Debunking Myths About Soy
According to Nutritionist Natalia Rose:
"Soy has received a huge amount of press over the last decade. It has been touted as nothing short of a miracle food. Before you slurp back a glass of soy milk in lieu of another mainstream beverage, consider this: soy is the most mucus-forming plant food on the planet. The form of mucus it creates is called mucoid matter- do not be confused with mucus membrane. This mucus is a sticky, sludge-like substance that holds up the body's flow and productivity. It accumulates and creates respiratory distress in asthmatics, creates common digestive problems like IBS, and, by slowing down the body's digestion and circulation systems, ultimately triggers weight gain and premature aging. You are probably wondering about all those healthy Japanese, who are supposedly living on soy. The truth is, Japanese do not eat nearly as much soy as the soy product manufacturers would have you believe. More to the point, they do not eat the same heavily processed soy products that Americans eat, like imitation chicken and psuedo-fish. They are often eating foods like edamame pods (soy in its natural, unprocessed state) and small amounts of tofu. Soy sauce is fine because it isn't concentrated, meaning it is a liquid rather than a dense food. You may also employ small amounts of raw miso in recipes. Other than that, you will want to avoid all processed soy products."
Having lived in Japan for 3 years and traveled in Asia for 6 years, I can personally attest to this! Soy is used, but not with the same frequency it is percieved to be by many Americans getting their information from inaccurate sources. Below is a picture of a typical Japanese lunch- if you notice- there are only 2 soy pods and a smal piece of tofu in the entire meal. The rest is a balance of lean protein, rice, pickles, and veggies.
If you watch movies like Food, Inc. and realize how heavily soy is pushed by product manufactures, you realize that "healthy soy" is slapped on a variety food product labels and does not come from an interest in the health of Americans- it comes from the desire make money as soy and corn basically are the two dominant crops in America. This is one prime example of how processed food manufactures and marketing campaigns have contributed greatly to the obesity epidemic and played a major role in skewing the American view on what foods are healthy.
Soy DOES have a place in a well balanced diet- but it should be in small amounts and come from non-GMO sources and be as close as possible to its natural state: edamame pods, miso, soy sauce & small amounts of minimally processed tofu. Try to limit your soy consumption to no more than 1 serving a day ( ex. 1/4 c. edamame pods OR 2 tbsp miso OR 2 oz. tofu). When checking your labels- any soy based product with more than about 3 ingredients needs to be left out of your shopping cart!