Soya is generally portrayed as a really healthy food and today it is really popular to have Soya cream, Soya milk, tofu, Soya burgers, Soya yogurt etc. Soya in these products is not fermented and is potentially not very good for your health. Fermented Soya (miso, tempeh, tamari, natto and ordinary Soya sauce) in small doses occasionally will do you no harm but the consumption of large amounts of non-fermented Soya is directly harmful to health.
Soya contains large amounts of phytic acid which is a substance that binds to minerals in the intestinal tract and removes them from the body. Even ordinary cereals and legumes contain phytic acid and it is not unusual that vegetarians tend to have a mineral deficiency, especially of the extremely important mineral zinc. There are techniques to reduce phytic acid such as soaking, fermentation and sprouting but no Soya milk, Soya protein, Soya yogurt or tofu in the world is prepared in that way.
Soya contains trypsin inhibitors that prevent protein degradation and can lead to serious stomach problems and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In laboratory animals, this causes high levels of trypsin inhibitor magnification and pathology of the pancreas, including cancer.
Soya milk, Soya protein, Soya yogurt, Soya patties, tofu etc. are processed heavily during production using heat, alkaline baths and acid baths. This results in a denatured protein. The acid washing is often done in aluminum tanks which often leak out high high levels of aluminum into the Soya pulp. Soya beans are deficient in most of the essential amino acids too.
Soya beans have low levels of cysteine and methionine, which are vital sulfur-rich amino acids. Additionally, Soya has low levels of tryptophan, another essential amino acid.
Soya does not contain A or vitamin D needed for good assimilation of the bean proteins, which may be the reason that in Asian cultures people often combine Soya beans with fish or fish broth.
Soya contains extreme amounts of phytoestrogens, a form of hormone-like substances. There is research that shows that children who receive infant formula absorb hormone-like substances that corresponds to several pills which can lead to serious adverse health effects in the long term. Soya also contains no cholesterol, which is essential for brain and nervous system development in children.
Isoflavones in Soya prevents good thyroid function – it is extremely important to your health because it regulates the body’s metabolism, among others.
Just the same cancer-causing nitrites in cured meats are fond in spray-dried Soya sauce (all forms of Soya protein, Soya sausage, Soya steak, etc.)
There is a toxic substance called lysinoalanine formed during the manufacture of Soya foods. Soya contains isoflavonoids genistein and daidzein, two phytoestrogens similar to human estrogen. They can block the estrogen effect, disrupt hormonal functions, lead to infertility and breast cancer. If you drink two glasses of Soya milk per day for a month you take in enough phytoestrogens to affect the menstrual cycle.
Soya beans contain another substance that causes red blood cells clump together. Trypsin and haemagglutinins, growth inhibitors, and it has been shown that rats fed on these anti nutrients do not grow normally.
Laboratory animals fed Soya protein isolate develop enlarged organs, particularly the pancreas and thyroid gland, and increased deposition of fatty acids in the liver. Soya protein isolate and textured vegetable protein are used in school lunches, commercial baked goods, diet beverages and fast food products, among others. They also heavily promoted in third world countries and form the basis of many food giveaway programs.
Nutrition researcher. Kayla Daniel, who has done research on Soya for many years and wrote the book, The Whole Soya Story, brings out thousands of studies linking consumption of Soya foods to malnutrition, digestive problems, immune disorders, thyroid disorders, disorders of the reproductive organs, heart problems and cancer.
Two scientists working at the U.S. FDA (equivalent NFA in Sweden), Daniel Sheehan and Daniel Doerge, both senior toxicologists, was strongly opposed to Soya would receive health claims. They wrote in his memo: “We oppose health claims for Soya because there is plenty of evidence that certain Isoflavones found in Soya are toxic to estrogen sensitive tissues and in the thyroid … granted that a woman’s own estrogen is a significant factor for breast cancer is not recommended that Soya is healthy … the public will be exposed to a potential risk from Soya without adequate warning and information”.
Sometimes the argument is made that in Asia they have been eating Soya for thousands of years. In Asia, we often use the whole Soya bean without separating fat and protein, it ferments which reduces anti-nutrients and we eat much smaller amounts than in the current view of Asian cuisine.
A large study estimated the daily Soya intake to be about 7-8 grams per day where some are fermented Soya. Many vegetarians in the Western world, however, consume approximately 220 grams of pure Soya per day. Fermented Soya then taken in small quantities in Asian cuisine does not have the same detrimental effect on the body as Soya protein isolate, Soya milk, Soya bean oil, Soya meat, tofu and other non-fermented Soya products. Examples of fermented Soya is: tempeh, miso, natto and Soya sauce.
In 2010 there was a so-called “Great Health Debate,” a discussion and lecture series where some of America’s leading health experts and doctors got an opinion on health, diet and lifestyle. Approximately half of the debaters advocated a vegetarian diet and the other half an omnivore diet, i.e. inclusion of meat. However, virtually all, and therefore also the vegetarians agreed that non-fermented Soya was and remains a food that we should eat.
If you are concerned about the environment, you should not eat Soya. It is grown in monoculture which devastates large areas of land and thereby kills basically anything else that lives on the land (insects, small rodents and naturally occurring plants).