So many times I've heard that soy (or a lot of it) aren't good for you. However, now that I've recently become vegan I have soy milk, tofu, tofutti 'ice cream', and various other soy products. I'm probably having it atleast every other day. Any suggestions as to how to prevent this? Is Soy actually bad for you? Thank you for your insight!
I wonder about soy a lot too, but my concern is the effect it has on fertility. My hubby and I are trying to conceive, and I'm not quite sure just how much soy I can safely consume. There are so many conflicting pieces of information out there! Frustrating.
There has been much recent controversy regarding soy and there are several important considerations:
Soybeans should be organically grown or non-GMO (genetically modified organism). Non-organic soybeans are often bathed in solvents such as hexane.
Soybeans should be fermented. Unfermented soy such as soy milk and tofu are not recommended in large quantities as these contain higher levels of estrogen-mimicking chemicals called phytoestrogens. The healthiest option is to choose fermented soy products such as the following three:
Tamari (Soy Sauce) A concentrated, fermented soy product, Tamari contains antioxidants along with vitamin B6, iron, phosphorous, protein and the amino acid tryptophan. Tamari should be refrigerated after opening.
Tempeh Made by fermenting soybeans with the Rhizopus mold, tempeh contains antioxidants, isoflavones, saponins, fiber, protein, folic acid, potassium and iron as well as all the amino acids.
Miso Miso is a product made from soybeans (or other grains) fermented with the Koji mold. Miso contains vitamin K, B6, B12, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous and zinc along with protein and amino acids. Miso comes in several varieties including Genmai, Hacho, Mugi, and Shiro.
In traditional Asian cultures, only whole soy products are consumed (fermented form). Most of the soy that ends up on our dinner plates is genetically modified. Read labels thoroughly and look for the non-GMO symbol on your soy products.
Alicia writes in her book that it's good in moderation, eating tofu and tempeh a couple of times a week is okay. She said miso, in small amounts, is good too, but it's best to enjoy soy products occasionaly.
I have a friend who is a vegan dietitian and he says that you should have no more than two servings of soy per day. If you want less soy in your diet, try a different milk (hemp, rice, almond, oat, etc), different yogurt (coconut milk yogurt instead of soy yogurt), or a different ice cream made from rice, hemp, or coconut milk (the purely decadent brand is now making some good coconut milk-based ice cream). you can even buy rice-based whipped cream (from soyatoo) as a replacement for soy whipped cream. and instead of buying soy cheese, you can always buy cheese that comes from almonds or rice. you can even make good cheese at home from cashews. :) and if you want a replacement for soy protein powder, you can use rice protein, pea protein, or hemp protein (my favorite). hope that helps!!
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