Do you hang out in cafes? We do! Do you drink soy lattes? Mmm, we don’t.
This post was inspired by a conversation I had recently in a cafe (of course …) so let me paint a quick picture for you.
The one thing I’m finding as 180 Nutrition continues to grow is that Stu & myself seem to be involved in more meetings. This is actually a compliment and we are always looking at different ways to make them fun and worthwhile.
Our usual criteria is:
- funky cafe
- great staff
- stones throw away from the ocean
Just last week we had the NSW Police S.W.A.T team sitting next to us in a cafe. One of them approached us and it turned out that he uses our 180 protein supplement and also trains CrossFit. We hung out with them for 20min talking everything from CrossFit to diet and gave them bar samples and a t-shirt… relevant? No… Seriously cool? Oh yeah!
I try and stick to one coffee a day and anything after that I reach for the tea – but never the soy.
Turning up at these meetings, I can’t help but notice what different people order. Now I’m a live and let live kind of guy, as I certainly don’t like to judge. But it doesn’t take long before I get asked questions on health and nutrition, it simply comes with the territory.
During a recent conversation, I happened to mention that I ate 1 – 2 avocados a day as I have them in my 180 smoothies. The person I was meeting seemed quite shocked and their instant reaction was ‘what about the fat?’ They felt counting calories and a low fat diet was the way forward. This was said whilst they sipped on their soy lattes with honey (you can read my thoughts on honey & fructose here).
Without wanting to sound like a tool, my reaction was simple. I said I would rather eat half a dozen avocados a day than drink that soy latte. Naturally I had to explain myself as soy has been part of a traditional Asian diet for thousands of years so here are my thoughts on why I don’t drink it…
Why I don’t drink soy latte…
Milk can certainly be a heavily debated topic whether you drink the stuff or not. If you are lactose intolerant and you want a cup of coffee, soy seems like a natural healthy alternative. But here are a few things to consider before you order your next soy latte.
First of all, the soy bean is inedible for human consumption in its natural state:
For human consumption, soybeans must be cooked with “wet” heat to destroy the trypsin inhibitors (serine protease inhibitors). Raw soybeans, including the immature green form, are toxic to humans, swine, chickens, and in fact, all monogastric animals. – Wikipedia
This is very off-putting in itself. And the soy protein isolate, which is the main ingredient you find in many supermarket products is first mixed with an alkaline solution to eliminate fibre, then separated using an acid wash, and finally neutralised in an alkaline solution. The curd is then spray-dried at high temperature to produce a high protein powder. (Nora Gedgaudas).
This doesn’t sound healthy to me…
It get’s worse…
Soy is an estrogenic food. Think about this for a moment.
Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen. These compounds mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen, and have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues. Soy phytoestrogens are known to disrupt endocrine function, may cause infertility, and may promote breast cancer in women.
Drinking even two glasses of soy milk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy. (Dr Mercola)
With this in mind, soy consumption will cause decreased testosterone levels in men. Being a male this really doesn’t appeal either!
And to top it off…
I mentioned in a post recently that I had spent a bit of time with the Weston A. Price foundation. I feel that they are well researched and make for some compelling arguments when it comes to conventional wisdom and nutrition.
Here are some of the other dangers summarised from the Weston A. Price website:
- 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 additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
- Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
- Most soy contains GMOs and is largely genetically modified
You can read more from Weston A. Price regarding soy here.
When in doubt, the first thing I always do is follow the money. If it’s a billion dollar industry, I’m always a little concerned.
From 1992 to 2006, soy food sales increased from $300 million to nearly $4 billion, practically overnight, according to the Soyfoods Association of North America.
Soy is indeed big business, very big business.
From 2000 to 2007, U.S. food manufacturers introduced more than 2,700 new soy-based foods, and new soy products continue to appear on your grocer’s shelves.
So what can I have?
I stick to fermented (not unfermented) soy products such as natto, tempeh and soy sauce. Asian people have been consuming these for centuries, predominately as condiments.
As for a soy latte alternative, if you are drinking it because you are lactose intolerant, then I’d personally have a long black instead.
At the end of the day though, everything I’ve mentioned in this post is simply my opinion from my own experience and research. Everyone has access to the biggest library in the world… Google! Have a poke around and see what you come up with, we’ve love to hear your thoughts.