Soy

soy

     With so many foods controversies going on right now perhaps Soy is the longest withstanding argument.  It seems like at least for me it has been a circular argument never having been resolved.  Well I ignored the topic a little while longer and now have re-evaluated it hoping that the break would clear my mind.  It appears so since I now have a definitive view on Soy consumption.  I am beginning to think of it more as an herb per say, something that is very potent and has the ability to cause substantial changes in the body instead of an appropriate food or condiment choice.

     Companies that thrive off of Soy sales such as Silk have entire websites dedicated towards rebutting myths and clearing the name of Soy.  After looking at their “evidence” and doing a little of your own research it is clear that for every article that says it is beneficial for your health there is another that says to run away.  Personally I have a few Soy anecdotes that show that at least for myself it has a big impact.  About 5 years ago I found some Soy Isoflavone supplements in my mothers pantry and thought I would try them.  Not even a few hours later the texture of my skin had changes, breakouts had started to reside and I felt great.  I was on cloud 9 for the next few days until I woke up with huge painful cystic breakout on my neck that continued to get worse until I stopped taking the pills a few days later.

    If Soy could have that big of an impact on myself I am sure it can on others too regardless of if you have a strong reaction.  Now some people avoid Soy simply because it is a legume, which is another post topic together (along with grains).   I believe that it SHOULD BE AVOIDED because of its high phytoestrogen content.   A phytoestrogen is just what the name imply, a plant version of estrogen that although it can’t function the same as estrogen in the body does, it can cling to estrogen receptors tricking the body into it thinking that is is real estrogen.   This can reak all kinds o havoc in the body through disrupting the delicate hormonal balance.  There are many types of phytoestrogens within three main groups: Isoflavones. Lignans, and Coumestan.  Soy is contains predominately Isoflavones.

     Now while all of the Soy haters are out there hating on Soy they neglect to look at other foods which have high phytoestrogen as well.  Granted, Soy overall is the highest by far, however in some forms it is actually quite low.  For example Soy Sauce and Soy Sprouts do not provide high amounts.  Also  Flax-seed comes in second highest to Soy in content and many people use Flax-seed Oil everyday and do not even realize that.  Some other surprising foods are: Black Bean Sauce, Hummus, Mung Bean, Sesame Seeds, Alfalfa Sprouts, Garlic, Dried Apricots and Dates, and Black Licorice.  Now some of these may not be that high depending on your serving.  For that reason I have included this link.

     In the end, I have decided to try and avoid anything that has a high phytoestrogen load.  I am working so hard to heal my body so it can balance my hormones that I do not what to confuse it by adding phytoestrogens in there to throw it off balance.  Of course there are always exceptions for example I love Garlic and it is so good for you, plus the amount of Garlic that I would eat does not have a phytoestrogen load I am worried about.  Also my husband and I love Thai and Sushi and because Soy Sauce does not have a high phytoestrogen load we are not going to deprive ourselves of that enjoyment occasionally.  Overall do some research,  and decide what’s best for you!

Dairy

     dairy and hormones     Yet another complexity of my diet is that I do not consume any dairy products.  No milk, butter, cheese or anything containing those ingredients.  People ask me all of the time why I do not drink it.  I usually reply by saying that well I am a human and milk is for baby cows.  They then look at me like I am crazy.  Well here I am putting together some basic information for all of you as to the unnecessary consumption and potential side affects of dairy.  Milk is designed for it’s own species to receive nutrients and antibodies during early life.  It was not meant to be drank into adulthood and most certainly not mean for cross species consumption.

     As a matter of fact after 2 years of age production of the enzyme lactase necessary to digest lactose, a key component of dairy, diminishes.  By early adulthood people are no longer able to adequately digest dairy, which means that dairy is not meant for adults.   Around 30% of the population is Lactose Intolerant which means that they have physical symptoms from dairy such as constipation, gas, bloating, stomach pain, headache, etc.  However just because something does not make you immediately feel bad does not make it good for you.  You might be just under the threshold of exhibiting a readable response but that does not mean it isn’t affecting you in other ways.  Here are a few reasons why you should avoid dairy:

     -Milk is hormonal.  Scientists have found links between early and significant dairy consumption in girls and premature menarche.

     -Milk is causes inflammation.  It contains Arachadonic Acid which is highly inflammatory in the body.  It also creates a lot of phlegm an mucous in the body and is not recommended for anyone who has upper respiratory allergies.

     -Milk is acidic.  When your blood pH becomes too acidic your body has a mechanism to lower it so that you do not start to harm your body.  Your body actually leaches calcium from your bones because it lowers the acidity of your blood.  For this reason older adults who consume dairy on a regular basis actually have higher levels of Osteoporosis and more bone fractures than those who do not drink dairy.

     -Milk spikes insulin.  For this reason it is not recommended for diabetics.   Even though milk has a low Glycemic Index (30) it is rather an anomaly as it overstimulates insulin to develop even though it is low on the glycemic index.  It is a result of  how the lactase interacts with other amino acids in the body.

     -Milk is not necessary.  The nutrients that milk contain are not necessary if you are eating a well balanced diet of plants and occasional seafood.   You should be getting all of your healthy fats, and protein in other ways that are more healthy than milk.  It is simple not necessary!

     -Milk is linked to acne.  The sugars and inflammation aspect as well as the animal fats and hormones cause acne.  Fats from animals spike cholesterol which leads to excess oil build up in your skin.  The hormones in it include androgens that also stimulate sebum production and female hormones could affect your very own delicate female hormones mimicking them but not exactly accomplishing what they should.

     -Milk is linked to cancer.  The hormones in milk are linked to hormone related cancers such as ones affecting reproductive organs.

   I recognize that many of these points are interrelated but the bottom line is that there are many negatives to drinking milk and not many nutritional benefits that could not be found in other healthier foods.  Almond milk for example although not containing the protein that milk does still contains calcium and in even greater amounts!  If you are eating a well rounded diet you also will not need the little bit of extra protein that the milk contains.  If you are non drinking organic milk then the milk is even more detrimental and less nutritious.  The cows are fed antibiotics and GMO feed, in addition the milk is pasteurized (both organic and otherwise) and most of the nutrients are killed in the process.

     If you are drinking raw milk from organic grass fed free range hormone free cows then I am sorry to say but you are still getting a lot of things that you don’t want in your milk (see list below).  Plus for some reason raw milk isn’t even legal in some states.  So now what can you put in your cereal and smoothies instead of milk?  I would recommend  almond, rice or flax milk.  There are many healthy butter and cheese substitutes that work well and taste great.  As for baking, there are other great substitutes that I have used and they also work and taste great.

List of hormones in Raw Milk:

Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH)

Estrogen

Progesterone

Testosterone

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

Insulin

Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH1)

Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH)