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So Many Ways to Enjoy Soy!

How to Incorporate Soy Foods into Your Diet


5/29/2008 7:35:57 PM

Please refer to the Related Content box: The Science Behind Soy for more updated information.
5/29/2008 6:03:53 PM

RUTHXG's SparkPage
From comment below: "as of April 2006, the American Heart Association's (AHA) Nutrition Committee no longer recommends eating soy to lower cholesterol."

So I would like to ask SparkPeople why this article with its blanket advocacy of soy (no caveats except that you should cook tempeh) is still being sent out via e-mail. It's inaccurate & could mislead a lot of Sparkers to overdo the soy.

I will post this question somewhere that SP staff will actually see it, too.
5/29/2008 11:18:06 AM

Perhaps the reason Asians gain benefits from soy in their diets is because the form in which they eat soy, mostly fermented products such as tempeh and miso. Fermented foods help maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the body, especially in the intestines. By the way, this article recommends cooking raw fermented foods, but cooking destroys the health benefits present in these foods.
I am willing to bet that if Asians ate highly processed soy products such as faux meat products and faux dairy products, they may experience the same health problems Americans experience from soy in their diet. As with any food product, it is best to avoid the overly processed in favor of the minimally processed. A quick glance at the ingredient list is all that is required. I try to avoid products with ingredient lists longer than 5 or 6 items and especially those with ingredients that I do not recognize as food (chemical additives).
5/28/2008 10:55:34 PM

STALEAN's SparkPage
I would like to add to my very long post below that as of April 2006, the American Heart Association's (AHA) Nutrition Committee no longer recommends eating soy to lower cholesterol, and the FDA is currently reviewing its policy on soy health claims. A recent article by Harvard Women's Health Watch (April 2006) was titled "Soy: Not So Miraculous?" Even the Journal of Pediatrics, Gastroenterolgy and Nutrition has given a thumbs down to soy protein infant formula--siting that the "high concentrations of phytate, aluminum and phytoestrogens (isoflavones)...might have untoward effects" and had no nutritional advantage over cows' milk protein. (Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.)

It has never been proven that the health benefits that Asians get from their diet is from soy but instead comes from the fish and sea vegetables that they consume regularly. As I stated previously, the small amount of soy that Asians do eat comes from fermented soy products made the old-fashioned way. Also, it has been pointed out by some nutrition experts that "soy products"--e.g., soy chips, soy lattes, soy burgers, soy cheese, tofu ice cream, soy hot dogs, etc.--is no better than any other non-healthy product that they replace.

I personally love edamame, but have to use it as a very special treat--like I would a decadent desert or rich entree. I also use fermented soy products in moderation just to be safe.
5/28/2008 2:32:16 PM

I keep hearing that soy products are NOT as good for you as we previously thought. Something in soy binds with the minerals in our diet and they do not get absorbed. Fermented soy products are the exception. Tempeh and miso are fermented soy products that are good for you, and they don't rob you of minerals.
5/28/2008 1:39:04 PM

SAPHIE17's SparkPage
I have endometriosis, which was first diagnosed about 3 years after I went on a health food kick and replaced all dairy and most meat with Tofu and soy products...I thought my family was reaping the benefits of a "heart healthy" diet choice, but turns out that for some women, soy plant estrogens can overload the body and cause all sorts of issues. My mother wound up with massive fibroid tumors that had to be removed and her doctor ordered us off soy as much as possible. I love the taste of tofu and edemame, and have found myself ordering it at my favorite asian resturant, only to have major pains within days, regretting the choice. :(

Based on my GYNs advice, if you have endometriosis or PCOS, stay away from soy.
5/28/2008 1:37:54 PM

And if you have thyroid disease, be very careful with soy ~ overconsumption of soy products can be a problem for folks with hypothyroid.
5/27/2008 9:04:05 PM

Wow! what a wealth of information from everyone. I have never considered soy products in my diet nor was I aware of how many food products contain some form of soy. It wasn't until I would be nearly doubled over in pain after eating 'health bars' or 'energy bars' and some dry cereals that I discovered I'm allergic to some forms of soy. I can eat Tofu and I drink a Soy Lite breakfast smoothie every other day (no more than 3 a week) and am able to tolerate both. Lactose intolerance/soy allergies run in my family so I'm not surprised it happened in me. What I find interesting is the information about soy products in relation to menopause. I've always been under the impression that soy was marketed as an alternate for Hormone Replacement Therapy. From what I've read, the marketing of soy vs HRT flies in the face of logic. So, as so many of you have stated, we must do our homework, research and make wise decisions before we put anything in our bodies. I went to the Weston A. Price website as some of you suggested, I could spend a couple of months reading all the info and going to the various links, but suffice it to say, the foundation doesn't sound 'pro soy'.
Marketing plays such a huge part in what we buy/eat/use/wear/drive. We've long ago given up doing our own research, letting others 'influence' and convince us that what isn't necessarily good for us, is. For example: your call is important to us; please hold.....LOL....
5/27/2008 8:29:39 PM

BAYYYY's SparkPage
Not totally for or against soy. Everything in moderation. However, a quick glance at the ingredients of most of the food stuff on the grocery store shelves might shock you--soy--concentrated soy is in breads, cookies, pasta sauce, crackers, mixes...And then you start purposely adding in the stuff and=bam- soy overload. I was drinking a soy protein shake most mornings, eating tofu a couple of times a week, eating soy burgers and crumbles 3-4 times a week...I was raised on tofu and tempeh....No history of breast cancer, no lifestyle factors and I got breast cancer at age 40. I blame it on too much soy(and therefore an estrogen overload--the breast cancer was estrogen based) So, watch those labels and enjoy soy in whole forms and moderation.
5/27/2008 4:04:53 PM

After reading alot of the comments regarding the benefits of soy, people are either for or totally against. Soy is simply a alternative and has its benefits. Unfortunately our society hears "healthy" and they feel more must be better. All foods can fit when you consider moderation. There are no perfect foods.... it is the combinations of all types of foods that make them powerful. That is why we have so many choices.
5/27/2008 3:01:47 PM

TALADINA's SparkPage
They don't mention either the danger of MSG additives. Most meat-substitute soy products contain large amounts of MSG. My husband has a severe reaction to MSG - nausea, vomiting, migraines - and he recently ate a tofu dog that did NOT list MSG on the ingredients. After becoming extremely ill, he did some research and found that the other ingredients listed - i.e. hydrolized protein - DO contain MSG. Even people who do not normally have a bad reaction can react to the MSG in these "healthy" tofu dogs because it is such a large amount compared to other products.

Caveat emptor, as others have posted.
5/27/2008 2:24:03 PM

SEDONA0410's SparkPage
I found the second comment down from mine VERY interesting! I had no idea that only Westerners ate "raw tofu." I've never tried the firm or marinated Tofu before, but should give it a try. I love chocolate and vanilla Silk Soy milk. I've tried Edamie but didn't realize you were supposed to just eat the inside, no wonder I didn't like it! I wondered why so many did...LOL. If not for soy, I would have never made it through Menopause!
5/27/2008 12:40:49 PM

As for "wholesome" dairy products - the only dairy products humans were ever meant to consume was their mothers' milk. Cow's milk, goat's milk, etc, were not formulated for our digestive system (what in a cow's diet is similar to our own?). I love dairy, it's probably my favorite food group, but it isn't exactly the 'health food' people claim it to be, either.
5/27/2008 12:12:56 AM

STALEAN's SparkPage
If you research the Asian diet and how they have lower rates of breast cancer, you will notice they do not eat their soy "raw," like tofu and soy milk, the way Westerners do. They eat fermented soy products like tempeh and miso. My oncologist has told me to stay away from all raw soy products like tofu, soy milk, soy yogurt and soy isoflavones in supplements. If you have estrogen-receptor cancer cells, it is imperative to stay away from these unfermented products. All traditional peoples ate some form of fermented food every day to ensure optimal health (e.g. kimchee, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, miso, etc). I have a thyroid problem, and my endocrinologist has also told me to stay away from raw soy.

As consumers, we should question every source for hidden agendas from the FDA, government, food industry, and lobbyists that promote so-called healthy alternatives that are merely making us sicker. We can ask them to let us consume raw, wholesome dairy milk and organic meats from grass-fed, pasteured cows that aren't given hormones, antibiotics, and fed pesticide-laden grains and corn, but they raid the very farmers who are trying to make us a healthier nation. They would rather see us drink and eat inferior milk and meat that is no more like the intended natural food (with all the vitamins, minerals, CLA, beneficial bacteria and other superior nutrients that nature has provided) taken out by pasteurization and homogenization (which is nothing more than hydrogenization). But, don't take my word for it, investigate and research these statements for yourselves. That is always the best way to become an informed consumer.
5/26/2008 10:47:09 PM

M_DAVIDSON75's SparkPage
Oh Yeah! Soy nuts and soy nut butter. Great for snacking!

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