Soy is NOT Your Friend
Soy continues to be advertised as a healthy alternative to meat and dairy, providing you with a complete protein. You are being misled. Soy products such as tofu, soy milk, soy ice cream, soy cheese, soy flour and textured soy protein (meat substitutes) contain a number of harmful substances. One of them is a potent enzyme inhibitor that blocks the action of other enzymes needed for protein digestion. Read Eat your Protein! Stay Healthy! to learn why protein is so important to our body.
Eating soy actually contributes to nutritional deficiencies. Soybeans, like all other legumes, have phytic acid (or phytates) that blocks the uptake of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. It is widely known throughout the scientific community that grain and legume based diets high in phytates contribute to mineral deficiencies.
The processing method destroys any hope of soy providing you with a complete protein. Processing the soy bean by soaking it in an alkaline solution, pureeing it, then heating it up destroys most of the harmful enzymes but it makes the proteins in the soy difficult to digest and less effective. After processing, the phytate content is still high enough to block the absorption of key minerals. The soaking process reduces one of the essential amino acids, cystine, which it is low in to begin with, so with cystine at such a low level, soy protein cannot provide you with a high quality complete protein. It also damages the lysine amino acid that makes it unusable.
Soy can potentially cause infertility and cancer. Soy contains an abundance of phytoestrogens that disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility, promote breast cancer and cause thyroid disease. We get plenty of these estrogens from chemicals in our toxic environment. Why would you want to intentionally add more to your body?
Babies fed exclusively on soy formula are receiving the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day. So what does that mean? Pediatricians are seeing more and more male children with delayed physical maturation and female children who are showing signs of puberty such as breast development and pubic hair before the age of eight. Both of these are linked to exposure to too many estrogens, in the environment and from soy-based food.
Only fermented soy products are safe. Those harmful substances are de-activated during the fermentation process so tempeh, natto, miso and soy or tamari sauce are not harmful to you.
Also, soy is very high in copper, contributing to a copper-zinc ratio imbalance. This is significant in that it impairs digestion system functions, read more about how important copper-zinc balance is for maintaining your health in the article below, Nutritional Challenges of Vegetarianism.