These days soybeans are frequently consumed raw, as in soymilk, tofu, beancurd, commercial soy sauce, non-dairy creamers, etc. Most of these forms beset you with [1, 3, 5]:
- Goitrogens which interfere with iodine uptake by your thyroids thus bringing down your metabolism & growth rate.
This is against the objective of weight-watchers & bodybuilders who eat soybean-derived protein powders while aiming to increase their metabolic rate.
- Trypsin inhibitors that impairs your enzyme – protease, which digests proteins. This is on the face of the main claim to fame of soybean as a great source of protein for vegans.
- Lectins which can harm your heart, kidneys, liver, intestinal walls; lower blood clotting ability and inhibit cell division.
This technicality is in contrast to the studies which deduced that soy reduces the risk of heart disease.
They may have used cooked soybeans because cooking neutralizes lectins to some extent and then your digestive juices break them further.
- Oxalates which inhibit calcium absorption and form kidney stones.
This is the opposite of what many vendors advertise – that their soy product is high in calcium, just because they use calcium salts to coagulate soy proteins.
- Phytic acid / phytates which reduces the absorption of niacin & minerals like calcium (again), iron, magnesium and zinc by binding onto them.
- Isoflavones (genistein and daidzein) which act like estrogen in your body and hence negatively affect your reproductive system.
A recent study found that 56g of soy protein powder per day caused serum testosterone to fall 4% in four weeks in a test group of twelve healthy males .
Lowering of your natural testosterone levels will be bad for you irrespective of your gender.
Soy powder used in baby foods is responsible for boys reaching their puberty later while feminizing them somewhat, while girls have been hitting their puberty earlier.
- Saponins which partially counteract with your bile juices & may damage your intestinal lining or atleast weaken intestinal digestion.
This may lower your cholesterol levels; and that was the alibi FDA used to allow soy manufacturers (which happen to be the top agri-businesses) to claim that “diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk for heart disease”.
We now know this to be a deliberate ploy.
These & other allergens make soy one of the top 8 allergic foods.
Even regular cooking methods do not remove all of these problems of eating soy.
And as if these were not enough, most soybean crops in the US are genetically manipulated to endure heavy pesticide usage.
Eat non-GM soybeans only when it is sprouted & dehulled or bacterially fermented. For e.g. traditionally brewed soy sauce (almost all the commercial ones aren’t), preserved beancurd, nato, etc.
Lacto-fermentation neutralizes their inherent toxins .
2. Hotz C, Gibson RS (April 2007). “Traditional food-processing and preparation practices to enhance the bioavailability of micronutrients in plant-based diets“. J. Nutr. 137 (4): 1097–100. PMID 17374686.
3. Soy alert