By Jill Coleman RN

For this issue I want to share some information on soy, that many may not be aware of.

Since soy is natural product, grown from the earth, one would think it’s good for you. All the advertisements sure make it sound healthy, right? Well, let me give you some information that might make you think twice about that next soy burger.

The problem with 90% of the soy products out there is that they are not fermented. Un-fermented soy contains large quantities of phytic acid. In the presence of high levels of phytic acid, minerals like zinc, iodine, copper, calcium, iron, and other trace minerals cannot be absorbed from your digestive tract into the bloodstream. When soy is fermented, (very common in the Orient), the phytic acid is greatly reduced and there are no health risks. Fermented soy, like tempeh, natto, and miso are actually healthy. But the soy found in tofu, soy hot dogs, soy flour and all the other soy products out there, is NOT fermented.

If your body can’t get the vital trace minerals it needs to function, it starts to suffer. For example, zinc is necessary for the brain and blood sugar control. Depleted amounts can lead to mental problems, and hyperglycemia. Copper is essential for enzymes to function, without which, we can’t fight infection, digest food or break up blood clots. Iron depletion is the main cause of anemia. Bones become brittle and cavities form without calcium. Without Iodine the thyroid suffers and cannot do its job.

In addition, 95% of the soy on the market is bio-engineered. To make a long story short, this actually alters the genetic formula of molecules. The body interprets this alteration as a foreign body and sets up defense mechanisms which lead to allergies, and auto-immune diseases!

For details check out the book, ‘The Unhealthy Truth’, by Robin O’Brien.

Soy is one of the foods with the highest amounts of phytoestrogens. They mimic estrogens and are the leading cause of cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and more. Why would you want to consume more soy when most of us are already estrogen dominant? Well, the soy industry tells you it’s healthy, but babies drinking the recommended amount of soy formula gets the equivalent of 4 birth control pills a day. Does that sound healthy? It’s no wonder some girls are starting their periods at 6 years old!

Now days, soy is in just about every packaged food, so it may be a bit daunting to find packages without it. ‘Why is it so prevalent?’ you may ask. Well, because of the government subsidies, soy is cheaper for companies to use in their products, as fillers. Why does our government do that? The answer may surprise you, and it would also make this a very long blog. So just search, “government subsidies of soy”, and you will get some very interesting data.

My suggestion: Make more meals at home, avoid packaged foods if you can, and read labels on anything that is boxed, bagged, sealed or frozen. Just don’t buy it if there is soy in it! Avoiding un-fermented soy, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and MSG is one of many very important steps towards better health.

The more we are aware of what is being added to our food, the more we can demand a change for the better.