I have been eating a primarily vegetarian diet for quite some time. And of course one of the main alternatives to almost any kind of meat or even dairy is soy protein. You can find soy hot dogs, soy chorizo, soy burgers and soy cheese. Having heard about the woes of processed foods, and steering clear of most of them, I never thought soy could be bad. It is after all considered a “health food” – or is it?
Dr. Joseph Mercola, a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, wrote a post on the dangers of soy. I was intrigued with what he had to say.
So is soy dangerous?
“If you take the time to look into the actual science, then the answer is yes. Thousands of studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility — even cancer and heart disease.”
Soybean crops are also heavily sprayed with chemical herbicides, such as glyphosate, which a French team of researchers have found to be carcinogenic.
Furthermore, many processed foods are made with soy, like meat-substitutes. These soy “burgers” are often made with soy protein isolate, which is a highly processed food.
Basically, soy that is processed and unfermented is not healthy. Soy that is fermented from organic soy beans is beneficial.
Unfortunately, the soy in our diets is mostly from unfermented soymilk or tofu.
Dr. Mercola recommends eating only fermented soy products like tempeh, natto, miso and tamari to get the full health benefits of soy.
I am going to go with these two for now:
Tempeh: Trader Joe’s Organic 3 Grain Tempeh is a good natural source of iron with 20g of protein per serving.
Tamari: San-J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce is naturally brewed with 100% soybeans and no wheat.
There are some fantastic recipes out there with tempeh and I am going to try them!