The history of soybean production in the U.S. originated as an alternative to expensive tropical imported oils. Soy oil became a cheaper substitution and continues to be used as an additive in numerous popular foods. The majority of soybeans grown domestically are genetically modified and contain lethal amounts of Monsanto’s herbicide. Dr. Mercola, a strong advocate against soy production, argues that soy’s reputation in the consumer market as a “health food” is a misconception.
Michael Pollan suggests 20% of the typical American diet contains soy. He’s also advises by saying, “There are way too many estrogen compounds already circulating in our bodies, because we get it from plastics and other things. So going crazy over soy might not be such a wonderful idea.”
Promotion of soy in the U.S. is caused by a desire to increase profits, rather than benefit your health. In fact, soy products have been found to potentially cause numerous health problems. These popular beans contain goitrogens, substances that prevent proper thyroid function by interfering with iodine metabolism. Additional evidence has linked soy to the disruption of endocrine function, and has been shown to cause infertility, increase the risk of breast cancer and disturb proper hormone levels. The phytic acid it contains may also prevent the absorption of certain minerals essential for good health, including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Now that you are aware of some of these health effects of soy, it is important to realize just how many products on the market contain it. A major culprit contributing to thyroid dysfunction in women in the U.S. is soy milk. It is also found in soy protein powder and isolated soy protein powder, both commonly used as ingredients in protein bars and drinks (that is why I recommend tossing all that processed-junk). And for all of you mothers out there, soy can also be found in soy baby formulas, which can irreversibly harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health by disrupting hormone levels.
Dr. Mercola emphasizes that the only safe soy products are those that are fermented, since these harmful health effects are broken down during the fermentation process. Examples of fermented soy include natto, miso and tempeh. Be sure to look closely at the ingredient lists of the products you buy, since 60% of them contain some type of soy. Currently there is no regulation requiring genetically modified foods to contain labels indicated they are “GM” foods.
When all is said and done, are soybeans benefiting our health or simply providing monetary profits to our country? You decide.
Yours in Health,
Stella Metsovas B.S., CCN
Staff Writer: Michele Wolff