Fitness Minutes: (50)
996 7/13/13 7:45 P
My thoughts on soy -- and go research as you can.
I have no issue with fermented soy products such as miso or tempeh. They have a long history of use. I also do a limited amount of actual tofu, mostly as age dashi tofu once every other month or so in a Japanese restaurant.
Soy sauce: I buy San-J tamari, gluten free. I still limit the use of this, but for those who cannot find coconut aminos (which taste, to me, almost the same), try San-J's brand (NO I am not affiliated, I just read and shop.)
Soy legumes do have things going against them. While I have not (yet) completely eliminated them from my diet, I certainly have eliminated Soy Protein Isolate, also known as Textured Soy Protein, or even as Textured Vegetable Protein.
Hexane is used in the process to make this garbage, and this stuff is in most of those pre-fab processed foodoid substances that are so happy to not have meat in the supermarket.
Mind you, I respect my vegetarian friends, but I WILL NOT EAT that stuff anymore. I will, and often do -- go vegetarian for a period at a time, but only with real food. Things we may have eaten a century ago, whereever in the world we might be now.
I suspect ANY source I can't corroborate on multiple sites. Mercola is, indeed, commercial. He's also a licensed DO and respected in medical and nutritional circles. And the information I've found there I can find elsewhere as well. I'm not sure that any popular sites aren't supported in some way by commerce. SP comes to mind...
Nevertheless, soy does have aspects I don't care to assimilate into my body. It's full of antinutrients which block the proper uptake of vitamins and minerals. It's goitrogenic - affects thyroid function. It's estrogenic, which is bad for men and children especially. Claims of how healthy the Japanese (et al) diet is relative to soy intake are inaccurate, since the soy they eat isn't the type of soy we're eating. Fermented soy is fine, so long as it's not a "food group."
I'd encourage anyone to do their own meta-analysis. The information is out there, if you care to find it.
Just a comment-- you've been pointed to Joseph Mercola's website by another poster. Be aware that Mercola is probably the worst, least reliable source currently operating for health information. Not everything he publishes is a lie, but it's all a scam. Every "article" that tells you something is dangerous is positioned next to a huge ad (that often doesn't look like an ad) offering to sell you the only solution-- at four to twenty times the price you could pay for that solution at WalMart. As an example, he says that microwave ovens will kill you, and he'll sell you an electric infrared cooker for the same price as a good microwave. That same cooker is sold at WalMart for $29.99. He is on the FCC and FTC watch lists, but there's no law against lying. As long as he actually sends the products, it's not illegal to add an extra zero to the price.
One last issue with soy, though-- if you have thyroid issues, talk to your doctor. Soy does interact with thyroid medications.
And I'm another of those people who's pretty close to being vegetarian without any fake meats. Find a good vegetarian cookbook that's about making nice food that happens not to need meat, rather than one that tries to replace meat with non-meat.
Fitness Minutes: (43,612)
707 7/13/13 9:51 A
I am a vegetarian and do not use any "meat substitutes."
There is lots of literature that says protein needs are extremely exaggerated by the meat industry and we'll be fine eating veggies and beans.
I occassionly like a black bean burger or tofu hot dog but I certainly wouldn't want to eat all of the fillers and binders and chemicals that go into making faux meat.
Because I am dairy food intolerant, I use soy for my 'milk alternative' - I have done for quite a few years. My son HAD to be fed soy - at the time those know-all's were claiming that it would turn boys into girls etc. He is now 32. In NZ there wasn't the variety of alternatives to cow's milk, available.
I don't see anything wrong with soy at all, but like a lot of people, think that too much of ANYTHING isn't a good thing. We need variety to pick up the vast array of vitamins/minerals etc. that we need. I don't eat a lot of meat normally - most meals with meat is about a tablespoon full, and most of the rest of the protein is made up with lentils and/or beans which also increases my fibre.
Fitness Minutes: (2,878)
86 7/13/13 1:27 A
If you're moving towards a more vegetarian diet, there are plenty of other options you can try to ensure you are eating enough protein.
Options include pulses (urad dal, toover dal, chana dal etc...), paneer (indian cottage cheese which is extremely low fat and very high protein; and very tasty!) and ricotta (fat free version is also very tasty).
Personally, I find these options much more tasty and versatile than soy products which can be very bland and difficult to use in many dishes due to their tendency to crumble or dry out (depending on the firmness of the product purchased).
Like anything, half the problem with soy isn't the product itself, but the way it's messed around with by food manufacturers....
Hope that makes sense!!
Fitness Minutes: (107,072)
7/13/13 1:06 A
And I agree with Anarie - I think moderation is always key, even with healthy foods. Enjoy your soy faux meat, but don't eat it all the time - eggs, dairy and fish can be great sources of protein, unless you're vegan.
In which case, I don't know enough about it to be any kind of help.
I don't believe that a little soy is "bad" for most people. But I also don't think that it's necessarily healthier than the animal products it replaces.
As I remember, the slams against soy started mostly from an odd pro-milk group in Australia that picked up an the fact that soy has plant hormones and hormones are involved in a lot of illnesses. They jumped straight from "hormones influence health" to "soy will give you cancer and turn boys into girls" with no stops for logic in between. If somebody is picking on you about eating that terrible soy, you can shut them up by saying, "What about garbanzos and black beans? They have the same phytoestrogens. Do we need to chuck our humus, too?"
The thing about soy is that it contains natural chemicals that are very good for most people and very bad for a few. Basically, it looks like those chemicals protect you from getting hormone-sensitive cancer, but if *do* get one of those cancers, they can make it grow faster. So if you're at unusual risk for one of those cancers, you need to talk to your doctor about how much soy you should eat and what *other* foods you might want to avoid.
For most people, there's no real serious danger from soy, but for most people, there's no real health reason to use most soy products, either. Soy milk is great if you're allergic to dairy milk, but otherwise, the protein from dairy milk is a little easier for most people to absorb and the calcium is a LOT easier to absorb. Veggie burgers are a decent replacement for cheap 75-83% hamburger, but they're not really healthier than 95% lean hamburger or all-white turkey burgers.
And it's never good to have a major part of your diet coming from one food source, regardless of what that source is. If you're drinking soy milk on your soy-enriched cereal with soy creamer in your coffee, then having soy-cheese lasagna for lunch and a soy veggie burger for dinner, that means you're not getting the same variety of nutrients that you would get if you used 5 different types of protein sources. Using small amounts of many different foods is pretty much always better than using large amounts of just one.
If you don't want to eat meat for ethical reasons, then soy "meat analogues" can help you transition away from meat, but you'll eventually want to learn to use plant-based whole foods. If you're just changing for health reasons, then you might be better off just switching to leaner, higher-quality meat in smaller amounts.
7/12/13 1:52 P
I've recently cut back on eating meat as well lately, but at the same time I'm also trying to cut back on processed and prepackaged foods. Morningstar products are the best tasting "meat substitutes" I've tried, but they're still pretty processed and full of colorings and flavorings and preservatives and "stuff".
I think soy is fine for you in moderation, but soy-based meat substitutes shouldn't be the "star" of your plate more than a couple times a week.
Edited by: NHELENE at: 7/12/2013 (13:54)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
7/12/13 1:27 P
I have been cutting back on meat and have begun to eat more "Morningstar" products made of vegetable protein. A friend tells me that soy is not a healthy choice. Does anyone know whether soy is not the healthy alternative I think it is? Thanks for your help.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this website can be used without the permission of SparkPeople or its authorized affiliates.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.