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Myths & Truths About Soy

Myths & Truths About Soy

Myth: Use of soy as a food dates back many thousands of years.

Truth: Soy was first used as a food during the late Chou dynasty (1134-246 BC), only after the Chinese learned to ferment soy beans to make foods like tempeh, natto and tamari.

Myth: Asians consume large amounts of soy foods.

Truth: Average consumption of soy foods in Japan and China is 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) per day. Asians consume soy foods in small amounts as a condiment, and not as a replacement for animal foods.

Myth: Modern soy foods confer the same health benefits as traditionally fermented soy foods.

Truth: Most modern soy foods are not fermented to neutralise toxins in soybeans, and are processed in a way that denatures proteins and increases levels of carcinogens.

Myth: Soy foods provide complete protein.

Truth: Like all legumes, soy beans are deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine. In addition, modern processing denatures fragile lysine.

Myth: Fermented soy foods can provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets.

Truth: The compound that resembles vitamin B12 in soy cannot be used by the human body; in fact, soy foods cause the body to require more B12

Myth: Soy formula is safe for infants.

Truth: Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders. Soy foods increase the body`s requirement for vitamin D, needed for strong bones and normal growth. Phytic acid in soy foods results in reduced bioavailabilty of iron and zinc which are required for the health and development of the brain and nervous system. Soy also lacks cholesterol, likewise essential for the development of the brain and nervous system. Megadoses of phytoestrogens in soy formula have been implicated in the current trend toward increasingly premature sexual development in girls and delayed or retarded sexual development in boys.

Myth: Soy foods can prevent osteoporosis.

Truth: Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, both needed for healthy bones. Calcium from bone broths and vitamin D from seafood, lard and organ meats prevent osteoporosis in Asian countries?not soy foods.

Myth: Modern soy foods protect against many types of cancer.

Truth: A British government report concluded that there is little evidence that soy foods protect against breast cancer or any other forms of cancer. In fact, soy foods may result in an increased risk of cancer.

Myth: Soy foods protect against heart disease.

Truth: In some people, consumption of soy foods will lower cholesterol, but there is no evidence that lowering cholesterol improves one`s risk of having heart disease.

Myth: Soy estrogens (isoflavones) are good for you.

Truth: Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. At dietary levels, they can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Eating as little as 30 grams (about 4 tablespoons) of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain and fatigue.

Myth: Soy foods are safe and beneficial for women to use in their postmenopausal years.

Truth: Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems. Low thyroid function is associated with difficulties in menopause.

Myth: Phytoestrogens in soy foods can enhance mental ability.

Truth: A recent study found that women with the highest levels of estrogen in their blood had the lowest levels of cognitive function; In Japanese Americans tofu consumption in mid-life is associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer`s disease in later life.

Myth: Soy isoflavones and soy protein isolate have GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status.

Truth: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently withdrew its application to the FDA for GRAS status for soy isoflavones following an outpouring of protest from the scientific community. The FDA never approved GRAS status for soy protein isolate because of concern regarding the presence of toxins and carcinogens in processed soy.

Myth: Soy foods are good for your sex life.

Truth: Numerous animal studies show that soy foods cause infertility in animals. Soy consumption enhances hair growth in middle-aged men, indicating lowered testosterone levels. Japanese housewives feed tofu to their husbands frequently when they want to reduce his virility.

Myth: Soy beans are good for the environment.

Truth: Most soy beans grown in the US are genetically engineered to allow farmers to use large amounts of herbicides.

Myth: Soy beans are good for developing nations.

Truth: In third world countries, soy beans replace traditional crops and transfer the value-added of processing from the local population to multinational corporations.

Thanks to The Weston A Price Foundation for this article

 

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History of the Bean

History of the Bean

Soybeans come to us from the Orient. During the Chou Dynasty (1134 – 246 BC) the soybean was designated one of the five sacred grains, along with barley, wheat, millet and rice. 

However, the pictograph for the soybean, which dates from earlier times, indicates that it was not first used as a food; for whereas the pictographs for the other four grains show the seed and stem structure of the plant, the pictograph for the soybean emphasizes the root structure. 

Agricultural literature of the period speaks frequently of the soybean and its use in crop rotation. Apparently the soy plant was initially used as a method of fixing Nitrogen. Soybean did not serve as a food until the discovery of fermentation techniques, sometime during the Chou Dynasty. Thus the first soy foods were fermented products like tempeh, natto, miso and shoyu (soy or tamari sauce). 

At a later date, possibly in the 2nd century B.C., Chinese scientists discovered that a puree of cooked soybeans could be precipitated with calcium sulfate or magnesium sulfate (plaster of Paris or Epsom salts) to make a smooth pale curd – tofu or bean curd. The use of fermented and precipitated soy products soon spread to other parts of the Orient, notably Japan and Indonesia. 

Although the highly flavoured fermented products have elicited greater interest among scientists and epicures, it is the bland precipitated products that are most frequently used, accounting for approximately 90% of the processed soybeans consumed in Asia today. The increased reliance on bean curd as a source of protein, which occurred between 700 A.D. and the present time, has not necessarily been a beneficial change for the populations of the Orient and Southeast Asia.

Fit for Human Consumption?

The Chinese did not eat the soybean as they did other pulses (legumes) such as the lentil because the soybean contains large quantities of a number of harmful substances. 

First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors which block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion. These "antinutrients" are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking and can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer. 

The soybean also contains hemaglutinin, a clot promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. Trypsin inhibitors and hemaglutinin have been rightly labelled "growth depressant substances." They are deactivated during the process of fermentation. In precipitated products, enzyme inhibitors concentrate in the soaking liquid rather than in the curd. Thus in tofu and bean curd, these enzyme inhibitors are reduced in quantity, but not completely eliminated.

Soybeans are also high in phytic acid or phytates. This is an organic acid; present in the bran or hulls of all seeds, which blocks the uptake of essential minerals-calcium, magnesium, iron and especially zinc-in the intestinal tract. Although not a household word, phytates have been extensively studied. Scientists are in general agreement that grain and legume based diets high in phytates contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries. Analysis shows that calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are present in the plant foods eaten in these areas, but the high phytate content of soy and rice based diets prevents their absorption. The soybean has a higher phytate content than any other grain or legume that has been studied.

Furthermore, it seems to be highly resistant to many phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans. Thus fermented products such as tempeh and miso provide nourishment that is easily assimilated, but the nutritional value of tofu and bean curd, both high in phytates, is questionable.

When precipitated soy products are consumed with meat, the mineral blocking effects of the phytates are reduced. The Japanese traditionally eat tofu as part of a mineral-rich fish broth. Vegetarians who consume tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and dairy products risk severe mineral deficiencies. The results of calcium, magnesium and iron deficiency are well known, those of zinc are less so. Zinc is called the intelligence mineral because it is needed for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a role in protein synthesis and collagen formation; it is involved in the blood sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes; it is needed for a healthy reproductive system. Zinc is a key component in numerous vital enzymes and plays a role in the immune system. Phytates found in soy products interfere with zinc absorption more completely than with other minerals.

Literature extolling soy products tends to minimize the role of zinc in human physiology, and to gloss over the deleterious effect of diets high in phytic acid.

Milk drinking is given as the reason second generation Japanese in America grow taller than their native ancestors. Some investigators postulate that the reduced phytate content of the American diet whatever may be its other deficiencies-is the true explanation, pointing out that Asian and Oriental children who do not get enough meat and fish products to counteract the effects of a high phytate diet, frequently suffer rickets, stunting and other growth problems.

The current climate of medical opinion in America has cast a cloud of disapproval on tallness. Parents would do well to ask their six-year-old boys whether they would prefer to be six-foot-one or five-foot-seven when they grow up, before substituting tofu for eggs, meat and dairy products.

Marketing the Soybean

The truth is, however, that most Americans are unlikely to adopt traditional soy products as their principal food. Tofu, bean curd and tempeh have a disagreeable texture and are too bland for the Western palate; pungent and musty miso and natto lose out in taste tests; only soy sauce enjoys widespread popularity as a condiment. The soy industry has therefore looked for other ways to market the superabundance of soybeans now grown in the United States.

Large-scale cultivation of the soybean in the United States began only after the Second World War, and quickly rose to 140 billion pounds per year. Most of the crop is made into animal feed and soy oil for hydrogenated fats- margarine and shortening. 

During the past 20 years, the industry has concentrated on finding markets for the by-products of soy oil manufacture, including soy "lecithin", made from the oil sludge, and soy protein products, made from defatted soy flakes, a challenge that has involved overcoming consumer resistance to soy products, generally considered tasteless "poverty foods". "The quickest way to gain product acceptability in the less affluent society," said a soy industry spokesman, " … is to have the product consumed on its own merit in a more affluent society."

Hence the proliferation of soy products resembling traditional American foods-soy milk for cows milk, soy baby formula, soy yogurt, soy ice cream, soy cheese, soy flour for baking and textured soy protein as meat substitutes, usually promoted as high protein, low-fat, no cholesterol "health foods" to the upscale consumer increasingly concerned about his health. The growth of vegetarianism among the more affluent classes has greatly accelerated the acceptability and use of these ersatz products. Unfortunately they pose numerous dangers.

Processing Denatures and Dangers Remain

The production of soymilk is relatively simple. In order to remove as much of the trypsin inhibitor content as possible, the beans are first soaked in an alkaline solution. The pureed solution is then heated to about 115 degrees C in a pressure cooker. This method destroys most (but not all) of the anti-nutrients but has the unhappy side effect of so denaturing the proteins that they become very difficult to digest and much reduced in effectiveness.12 The phytate content remains in soy milk to block the uptake of essential minerals. In addition, the alkaline soaking solution produces a carcinogen, lysinealine, and reduces the cystine content, which is already low in the soybean.13 Lacking cystine, the entire protein complex of the soybean becomes useless unless the diet is fortified with cystine-rich meat, eggs, or dairy products, an unlikely occurrence as the typical soy milk consumer drinks the awful stuff because he wants to avoid meat, eggs and dairy products.

Most soy products that imitate traditional American food items, including baby formulas and some brands of soy milk, are made with soy protein isolate, that is the soy protein isolated from the carbohydrate and fatty acid components that naturally occur in the bean. Soybeans are first ground and subjected to high-temperature and solvent extraction processes to remove the oils. The resultant defatted meal is then mixed with an alkaline solution and sugars in a separation process to remove fibre. Then it is precipitated and separated using an acid wash. Finally the resultant curds are neutralized in an alkaline solution and spray dried at high temperatures to produce high protein powder. This is a highly refined product in which both vitamin and protein quality are compromised-but some trypsin inhibitors remain, even after such extreme refining! 

Trypsin inhibitor content of soy protein isolate can vary as much as 5-fold. In rats, even low-level trypsin inhibitor soy protein isolates feeding results in reduced weight gain compared to controls. Soy product producers are not required to state trypsin inhibitor content on labels, nor even to meet minimum standards, and the public, trained to avoid dietary cholesterol, a substance vital for normal growth and metabolism, has never heard of the potent anti-nutrients found in cholesterol-free soy products.

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Fermented Soy is the Only Type of  Soy with Health Benefits

Fermented Soy is the Only Type of Soy with Health Benefits

There`s only one type of soy that can be construed as a health food, and that is fermented soy. 
Examples of health-promoting fermented soy foods include: 
 Natto 
 Miso 
 Tempeh 
Natto is actually a phenomenal food. It`s a fermented soy product that can be a bit challenging to locate, but 
you can usually find it in Asian food stores. It`s very high in vitamin K2, which is a phenomenal vitamin, 
much like vitamin D. 

Together, vitamin K2 and vitamin D provide a large number of significant health benefits, such as improving 
bone density and reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer, just to name a few. 
Natto has probably the highest concentration of vitamin K2 out of any food. 

Miso and tempeh do not contain vitamin K2 but they are also fermented forms of soy that are excellent 
sources of health-promoting natural probiotics. 

The fermentation process is what makes the soy a healthy addition to your diet, as it breaks down the 
goitrogens, isoflavones and other harmful elements in the soy. 

It`s important to realize that tofu is NOT a fermented soy product, and should not be consumed if you want 
to avoid the health problems associated with non-fermented soy. 

It is also important to understand that while fermented soy is healthier for you, it is not wise to consume it in 
large quantities because it is still loaded with phytoestrogens, like isoflavones, which can cause detrimental 
feminising effects. 

What`s So Bad About Unfermented Soy? 
One of the primary reasons for avoiding soy products is because the vast majority of soy grown in the US is 
genetically modified (GM) soy. The GM variety planted in 91 percent of US soy acres is Roundup Ready 
engineered to survive being doused with otherwise lethal amounts of Monsanto`s Roundup herbicide. 
Monsanto produces both the Roundup Ready soy seeds and the herbicide Roundup. 
The logic — if you can call it that after all factors are considered — behind GM crops such as soy is that you 
can decrease the cost of production by killing off everything except the actual soy plant. 
Unfortunately, consumers pay a hefty price in terms of health instead. 

Article sourced from Mercola.com 

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Confused About Soy?

Confused About Soy?

Soy Dangers Summarised 

High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid 
in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. 
High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children. 
Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals 
soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth. 
Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote 
breast cancer in adult women. 

Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. 
In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease. 
Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body`s requirement for B12. 
Soy foods increase the body`s requirement for vitamin D. 
Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured 
vegetable protein. 

Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines. 
Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional 
amounts are added to many soy foods. 

Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys. 

Thanks to The Weston A Price Foundation for this article 

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Watch out for these ingredients on a Nut Free Diet

Watch out for these ingredients on a Nut Free Diet

If you or your child has a peanut allergy, it is safer to avoid all nut products as many people who react
to peanuts also react to tree nuts (other nuts). Tree nuts include: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews,
chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts.
The following ingredients are or may contain peanuts.

Arachis oil*  Hydrolysed plant protein
Beer nuts  Hydrolysed vegetable protein
Chopped peanuts  Mixed nuts
Cold pressed peanut oil  Monkey nuts
Defatted peanuts  Peanut butter
Expelled or expressed peanut oil  Peanut flakes
Fresh peanuts  Peanut flour
Granulated peanuts  Peanut oil
Ground nuts  Satay

*Arachis oil may be used in food products and also in certain cosmetic and pharmaceutical products
such as aftershave or eczema cream – highly sensitive individuals may react to arachis oil from these
sources. Always check with your pharmacist that the product does not contain arachis oil or nut
products.

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