Thursday, December 17, 2009

Children of the Soy

From the SpearheadFiles
December 17, 2009

Learn to fear She Who Walks Behind the Rows.

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the health effects of Soy in the human diet. There are some things people need to realize before they conclude whether or not they should include this substance in their daily diet….but for most of you, it already is.

Unless you read labels religiously to purposely avoid eating soy products, chances are you have eaten some form of soy in just about every meal you’ve eaten – especially if you regularly eat at restaurants (fast food or not) or any kind of food that comes boxed, wrapped or pre-prepared for convenience.

First thing to consider is that the Soybean plant is similar to all other legumes: in their natural state, right from the plant, all legumes have a host of anti-nutrients in them. Traditional cultures around the world have intuitively understood this, which is why preparing legumes in traditional cuisines almost always involved pre-processing of the legumes to neutralize these anti-nutrients.

This is a very important point to remember – the traditional uses of Soy by Asian cultures was almost exclusively based on soy foods made through fermentation, which rendered most of the anti-nutrients harmless and even beneficial. Miso, Shoyu (traditionally brewed soy sauce), Natto and Tempeh are all examples of traditionally fermented soy foods that were a part of traditional Asian cultures diets.

So what anti-nutrients are a part of the Soy legume, and how do they affect the body? From Soy Online Service:

High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking.

High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.

Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.

Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.

Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer.

In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.

Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body’s requirement for B12.

Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.

Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.

Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.

Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and added to many soy foods.

Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.


Babies fed soy-based formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula.

Infants exclusively fed soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day.

Male infants undergo a testosterone surge during the first few months of life, when testosterone levels may be as high as those of an adult male. During this period, baby boys are programmed to express male characteristics after puberty, not only in the development of their sexual organs and other masculine physical traits, but also in setting patterns in the brain characteristic of male behavior.

Pediatricians are noticing greater numbers of boys whose physical maturation is delayed, or does not occur at all, including lack of development of the sexual organs. Learning disabilities, especially in male children, have reached epidemic proportions.

Soy infant feedings which floods the bloodstream with female hormones that inhibit testosterone cannot be ignored as a possible cause for these tragic developments. In animals, soy feeding indicates that phytoestrogens in soy are powerful endocrine disrupters.

Almost 15 percent of white girls and 50 percent of African-American girls show signs of puberty such as breast development and pubic hair, before the age of eight. Some girls are showing sexual development before the age of three. Premature development of girls has been linked to the use of soy formula and exposure to environmental estrogens such as PCBs and DDE.

Yet if you look in mainstream media sources, all you ever hear, see or read is how Soy is a health food, how it can help prevent cancer, is good for heart health, is healthier to eat than meat, etc.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

What is really going on is this: Soy is the second biggest crop being farmed by Big Agriculture. It’s a multi-million dollar crop, and industrial food processing corporations have found innumerable products, by-products and additives can be created and used from this legume. The multiple uses of this crop are precisely why it is so profitable to grow and market it to the food processing industry. And the soybean producers have certainly spent a pretty penny to fund research to promote their marketing efforts.

The important point of using methods like fermentation to neutralize the anti-nutrients in soy IS THE KEY TO THE BAIT AND SWITCH used by the Soy industry that they use to produce biased research results to promote Soy as a “health food.”

Here’s what Soy Nutrition ( a pro-Soy website, most likely funded by the Soy lobby) says regarding Soyfood and Cancer:

Current views on soy and breast cancer stem from several comprehensive statistical analyses of epidemiologic studies. Epidemiology is the science of studying populations in order to determine the frequency and distribution of disease and measured risks. In the epidemiologic soy studies, investigators ascertained the quantity of soyfoods consumed by study participants to determine if high-soy consumers were more or less likely to have (in case-control studies), or to develop (in prospective studies), cancer.

In the most recent analysis, which was conducted by Anna Wu and colleagues from the University of Southern California, high-soy consumers were found to be about 30% less likely to report having breast cancer than Asian women who consumed relatively little soy.67 This second study purposely included a high percentage of vegetarians, who typically consume more soy than non-vegetarians. However, in a separate large study in the United Kingdom, there was no evidence that soy intake was protective.

What might account for the protective effect of soyfood intake in the Asian studies but not in the UK study? One explanation is that soyfoods are protective against breast cancer only when consumed early in life – during childhood and/or adolescence.8 In the UK study, it is likely the vegetarians adopted their dietary behavior as adults, and may well have consumed little soy prior. In contrast, because soyfoods are part of the traditional Asian diet, it is likely that Asians who consume soy as adults also did so as children.

That’s a deliberate misdirection.

The real reason is because Asians who eat soy, generally eat soy foods prepared in their traditional methods – fermentation to render the anti-nutrients harmless. The majority of soy consumed in the US and the UK…not so.

No, here in the west, the majority of Soy that we consume comes from all of the additives created by soy and put into the food supply.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Textured Vegetable Protein
Soy Protein Isolate
Hydrogenated or Partially-Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Soy Lecithin
Soy Flour
Soy Milk
Soybean Oil (if you ever see a listed ingredient as “Vegetable Oil” it’s almost a certainty that Soy is the “vegetable.”)

These are some of the products created from the soybean that are in nearly EVERYTHING you buy from the grocery store nowadays. If a food product has an ingredient list of more than 5 things, chances are, there is some soy derivative in it somewhere. Also, unless you’re eating fried or sauteed foods from restaurants that specifically state the oil they are using to make it, you can assume the oil they use is “vegetable” oil…the cheapest cooking oil in mass production.

Also, soy protein isolate and hydrolyzed soy are often used as meat filler. Public School lunches, and cheap fast food often have soy-filler in their meat. Ever wonder how a fast food Mexican restaurant could sell you a half- pound burrito for a $1 and still make a profit?

But I digress…

So these “researchers” can than look at a culture, and do an epidemiological study (see my previous post here, In the Name of Science, to see the other means of misleading the consumer through such study methods), than make statements like “Studies Show Higher Soy Consumption Can Help Prevent Cancer!”

Except they make NO distinction between traditional soy foods in Asian countries versus the manufactured, processed and toxic sources of Soy that predominantly are the source of soy consumption in the West.

To summarize – the amounts of Soy products in our food supply were almost non-existent prior to the 1980′s. It’s now in everything.

Some scientists wonder if that has anything to do with the rise in girls who enter puberty at very young ages, the rise in male babies with genital birth defects, and perhaps even in the rise in homosexuality…

If you ever do some research into body-building and sports nutrition, you can also find a lot of different weight trainers and sports nutritionists that explicitly advise limiting your soy consumption and to avoid using soy protein isolate in your protein shakes, as it inhibits your bodies testosterone production…which is what every body builder needs in order to see any kind of results from all of that hard work in the weight room.

While many of us here at the Spearhead focus on the myriad of ways in which the media, pop culture, and the educational establishment have worked to “feminize” society, bet you never thought the most subversive way was to sneak some food on your plate that would boost your estrogen and suppress your testosterone…eh?

Here some excellent reading on the topic for you to peruse should you care to:

Soy Alert

The Whole Soy Story

Newest Research on Why You Should Avoid Soy

Soy Online Service

Notable Commentary from the Original Post

slwerner December 17, 2009 at 07:55:

Personally, I find it very disconcerting that so few men know and understand the dangers of soy’s endocrine disrupting constituents (in environmental science, we refer to plant derived estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptors as “phyto-estrogens”).

Of lesser overall consequences (due to far lower usage), but of potentially equal impact to individual men is red clover (often used in teas) The phyto-estrogens in red clover also have a significant chemical emasculating effect.

DF December 17, 2009 at 12:16:

Soy has been a marketing coup for agribusiness, already heavily subsidized by law. They've managed to market this product as a Far East cancer fighting health food miracle food to the New-Age/SWPL set. The SWPLers are the standard bearers of upper middle class living to which all Americans unfortunately aspire so naturally, human susceptibility to the herd mentality has created an unforeseen health risk.

The US is the world's largest producer of soy and with such a large supply it is no coincidence that it makes its way into virtually everything in the American food supply, a food supply that seems increasingly inferior to many other countries around the world despite our abundance. Anyone who has travelled abroad on a frequent basis can taste the difference. Anyone that walks around the country can see the difference clinging to the waistlines of the average American.

whiskey December 17, 2009 at 15:00:

Excellent post. I generally use olive oil in cooking, and try to avoid soy whenever possible. Though I love soy sauce on pretty much everything.

Keoni Galt December 17, 2009 at 15:14:

Oh, I love soy sauce too. Just make sure the brand you are using is brewed in the traditional method – i.e. fermentation. There are brands that do not ferment the sauce, they use different methods to simulate the flavor of traditional fermented soy sauce.

crella December 17, 2009 at 17:37:

The ad campaigns for green teas, soy and things like Okinawa coral calcium* would have you think there is little or no cancer in Japan, which is far from the truth. While there are relatively fewer cases of breast cancer and colon cancer, the rates for stomach cancer and esophageal cancer are very high as compared to the US. While diet is important, this type of marketing ignores the role of genetics. Certain populations are more prone to certain cancers. Eating sensibly is of course important, but there are no magic foods or supplements, despite what the media says. The average Japanese drinks nearly an liter of green tea daily, as well as consuming soy sauce and miso every day, and it doesn’t seem to be preventing cancer here.

In the US this past fall I saw the wall of sweetened flavored soy milks in the supermarket and just shook my head….I just don’t get it. Green tea comes with sugar in it. Way to get healthy! Why, in the 80s, when pediatricians were looking for an alternative to cow’s milk for allergic babies did they not advocate breastfeeding more strongly instead of putting everyone on soy? Parents jumped for it too, I knew parents who decided themselves to use soy, as it was supposedly ‘safer’.

I don’t know what to think of the tofu-brain degeneration study….I don’t see a correlation here. Japan’s Alzhiemer’s rate is a good bit lower than that of the US, despite tofu consumption.

* The Okinawans do not make any special effort to utilize coral in their diets…it is not ground up on food, not in the drinking water. The reefs are protected, so although the people on the US infomercials claim to be using Okinawan calcium for their supplements they can’t possibly be supplying that large a market by gathering only coral that has fallen off the reefs due to wave action, as they claim. I wonder where they are getting it? The infomercial also claims that there is no cancer on Okinawa…..doesn’t quite explain the existence of the Okinawa Cancer Center.

z December 17, 2009 at 17:44:

As soon as I learned what “phyto-estrogens” were, and found out that soy had a great deal of them, I started trying to avoid soy. Its much harder said than done though because food companies sneak that stuff into everything. Anything that can mimic estrogens and stimulate estrogen receptors is going to make you more feminine and less masculine.

Keoni Galt December 17, 2009 at 17:48:

I would venture to guess the increased tofu consumption is probably offset by the much higher ratio of fish and other seafood consumption…whereas Japanese American’s in Hawaii eat far less fish and seafood and eat a lot more Western processed foods.

The problems with tofu appear to be the anti-nutrients actually deplete the body of it’s nutrients…but if your diet is also rich in those nutrients, the effects of tofu may be somewhat mitigated. Whereas in Hawaii, we have a much more deficient, S.A.D. (Standard American Diet…such a fitting acronym) overall diet than most typical Okinawan’s or Japanese would have.

December 18, 2009 at 01:51:

“Excellent post. I generally use olive oil in cooking, and try to avoid soy whenever possible. Though I love soy sauce on pretty much everything.” – Whiskey

I don’t think olive oil is the best thing to use for cooking. Though it’s extremely healthy in things like salad dressing, that kinda fat doesn’t react well to heat. More stable, saturated fats like coconut oil, butter and even lard and bacon fat are a better bet. Of course, going this route requires getting over some fears deeply embedded in western culture. Think about it, we once thought that trans fat was good for you. The research that saturated fats are so awful is sketchier than the mainstream would have you believe.

Like HL said, soy sauce is fine, though it’s worth it to buy the good stuff which is properly made.

Welmer December 18, 2009 at 02:38:

"I don't think olive oil is the best thing to use for cooking. Though it's extremely healthy in things like salad dressing, that kinda fat doesn't react well to heat." -cayalx

True. Using olive oil for frying food is a bad idea because it burns so easily. However, it’s perfectly fine for anything below a certain temp.

More stable, saturated fats like coconut oil, butter and even lard and bacon fat are a better bet. Of course, going this route requires getting over some fears deeply embedded in western culture.

Fears? lol. My Northern European-derived family consumes so much butter and animal fat that they must be in constant terror! I cook with bacon drippings all the time, but you’ve got to admit that the taste doesn’t go with every dish, and it gets old after a while.

Keoni Galt December 18, 2009 at 14:33:

On another note: Purportedly it is common Japanese housewife folklore that when a woman hit menopause and had her sex drive disappear, she could start feeding her husband as much tofu as he would eat, as the Japanese women knew this would reduce his sex drive so he would not bother them for sex as much.

wallace December 19, 2009 at 00:34:

The traditional diet of Buddhist monks in East Asia is tofu. A huge part of their diet is comprised of plain tofu. A major reason for this is the emasculating, drive inhibiting/lowering effects it has, as detailed above. Since this is a big part of what Buddhist monks are about, trying to eliminate natural desires and urges to reach enlightenment. This is pretty common knowledge in East Asia. People there know that this is the traditional diet of Buddhist monks, and that tofu and soy products can have these effects.


Mary said...

How can I follow your site?

Amateur Strategist said...

Heys, HL, I posted this on Spearhead, but your post will soon fall off of the front page, and since that could make it harder to see my inquiry, I'm thinking I'll repost said question here...

First off, thanks for the links, I think they were helpful, in general, I think I can understand how a "traditional diet" helps one's health and keeps one from developing diseases (obesity, etc.) however, I don't think I really know how a "traditional diet" is developed, my parents may have lived in those times, but I have not...

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I accept the guidelines, but I'd like some help narrowing down on specific things to eat.

As I said in Spearhead

"Guidelines are great, but could you give me some tried-and-true products? I’m starving and can’t think."

When I wrote that, I was going off of what I could figure out of those links, I got Coconut Oil (so far so good on that, just interesting how it's solid at room temperature, I'm just to liquid oils. And I've been eating mainly eggs since then, since all the meats in my refrigerator are packaged and processed... ugh.

Well, when I read your advice and links, I decided to stop eating the bad things I was eating, which meant that a lot of the food in my house was now untouchable, I suppose I should've said "eating correctly starts in... 3 days" or whatever, but, I was going off of the moment.

ANYway, I just need to know, if you have a link that specifies that'd work to, a list of products that are good to eat.

Pathetic I can't use the guidelines and put 2 and 2 together? Maybe, but I think the most important thing is that I'm willing to do this, I suppose. As I said, I'm starving and want to make sure I'm doing this correctly, going on my own counsel could lead to an unseen misdoing (not like eating barrels of candy, but like not knowing that white rice and soy aren't good for you).

What else, what else...

Ah yes, I need to know if I'm even taking this advice right. I know EVERYone could stand to eat better, but if this is for those who are even heavier set than me, well, I wanna know that.

I'm 5'11" and weight... ~230 pounds. That's not obese, but I know I'm fatter than most people I meet. I don't exercise (I'd say I don't exercise much, but I don't do anything more than my usual labor needs of the day, which are small), but I'm mostly interested in shaping up my diet first.

Long post over, Thanks!

Keoni Galt said...

Amateur - sorry it took so long to get back to you...I was on the road, paying a visit to family and friends this past weekend, flying all over the West Coast.

Anyhow - to make it as simple as possible, this is all I can say to you in terms of guidelines for eating better and feeling and seeing the results of that for yourself.

#1 - Cook almost all of your own food.

#2 - Don't be afraid of fats and much more wary of your carb intake. If you do eat carbohydrates that are grain based, limit the portion...fill up on the protein and fat first. While I've largely cut grains out of my diet, the occasional sour dough rye sandwich is something I truly cherish when I do eat it.

#3 - Be a moderate and not a fanatic. If you go to a family members birthday party, don't be the buzzkill anally retentive guy lecturing everyone about how the sugars, hydrogenated oils and soy lecithin are all bad for you, and you will not eat such garbage.

Shut up and eat the cake and tell everyone how delicious it is. Eating right the majority of the time will more than mitigate your bodies ability to handle some junk food every once in awhile.

#4 - Educate your self about the macronutrient content of your foods:

Know your FATS. Remember that your bodies signaling system is particularly sensitive to FAT. You literally cannot overeat saturated fats. You will feel full as soon as you actually are when you eat a lot of high quality fats...unlike carbs which do not signal your bodies satiation signals right away. This is why you can eat a whole crap load of pasta and bread and not feel full...than 15 minutes later, you feel like your belly is gonna explode and all you wanna do is lie down and go to sleep.

Saturated animal fats like Butter, whole-milk, whole-milk dairy products. Save your bacon grease and cook liberally with it as well as butter. Don't be afraid of "greasy food" -- as long as the grease is not artificially derived (partially and fully hydrogenated oils...industrially produced vegetable oils). Understand what fats are best for what cooking temperatures you are using. Extra virgin Olive oil is a great source of monosaturated fat...but it burns at a low temperature, so you can stir fry with butter/lard/grease, than add the EVOO at the end of the cooking to slightly heat and add that EVOO flavor.

Know your Proteins. Avoid processed and preserved, chemical laden meats and cheeses as much as possible. Best to find your meat and dairy as natural as possible...grass fed beef and buffalo, free range chicken, wild fish. You can find nitrate/nitrite free meats and sausages and bacon. Get that if you can. Be most careful for sausages, as many contain MSG and other garbage.

Eat up on a wide variety of nuts NOT FRIED IN CHEAP OILS (like corn, cottonseed, safflower or canola oils.) Better to get roasted nuts. Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, macadamia as much nuts as you like. Very filling, full of protein and fats.

Know your Carbohydrates. Eat as much leafy green and dark colored, fiborous vegetables as you like. Loads of variety. Studies also show that your body gets more vitamin absorption if you cook your vegetables in a high quality oil (BUTTER!!!).

Saute/Fry your vegetables in butter and/or bacon grease. Eat a salad w/ a wide variety of vegetables...and cheeses, meats, eggs and other fats and proteins. Make your own salad dressing with vinegar and EVOO or Walnut Oil (rich in Omega 3 fatty acids) and spices and seasonings.

Avoid grain based carbs, processed sugars, and even eating too much fruit or fruit juice on an empty stomach. Limit the starchy carbs like potatos..make sure you eat a lot of protein and fat before you start eating your that you will not spike your blood sugar too much if you already have a bellyfull of protein and fat.

Keoni Galt said...

Speaking of spices and seasonings:

Use as much NATURAL sea salt (kosher?) as you like on your food. Natural, unprocessed salt and seasonings are all good for you. Be careful when you use seasoning mixes. Many blends use hydrogenated oils and other chemicals to prevent spoilage and extend shelf life.

Also, if at all possible, find a source of RAW milk products from grass fed cows. You can find CULTURED cheeses and yogurts...these are far better for you than pasteurized dairy.

Also, try and make your own or buy naturally lacto-fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kim chee, and other lacto-fermented foods. They have a lot of probiotics that aid your digestion and boost your immune system.

When you have good quality, natural, organic food, always eat until you feel full. You will notice that after a few days of eating like this, you will feel full for long periods of time, and you will have consistent energy levels.

You will find that minor health issues may disappear. I almost never have headaches, upset stomachs, hangnails, cold sores, dandruff, and when I get cut, I notice my blood coagulates and clots very quickly now. Often, people around me get sick and I don't.

Hope this helps. Merry Christmas!