Is soy good or bad for you?

Is soy linked to breast cancer? Can eating too much soy increase estrogen levels? Is soy bad for you if you are a male?

These common questions are often asked about soy. So what should we believe?

DSCN2391

Research around soy is ongoing, but there are a few things that have been revealed.

  • Soy intake can be beneficial to your heart and is found to lower total cholesterol levels
  • Foods that contain soy such as soy milk, edamame, tofu, miso and tempeh can help reduce the risk of breast cancer
  • Breast cancer is more commonly linked to a diet high in saturated and trans fats as well as alcohol.

DSCN2397So where is the trouble?

High intake of any food can lead to disease, especially in concentrated or processed forms. Soy is found naturally in foods such as soy milk, tofu, and soybeans and these foods are safe to eat in moderation (about 1-2 servings per day).

The trouble is when you start consuming soy protein isolate, an ingredient found in protein powders, frozen foods, energy bars and other supplements. Soy protein isolate is a processed and highly concentrated form of soy, which may be harmful to the body. It is used in products to add protein to otherwise low protein foods.

How you can reduce soy protein isolate intake:

  • Choose whey, hemp or pea protein powders
  • Choose natural granola bars such as KIND or LARA. Or make your own!
  • Choose natural forms of protein such as beans, lentils, tempeh, nuts, lean meat, and low fat dairy
  • Check nutrition labels and look for the ingredient Soy Protein. Try to replace these foods with something more natural. Soy protein may be in more foods than you think!
  • As always, everything in moderation

For more information about soy check out the following articles:

Is Soy Bad For You? By Pritikin Longevity Center

How Soy Can Kill You and Save Your Life by Dr. Mark Hyman

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