I want to simplify the great soy debate here for you. I get asked so often, is soy good for you? And the answer is Yes, No and Maybe. There are essentially 3 types of soy.
The soy that is good for almost everyone
The very best kind of soy to consume is traditionally fermented soy like you’d find in miso soup. For most people, this soy is not just safe, it has incredible health benefits. It is a healthy source of protein but more importantly, the phytonutrients in the soy are powerful antioxidants shown to prevent cancer and support heart health.
The soy that is bad for everyone
Unfortunately, after the world started to see the great benefits of soy, the US started to mass produce soy products and soy became one of the very first genetically modified foods. The soy products were no longer being fermented and worse still, around 90% of soy products were GM soy! When you are eating soy, please avoid GM products. Every single research study that connects soy with an increase in hormonal health problems or increased cancer risk appears to be studies on people consuming GM soy rather than traditionally fermented soy or non-GM minimally processed soy.
MINIMALLY PROCESSED, NON-GMO SOY
The ‘It depends’ soy
Looks for edamame beans and minimally processed soy products like tofu that are NOT genetically modified. Most people will find this soy is a great source of plant-based protein and phytonutrients. We consume this type of soy regularly in my family. Soy is a phytoestrogen, which means it can act as an oestrogen in the body. If you have normal hormone levels, this plant version of the hormone will not have any effect whatsoever. However, if you have excess oestrogen or other hormonal imbalances then you may want to limit the amount of soy you consume. On the other hand, if you are suffering with menopausal symptoms you may find that that adding in regular soy consumption helpful, as these symptoms are often the result of falling oestrogen levels.
My family regularly consume soy in our morning smoothies – it a great plant-based protein boost. Adding our plant-based Complete protein powder balances blood sugar, fills us up and helps beat any cravings that might threaten mid-morning.
** NOTE: Some people have a soy allergy or intolerance, so avoid soy if you do not tolerate it well. If you are unsure about whether or not your symptoms are being caused by soy consumption I highly recommend an elimination diet like Discover Your Kryptonite. An elimination diet is the gold standard method for identifying food intolerances.