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!

Reader Comments

  1. says

    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!

      • says

        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.   ;)

    • PoppaBoon says

      applebees cooks everything in soy and hydrogenated soy. http://imgur.com/a/qbaLH

      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.

    • Ira says

      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.

      • says

        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.

        • Janice M says

          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.

      • Bryan says

        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.

        • Alisa Y. says

          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.

    • chris says

      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.

  2. Nicole says

    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!

    • Kelly says

      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!!

      • Melissa Cox says

        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

    • julie says

      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

      • Rick Kerrigan says

        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.

    • may says

      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.

    • Merise says

      @ 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. Becky says

    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. says

    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. 

    • S.K says

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

    • A.H. says

      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

      • C-isforcookie says

        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!

    • Karyn says

      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.

      • Raven says

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

    • Barbara Guinn says

      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. says

    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. El Tigre says

    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.

    • says

      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 :-)

      • Lynette Johnson says

        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. Carla says

    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?

    • says

      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. Janknitz says

    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. Kelly says

    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!

    • Wilhelm says

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

          • theking says

            Only because it was the only food source available to them and they were forced to. Humans still would have survived if they didn’t eat meat and had supermarkets full of food available to them. Now there is no reason to eat meat (only because humans like the taste and think it’s healthy). All the protein humans need can be found in vegan foods.

          • Eva Elvelin says

            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!

      • Wesley Bear says

        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…

  10. Jmuscanell says

    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.

      • Annie B says

        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”

    • koala mama bear says

      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. Denny George says

    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. Sharper43 says

    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.

    • Swopdei says

      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!

      • says

        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.

        • Elizabeth Fox says

          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.

          • Joanna says

            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.

          • says

            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. :-)

          • Joanna says

            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…

          • Clare Williams says

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

          • Joanna says

            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 ;-)

    • says

      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. Lunasampa says

    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.?

    • says

      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.

    • Joanna says

      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. Shari says

    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?

      • Kathaleen Kammer says

        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?

    • Janknitz says

      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. Melinda Gunther says

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

  16. Barb says

    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. Darby says

    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. Judymreno says

    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!!!

    • says

      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. Judy says

    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. says

    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.

    • kstuff says

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

  21. says

    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?

    • says

      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. Dr. K. says

    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. 

    • Joanna says

      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. says

    I would be an occassional consumer of soy–usually inthe form of a few black soy beans in chili or tofu.
    Funny…I haven’t had tofu in a really long time. I’m pressing some
    right now and plan on having fried tofu with hot thai chili sauce for
    lunch. The last time I ate tofu was probably 6 months ago.

  24. Raechelle says

    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!

  25. Stefa folle says

    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!

    • Barb B says

      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.

  26. Joanna says

    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!

  27. says

    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.

  28. says

    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!

  29. Lesley says

    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.

  30. says

    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.

      • J.E. says

        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!

        • Raven says

          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.

          • Wesley says

            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.

          • Dave Colbert says

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

  31. Lightining Gonzalez says

    D: everything i like eating has soy! Maybe they should just band soy everywhere in the world.

  32. Kayla Coffee says

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

    • Lightining Gonzalez says

      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 ^^

  33. mitchellsonji says

    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!

  34. Jay Selona says

    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!

  35. nanachula says

    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.

  36. ritadona says

    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.

  37. Natalie says

    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.

  38. Robin B-T says

    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.

  39. Natalie says

    Natalie
    • 8 days ago • 0 0
    ?
    +

    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.

    • Raven says

      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.

      • Pesto DaCat says

        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!

  40. Opaque Future says

    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.

  41. Aryn Fain says

    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?

  42. rosalynwley says

    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

  43. Nadine Hartman Bourne says

    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.

  44. Poe says

    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?

  45. Jane Lie says

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

  46. Kathy Loughlin says

    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?

  47. Fraser says

    “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?

  48. Willi Kampmann says

    “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.)

  49. Weiting Wu says

    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.

    • Ella says

      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.

  50. michie says

    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.

  51. omega_231 says

    But much of what you’re saying just isn’t based on studies. Women’s wellness experts like Dr. Cristian Northrup advocate the use of soy, NOT soy in pill form. Taking a supplement is not consuming the whole food. And, why then in a country like Japan, where women can consume huge amounts of soy, are there low instances of breast, uterine & colon cancer, as well as reduced incidents of menopause? Soy may not be beneficial for men who want to conceive as it reduces sperm count & in men with already high estrogen levels. Soy does not cause estrogen dominance. Soy is not estrogen. It’s phytoestrogen, which means it’s a plant that can help your body regulate estrogen levels– regulate not produce. I’m sorry, but you’re touting a lot of medical information without a medical background & that’s disturbing. I don’t even see any health or wellness practitioning in your background either, so how can you tell folks soy is toxic without knowing your facts?

  52. Barbara Irving says

    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.

  53. Kayla Briones says

    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! :)

    • says

      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 =(

  54. Ray Stark says

    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.

  55. Saskia says

    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.

  56. Ciara Macdonald says

    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…

  57. butterfly22 says

    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!

  58. iprincessmar says

    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!

    :)

  59. Alternative says

    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…

  60. Deborah Pipi says

    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. :-( :-(

  61. Tirzah05 says

    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!

  62. Jessica says

    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…

  63. jackie says

    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

  64. Marianne says

    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!

  65. Rita Sapic says

    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.

  66. Abbie says

    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.

  67. Mani says

    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…

  68. Kelly says

    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.

  69. diane says

    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.

  70. Morgan says

    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!

  71. Diana says

    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.

  72. Let me tell you this says

    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.

  73. april says

    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.

  74. Sparklegirl says

    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.

  75. Sandra says

    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..

  76. MJ says

    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!

  77. John Hammerfield says

    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

    • says

      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.

  78. Debi says

    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.

  79. Kelsey says

    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?

  80. Matia says

    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.

  81. Diya says

    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.

  82. Joe McCaffrey says

    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.

  83. Pamela says

    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.

  84. Elaine says

    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.

  85. Rachel Pufall says

    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!

  86. Lucy says

    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!

  87. Molly Schwab says

    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.

Join the Conversation...

Your email address will not be published. Please read the comment policy.