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  1. #1
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    Question Soy: good, or bad?

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    Hello my lovely and knowledgeable TE Ladies!

    What say ye about soy?

    I've read both good and bad about it thru Mr. Google. Lots of info to sort out!

    I've been trying to adopt a plant based vegan type diet and am wondering about this.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'm sure that if it is edible, someone on the Internet will say that it cures cancer and will make you a better person, and someone else on the Internet will say that it's Satan incarnate and will not only cause cancer but cause your property values to drop as well.

    Everything in moderation.
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  3. #3
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    Aug 2001
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    Vegetarians tend to like it. "Paleos" hate it. It's just like Owlie says. I, personally, tend to eat it sparingly because of the breast cancer in my family and soy's estrogenic properties.

  4. #4
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    I used to eat a lot of soy, but got both breast cancer and Hashimoto's, so I have cut most of it out. My endocrinologist said it's okay in small amounts, and my oncologist said it's controversial, but a little would probably be fine. I still eat Miso soup maybe once a week, and soy sauce on occasion. I would say avoid the most processed forms if you're worried, like fake hot dogs.
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  5. #5
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    Feb 2005
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    I use tofu about once every other week. Also, I have one really good recipe that uses soy crumbles, but that could be replaced by ground turkey. I stopped using soy sauce, more due to the salt content, which really affects me. I use coconut aminos now, which is less salty, but I still use that sparingly.
    There's no breast cancer in my family, so I think Red's doctors' opinions are probably good ones.
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  6. #6
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    I cut out most soy, including all refined soy protein, after I was found to be at high risk for breast cancer at a time in my life when I was eating a lot of soy, both refined and unrefined. It's been several years, but without looking up references, IIRC the *least* equivocal research is that which associates refined soy protein with increased risk. I still use soy sauce occasionally, and tofu or tempeh maybe two or three times a year. Many people say you shouldn't eat unfermented soy, but I'm not really aware of the research on that. Basically, for me, it's a matter of risk vs benefit. As much as marketing likes to tout this or that thing, there is no magic food, and eating soy isn't going to do anything for you that eating other real foods can't ... but too much soy does carry a greater risk than I'm willing to take for myself.

    By the same token though ... I still drink some alcohol. So it really is a personal risk/benefit decision, and I count pleasure and social integration among the benefits. If you really like soy - or eat with a lot of people who do - it's fair to count that in your decisionmaking.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 03-08-2013 at 06:08 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Personally, I think that any substance that mimics a critical hormone in our body is probably not a smart thing to eat in kind of quantity.

    That said, I have always limited my soy consumption simply because it upsets my stomach. When I discovered paleo and found it it was off-limits for other reasons, I wasn't heart-broken.
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  8. #8
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    Sep 2008
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    I avoid the more processed forms of soy, but I do eat tofu. I also like edamame.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2007
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    Hmmm. If tofu was so horrible then we would have an epidemic of breast cancers among women in the countries that created tofu in the lst place --China, Japan..huge populations who have eaten the stuff.


    Consider this:

    Tofu made with least amount of chemicals. No preservatives. Fresh tofu must be eaten within days. People made tofu...at home.
    Some of the stuff I see in stores has more chemicals than necessary.

    And please don't get mixed up with soy sauce. It's the high salt content to be alert about. So always buy low sodium. The bottle label must say this. Not "light" soy sauce. It must be "low sodium or low salt". I'm horrified by Food Network channel,when chefs dump in tons of soy sauce.

    Think of it this way: soy sauce is like eating olives with abit of the preserved salt/oil.

    To put soy sauce in stir fry dish to serve 4 people, I put no more than 1 tablespoon --or alot less --depends if there is a blend of meat and veggies. If it's just veggies, less soy sauce.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 03-08-2013 at 10:16 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Austin, TX
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    I eat vegetarian, and it's entirely possible (not that difficult, really) to get plenty of protein without living on tofu or processed soy products. If you're leaning towards plant-based, vegan eating then I'm guessing that you're doing so for health reasons, and you'll probably want to avoid those processed foods anyway. If I'm making a stir-fry I'll consider tofu, and I love me some edamame, but I also get protein from beans, whole grains, nuts (peanut butter!) etc.

    Everything in moderation. A wide variety of foods is always a good way to eat.

  11. #11
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    Aside from the possible increase in breast cancer risk, soy is thought to depress thyroid function, and is one of the most likely products in your supermarket to be genetically modified (GMO). And unless made from organically grown soybeans, soybeans are one of the most highly pesticide-laden types of produce.

    And all of this sucks because I really like tofu and don't eat a lot of meat so do appreciate its protein content. I eat it sparingly now and then, but not as much as I would prefer for the reasons stated above. I also like soy sauce.

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  12. #12
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    Well, typically in the stores where I shop, certified organic tofu is less than 10% more expensive than conventional. (Sometimes the same price.) Well worth it IMO, provided you trust the manufacturer and certifier (which is a whole 'nother thread).

    As far as soy sauce ... as I said in the other thread, I have trouble getting ENOUGH salt, so that's not an issue for me, but remember that salt is a preservative in soy sauce and miso, so just be sure if you buy a low-sodium kind, that it's not packed with other more toxic preservatives.

    I really love Ohsawa Nama Shoyu. The flavor is well worth the price, especially for someone who doesn't use a lot. Plus, apparently a lot of other soy sauce is pasteurized after fermentation, which means you don't get the probiotic benefits.
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  13. #13
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    Given your doctor's diagnosis, Oakleaf in previous threads, your salt need is very specific to you.

    On the opposite side my mother was advised by a Western trained Chinese-speaking doctor in Toronto (therefore Canadian medical doctor like my sister), to severely cut back on her salty soy sauce intake. This was 15 years ago. It is salty which means dear mother should not have olives from brine either nor miso. Miso is high salt content. Period. It's not the soy I'm objecting to, very high salt content. Ok like once a month, not several times per week to have lots of miso.

    So tough to get totally organic soy sauce.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    So tough to get totally organic soy sauce.
    You mean you don't trust the certifiers? I would trust Eden brand for sure. They're a very reputable company, and they have their products independently tested for GMOs. I don't have such a strong opinion about other brands (and actually a pretty negative opinion about anything certified by QAI), but there are lots that are at least labeled certified organic - including Kikkoman which is available in any grocery store.




    And just FTR - though kind of drifty - most active people need at least as much salt as I do. What's specific to me is that I eat very little processed food AND I don't enjoy the way highly salted foods make me feel. My neighbor brought over some chicken soup the other day, that she must've made with canned stock. The first few bites tasted good, after that not so much. I need to get it in small amounts throughout the day.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 03-08-2013 at 12:35 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GLC1968 View Post
    Personally, I think that any substance that mimics a critical hormone in our body is probably not a smart thing to eat in kind of quantity.

    That said, I have always limited my soy consumption simply because it upsets my stomach. When I discovered paleo and found it it was off-limits for other reasons, I wasn't heart-broken.
    I hate to point this out, but many food plants contain phytoestrogens. I will also point out that many cruciferous veggies contain "anti-estrogens."

    Sprouts, anyone?
    Last edited by Owlie; 03-08-2013 at 02:25 PM.
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