Well, it used to be that soy foods were deemed to be a healthy food, but now that we know a little more about the wonderful, all purpose soy bean, we know that it’s really the processed forms of soy that you want to limit in your diet, which amounts to most of the soy foods that are on the market today unfortunately, including soy milk. And why? Because soy processed products have a high level of synthetic estrogen mimicking compounds in them, and these compounds act like real estrogen in the body, and can throw of the hormone balance in a woman’s body. They can also throw off a man’s hormone balance, in theory.
One particularly startling story I heard was how fish in a certain area were actually coming out with two different sexes, in other words, they were unisex. What was found to most likely be the cause of so much of this unusual genetic occurrence was the fact that there was a soy processing plant nearby. Scientists surmised that the active estrogens in the water may have interfered with the normal sexual development of the fish’ sex organs, and therefore resulted in this anomaly. To me, that is kind of scary.
Soy though, when consumed in moderate amounts is ok in my opinion. I personally try not to eat soy products every day, even when I’m going meatless in my diet, because we already get so many other foods in our diets that mimic estrogen in our body. There are estrogen like chemicals in just about every plant food that we know of, and they are also rampant in grains. They are called phytoestrogens, because they are plant derived, and yet they mimic the estrogen hormone that is found in the human body. By the way, men have estrogen in their body as well, they just have higher concentrations of testosterone.
If you are a soy lover, just make sure that you are only consuming it moderately. If you are a vegetarian, try to find other sources of protein that are not processed so heavily, like hummus, nuts, avocadoes and other plant based or grain based proteins that will satisfy your protein requirement without introducing these synthetic estrogens to your body by the boatload. It’s the safest bet in case there really is a connection to hormone imbalance or any types of hormonally fueled cancers.