Lynne Brick's Fit Tips

Lynne Brick's Fit Tips

Is the Soy You Are Eating Helpful or Harmful?

June 22, 2012 By: Lynne Brick

Special thanks to Dr. Chris D’Adamo, a professor at the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland, for sharing the truth about soy!

There is no question that soy is big business, but is soy really important to your health? This is common controversy these days and most people don’t really know the correct answer.  Many viewers probably go to Starbucks for their daily “favorite” drink, adding soy instead of milk thinking that they are doing themselves a “healthy” favor?  But are you really?

It is important to understand that soy is a complete protein which is important for attaining and maintaining body composition.  However, soy is low in amino acids which does not make soy a good choice as a main source of protein.

Here is some great news for soy lovers!  There is pretty good evidence of the benefits of soy mostly due to phytoestrogens that are commonly found in plant foods which act like estrogens in animal cells and in your body. Here are some benefits of soy:

  • Reduces symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes
  • Lessens the risk of heart disease & breast cancer

Here are some things to keep in mind though:  The research discussed in this video came from studies done in Asian countries.  The quality of soy consumed in those countries is quite different from that of soy products in the U.S.  Here in the U.S., we are often presented with lower quality, processed soy foods as options.

This brings us to the risks and potentially harmful side effects of processed soy consumption.  Soy is the most common cause of many food allergies in the U.S. mostly due to its anti-nutrient components.  These inhibit the absorption of nutrients in our foods disrupting our vitamin and mineral intake and often causing health risks such as:

  • Digestive problems
  • Skin problems such as acne
  • Infertility in both men & women

Keep in mind, fermented soy products do not pose the same health risks.  These soy products are fermented with healthy pro-biotic bacteria that deactivates the anti-nutrients. Hexane which is produced during the processing of soy is known as a neurotoxin and should be avoided whenever possible. Keep in mind that phytoestrogens can be helpful in some cases noted above, but they can also cause hormonal imbalances resulting in infertility issues.

Healthy examples of soy include organic, low sugar, non-GMO (genetically modified organism) products such as:

  • Tempeh
  • Miso
  • Edamame

Unhealthy refined & processed examples:

  • Soy milk
  • Soy chips
  • Soy protein bars

In summary, those viewers that rely on soy as their main source of protein should consider other options such as whey protein isolate or pea protein.  Healthier options also include; almond milk, rice milk or one of my favorites, coconut milk!




You Go Girl!
Lynne Brick, RN

Last week’s question: You can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer if you lose % body weight?  Answer: 5%

This week’s question:  What are biomarkers?

Thought for the day:   “Remember, never be afraid to try something new.  Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!”  -Unkown

Posted by Lynne Brick on June 22, 2012

One response to “Is the Soy You Are Eating Helpful or Harmful?”

  1. Thank you for this information on soy. I heard this sometime ago and am glad to hear the message reinforced. I was a big soy milk drinker, thinking it a logical safer more nutritious alternative to dairy, and several years ago switched to almond milk. My preference is unsweetened to avoid any sugar, and when I wish to sweeten it, I will add a little Stevia extract into it.

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