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Question
Posted by: Nicole | 2010/02/10

Are soy products unhealthy

Hi

I recently became a vegaterian and a lot of the time rely on soy as my protein (I still drink cows milk and yogurt but no eggs). But I heard from a dietician/nutritionist that soy products are bad for a person while my GP disputes this based on limited studies being done.
Is there really a health hazard here? The common health issue is that soy messes with the estrogen levels but I have also come across claims that it ' sofens'  the bones. What are people basing their opinions on? All the forums I have read seems is giving me mixed messages.
What is the ' safe'  amount of soy to consume in a week? And what are the ' safest'  soy products?

Please help.

Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Nicole
There is some evidence that soy has an oestrogen effect. If you click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and do search for an article I wrote this year on "DO SOY FOODS CAUSE INFERTILITY?", then you will see what the general consensus is at the moment. If you use this product as part of a balanced diet and don't start living off it exclusively, then there should not be a problem. In women excessive intakes of soy foods may pose a danger in regard to women who have a personal or a family history of oestrogen-sensitive breast cancer. In males there seems to be a risk of infertility. Moderate intakes of soy and other legumes are, however, beneficial health-wise. It is all a matter of balance and moderation. There is no standard regarding consumption of a 'safe' amount of soy on a weekly basis, but if you also eat plenty of other foods (fruit, vegetables, milk, yoghurt, grains, cereals, nuts and other legumes) then this should not be a problem. The soy products sold in supermarkets are generally of high quality and should be safe to use.
Best regards
DietDoc

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: X | 2010/02/11

A vegetarian diet is not healthy for a human, as various physical aspects of the human body clearly indicate that humans are omnivorous - but leaning more towards being carnivorous.

However, regarding your question about soy:
If you insist on being a vegetarian (maybe out of love for animals?), keep the following in mind when eating soy:

Fermented soy products can be utilised by the human body. This includes tofu and miso. And maybe a few others (I' m not an expert on vegetarian food).

Also soya beans that have been soaked in water (at least overnight, and had the water changed at least once), and then cooked well are also edible.

However, things like soy meal are not healthy. All the substances that are poisonous to the human body has not been leached out of the beans before they were ground up. Much better to then rather eat eggs as a protein source.

If my assumption is correct that you are a animal lover - remember that the eggs sold in the shops are not fertilised and therefore not viable. You cannot kill an animal that has never lived. Furthermore, if you choose free-range eggs, then at least you know that the hens that layed those eggs lived a healthy, close to natural, probably quite happy life and you are not contributing to animal mistreatment when you choose to eat these eggs.

Reply to X
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/02/10

Dear Nicole
There is some evidence that soy has an oestrogen effect. If you click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and do search for an article I wrote this year on "DO SOY FOODS CAUSE INFERTILITY?", then you will see what the general consensus is at the moment. If you use this product as part of a balanced diet and don't start living off it exclusively, then there should not be a problem. In women excessive intakes of soy foods may pose a danger in regard to women who have a personal or a family history of oestrogen-sensitive breast cancer. In males there seems to be a risk of infertility. Moderate intakes of soy and other legumes are, however, beneficial health-wise. It is all a matter of balance and moderation. There is no standard regarding consumption of a 'safe' amount of soy on a weekly basis, but if you also eat plenty of other foods (fruit, vegetables, milk, yoghurt, grains, cereals, nuts and other legumes) then this should not be a problem. The soy products sold in supermarkets are generally of high quality and should be safe to use.
Best regards
DietDoc

Reply to DietDoc

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