I have decided to return to the vegan lifestyle! I understand that soy is can be good for you when eaten in small amounts and especially when it's fermented ie miso. But I've also heard that you should stay away from eating a lot of processed soy like soy burgers, hot dog etc because of the way it is processed. I also assumed that tofu, soy cheeses and other dairy imitations should be avoid too. Is that correct? I really like soy cheeses and I like tofu. Is it safe to eat the imitation cheese and tofu ocassionally? I am especially hurting for some vegan cheese bc I really miss eating real cheese lol. Thanks for the help :)
I am always wondering that too. When I try to research on the internet I find alot of conflicting info. I understand staying away from the processed stuff because it is processed. They don't sell the vegan cheeses near me, which is probably good because I would want to eat it and it is probably highly processed also. But I think tofu is fine. I mean it is a big staple in the Japanese diet and I think they have a low cancer rate. I would be curious to hear what others say about tofu and soymilk. I use Almond milk on my cereal, but my sister uses soymilk everyday on hers.
Erica, You should search other soy discussions on here (if you haven't) b/c there's been at least a few, and maybe they'd be of help to you. But to respond to your comment/question.... the first time I went vegan I didn't know about the "stay away from soy" thing, so I just substituted all the milk, meat, and cheese I ate before with soy products. Whoa!! It sure was a shock to my system and I shorly thereafter develped thyroid issues (which I've since learned is a common side effect of too much soy). So I quit being vegan then, and now...about 2 years later, have decided to do it again, but knowing more now than I did the first time. And you know what? I have not had ANY problems this time around!! (YAYE!) What I've learned, that helped me, is that humans don't NEED milk. I don't drink a glass of milk anymore, like I used to. Or milk on cereal. I only use almond or soy milk if a recipe calls for it, or in my teeccino (and then I use almond, not soy milk). I still eat fake/soy "meats" but not every day. A few times a week doesn't seem to adversely affect me. It's my "in a pinch" food, not my first choice. I also don't use soy cheese at all. I found a rice cheese that I've used, but anymore I don't even use that. I just didn't like it much....it didn't have much taste or really ADD anything to what I put it on. Honestly, I do still miss regular cheese though! That was one of my favorite foods. And now if I'm being COMPLETELY honest, I allow myself to have a bit of it (like a piece of regular pizza, or a cheese square or 2) on RARE occasions and very few and far between. As for the tofu, I group that with soy meats and cheeses. It's not BAD for you, per se, but it IS processed and not great to eat every day in large quantities. A good basic rule of thumb, I think, is to just eat soy products in moderation.
I second Sarah, search the other threads. Miso, tempeh, and shoyu are the better sources of soy. Tofu is more processed, but a couple of times a week is probably okay for most people. Once you start getting into the soy milk, cheese, faux meats, those are ridiculously processed and should be consumed in moderation. Remember that if you do choose soy, you should choose organic, because otherwise, a lot of it, like corn, contains GMOs.
There are many other options for milk and cheese - almond, rice, coconut, oat, hazelnut, hemp. If you are trying to go vegan, or just kick the cheese habit, READ LABELS - most faux cheese contains casein, which is an animal product found in real cheese, and can keep those addictive pathways in your brain working.
Hope that helps some. I personally eat tofu rarely, I prefer tempeh and eat it more often, but still eat that only rarely, just because I prefer other beans and lentils. I almost never use soy milk, I choose other alternatives. Cheese - pretty much useless to me. I, like most, used to love cheese, but now I have actually come to find even the smell gross. And I just think of the whole blood and puss thing with milk, and the poor cows who are kept lactating unnaturally, and I really, really, really find milk and cheese gross.
You could try Daiya cheese, but not a lot of nutrition. Sunshine burgers are really yummy, contain no soy, and have really clean ingredients. Compare their ingredients to other veg burgers. But again, if you are consuming in moderation and not every day, it shouldn't be a problem.
Yes! and i myself am worried about not getting enough protien because i dont want to rely on or consume too much soy due to the fact that i have breast cancer in my family on my moms side and worrie about causing more likelyness... any thoughts or info? too much conflicting info i am soo very confused!
Thanks so much Justin! Just when I think I have it all figured out, I'll read some story trashing soy. So it's good to see people defending it. I mean I have been eating it for over 20 years and have never had any health problems (knock on wood), so in my heart I always felt it was safe. Thanks for being such a great source of info justin :)
I have been vegan for over 20 years, and used soy as a big staple - and then developed a lot of health issues last year. Was tested for food sensitivities and came up positive for soy - completely eliminated it from my diet for the past 6 months and its made a big difference. Based on that went the same route with my mom - she eats a lot of soy but has a super clean organic vegan diet - who had come out of remission with her rheumatoid arthritis last year. Took her off of soy and wheat. Literally overnight her symptoms - horrible pain and grossly swollen feet/hands improved vastly.
So yes, we can argue soy is good/soy is bad til the cows come home, but the truth is soy is in EVERYTHING - its not just the soy milk/cheese or the tofu you might eat - if you read labels you will see it in many forms everywhere, and it is a very allergenic food. People who eat a lot of soy as part of their culture tend to rely more on fermented foods like miso, soy sauce and tempeh.
So based on all of that - even if you love your soy and eat it day and night, be careful because over time there is a chance you will start having problems with it. Its best to not eat any food too much (except maybe kale!), and not to rely on processed foods except for an occasional treat.
If I do introduce soy into my diet again, I will do it in fermented forms and only once or twice a week with foods like tofu or soy cheese only once in a blue moon.
I agree with Ann. My daughter has a sensitivity to soy and gets rosacea and miserable when she gets it. Soy, like wheat, corn, nuts and other complex proteins can upset the ability of our immune system to properly function. Any individual can get into trouble with almost any food or ingredient and soy is a common culprit.
I agree with other posters that minimally processed soy, in moderation, is okay. It is easy to over-do soy, but if you follow TKD and eat lots of fresh veggies and whole grains it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
I found a great rice milk that I like to keep on hand for cooking and smoothies. And it doesn't need to be refrigerated until you open it, which makes it easier to just keep on hand.
I prefer barley miso, and have been wanting to try the brown rice miso. They are good replacements for soy miso.
Other than that, I may have organic tofu occasionally. I try not to have more than one type of soy product per week (eg. if I make a dish that uses a box of tofu, or if I make the soy creme from TKD) and that's it except for shoyu. Of course, there are times when I'm feeling lazy and will eat Tofurkey sandwiches for lunch all week; but even then, I try not to eat any other kind of soy.
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