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Thread: Soy - Good or Bad?

  1. #1
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    Default Soy - Good or Bad?

    What do you think about soy? I hear conflicting opinions. Some say it's one of the most healthiest foods around... and some say it should be avoided because it contributes to thyroid problems, breast cancer, and ahlzheimer's disease. I've been drinking soy milk lately, but my husband thinks I should consume it only occasionally, not every day.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Consuming it (and everything else) in moderation is the key. Everybody's body chemistry is different, but what scientists do know is that soy has lots of estrogen in it. So they recommend that pregnant and nursing moms don't drink/eat soy products, nor should you give it to babies whose bodies/brains have not yet developed. Some people are also allergic to soy, but if you're only consuming a glass of soy milk every day, it really shouldn't hurt you (if your stomach can tolerate it). The more processed a soy product is, the fewer nutrients and the less healthy it is for you. The same can be said about any processed v. whole food.

    I personally wouldn't eat a diet that consisted mainly of soy products, though. The science on it is still incomplete. With the way food science is going, everything we consume eventually may become "prescriptions" or "nutraceutical", with diets specifically modified based on what each person's body requires.

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like. --Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Estrogen? I drink soy milk almost every day and I no mo chichi's!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by i-hungry View Post
    Estrogen? I drink soy milk almost every day and I no mo chichi's!
    ........YET!

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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
    I personally wouldn't eat a diet that consisted mainly of soy products, though. The science on it is still incomplete. With the way food science is going, everything we consume eventually may become "prescriptions" or "nutraceutical", with diets specifically modified based on what each person's body requires.
    That's quite intriguing.

    This brings to mind the Okinawa Diet, where people of the Ryukyu islands are reported to have the longest life expectancy in the world.

    I recently did an Okinawan Pig's Feet Soup recipe on my blog, which you might think, "Gosh, Pig's Feet? Well, that doesn't sound healthy."

    But according to sources, "(Pig's feet soup) is considered health food, actually, because the gelatin that slowly cooks out of the feet and into the broth is believed to prevent deterioration of the knee ligaments."

    Sounds nutraceutical to me. I think my knees already feel like they work smoother after eating some of that Pig's Feet Soup.

    Not to mention this soup also contains Kombu (sea kelp) Togan (winter melon) and Daikon (radish), which balances out the nutritional numbers of the dish.

    If you were to take that same Pig's Feet and "westernize" it, they'd likely just slap some barbecue sauce on it and pop it on the grill. BIG difference.

    Bringing that back to soy products, it FEELS nutraceutical to me when I eat it. Especially Tofu and Edamame (steamed soy beans). I feel good eating it. It's light and gives me energy. Tofu stir-fry with vegetables has to be good for you. Tofu on a hamburger? I don't think so. Tofu Burger? Maybe.

    Ever try SILK (brand) soy milk? Pretty good! In fact, we just bought a carton of Soy Dream Soymilk from Down to Earth to try. Not bad, but still kinda' has that "chalky" texture to it. You'd know what I'm talking about if you tried it.
    Last edited by Pomai; September 16th, 2007 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Soy Dream

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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    There's been a lot of controversy over soy products over the past decade or so that I'm aware of. Google will turn up a bunch of it!

    I still don't know which side to believe so I do the moderation thingie! I love steamed edamame, Silk soy milk, Boca Burgers and Gardenburger products. And, at my age, I need all the estrogen I can get without resorting to pills!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
    That's quite intriguing.

    I recently did an Okinawan Pig's Feet Soup recipe on my blog, which you might think, "Gosh, Pig's Feet? Well, that doesn't sound healthy."
    Another healthy Okinawan dish that doesn't sound healthy (but really is) is Sparerib Soup "Sokibuni nu Shimun." It's pretty much the same as Pig's Feet Soup, but with chunks of spareribs instead. My Mom used to sometimes use both pig's feet and spareribs in the soup.

    When I was growing up, I never thought of tofu as "health" food. I just thought of it as food ... like pork tofu. It wasn't until maybe around the 70's that people began to think of tofu as "healthy" and started substituting tofu for meat. My all-time favorite tofu dish, which I haven't had in decades, is deep fried tofu. You eat it when it's tongue-burning hot with a dash of shoyu over it. The skin will be crispy, the inside will be scalding but oh so good, and the contrast in texture will be incredible. I've never seen it served in restaurants; it's more of a home-style cooking.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Most soy milk contains carrageenan, something I try to avoid. Just like soy, google carrageenan and you will get contradictory reports.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Arigato for the reference! My friend mentioned his sister would add pork spareribs to their Pig's Feet Soup, but now that you named the actual dish, I can try make that one too! Here's a recipe I found on Sokibuni Nu Shimun.

    As for Carrageenan, not sure about any long-term effects, but I haven't noticed any immediate digestive problems drinking Soy Dream's Soymilk, which includes that in its ingredients. And I drank (more like tanked) the whole 64 oz. container within 3 days.

    Then again, I'm not allergic to peanuts either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honoruru View Post
    Another healthy Okinawan dish that doesn't sound healthy (but really is) is Sparerib Soup "Sokibuni nu Shimun." It's pretty much the same as Pig's Feet Soup, but with chunks of spareribs instead. My Mom used to sometimes use both pig's feet and spareribs in the soup.

    When I was growing up, I never thought of tofu as "health" food. I just thought of it as food ... like pork tofu. It wasn't until maybe around the 70's that people began to think of tofu as "healthy" and started substituting tofu for meat. My all-time favorite tofu dish, which I haven't had in decades, is deep fried tofu. You eat it when it's tongue-burning hot with a dash of shoyu over it. The skin will be crispy, the inside will be scalding but oh so good, and the contrast in texture will be incredible. I've never seen it served in restaurants; it's more of a home-style cooking.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
    As for Carrageenan, not sure about any long-term effects, but I haven't noticed any immediate digestive problems drinking Soy Dream's Soymilk, which includes that in its ingredients. And I drank (more like tanked) the whole 64 oz. container within 3 days.
    IIRC, carrageenan is fairly common. As of the 90's, I saw it listed in products such as Nestle Quik chocolate milk.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    I can't believe how badly American scientists want to put down soybeans. First Tofu, now this...

    If we are what we eat, Americans are corn and soy...

    Americans also eat an extraordinary amount of soybean oil, another key ingredient in most processed foods. Checking labels during a recent trip to the grocery store I found soybean oil in everything from tortilla chips to fruit syrup.

    Dr. Joseph Hibbeln at the National Institutes of Health estimates that soybeans, usually in the form of oil, * account for an astonishing 10 percent of our total calories in the United States.

    In recent years, a form of soybean oil has been the primary source of trans fats, which raises levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, in our bodies and is thought to contribute to heart disease.

    Our bodies need a balance of omega-6 fatty acids like soybean oil and omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil, Hibbeln says. Over the last century, our diets have shifted almost completely to omega-6 fatty acids.
    Yeah, well it takes modern manufacturing methods to turn an otherwise healthy, natural food into a heart-clogging bastardization such as this.

    Ultimately they're saying, "The root of all processed foods evil is soy". Watch, tomorrow some quack is gonna' claim a Big Mac a day reduces cholesterol. Give us a break.

    Pass me the steamed, lightly-salted Edamame, thank you very much. And I'll have a tofu, watercress and pork stir-fry with Shoyu on rice for dinner. Yum!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
    Watch, tomorrow some quack is gonna' claim a Big Mac a day reduces cholesterol.
    The day after tomorrow, the US Secretary of State will finish every sentence with "Brought to you by Carl's Jr."

  13. #13
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    Red face Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Soy just can't catch a break. Years ago, 'twas tofu that made men prematurely senile. (Yeah, like that wouldn't happen anyway?) I'm with most of you. Edamame is just about my favorite TV snack. We cook with tofu all the time. Soy milk is the only oft mentioned derivative I can't quite get into. Despite the fact that cow milk generally doesn't agree with me.

    Soybean oil I don't claim to know much about, but I reckon "oil" of just about any ilk, or anything industrially processed, is going to be bad news.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    I too count myself in the "everything in moderation" camp. There are a few points on both sides of the soy fence that should be clarified though.

    Soy beans contain phytoestrogens, which are quite different from mammalian estrogen in that their bioactivity in humans is relatively weak and their specific effects on our physiology are a mixed bag. My years working in a neonatal intensive care unit provided me first-hand evidence that infants can and do develop normally on a diet of soy infant formula, which is formulated to closely mimic the nutritional profile of the usual first choice -- human breast milk. At the other end of the spectrum, soy products should not be one's sole choice if the goal is to lessen the severity of menopausal symptoms, also because of the weak case for phytoestrogens.

    I think a lot of the confusion about the health benefits vs. risks associated with soy comes from the burgeoning war between two of the country's largest trade associations: The National Dairy Council and the American Soy Association. You could eliminate a fair amount of the "research" on soy if you check to see if it's been ethically tainted by funding from either trade association. Be especially wary of any health claims made in print or TV advertising. The reason you don't see any more weight-loss claims touted by the dairy dudes is because of a lawsuit back in '05 against Kraft, General Mills, Dannon and some dairy trade associations attacking their hollow health claim.

    Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute helps to clear the air of some of the myths surrounding soy and their site is a great primer. I actually drink both cow and soy milk (organic and non-GMO, respectively) because I like 'em with cereal and cookies. I'd probably give up cow milk entirely except that if I don't eat/drink dairy at least a few times a week, I transform into grumpy, lactose-intolerant guy. And I prefer to scarf my ice cream and cheeses of cow and goat without popping Lactase.

    If you're of the soy-friendly ilk, Cyn and I would like to share two of our favorite destinations: Fro-Yo Bar and Soy to the World. The former has the best near-guiltless frozen yogurt (soy or cow) we've ever had, and the latter features non-GMO soy milk and desserts made fresh daily on premises.
    Last edited by MixedPlateBroker; November 24th, 2007 at 02:58 PM.
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Here are the links for my previous posting (seperated to quell a persistent 503 error):
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    Oooowheeee Baby! Thanks for that, MPB. I'd not heard of it but plan to visit...soon!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Sure thing, tutusue. Cyn and I think Fro-Yo is light years ahead of ICBY, TCBY, Yami, et al. The fact that it's also only 72 calories per 9oz. serving almost makes you want to cry!

    Yelp review:
    WARNING - this stuff must be laced with crack, because i can't stop thinking about when i'm going to have my next fro-yo fix.
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

  18. #18

    Default Re: Soy - Good or Bad?

    Okay, now I want to try Fro-Yo. Only in Honolulu, huh? Guess I have to settle for Haagen Dazs

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