I have avoided soy for the last 5 years. I have no doubt that my veganism and heavy soy consumption directly correlate to my development of several endocrine disorders (including hypothyroidism). So, understandably, I don't feed my family (including my two small boys) soy products, and it is easy for me to believe most negative press that I read about soy. Phytoestrogens: gah!!!
Here is my problem: my dear grandmother, who is 85 and coming for an extended visit, is totally hooked on super-sweet soymilk. It is the one thing that she consumes in quantity every day. So, it turns out, is her very health-conscious son (my uncle) who is also visiting. And the best part? Both of them are also hypothyroid. I went to the store to buy her a box of her "milk", to make her feel at home. I couldn't do it. I ended up buying some "So Delicious Coconut Milk"; still nothing I would drink or feed my family, but it seemed less evil.
So here is my question: What information/links can I provide to my family (mainly my uncle, who is a pro-athlete, carb loving, anti-fat machine) to educate them on the evils of soy? I truly didn't take much convincing, so this is one paleo battle that I don't really have arsenal for.
Yeah, I'd say coconut milk is a healthy drink as long as it isn't sweetened. Blend in some berries for even more yummy taste.
If your relatives say soy is healthy, remind them that the Chinese only consumed heavily fermented soy. That's because raw soy is poisonous. The plant was originally only used to help rehab the crop lands via nitrogen fixing inbetween other good crops. It was only after the CHinese figured out how to ferment it that they considered it safe enough to eat. Soy is full of phytic acid,one of the highest concentrations of any grain, which is an antinutrient. Consumption of soy has been correlated with low sperm counts in men. Soybeans also contain potent enzyme inhibitors. These inhibitors block uptake of trypsin and other enzymes that the body needs for protein digestion. Cooking does not get rid of them. Soybeans also contain hemagglutinin, a clot promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together and prevent them from performing their functions. Also, experts have found that children who develop Type 1 diabetes are twice as likely to have been fed soy formulas as those fed all other foods. Ninety nine percent of all crop soy plants are genetically modified and are one of the most heavily pesticide treated crop plants
Processing into soy protein isolate ameliorates some of these problems but not all. PLus the processing methods leach aluminum into the final product and the high heat denatures much of the proteins, thereby making them unusable to the human body. And the spray drying process creates a large percentage of nitrites which are believed to be carcinogens.
Most important for people with thyroid problems, soy contains goitrogens which depress thyroid function!!
Remember that most of the hype surrounding the benefits of soy came from the soy industry themselves in order to sell their product. Soy is a cheap filler with minimal taste, just the kind of thing that big business likes to add to food products. But they don't really care about your health. -Eva
My question to you is this - why do you want to change them? Have they asked you why you don't eat soy? do they WANT to change their dietary lifestyle?
I read that you mean well and want the best for them. Imagine that your uncle and grandmother show up at your house with an arsenal of "information" to help you understand that the consumption of meat is terrible. What would you do? How would you feel?
The internet is full of plenty of information about soy. If you want to be ready for a conversation, just use the information given you before you gave up soy. If what you got wasn't enough, try this http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert.html.
Then, go get the soy milk, and get other foods that you do eat. Prepare tasty, colorful and paleo meals for them if you wish. And if they don't like it, have other items available for them. They're coming to visit to see you - not to eat food they don't like or get a lecture.
Be the example, and be open for their questions, welcome their visit, enjoy their company, hope for an opening to talk about your dietary perspective. Just be careful not to judge their choices. They made them in a spirit of information, same as you, whether you were vegetarian or paleo.
I've written an article on the dangers of soy here: http://thepaleodiet.net/dangers-soy/
In a few words: goitrogenic, trypsin inhibition, lectins, phytates and estrogen raising factors.
The Weston A. Price also has a good listing: http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert.html
Here is an excellent and super easy article on soy.... it's called Why Soy Sucks:-)
It's AWESOME and easy for non-paleo people to read and understand as well!
In fact this guy has a whole Paleo Series that is super accessible. He's a great writer and I have personally used his writing to explain everything to loads of people.
I've been avoiding soy for awhile now because of my Hashimoto's/Hypothyroid and the fact that I'm fat, which means I have plenty of stored estrogen (it was the first thing I cut) but if I ever wavered, what surely would have brought me back was watching Food, Inc. and seeing how Monsanto is putting farmers and seed cleaners out of business if they won't buy their Round-Up resistant GM soybean seeds. Virtually any soy product in the US is from Monsanto GM soybean seeds.
On that note, I'm glad I cut dairy, too, because I was hooked on Organic Valley and I recently read that Whole Foods, Organic Valley and another well known organic brand I can't remember are caving to Monsanto, saying we have to learn to live with genetically modified food. Uh, no thanks.
If your uncle is an athlete, maybe he would listen to Charles Poliquin, one of the most successful strength and conditioning coaches in the world:
"I ended up buying some "So Delicious Coconut Milk"; still nothing I would drink or feed my family, but it seemed less evil. "
What's your problem with So Delicious Coconut Milk? Are you referring to one of the sweetened versions?
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