All about Soy

All about Soy

Soy is just a bean! Like any other bean, soy is rich in protein, and is an important part of the Far Eastern diet. The soybean originated in China but...

Soy is just a bean! Like any other bean, soy is rich in protein, and is an important part of the Far Eastern diet. The soybean originated in China but made its way to North America, solely for the purpose of animal feed, becoming a food crop later on. Soy is commonly consumed in the form of milk, yoghurt, tofu, sauce, miso, tamari, edamame, tempeh, cream and even soy butter.

So, what’s wrong with soy? Nothing really, except the fact that since 1995, about 90% of soy has been genetically modified. That is the real issue. Genetically modified (GM) foods are not natural and cause a huge strain to the environment. Besides soy, many other food crops are also GM. These include maize, sugar beets and canola. If one is consuming organically grown soy, there is no harm in consuming soy. Remember, most of the soy is fed to animals in our food chain, so eating meat and dairy products, may be a way of eating high quantities of GM soy!

Does soy have too much protein?
Soybeans contain upto 48% protein, which is equivalent to milk, beef and egg proteins. Excess protein leads to health issues like kidney stone, gout etc, so it’s best not to replace everything with soy.

What are the health benefits of consuming soy?
Soybeans contain a mix of slow-digesting carbs, including fibre and other starches, which are good for growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Soy also contains phytoestrogens, omega-3 fatty acids and a variety of nutrients.

Why is soy-milk better than cow’s milk?
Cow’s milk contains cholesterol, whereas soy milk is cholesterol-free and contains fibre. In fact, soy helps to reduce cholesterol. Soy milk also contains numerous protective phytochemicals that cow’s milk doesn’t have. Also, cow’s milk has nine times more saturated fats! In fact, any plant-based milk is healthier than cow’s milk.

What is the best way to consume soy?
Make soya milk at home with organically produced soy! Store brought soy milk, tofu etc may come with its share of harmful preservatives, chemicals, added fats, sugar and flavourings. Avoid packaged foods contain soy by-products like soy-lecithin, soy isolates, soy oil etc.

Does soy contain estrogen?
No soy has zero estrogen and in fact cow’s milk has estrogen! ‘Phytoestrogens’ are not really estrogens.

Does soy affect fertility?
Soy is grown and is a staple food in China, the world’s most populated country! Non-GM soy does not affect fertility.

How does soy affect the environment?
Soy production for animal feed has led to huge amount of deforestation, which then fuels greenhouse gases.

Do you need to eat soy on a plant-based diet?
Not at all! There are so many other delicious foods that soy can be completely avoided and is not at all a necessity for proteins or anything else.

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