I've been talking a lot about hidden soy and it's impact on weight gain with my patients lately so I thought I would share some of my insights with you as well. Soy has been touted as the miracle health food in the 90's and it's largely a fallacy based on quite a bit of "funded" research from the soy producers. If you've been having trouble losing weight lately it's time to take a careful look at some of the common foods you are eating daily to see if soy might be a culprit.
Why would soy make you fat? A few reasons. One is that un-fermented soy products affect your thyroid negatively. If one is prone to low thyroid function or hypothyroidism consuming foods that contain soy can make this much worse. Since there are untold numbers of Americans who are hypothyroid both diagnosed and undiagnosed this is a huge part of the obesity problem in America. Before you continue to drink your "healthy" soy milk here are some known problems with soy (Thanks to the Weston Price Foundation):
- 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.