. I am helping the rest of my family to try some of this out, and the Vegans are particularly difficult because they eat this way due to moral concerns of how animals are treated. I need to enlighten them while respecting their belief structure so any scientific studies that are not backed by the FDA or a company that stands to make a profit from meat based diet would be helpful. I does seem that there is big money being made with this life style. Can you please give references to any actual Dr. reports or University studies? Thank you!

  59. I am so sad to read this :( It feels like we are constantly being told something is healthy for us when it’s not. Used to be a dairy drinker but was turned off when I learned about the horrible conditions dairy cows are often succumbed to (I was one of those people who thought they were treated a tenfold better than beef cows) so I switched to soy…. After countless articles about soy I decided to switch to almond milk. Now, there is a whole whack of studies about almond milk. Thinking of switching to hemp? Ugh…

  60. Hi, I am curious where you got your information on the consumption of soy. I have been back and forth about soy for years. However, I recently read an article by Dr.Oz stating almost thr opposite of what you are describing as the effects of soy. He goes on to explain how in moderation it can be very healthy and actually does not have as great of an effect on hormones as most believe. I will put a link so you can check it out. I am just curious about it and I get very confused wonder I who to believe. Thank you for your information. I would love to hear what you think about Dr. Oz’s point of view. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/soy-good-bad-and-best?page=4

  61. There’s science between the pro’s and con’s – Here’s one doctor’s view:
    http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/08/06/how-soy-can-kill-you-and-save-your-life/

    What’s crazy is that the longest living people in the entire world are on Okinawa – They studied the diets of all these 100+ yr old people and they all had soy every day. And not fermented soy (as they hype goes).

    With so much misinformation going around, it’s good to do your own research. Good health!

  62. I’d like to receive recipe ideas for plant food. I have cancer and understand meat is bad for you and so is soya mince.

  63. In the last couple of years I found out that I am gluten intolerant. I cut out all gluten, no grains of any kind. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t feeling better. More tests and found out my immune system is attacking my thyroid. Another auto-immune disorder in addition to the celiac and fibromyalgia (last 27 years). Read The whole soy story and couldn’t believe what I was reading how soy interferes with thyroid function and a lot of other things. I had no idea how much soy I was actually ingesting. Coffemate, Miracle Whip and all the salad dressings on the market. Wow… So I cut out everything with soy and low and behold I am coming out of the fog and have energy that I had before I got sick almost 30 years ago. The real test is to eliminate it and feel the difference for yourself. It is unbelievable how the food industry has crammed all these cheap damaging ingredients into everything. Taco Bell meat has wheat added. Hershey’s chocolate bars now have vegetable oil in them instead of cocoa butter. I would have to bet it’s soy oil. Good luck and health to all.

  64. I’ve lived in China for two years. Tofu is one of the main foods there. It is certainly not a condiment. It is also, as you probably know, not fermented. The thing about a baby having soy formula being the same as that baby taking the equivalent of 3 birth control pills is in stark contrast with studies saying that the estrogens in soy have 1/1000 of the potency of human estrogens. However I think the problem is that many people (proof being in many of the comments) think that eating processed junk food like salad dressings and processed soy milk and soy snack is the same as eating soy and so the demonise soy because of that. To these people – and to you – I would say this; quit eating industrial food because, regardless of what it contains, it’s harmful for you since all ingredients in it are processed, including soy. If what you are referring to is organic NONGMO soy then I think you need to look at other evidence out there. By the way, old people in China are the healthiest I have seen (definitely much healthier than american or european old people) and, as I said, they do eat a lot of soy…

  65. If any of you people who are talking only about how bad soy is for you is an actual doctor I would like to know. Fermented soy is proven to be very beneficial and unfermented soy still has many benefits despite the negatives. I hate to break it to you but most if not all of the foods you eat do. Before you write off a food completely, educate yourself instead of basing your decision off of someone’s personal opinion and blog comments. Am I really commenting on an article from 2012? I need to find something better to do with my time.

  66. I had breast cancer a couple years ago. My doctor and the nutritionist, discouraged eating soy. We cancer survivors are not to have any extra estrogen, which could cause the cancer to come back. I had also been taking Estroven to help with hot flashes. The doctor told me to stop taking it also because even though it was phyto-estrogen, it could still cause the cancer to come back.

  67. I’m anaphylactic to soy. Was born with it & will always have it. There are more foods then any of you can imagine that contain soy. I have to read every bit of food that goes into body otherwise I will die! So have a think about that before you keep saying how great it is. It’s nothing but a CHEAP additive for foods!

  68. Wow. So many comments. And some so rude.

    To those who discount her article completely and ask for documented proof: what about all those posted real life experiences in these comments?

    Maybe the soy in China hasn’t been modified yet. Maybe the preparation is done better than in the US – we do want things to cost less above all else.

    Let’s not throw out the article because it isn’t backed by the proper authorities. Real life experience speaks more to me than any (possibly manipulated) study. Not that people won’t make stuff up too, but the ‘evidence’ is supported by the number of comments to this article that soy has not been a healthy choice for many.

    All I know is I can’t eat it.

  69. All I can say is, if God made it with the intention of feeding Humans, then it is not bad for you. However, I think that soy is meant to be eaten in its natural state and organic, not processed and not GMO or anything else. Of course a diet should be balanced. Soy this soy that, of course it will give anyone problems, because nature did not intend for you to eat it that way. I bet if you eat only one item all the time, eventually you will develop an aversion to it and even be allergic. Soy milk? No way. Human babies are meant to drink as their milk… their mother’s, end of story. Bottom line, I will never be convinced that organic, natural soybean is “bad” as long as it is eaten only occasionally and in moderation.

  70. I’m not sure about that, i’m only sure that GMO soy are bad for you, which in US 99% are all GMO soy, GMO soy contains inbuilt pesticide is why many bees and insect are dying. I live in Taiwan people drink soy milk everyday instead of milk and it’s been more than a century , yes we are still healthy.
    Yes, soy contains phytoestrogens but as long you don’t drink too much it is no biggie.

  71. I believe no one has referenced Dr. D’Adamo’s book, “Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type”.

    If you understand your ancestry, and your blood type, you will also understand that for people like me, type A, soy is a life-saver. For someone with type O blood, it is poison. We are all unique and different. Soy is just one of hundreds of foods that contain lectins that could be poisonous to your blood. For me, it helps me and in fact through Dr. D’Adamo’s many, many years of research, have come to understand that it is healing for certain cancers such as breast cancer.

  72. If this is true, shouldn’t all Asian Countries have a huge problems as their diet mostly includes soy: different types of tofu, soya sauce whenever they cook, soy bean milk. etc..etc..

  73. By ingesting garlic with soy daily has increased the size of my sister’s thyroid nodule. She was taking garlic pills with an additive of soy bean oil. Her thyroid nodule increased in size.

    According to what she read, soy can cause your body to not absorb thyroid medication that was suppose to shrink the nodule. By her ingesting the garlic pills with soybean additive her nodule grew!!!!! SOY in certain forms is really bad for consumption and the human body!

  74. What are your credentials and what makes you believe that soy is bad? There is a ton of research going on and neither side has really been proven yet… I’m just curious because I am a regular soy protein drinker… :-s

    • My background is in Nutrition, but it is my research I’ve done after graduating that has convinced me that soy is unhealthy. In health, I doubt that any “side” can officially be “proven” since so much relies on interpretation, but soy is one food that I’ve seen enough information about (some of it listed in the article above) not to ever consume it.

  75. I am sooo allergic to soy, so in a way I have been fortunate as I have had to check everything & you are absolutely right that EVERYTHING seems to have some form or fashion of SOY! It is horrible. I have found that I can…on occasion, very slight occasion have soy sauce. Is that because of the fermenting out the effects of the allergens? Why does every manufacturer of every product in cans, boxes, and frozen items put that stinking soy product into its foods? I don’t understand, other than the only thing I have figured is that they put it in to stretch the tuna as well as other expensive products, so they don’t have to give u as much actual tuna. And, it is some “sweet” deal that “corporate america” rolls in the money for it being used so much. Please inform me as to the truths of this product.

  76. I am Asian and we definitely consume HUGE amounts of soy (soy milk, tempeh, tofu, miso, etc). My friends & family doesn’t seem to have any problems on this but I have issues on missing periods, etc. I don’t really know whether its because of ‘Soy’ or other stuff, what do you think?

  77. I think you need to be careful about being too biased on this topic, although some of what your saying may have some degree of truth, there are also many studies showing the positive effects soy may have on the body, including decreasing your risk of some cancers, such as prostate cancer. There is not enough substantial evidence to prove all of your points, and many are invalid.
    Do more, and better, research before you start preaching your ideas, and scaring, people away from soy.

  78. Eating processed soy products is definitely damaging to one’s health. Most soy in the US is GMO. So, the next question that pops into my head would be, “is all soy bad or is GMO, non-organic, processed soy bad?” Most studies I’ve seen look at processed soy, GMO soy, or don’t make a distinction. Therefore, it’s a bit unfair to judge an entire food by it’s Frankenstein cousin.

  79. I had a blood clot in my lungs and my doctor put me on warfarin to prevent clotting, and told me to avoid excess Vitamin K. I discovered soybean oil is loaded with K, and was amazed to find it’s everywhere. It’s a real chore to eliminate all the foods that are made with soybean oil. There are hundreds of them.

  80. Unfortunately you do not list any credible research to back your claims against soy. For some insightful information I recommend the following article by Dr. Mark Hyman.

  81. Soy can bring significant relief for symptoms of menopause without the dangers of hormone replacement therapy. Anything in excess is bad soy is on that list but that does not make soy bad.

  82. What are your thoughts on soy based body products? I have a locally made soy based lotion that I love, but Oils of Soy, Olive, and Wheat Germ are the second ingredients. Not sure I’m willing to give it up, but definitely doing some more research. Thanks!

  83. I cannot have dairy, wheat or gluten so when I cut these out of my diet I resorted to Soy based alternatives.

    I am so glad you have done this article as it has been extremely insightful for me. I am definitely going to be cutting soy from my diet.

    Thankyou!

  84. I am allergic to soy and it is hard to grocery shop for me, and going out to eat is a three ringed circus. I am so inclined to read ingreadients lists that I have read baby formula and the milk based ones also have soy too and there is no company in the United States that have no soy in their formulas.

  85. I do not see how consuming lots of meat and butter and oils can be seen as “healthy” over soybeans. Meat and dairy is very fattening and relatively unhealthy. I am sure there are studies showing soybeans can possibly cause these apparent health problems, but I can guarantee you that you can find more actual RESEARCH proving animal products are unhealthy. PLEASE READ THE CHINA STUDY. This book is a wonderful source that has actual research to back it up on what is actually healthy for you. It is absurd on how much protein people assume we need, and guess who sets the standards for how much protein our bodies need… the meat and dairy industry. Typically things that are naturally growing on this earth are more healthy that man created things such as butter which is such an unhealthy fat. There is a list of health problems longer than this that an be caused by dairy products. Btw i love this blog, just having a hard time understanding how the food parts of this blog are seen as healthy.

    • This is one that I think we will have to respectfully disagree on. The China Study is often quoted but it has its flaws too (here is one good article that explains some: http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/). I have complete respect for people who choose a vegetarian or vegan diet for ethical or personal reasons, but I also don’t think it is the healthiest diet for me or my children. I’m in absolute agreement that we all need more vegetables though and that things that are naturally growing are often a better choice. One thing to research though- many vegetable based oils seem to be “healthier” but actually go through a chemical process that makes them dangerous (canola, vegetable, soybean, etc)

      • Thanks for your response! I definitely enjoy your blog and appreciate your advice towards living a healthy more natural lifestyle! Thank you for your insight I have been cutting out vegetable based oils and I hope my comment did not sound attacking! I too have chosen not to put my son on a vegetarian diet but am trying to work that way myself for personal reasons. I like to see different opinions on the situation though and it’s great to have a discussion seeing different viewpoints:)

  86. Hi, I read your article and I don’t now what to think anymore. I am slowly switching to a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle but as an athlete (weightlifter who is 260+ lbs) it has been hard to get enough calories and make sure everything is healthy.

    I could go on and on but I have some general questions:

    What about Organic Soy Milk? Does anything labeled with “organic” mean anything anymore?

    What would you suggest for someone like me who needs a lot of protein and calories but doesn’t want to eat meat for health and ethical reasons?

    I mean seriously, it feels like I’m just going to have to grow my own food at some point but then how do I really know my seeds are even “real”?

    Basically, I’m freaking pissed off and have been forever since I found out about how awful American food is. I don’t eat out and my main focus is nutrition and health.

    What in the world is there left to eat in America that isn’t complete garbage?

    Any advice would be great and I really don’t want to go back to a meat diet or use many animal products, they are their own world of garbage.

    • – Organic is typically considered GMO free as well- but you can also find things labeled to be free of GMOs.
      -Can you eat eggs, fish or dairy?
      -I know the feeling- we do grow some of our own food but it does seem like an uphill battle anymore.
      -Completely agree with this one!
      -Not much
      -I can definitely understand the desire to avoid animal products for ethical reasons and I was actually a vegetarian for a while when I was much younger for that reason. After much research, I settled on only ever using ethically raised, organic, grass-fed meats and dairy and balancing them with huge amounts of vegetables. Definitely keep researching and do whatever is comfortable for you, but make sure you research soy in detail and how even small amounts can be problematic for many people (and especially men/boys/children)

  87. Thanks for your opinion. Perhaps your readers should also read this link as it demystifies soy and explains the working of phytoestrogens (from plants) and estrogen manufactured by the body. The key point is this – phytoestrogens in soy are not the same as estrogen made by the body and do not exert the same effects on the body.

  88. Everything that we do or eat must be in moderation (just enough). Too much or too little of anything with regards to our health is no good. Too much vitamin C is no good. Too much calcium is also no good. Too much cigarette or alcohol are health hazard. Too much romance or sex with your partner will diminish the excitement.

    So guys, believe it. Everything that exist on this planet has a reason to exist. Everything has a plus and negative. Every sickness has a cure. Every problem has a solution. Just don’t be an extremist.

  89. I raised all my children on soy formula. I breast fed for 3 to 6 months thenas they were alergic to milk based formula. They are now 30, 26, & 24 yrs old and don’t appear to have any negative affects. My boys are over 6ft tall and strong and handsome. My daughter is a normal healthy young lady and very active. So Im not sure what all the hype is about. I agree about GMO’s.It For myself I make sure I buy Organic Soy Milk and prefer it to Almond. Of course it was before GMO’s, I believe.

  90. Thank you for posting this. I think that I may be one of the few who cannot ingest anything with soy or soy derivatives.

  91. Soy isn’t as bad as it is currently being made out to be. Actually, it is a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids, including Methionine. Cysteine on the other hand is a non-essential amino acid meaning our bodies make them, and therefore does not contribute to being considered a complete protein.

    As for the phytoestrogens, isoflavones, yes it does contain them & can mimic them but the amounts are nowhere near the amount of the hormone that is produced in women’s bodies (so need to be worried men out there that have consumed soy in the past). Studies have actually shown that it may help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. In women, some studies have been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer & in others it has been found to increase the risk. There are so many factors that research at the moment is inconclusive.

    Overall, if your going to change your diet, including new foods or excluding new foods, consult with a registered dietician especially if you have specific needs.

  92. What is your view on organic soya milk ( I am in the UK)
    I have been told to eat tofu and drink soya milk to regulate the hormones as I am going through menopause. What do you say about that?
    Many thanks!

  93. Soy is healthy. Have you ever wondered what industries stand to loose the most if soy is an accepted source of protein, and if these industries are somehow responsible for promoting misinformation about soy? I’m not talking about Katie, but sometimes well intentioned people pick up these myths and spread them.

    Is it safe to eat soy:
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/ask-well-is-it-safe-to-eat-soy/?_r=0

    Phytates are not an issue:
    http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400758/Are-Phytates-Bad-or-Good.html

    Phytates have health benefits:
    http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/phytates/

    Soy myths and information.
    http://freefromharm.org/health-nutrition/vegan-doctor-addresses-soy-myths-and-misinformation/

    Some soy studies:
    http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/soy-and-your-health

  94. Hey wellness mama,
    I also do not eat soy, but I do use non GMO soya butter in my body butters and skin products, from what I have read it has been known to have amazing benefits for skin, it has a very creamy and soft consistency and make a great skin moisturizer. I know you
    Also make body products. Would you say that soya butter is beneficial for skin?

  95. Hi there, great article! I had been wondering a lot of this stuff for a long time, although, as a genetics major I have to step in at ” There is some evidence that this gene can mutate and create a pesticide-like toxin in the body.” – that is impossible. Genes do not survive digestion, there is no way! They are broken down to their smaller constituents just like protein and any other food we put into our body, the mutating genes thing can scare everyone and it’s best to know that a gene which is functional in a plant cell can in no way mutate and operate an animal cell, especially after being broken down into mere nucleobases :)

  96. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 30 years. I eat tofu daily. I also make my own organic soy milk and make Ocara burgers from the soy rufage. My blood tests show no mineral or protein deficiency. From what I’ve read phytoestrogens fool the body into thinking it has enough real estrogen so it it stops producing its own estrogen thus preventing estrogen dominance. If you have allergy to soy, gluten or whatever. do NAET.

  97. I really appreciate your blog and have made some of the skin care recipes that you share here. The information shared here is right up my alley. BUT, Is there some kind of blogging backdoor where you don’t feel inclined to show references to your opinions? I understand the excellent vehicle to sharing of information and the conversations that are born from your posts, but I don’t have time to read all 200 comments. It would be really appreciated, from one writer to another if you could reference you work, so that readers could easily find cross-reference material. Cheers, and thanks again.

  98. I think that nowadays it is so easy to find information on foods and certain diets etc. The internet has brought a wealth of information to our finger tips, making it less time consuming than ever before to check up on our chosen eating habits. However, it has made it no less confusing! There are many conflicting studies which can make it difficult for people to decide what they think is best for them.

    Personally I think that (especially if you have a family), you owe it to yourself to do the research. However, we don’t all understand the scientific language that is used, which is why many people will rely on blogs to translate the findings in something readable and accessible. It can be very frustrating to want to take responsibility for your health but be so confused, overwhelmed and conflicted about which is the ‘best’ way.

    Personally I don’t condemn anyone for their diet choices. I think that every body is different. One diet which one body will thrive on, can make another very sick. As well as reading up and trying to make the best choices from there, what FEELS right for you is really important. Pay attention to your body tells you. Meditation can help you achieve this.

    I realise this isn’t so easy when you have kids – you only SEE the effects of a diet after they are quite established. Parents worry about all the ‘hidden’ dangers and the unseen damage their choices may cause. As new research comes out, I can imagine many parents beating themselves up ‘forever’ for the decisions they made. Do try not to! We can only try our best guys!

    Educate, read both sides, listen to your body, do what you can within your budget and remember that your mind can often counter many effects of illness. It is a very powerful tool. Teaching this to your children is probably one of the most beneficial things you can do.

    I would like to see people relax a little about their diets and not argue so much about what is ‘best’ thinking that this applies to every one. Everything in moderation. Accept that others thrive in environments and on diets you couldn’t. Remember that the mind is a very powerful tool too – not just your diet. If you are getting uptight about getting every aspect of your diet perfect then this is not good for you either.

    Good luck everyone in finding what works for YOU best. Please don’t judge others for their ways. Live and let live!

  99. Those who think you are in cahoots with the USDA crack me up! If they had their way, we’d all be eating soy and grains. Eat more fat, meat and eggs! NO soy or soybean oil. Your body will thank you.

  100. I’m not sure if anyone has asked this or not, but Is this article in reference to GMO soy or non-GMO soy? Is non-Gmo soy just as harmful?? And may I find out where you get your information? I will need references if the non-gmo are bad for a study I’m doing and I can not find any info on it,
    Thank you!!!

  101. This article is really upsetting….Might want to look into the chemistry of your claims against soy. The fact is the countries that consume the most soy products have less Alzheimer’s disease, less cancer, less heart disease etc. Why? Because the plant estrogens in soy protect the brain and are a buffer for women especially through aging as their estrogen levels drop. Soy has no ill effect on men either. Its a plant estrogen not an animal estrogen and unless your lacking estrogen it will not be received by the estrogen receptors in the body. People need to look at the science end of these things and stop jumping on the “anti soy” “anti gluten” bandwagon. Its like all the other trends that the food and drug industry makes a killing on. Do your research before you believe anything and if you don’t want to get cancer eat like the people who don’t get cancer…no dairy, lots of soy, high fiber whole food plant based diet, a small amount if any lean meat and no processed garbage. Simple.

  102. i am a 56 year old woman thathas eaten soya all my life and have no health problems at all
    neather dose my husbad or my three chilldren aged 33, 26 and 29 lots of my freinds are also vegan and eat soya and have all their lives and none of them are reasnebly healthy.

    I can simply say that soya dose not give you any health problems at al as it is just an opinion.

  103. washington carver use soy to make plastic. do we want to put plastic in our system. the stuff is not natural, so we not suppose to eat it.

    • They may use soy to make all kinds of materials, including plastic. Soy itself is not plastic. Your comment is highly uninformed.

  104. A link to your article regarding the dangers of soy was recently sent to me. Even though you wrote it some time ago, I believe it demands comment and I would like to share with you my experiences.
    I am male and 66 years old. Up until ten years ago I followed a meat based diet. I was overweight, suffered from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and experienced cardiovascular problems.
    Acting on the advice of a good friend, I changed to a vegetarian diet that comprised primarily soy protein in the form of meat alternative. Offering a similar taste and texture to meat, this was a really easy way to pursue a much healthier non-meat diet. After only a few weeks my weight reduced substantially and I began to feel considerably healthier. Ten years on my cholesterol levels and blood pressure are normal and I no longer suffer from cardiovascular difficulties.
    Opinion is divided on the effect to health of soy phytoestrogens. Some people believe, like you, that they can be dangerous. Another school of thought is that as they are much weaker than estrogens produced by the body, they provide considerable benefits, especially to post-menopausal women. The belief that phytoestrogens can reduce fertility in men is unsound. One of my good friends has been consuming soy since childhood and is the proud father of a boy aged nine and a girl aged five. Both these children have also been raised on soy protein and they too are in excellent health, showing no signs whatsoever of any physical or mental deficiencies.
    From a personal perspective I find that your criticisms that phytic acids interfere with vitamin and mineral absorption and protease inhibitors block enzymes in aiding the digestion of certain proteins to be totally unfounded. During my ten years of being vegetarian, I have experienced no signs whatsoever of deficiencies in minerals, vitamins or any protein digestion issues.
    You are quite correct in warning of the dangers of GM soy for human consumption; all genetically modified products are dangerous, should be avoided and never consumed. Please consider that if you eat meat, in addition to its high content of saturated fats and cholesterol, you will also consume traces of what the animal has eaten. As well as the genetically modified feed, this will include the massive amounts of growth hormones and antibiotics administered to the animal during rearing.
    I am no scientist and am not qualified to make claims. Personally I regard any health claims with scepticism, as they can be manipulated. They are similar to statistics in as much as they can be cherry picked to prove an individuals’ personal preference one way or the other. Yet I am particularly concerned of anyone making sweeping statements that condemns out of hand the dangers of a food and then fail to give credible evidence to support such a claim; it is so unprofessional. All people are different and have varying tolerances unique to themselves. There are many varieties of food that are potentially hazardous to some of us; a few may have an allergic reaction to soy and they should of course avoid it. Yet the vast majority have no such problem and it therefore is irresponsible to condemn soy out of hand.
    My friend has my enduring gratitude for persuading me to change to a vegetarian soy based diet all those years ago. Even though I am older, I feel so much fitter and healthier in spirit and body. Additionally, none of my vegetarian friends, who have followed a soy based non-meat diet for considerably longer than I, have ever experienced any of the alleged health problems associated with soy.

  105. Look, if something has so much negative stuff around it….JUST AVOID IT.
    it does not matter who is right or wrong. It is common sense!
    No person is selling anything. Clearly, people are trying to help YOU.
    Stop trying to be ‘right’ and open your eyes.

  106. Just remember: every time you eat an egg, every time you eat chicken, every time you eat beef — you are eating soy because chicken and beef are fed soymeal.

      • Unless your beef is 100% grassfed, it is fed soymeal, not solely but as a percentage. Chickens — they are all fed soymeal. Mary’s Chickens, which are organic or non-GMO, are all fed 35% soymeal –it is stated on Mary’s Chickens’ web site. So if Mary’s Chickens are fed soymeal — how much soymeal do you think cheap chickens ingest?

  107. Thanks Katie… your article was most helpful. Our child is allergic to soy and it took us ages to find out how many bought foods had soy in them. As a 2 year old he had eczema so extreme that his entire chest was one large scabby mess. With the removal of soy from his diet we now have a strong, healthy looking child with flawless skin and very happy personality. If he is ever out with friends and eats something with soy in it, we see the sad (or angry) personality come back. Thankfully once it’s flushed through his system, the happy child is back again.
    I’m now a fan of your website :)

  108. I had a single 95% blocked corinary artery 15 years ago and had it stinted. Other areteies in my heart were blocked too (50%). Hydro-Soy looked like the plack in blocked arteries, so I went off soy (all kinds) thinking I would avoid another blockage. But last year I had another blockage. There developed a ‘blood flap’ on the end of the stint (not plaque). The best news, is that my cardiologist told me that all my other arteries were wide open now. Heart plaque (I think caused mostly by soy intake) can be remediated. I didn’t change anything else, just stopped MSG, Hudro-Soy, Soy oil & Soy letchen. Choose your groceries from the parameter of the supermarket (most of all the soy is in the middle) , and don’t eat anything fried or breaded in restaurants (not their salad dressings or cheeses either) and die of something else besides cancer or heart attack. Oh yeah…. Nearly all animal meat-fat is now mostly soy-fat, and will become your permanent-fat if you eat it.

  109. I am soooooo glad that you wrote this simple concise commentary/explanation.
    When I have tried to explain the reality of why soy is not good… your article has
    been a very direct way to communicate this to others and pass on the info. I am glad it is still available.
    Way to go! Keep up the great work!!!
    Bonnie

  110. I just finished reading an article on why soy is supposedly bad for you and this article on wellness mama is virtually identical. It makes me believe that what was written on wellness mama was just source of another article.

  111. I guess soy and meat production are both contributing to some environmental upsets…however having done my research I come to the conclusion that no other industry is destroying the planet as is the over mass production of animal farming. I also encourage people to watch the video “Cowspiracy” on youtube for some interesting insight.

  112. Mainly, poison is everywhere. Is organic really organic as most people out there claim them to be?

  113. HELP!!! I started the no poo method about a month ago! At first my hair was super oily, stiff and stringy! Now it’s getting softer and its not stiff, but it’s still oily. I cannot wear my hair down because it looks oily! I was using the baking soda and then switch to your coconut milk shampoo! My hair is getting white flakes all over now and it looks bad, please give me some advice! I know I am been using a lot of your shampoo, could that be why I have white flakes all over. What can I do so my hair is not so oily???????? Could it be that I am over the adjustment period from transferring from commercial shampoo to natural shampoo??? HELP????

    • Are you using any products to style your hair? If you went off shampoo but are still using a hair product that causes buildup, that could be causing your flaky issue.

  114. For those of us looking for helpful information, it would be very much appreciated if you could cite your sources for some of the more extravagant claims:

    “Foods like Tempeh and Miso have some health promoting properties and many of the harmful anti-nutrients are fermented out.”

    “the Vitamin B-12 in soybeans can not be used by the body and actually cause the body to need more B-12”

    From a metabolic perspective, your claims make no sense. And the vast majority of evidence does not support the rest of your claims. The few links to which you do cite (all the same non-academic source) do not give compelling evidence. Spreading bad science about a potentially healthful food does no service to anyone.

  115. Hi I’m from England and I have noticed that for the past 10 years soy has gradually creeped into everything here. Now I’m not a conspiracy theorist but it makes me wonder if governments are doing this on purpose to lower mens testosterone levels, sort of like a form of control. I have noticed a big drop in libido once I have eaten anything with soy in it. When I went gluten free I noticed an increase and I cut out chocolates that contained soy. Testoserone is very important for males, not just for libido but for mental well being too. Without good levels of this hormone we become tired, depressed, nervous, less confident. It effects our brains as we are wired differently than women that’s why women feel fine with low levels of testosterone. Over the past 10 years or so testosterone levels have been steadily dropping in western men and more men are getting hormone replacement threapy at a younger age and viagra. I am 100% positive that the recent heavy consumption of unfermented soy in the western diet is contributing in part to this reduction of testosterone.

  116. Hi Katie,

    Nice article! I’ve been an occasional reader, but am going to start reading your blog more regularly. There are some real valuable nuggets. It’s a shame some readers must have been absent when the “plays well with others” lessons were happening in kindergarten, but good to see most appreciate your work and know how to respectfully disagree if they disagree.

    I have a question and would be interested to hear your opinion: I’ve already decided to stop using personal care products (shampoo, body wash, etc.) that contain any type of soy. But what are your thoughts on how much could be absorbed through the skin (body wash) and scalp (shampoo) with regular or semi-regular use? (And, yes, the gunk (including carcinogens) that is legally permitted to be used in stuff that mostly women put on their bodies, etc., is a big topic in itself…and beyond egregious.)

    What some people don’t seem to understand is that just because they eat a good amount of soy and/or know of others who do without truly (or seemingly or yet) having any adverse issues doesn’t mean that many of the other billion people on the planet wouldn’t have issues. It reminds me of this faulty logic: “My Uncle Albert smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and lived to 90 years old.” Well, sure, there are always going to be outliers. That certainly doesn’t mean smoking isn’t extremely unhealthy. And perhaps Uncle Fred would have made it to 105 had he not smoked

    Additionally, many of those making that type of comment seem to have other variables that changed. For instance, it makes total sense that just losing a lot of weight would make someone healthier. And it’s likely that someone who loses a lot of weight by becoming a vegetarian and eating a good amount of soy also stopped eating certain foods, such as packaged foods, sugary foods, and perhaps cut down on alcoholic beverages. So, soy *may* be having an adverse effect, but that effect could be more than offset by the positives. It’s also likely that such a person probably upped their exercise level — either to help lose the weight or after they lost it due to their increased energy.

    I agree with you and those who commented that soy isn’t good for people. Perhaps small doses won’t harm some, but those “some” shouldn’t tell others who know for certain that they have negative health issues when they eat soy that soy is “healthy” or even “OK.”

    Thanks for your good work!

  117. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune (Sjogren’s) in 2013, I gave up wheat, 6 months later I gave up nuts and 6 months after that I gave up soy. Soy is the HARDEST thing to stay away from! Any of the above mentioned foods cause me great joint pain but by removing them from my diet I am managing the pain WITHOUT PHARMACEUTICALS.

  118. Another note about Asian diets – just because a lot of Asian people are thin doesn’t necessarily mean their diet is healthy. Genetics has a lot to do with it, but also, when I lived in South Korea, I was told that nation-wide poverty and malnutrition caused a lot of the people of the baby boomer generation and older to grow up small; perhaps that is the case in other Asian countries as well. While living there, I observed that many Korean teens today are taller than their parents, and obesity is becoming more of a problem as well (likely due to the influence of the Western diet). Still, if I had to bet on it, I’d guess that in spite of soy and white rice, traditional Asian foods are much healthier than a diet of processed American foods.

  119. Soy is not healthy, it can cause health problems and it’s widespread use is destructive to the planet… don’t eat it!

  120. Dear Katie,

    Thank you so much for the soy info and was shocked to know it was in canned tuna. Thanks again Katie for looking out for us! I appreciate all of your research and hard work!

    Take care,
    Victoria

  121. Soy may not be the answer for vegetarians however eating animal protein has more of a devastating affect on the environment than just about anything else. Intensive livestock farming is the primary cause of the increased CH4 concentrations in the atmosphere. The methane produced by animal waste is a major contributor to dangerous greenhouse gas emissions in our environment. Additionally, all the resources it takes to mass produce animals through factory farming practices are incredibly taxing and destructive to our planet. I’m not saying that soy is a good alternative but I know for sure that our country’s over dependence on animal products will have a devastating effect on our planet….far beyond any other factor.

    I’m not trying to be combative or argumentative because I do agree that soy is not a healthy option but animal proteins are definitely not healthy either. I’m pointing out my views from the research I’ve done because I feel strongly about this. I’ve looked into factory farming and it’s negative effects on the environment, it’s negative effects on people’s health as well as the unnecessarily cruel treatment of animals. Learning this information was a game changer for me.

  122. I am happy to have found this article. I am allergic to soy for about four years now and before that I never noticed how everything has soy. I change my diet and with that I have changed my family diet as well. It shows incredibly in their blood test everything went down the minute we stop consuming soy. Cancer runs in my family so now I am happy to say I am allergic to soy and I have learned to live a better life

  123. just wondering, what are your sources and references?

    im doing personal research, and i want to consider this article very much but I do not see any resource links or names, so I’m wondering if this is an opinion piece or factual and if so, could you share your references? thank you !

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