When individuals become more conscious of their health and work to improve their eating habits, they turn to replacing meat and eggs with tofu. The manufacturers of these soy products would lead you to believe that this is a good move to improve overall health, but the reality is that processed soy (including tofu) is by no means a health food. A better choice would be to switch to grass-fed meats, organic eggs, and organic raw dairy products.
How Does Soy Become Dangerous?
The technology used today to process soy fail to remove the anti-nutrients and toxins that occur naturally in soybeans, and leave poisonous residue created by high temperatures, high pressure, acid and alkali baths, and petroleum solvents. Soy products that are fractionated, like soy protein isolate and hydrolyzed plant protein, contain phylates that block minerals from being absorbed, and trypsin inhibitors that disallow proper digestion. Tofu is a step up from these products, but it still has the anti-nutrients as previously mentioned.
Problems Linked to Soy
High soy diets have been linked to a number of health problems. Among those linked are: cancer, brain damage, soy allergies, reproductive disorders, premature puberty, and thyroid problems which has a host of problems all of its own.
Studies regarding soy have found that it does not lower cholesterol on a reliable level, raises homocysteine levels in many individuals, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and birth defects.
Those particularly affected by soy’s negative effects are children and babies, still developing. The hormone mimicking of soy has shown estrogen-imitating chemicals are more than 6 times higher in infants that consume soy formulas than in adults that consume foods rich in soy.
Most soybeans are genetically modified, containing the highest levels of pesticides found on foods. They also contain hemagglutinins, these cause red blood cells to clump together. Though these are reduced during the processing, they are not completely eliminated.
If cutting soy completely out of a diet isn’t in the stars, there are ways to eat healthier versions of it. These versions are fermented and the anti-nutrients levels are reduced, while the beneficial properties are highlighted and become available. Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake that has a firm texture with a mushroom or nutty flavor. Miso is a fermented paste that is a bit salty with a buttery texture. Soy sauce is traditionally made from fermented soybeans with salt and other enzymes but some manufacturers make theirs with a chemical process. Natto is fermented soybeans that have a sticky texture with a strong flavor that is similar to cheese. This has the highest source of the k2 vitamin of any food on the planet along with a powerful but beneficial bacteria.
It is important to remember that not all processed soy products are health foods, and it would be wise to avoid all types of soy that are considered damaging. The basics of healthy eating apply to soy as well. Stick with unprocessed, fermented, and fresh.