You can ask any health or fitness expert about this and they will unanimously mention soy milk as part of their diet chart. Soybeans belong to the legume family and are native to East Asia. They are an important source of protein and dietary fibre. Soy protein is supposed to be the only vegetable with a complete protein and has the ability to lower bad cholesterol levels. Notwithstanding that, there is another side to the soy milk and that is against one’s health. Despite its health benefits, there are several controversial surrounding soy foods that make them inconsumable. Read on more to find out.
The Soy Milk Controversy
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding soy foods, mostly due to their isoflavones which can bind to estrogen receptors and affect thyroid hormone.
There is significant evidence that eating moderate amounts (one to two servings per day) of traditional soy foods, whether fermented or not, can reduce the risk of prostate cancer and can lower LDL cholesterol.
Soy infant formula has been shown to be safe except possibly for infants with congenital hypothyroidism, whose thyroid function should be monitored. Soy formula is not intended for pre-term infants.
However, people have been concerned more about the fact that moderate amounts of soy could increase the risk of breast cancer or can be harmful to women with breast cancer, especially if their cancer is estrogen receptor positive.
What’s in the soymilk Ingredients that you should worry about
- Anti-Nutrients: Are natural or synthetic compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Soybeans reflect large quantities of these natural toxins. Drinking just two glasses of soy milk daily can significantly alter a woman’s menstrual cycle.
- Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a glycoprotein found on the surface of influenza viruses. It is responsible for binding the virus to cells with sialic acid on the membranes, such as cells in the upper respiratory tract or erythrocytes. It can also lead to clumping of red blood cells.
- Higher consumption of soy milk increases the Phytic acid levels in the body which lowers the absorption of Vitamin D and dietary calcium in the body and also of minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
- Soy may be 99% genetically modified and contains highest contaminations by pesticides in comparison to any other foods.
- Soy milk contains a compound that resembles closely to vitamin B12 but cannot be processed by your body. Hence, you may be trying to consume it as a Vitamin B12 supplement, without realizing that it is actually creating more deficiency rather than acting as a supplement.
- Soy foods contain high levels of toxic aluminium, which negatively affects the nervous system the kidneys and has been linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
- Soy reduces the natural levels of vitamin B12 and Vitamin D within the body.
- Soy contains plant estrogens, called phytoestrogens, which disrupt endocrine function and lead to infertility in women.
- Soy proteins are exposed to high temperatures in order to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein. These artificially created protein isolates cannot be naturally dissolved in the body, and can prove dangerous for consumption.
- Soy contains toxic isoflavones. The soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein can stimulate existing breast cancer growth showing risk in consuming soy products if a woman has breast cancer.
Carrageenan in Soy Milk
Carrageenan is a substance extracted from red and purple seaweeds, consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides. It is used as a thickening or emulsifying agent in food products. Natural and organic companies often favour it as a vegan alternative to gelatin, but consumers are wary because some animal studies suggest it causes gastrointestinal inflammation and ulcers.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared Carrageenan safe many years ago, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) echoed their safety claims in a joint statement on food additives.
But the seaweed extract has drawn the attention of many consumers. Additionally, recent studies funded by the American Diabetes Association have linked the consumption of food-grade carrageenan to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in mice.
Source: Living Traditionally