Soy Products – Good or Bad
Origin of Soy
In days gone by, soy (a kind of bean) was largely grown in Asian countries. Today, because of its widespread use in packaged foods as well as oil manufacture, soy is predominantly grown on the American continent with U.S.A., Brazil and Argentina accounting for the bulk of Soy cultivation. Also the largest consumer of Soya Beans and Soy products is America.
5 points for “Soy is good!”
Once imported from Asia, the humble Soya bean quickly became a darling of the farmers as well as the food products industry in America. Soya bean is not only easy to cultivate, its nitrogen fixing ability enriches the soil. Also, soy produces twice as much protein in comparison to any other protein crop. That’s two points for ‘Soy is good’!
The food manufacturers loved it because Soy protein is stable even at high cooking temperatures and has a long shelf life. Soya milk, Tofu and various vegetable proteins (e.g. soy flour) could now be made easily and cheaply. That’s another point for ‘Soy is good’!
Most vegetable oils use Soy oil as the base, even the bi-product of soy processing is used as an emulsifier; soy flour is used in a variety of products ranging from cookies to muscle-building protein powders. Let’s add one more point for ‘Soy is good’!
Last but not least point to soy being good is “no more gas!” If you directly add Soya beans in any food preparation, the person eating it suffers from flatulence (gas). Food manufacturers and processors however found that if soy carbohydrates (fermented Soy) are used then it does not lead to flatus activity. So soy concentrates, soy protein isolates, tofu, soy sauce, and sprouted soybeans are without flatus activity.
Soya Bean – the complete Protein package!
Medical science considers Soya bean to be a complete protein because it contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids and is also recommended by US Food and Drug Administration. Research into Sphingolipids (present in Soy), seems to indicate that consumption of soy may also reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Let’s see now how Soy is bad
We’ve read various articles claiming that Soya is bad and attributing almost every known disease to be the result of Soy consumption! Sadly, not one of these articles provides or links to any real research on why we should believe that Soy is bad. In fact, when we attempted to research the ‘research’ mentioned in the article, we found no evidence that any research by the name mentioned was ever conducted. The funny part is that these articles that claimed Soy is bad admitted that soy beans delivered plenty of protein based nutrition and is also very low in cholesterol and saturated fat, provides fibre, vitamins, omega-3 fats, antioxidants and minerals.
Some may argue that not finding the evidence that Soy is bad does not mean that Soy is good. We have no wish to argue with that logic and so shall continue researching and searching for real evidence that Soy is bad or in anyways harmful to humans (except when over-consumed). In the meanwhile, enjoy your Soy milk shake! Here are a couple of recipes to get you started: Avocado Lemon Soy Smoothie and Soy Protein Smoothie.