Okay, so I've read a lot of the research about why soy is bad, and while I'm somewhat convinced, I still don't think anyone has properly addressed the "Asian argument", ie the fact that a lot of traditional Asian diets contain a lot of soy.
For example: http://paleodietlifestyle.com/dangers-soy/
Argument 1: "Asians mostly eat fermented soy which is okay."
Well, no, Asians also eat a lot of tofu, and drink soy milk on a regular basis. In China, soy milk is considered to be a traditional morning beverage.
Argument 2: "When they eat soy, they have it with mineral rich fish broth, which makes it okay"
Really? That sounds like such an ad-hoc argument. Again, that is just not the case. Tofu is used in a variety of dishes, including stir-frys, stews, and even desserts. Also, there's the soy milk again..
I'm not saying that soy is good, but can we not say that the research is still far from conclusive? FWIW I'm Chinese and grew up eating mostly traditional Chinese food.
I lived in Japan for five years. Two years in Yokohama: big city, modern etc. Three years in Fukui: countryside, bit more traditional, etc. Take my experience for what its worth.
Japanese people do NOT eat a lot of soy. They eat tofu regularly yes. But they eat it in incredibly small servings. Something like 2-3 ounces with dinner perhaps 4-5 nights of the week. That’s pretty much it. Soy sauce is used but more often than not it is a fermented, realdeal soy sauce.
None of the soy they eat in Japan is anything like here in the US. There it is eaten as soy: tofu, beans, etc. straight forward in miniscule amounts, in amongst a very un-processed whole foods diet with meat, fat, and vegetables. None of it is a replacement for meat, isolated proteins, oils, etc.
I lived in Taiwan and I never once saw soy milk (ok if it wasn't identifiable to me I probably didn't spend too much time looking at it either). Tons of edamae-yes, lots of soy sauce-yes, stinky tofu yes.
Asians tend to have a whole different set of health issues like stomach and throat cancer. They normally don't have high levels of heart disease and diabetes like we do but this is changing as western foods invade their market (cold stone ice cream, burger king, applebees all there), but they do have their 'own' set of issues based on their diets.
I was surprized at how many really overweight Asians I saw there....then there's the super tiny doll like girls as well.
Damn...I can't remember where I read it, but once upon a time I read that even though modern Asian diets contain a fair amount of soy, traditionally it was used for a cover crop and then tilled into the soil as a green fertilizer. Eventually it became animal feed, and then during a time of hardship people figured out how to make it palatable.
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