Why Avoid Soy??

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I hate to rain on anyone’s parade when it comes to dietary changes they are proud of, but I feel compelled to debunk the myth that soy is a healthy choice.  If you are consuming processed soy products including SOY MILK and you think you are doing yourself a favor, please review the major problems with consuming soy and so you can make an educated decision…



  1. Soybeans contain large quantities of natural toxins or “antinutrients”. First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.
  2. These inhibitors are not deactivated during cooking & processing.  Test animals fed these inhibitors developed enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.
  3. Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.
  4. 99% of soy is genetically modified and it among the highest contamination by pesticides of any of our foods.
  5. Soybeans are high in phytic acid, a substance that blocks the uptake of the essential minerals calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc, in the intestinal tract.
  6. Soy products contain high levels of aluminum, leached from the aluminum tanks in which they are acid washed and processed at high temperatures.
  7. Nitrites, which are potent carcinogens, are formed during the spray-drying of soy.
  8. Soy Protein Isolates, which are shown to enlarge the pancreas and thyroid and increase fatty acid deposits in the liver.
  9. Soy contains toxic isoflavones.
  10. Soy foods have a high concentration of goitrogens which block production of thyroid hormones.

For a full comprehensive piece on the dangers of soy check out this article by Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig ph.D.

Soy’s beneficial properties are only available when a specific mold is grown on the beans in a process called fermentation.  Fermentation not only makes nutrients bio-available, it also destroys the toxins present in the beans.  Fermented soy products include tempeh, miso, and natto.

The enzyme inhibitors concentrate in the soaking liquid rather than in the curd. Thus, in tofu growth depressants are reduced in quantity but not completely eliminated.’

Fresh almond milk.  Here is a video that shows you exactly how to make almond milk at home.  It’s easy, economical and a better environmental choice that the boxed varieties.  If you do choose a boxed almond milk, the Pacific Natural Foods brand is better tasting (in my opinion) than the Almond Breeze varieties.  Here is another video comparing fresh to boxed almond milk. It is worth the time & effort once you taste the difference.

Want more tips for transitioning to healthier eating on a budget?

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  • Hi Joy, I was surfing the net and happen to fall into your website and had to tell you how much I am enjoying it. I’ve been doing some research on my “free time” which is a joke for high school teachers, on raw vegan diets and a lot of the webs have, to me, some off the wall “hippie” type people which is a turn off for me being a yuppie type baby boomer. Anyway, I found you to be a breath of fresh air after looking at a lot of raw vegan videos on the net. You are beautiful, intelligent, and seem to be very informed about the raw food diet. I’m wanting to go on the raw vegan lifestyle to keep healthy, lose weight, and enjoy the rest of my life. Thank you so much for your videos and to show people like me that you can be raw vegan without being weird.

  • Joy

    Thank you for your comment. I agree that there is far too often a hippie vibe to the raw and vegan lifestyle- which is fine if that’s your “thang”. But I feel like raw and vegan fusion brings health benefits to ALL of us who are passionate about living and looking our vibrant best. Tie dye, should be optional and I am pushing for a posh raw community!

  • Cori

    Are you just talking about processed soy products to avoid or anything soy related? Like edamame, for example. That’s a soy bean in its natural unprocessed state. Can I still eat those?

  • Joy

    Thank you for your question. Your question could be the topic of a debate, but I’ll give you my short answer. Soy, even edemame, contains the enzyme inhibitors that I am suggesting you avoid. They are not broken down when the edemame is boiled. The Japanese know this which is why the ferment the soy to create more easily digestible, and nutritionally beneficial (thanks to the healthy bacteria) food.
    As for your question, “Can I still eat those?”, my answer is in only in moderation and only if you can get edemame made from, non-GMO, organic soybeans. That can be the challenge. This is a highly modified, and pesticide-heavy crop. You want to avoid conventionally grown beans ALTOGETHER.
    Remember, fermentation makes nutrients bio-available and destroys the toxins present in the beans. That means it would be wise to enjoy soy products like tempeh, miso, and natto. Here is a link to one of my favorite dressings that includes miso, Orange Ginger Dressing..

    Thanks again for your question,

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  • rawraj

    Thank you so much for this article..I really really thank you 🙂
    I know all of it and more!. But it nice to have an article by someone who is Vegan(I hope you are :-P) or atleast someone who is giving a vegan alternative.
    You have a reputation so it helps

    The lie that being fed to us is that “dangers of soy” is some meat/dairy industry propaganda is pretty obvious when you do a little research. and find that the meat/dairy and soy industry is the “same”.

    Deans now owns Silk.
    Monsanto largest producer of GMO soy also produces rBGH, the growth hormone that makes the dairy industry so profitable.

    Monsanto GMO soy is what keeps the diary/meat industry alive and makes it so profitable. Monstanto lobbied hard and had a direct hand in promoting the industry so that there would be more demand for its GMO soy.

    Cargill one of the largest producer of processed soy(most soy milk companies is made from soy flour of Cargill) is also one of the largest producers of processed meat.
    Now why would they spread “propaganda against soy” which they sell too.
    This artilce sums up pretty much everything about what I found out about soy over a few years of research(avoiding WFP and vegan sites to get a unbiased conclusion).

    Also I have read the “first” Japanese study which spurred this “health myth”
    Well now most of know that the Japanese eat a lot of super-foods, like sea-veggies and also a lot of raw food. The fish they consumed too was raw most of the times.
    They drank a lot of green tea(and there are many studies attributing their good health and longevity to green tea).
    They also took a lot of ginger and fermented foods.
    They led a disciplined life and practices some sort of “slow martial arts”

    And the study ignored all of the above and attributed their “good health” to a measly 9 grams of soy they were consuming, that too only fermented forms.
    You must have heard 25-30 grams but that is their current consumption(a few years ago now its even more) in the study their consumption was only 9 grams.

    They significantly more amounts of green tea and ginger for crying out loud.
    Once you know this its easy to open up your mind that the “soy industry” which is 10 times larger than the meat/dairy industry has been lying.
    I could go on and on about a lot more things.
    Nuff said.

    Also fermented forms of soy too was eating in moderation. Fermented forms of soy does not give you any exclusive benefits that other fermented foods like Kimchi etc can also give you.

  • Lotsa Green

    1. antinutrients

    these antinutrients who hinder the body enzymes to digest food are found in peas, peanuts, all beans and surprise, all grains.

    they are not exclusively to soy and another surprise..how to counter them.

    Simply soak, germinate, cook/ferment the beans/grains

    You find the same nutrients in bread, this is why so many people will get stomach pains and feel bloated with eating ‘muesli’ raw grain flakes with milk and fruits because in those raw flakes the antinutrients will harm the body.

    2. a part of them may stay, same with grains but our body normally adapts to it and can digest them..or you do not simply cook the grains.

    Cooked soy beans were used for the experiment, not soaked beans! This is why people will be bloated on canned beans but not when they soak them and cook them themselves.

    3. Again, also grains and other foods are toxic. Garlic contaisn stuff that destroys blood cells as do onions and avocado…for dogs.
    Humans can digest those things, they are harmless, well….if you eat 10 or more pounds per day you may see the toxic effects…

    4. GMO is not the fault of the beans, but fault of the humans. Also grains, potatoes and vegetables are modified, this is why I buy organic non modified beans/products

    5.grains contain 3 to 10 times more phytic aid, so maybe you should tell people not to eat grains.

    Again humans have been shown to adapt to phytic acid and digest them without problems, especially with sourdough products and germinated grains.

    6. not the fault of the bean and also not a problem with good quality organic products and not the commercial cheap stuff

    7.spray drying? Not the fault of the beans, not a problem when you do not eat the cheap commercial stuff where they use soy flour and soy crumbles and the like.

    Organic products like tofu, miso, tempeh, natto and also organic soy flour do not contain those nitrites

    8.Again a stuff used for cheap commercial products like chips, burgers and the like..no problem with organic traditional produced stuff.

    Stay away from modern production.

    9. all isoflavones are toxic..surprise… if you eat them by the spoonfull instead of the natural food where it is contained in mgs, than also all the hyper goodie good isoflavones from apples, berries, grains and the like are toxic to humans.

    Instead in normal ammounts those isoflavones are healthy…the ammount makes the poison and scientists love to frighten the consumer

    10.Surprise, surprise…cabbage also does contain those thyroid blockers in higher ammounts, so maybe you warn people to eat cabbage?

    Only a small ammount of people will react to those blockers, especially with traditional produced products

    Most bad effects occur only with modern production, non organic products and also in a small ammount of people.

    Much more people will react to cabbage, peanuts and grains…again so many studies which show the bad effects of soy were made by the dairy and meat industry to scare people away from soy and in turn..which is laughable and sad..they made modern soy products like soy crumbles, soy sausages with isolated, non fermented, non soaked soy which causes bad reactions in people….with which the reach their goal to scare away people from soy.

    If you do not eat solely soy which was done to the poor birds, force feed much ammounts of gmo, non fermented beans, than you are on the safe side. Even grains will kill you if you eat them as your only food source

  • Cecelia Anderson

    It’s so confusing, what to eat/not to eat. Seems everyday I’m reading an article that’s alarming about food. I’m diabetic,have IBS. All artificial sweetners (except Stevia) work against me. So many things I cannot eat. I understand moderation. I believe that so many ingredients in processed foods is what is causing cancer. There may never be a cure for cancer, (just think of what it would do to the medical field, doctors would make a lot less money, etc.) So much money has been donated for cancer research and still it rages, Some progress has been made. Guess what I’m trying to say is this: I read every food label, most of the ingredients are Greek to the public, while government is making tons of money, but to our expense of unhealthy foods. Do they not care? Don’t they care at all about HFCS? Don’t they care that food labels are deceiving. Thanks for listening.

  • Joy

    Your frustration is not only understandable, it is widespread! The key to revolutionizing the food “system” here it to make individual choices that support change. If each of us chucks the idea of processed foods, or at the very least chooses organic, non-GMO options, the system will have to catch up with us! Our dollars determine how the system works. If big aggribusiness and chemical food companies are left in the dust by Americans making healthier, whole food choices – those systems will be forced to change.
    It is your best interest to let go of the struggle about why the system is a mess and use that energy to make change in your own life and influence those around you to do the same. You’ll look & feel your best and you’ll be making a change in the overall system one meal at a time.

    Love & support to you as you make the changes that will relive your IBS & sugar imbalances!

    Thank you for your comment,

  • Sylvia

    This is a fantastic debate,loved it

  • Natalie Evans

    Another good reason to avoid soy = the demise of the Atlantic forest and other areas of Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil including grassland and untouched virgin forests. Not to mention the displacement of indigenous people in these regions by the large scale farmers using Monsanto’s GM soy & “Roundup”.

  • Joy

    Thank you for sharing this very disturbing information. I love to know that avoiding soy does more than avoid health risks, it can be a way of voting against the atrocities you are posting here.

    Thanks again,

  • Kristen

    I found this debate/article while googling “soy meat”. I was researching soy meat because my husband was recently placed on a low cholesterol diet. He is only 28. We have met with a dietitian and she made several recommendations. However, all of the recommendations she made, have adverse reactions. I mean I can handle the basics, I am an educated individual with several nutrition coarses under my belt, however; the general public is completley oblivious to what they are eating…. My head is spinning!

  • Hey, thanks for the post. I was actually going through a different site, and was considering opting for more Soy bean products in order for a low carb high protein diet. but guess soy is not the best option after all??

  • Joy

    Some forms of soy can be healthy additions, especially fermented soy! Overdoing it is where I get very concerned. Things like sprouted tofu a few times a week doesn’t scare me. Things with soy protein isolates, concentrates, and scary chemical versions of soy scare the crap out of me. The big scare for me is that the majority of soy is GMO and I simply don’t think it is a safe food AT ALL. If you opt to enjoy soy, let it be in more pure versions- not chemical-rich fake soy mock-meats and protein powders.

  • Meh

    This just pissed me off, what the h#ll am I supposed to drink now (there’s probably something wrong with rice milk, coconut milk, I’m allergic to almonds,,,) And trust me it’s not because I’m not trying to be one of those people that are over righteous in what I eat ( I am not for the mantra: “I am better than thou because I choose to eat ..”XYZ”‘).? I only drink soy because cow milk makes me sick. But really? Whatever… But do know that there can be faults found with every diet. And being a paranoid potential-hypochondriac, super-sensitive, overprotective, over-cautious, nit-picky, “food elitist” can only do but so much– After all safety is an illusion, you can spend all your life being overtly conscientious of the food you eat and still get hit by a drunk driver 40 years before your time [I wouldn’t wish that on you, I hope you do live VERY long seeing all you go through with nutrition]. End note to all: Sheessh, it’s one thing to be healthy and another to be orthorexic, eat to live not live to eat (where whole life revolves around food–not necessarily in a gluttonous fashion).

  • Joy

    I hear you. It seems like every time you turn around something else has been deemed “bad”. I am not sure if you just needed to rant or if you’re looking for some support or some question to be answered. My take on this is that the more you make yourself the more you can trust it. If you make rice or coconut milk at home you are getting way less crappy additives and you still get creamy milk-like goodness. A favorite of mine is cashew, hemp seeds and a couple of brazil nuts blended into milk with water and date (or xylitol if you can’t have sweets).

  • My brother suggested I would possibly like this web site. He was totally right. This put up truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

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  • Katy

    Nice site. I had to quit 1/2 & 1/2 late Dec so switched to Soy creamer. But
    I just quit all soy products this week because I have had a surprising reaction
    to consuming soy as a beverage. It gave me a cough I couldn’t get rid
    of, lots and lots of mucus in my throat and sinus, and did something to me
    hormonally. I felt vindicated today in my suspicions when the barista asked
    my why no Soy like usual. I explained I seemed to be having a reaction to it.
    She instantly replied, “It changed my periods.” I no longer have a uterus
    but I still have my ovaries and I agreed with her and told her I feel different
    somehow. We both sighed and I got whole milk in my latte.

    Thanks for this page and keep spreading the word.
    “Soy Allergies are not just for babies anymore.”

  • Joy

    Glad you found your way around soy. As your barista shared- you are not alone in having negative reactions to soy. Because over 90% of the soy on the market is GMO- soy could be more innocent, but that GMO mess can never be cleaned up. The damage is done, the crops are modified & even if soy had a silver lining, Monsanto and the other engineering culprits may have botched it for us all.
    Thanks for being in the conversation here!

  • Susan

    I just wanted to contribute to the debate by saying that soy is mainly cultivated for animal feed, so the modification of crops are more or less the result of the increase in meat consuption and the demand for more livestock feed. I would argue then that it is better to eat the soy instead of the animal being fed soy since there is a 90% energy loss from crop to meat, and if we all eat less meat there would be less demand for livestock feed and less rainforest loss (amongst other things)

    My point is that yes, it’s not healthy to eat processed foods, but to present eating soy as negative as you’ve done here is a bit exessive. It is after all better to eat soy than to eat meat being fed soy. And if you choose organic soy from a small scale producer, I would say that it is a rather good choice of food compared to many other things.

  • Joy

    I hear you- and I agree that a little high quality soy has a rightful place in our diets. My main concern and the reason for sharing this information is that people are gobbling up protein bars and mock meat products and LOTS of other highly processed foods that are packed with soy protein isolates. That us the big concern I have. I enjoy a sprouted tofu scramble and other such soy-based recipes. They key is just what you mentioned, quality!

    Thank you for joining in this conversation on soy!

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  • Concerned Consumer

    Seriously? Do you know there’s usually only 1-5 almonds per serving of “almond” milk in the commercial varieties, especially Almond Breeze. There is absolutely no protein in it – 1 gram is stretching it! You are basically telling people to drink sugar water, and that’s better than organic soymilk?

    Also, you didn’t cite a single credible research or scientific source. PLEASE STOP spreading all these “rumors” until you read all the studies with a scientific eye – and don’t dare citing Mercola because it’s all just lies to sell his horrendous supplements.

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  • vegan

    It’s the same nonesense that I have read elsewhere.I guess its sad that you Aericans have to live with this Monsanto company. however in Europe we have non gmo soy drinks from alpro and so good. I have been eating soy products for years and I’m perfectly healthy with 2 bloodtests a year. stop advocating that soy is bad in general it really is not. you people should put as much effert in to getting guns banned as you do into making soy look bad. guns kill a whole lot of people more then soy doe you should read up about how animal products are bad for you as well in this case

  • Steve

    Put down that soy latte down!

  • Right!

  • Kelly

    Drink soy! I been drinking up to 2 litres a day for 20 years! And Im definately Healthy! Bet this is The dairy industry in disguise I bet trying to confuse everyone

  • Kelly

    Yep this is Backed up by the Dairy industry I bet. No one ever says mung beans or string beans or white beans are bad, its just that the dairy industry is so threatened by soy that they make up Bogus health pages and reports, some pages are even disguised as Vegan pages.
    dairy Disgusting

  • Guest

    Nonsense Alright!

  • Kelly

    Nonsense Alright! Exaggeration!!

  • LAW52

    I am a breast cancer survivor and one of the FIRST things I was told to avoid moving forward was SOY. It’s the PROCESSED stuff, not the actual grow it and pick it yourself soy! It acts like estrogen in your body and, though everyone reacts differently to everything, some people are just better off finding an alternative. You are right to be confused but wrong to ignore the facts. It’s about EDUCATING yourself and learning YOUR body.

  • LAW52

    Exactly! Like anything else, this is just bringing the possible dangers to our attention. For most people, just eliminating it altogether is far easier than having to stop and read labels…some people just don’t shop that way. The article DID mention fermented products. Processed foods, in general are bad…this just brings the Mock-meats to the front and reminds us that is also Processed food!

  • Bryan Smigielski

    99% of soy beans are actually not GMO. Nearly all soy milk and tofu providers in the US use Organic non-gmo soy beans. Stopped reading after that ridiculous statistic.

  • Bryan Smigielski

    Almost none of the soy on the market (marketed as a soy product such as tofu or soy milk) is GMO. Like Susan said, nearly all GMO soy is going into animal feed due to the high consumption of animal products. A much smaller portion below 10% is used as additives to foods not marketed specifically as a soy product.

  • Dawn Porter

    see if this goes

  • Dawn Porter

    does my head in is anything safe one minute this is ok then next dont touch it hells teeth eh best to stop messing around with our food all the time

  • Once again, I’ve been vindicated. I always knew that soy was not healthy nor a food that neither humans not animals should consume.

  • You Ain’t No Sanjaya

    Susan, I ate soy happily for 10 years thinking I was doing something healthy for my body, until all of a sudden, my age and the build-up of soy’s negative effects on my body nearly debilitated me. I had horrible back pain, which worsened when I ate soy or any meat. I also fell into a depression due to the hormonal imbalance caused by continued consumption. If anyone had told me this even 3 years ago, when I was already feeling the effects, I probably wouldn’t have believed it, because it hadn’t reached a crisis level for me yet, but I am more than convinced now that soy can be very, very dangerous in the long run.

    If you like it, and don’t find you are moody, have any pms, or any joint or back stiffness after you eat and haven’t been gaining 3-5 stubborn pounds each year, then by all means, keep on with the soy. If you have any of these problems, try getting off the soy for a few months and stick to black beans, lentils, pintos, garbanzos and quinoa for veggie protein and see how you feel then.

  • Every food choose only can be feel in the long run, some poisons included.
    I hate soy because it tries cheat us being healthy when its not.

  • vegan diet isn’t healthy too, its a big lie based on several supplements for not dying of starvation. please keep in real.

  • whey protein isolate.

  • healthy? cmmon… in the long run you are risking yourself, you should be very lucky but it doesn’t makes soy safe for everyone.
    I stick with animal protein sources, soy sux it has bad biologic value.

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