Soy. We love it. We hate it. We don’t know what to do with it.
The information we get about soy is so confusing that many of us don’t know whether to embrace soy products or to steer clear of them.
Because this popular bean causes confusion and controversy, it’s a good idea to know the facts before you consume it.
What is Soy?
Soy is simply a legume – a bean – that was originally grown in East Asia. Due to its popularity, large-scale growth and production of soybeans is now common in the United States.
When consumed raw, soy is poisonous. That’s why soybeans are processed into products such as tofu, miso, soy milk, and meat alternatives. Edamame is an immature soybean left in the pod.
Here’s the good news. Soy is a rich source of protein, manganese, fiber, iron, and folate. For vegans and vegetarians, soy products are often an integral part of a balanced diet.
Here’s the “somewhat” bad news. Regardless of your dietary choices, there’s a good chance you’re consuming soy without knowing it.
If you choose to avoid soy altogether, you’ll want to become a staunch label reader. Here’s why. Many common kitchen staples contain soy. Here are just a few of them.
• Baked goods
• Infant formulas
• Canned broths/soups
• Canned tuna
• Canned meat
• Low-fat peanut butter
• Energy snacks
What You Need to Know About Soy
Clients often ask us to clarify the confusing and conflicting information about soy.
Because soybeans may produce twice the protein per acre than other major grains or vegetable crops, it’s a healthy addition to any diet.
Now, does that mean that soy is good for everyone? No. Here’s why.
For some cultures, soy has always been a regular dietary product. It is well-tolerated and has immense nutritional benefits. However, other cultures don’t tolerate it well; therefore, soy should be avoided.
The Final Verdict
The answer to the question about whether to consume soy or not to consume it is an individual one. It all comes down to whether your body tolerates it well or not.
In essence, unless you have a sensitivity to soy or have a genetic intolerance to it, there’s no reason why you should avoid it.
Although some studies tout its health benefits while others warn against its dangers, there is no singular silver bullet in the disease process. Stress is more likely to create an optimal environment to the evolution of a disease process than a bean product.
If you like soy, here’s what we recommend.
Relax. Eat soy. Enjoy.