What You Need To Know About Soy:

If you don’t think you eat much soy—think again. Soy additives are being used in all kinds of food products these days. That’s because it’s cheap and it’s plentiful. Soy accounts for the majority of food crops grown in the U.S. with 91% of these crops being grown with genetically modified seeds (GMOs). The problem is that these soy additives are highly processed and don’t really offer consumers any nutritional value. Generally, manufacturers use soy-based ingredients as binders and fillers in their products. Thanks to clever marketing, companies are luring consumers into eating food additives that are potentially hazardous to their health.

So how can you tell good soy from bad soy? First, you must understand that the different types of soy that are commonly found in foods are actually byproducts. In essence, these soy additives are the leftovers from the chemical processing of soybeans, during which time heat and chemicals destroy most of the bean’s nutrients.

Soy additives are used abundantly in fast food because it saves money. That thick meaty patty on your favorite burger; chances are it is a mixture of meat and soy. Would you be surprised to find out that those curly seasoned fried you love are made with more than potatoes? It has become quite common for fast food manufacturers to add soybeans and soy bean oil to their potato products because buying fresh potatoes can get expensive. But it’s not just fast food. These soy additives can be found in vegan products, dairy, snacks foods, chocolate, baby foods, condiments, and much more.

 

How This Affects You:

Sourced mainly from GMO soybeans, these additives can contain pesticide residue that accumulates in your body’s fat cells. There is also evidence to suggest that regular consumption of soy-based products can disrupt your hormone system and block the absorption of calcium and magnesium. There are numerous studies that have found a link between consumption of unfermented soy products and food allergies, thyroid disorder, infertility, and a host of other health conditions. A diet that is high in soy products can also impair development in children by suppressing the immune system, inhibiting hormone production or causing imbalances. As a parent, try to make sure that the foods you purchase contain little or no amount of the following types of soy.

 

Know Your Options:

  • Soy Bean oil: Since soybean oil is heavily processed, it loses much of it healthy essential fatty acids. The biggest problem with soybean oil is that it “goes bad” or becomes rancid in a very short amount of time. Rancid oils are very dangerous and can have a negative impact on your immune system and your DNA.
  • Hydrolyzed Soy Protein: One of the unfortunate byproducts of isolating the protein from soybeans is commonly known as MSG (monosodium glutamate). MSG has been linked to health problems such as chest pains, inflammation, headaches and nausea.
  • Textured Soy Protein: This is used as a meat substitute and is most often found in vegan products. Again, the process used to extract the protein destroys virtually all of the nutrients making this additive useless.
  • Soy Protein Isolate: This food additive was originally developed as an industrial product to bind paper. That it until manufacturers figured out that it was also a cheap way to bind food particles together. Soy Protein Isolate undergoes rigorous processing that involves the use of chemicals that are known carcinogens.
  • Soy Lecithin: This additive is literally the leftover stuff that results from soybeans being emulsified and filtered. It is a waste product that not only contains harmful pesticide residues but also undergoes bleaching so that it doesn’t look so unappealing. Soy Lecithin is commonly used in chocolate bars and energy bars.

One of the best ways to avoid these harmful soy additives is to choose products with few ingredients that are minimally processed. Organically grown soybeans and foods made from these soybeans can provide many health benefits and should continue to be a part of your healthy diet. This includes foods such as soy sauce, miso, and tempeh. Read your labels and always check products for the certified organic labels and seals and have a peace of mind knowing that what you’re eating is not only safe but healthy.

 

RESOURCES

Be Aware of Brands That Use Processed Unfermented Soy in Their Products:

MorningStar

Caroline’s Natural

Atlantic Natural Foods

El Burrito Food Products

ToFurky Products

Silk

Soy Dream

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