What are the misconceptions with respect to usage of soy products?

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As you must all be aware of, the trend of veganism is already on the rise. Vegans or plant-based eaters look for soy milk, tofu, and other healthier replacements for meat, dairy or eggs. Especially use of soy milk, curds, and tofu (soy-based cottage cheese) have sky-rocketed the vegan staples. Let us have a look at the top 6 misconceptions about the use of soy or its products. Let me get it busted for you one by one. Shall we get started?

Myth # 1- Soy milk contains estrogen

Truth busted for you: Soy milk contains phytoestrogen. In fact, it is the cow’s milk that contains loads of mammalian estrogen. In fact, phytoestrogens are healthier for human beings as it blocks the actual estrogen from accumulating inside the body. Quite a lot of cancers can be prevented when we consume more of phytoestrogens. Not only soybeans but also other forms of plant-based resources contain phytoestrogens. These include coffee beans, oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame, pomegranate, beer, rice, lentils, carrots, and mint. All of these contain significant amounts of phytoestrogens. Therefore, it is to be noted that although you avoid soy and its range of products, you will still be consuming phytoestrogens in some form or the other.

Myth # 2- Will soy affect one’s fertility?

Truth busted for you: The Chinese and Japanese have been using soya beans for a multitude of culinary recipes, you can think off. It is to be noted that the Chinese have been consuming soybeans for the last 3000 years or so. There have been no case studies linked with impaired fertility or altered sexual development among men and women. According to a study at Harvard University, it was proved that men’s infertility issues had no connection with consumption of soya. Also, at a renowned university at Boston, it was confirmed that women who regularly consumed soy and its products revealed improved chances at conception. Hence, consumption of soy and its products can improve conception or fertility instead of looking at it, the other way around.

Myth # 3- Can consumption of soy milk develop man boobs?

Truth busted for you: There was an extreme case scenario that was actually linked to this. When men develop boobs, the underlying condition is referred to as gynecomastia. This 60-year-old man was consuming almost three liters of soy milk every single day. It was reported that he had developed gynecomastia. Upon discontinuation of soy milk, his condition had vanished. This was one in a million case. Also, we do not have a clue on what his other underlying medical conditions are. So, the case study of developing man’s boobs upon consumption of soy products was completely eliminated.

Actually, it is the cow’s milk that leads to formation of man’s boobs or gynecomastia. This is mainly because cows provide milk while they are pregnant and also while they are nursing. So, while they secrete milk, significant amount of estrogen levels is usually found. Dairy stock is also induced with growth tranquilizers or hormones so that their milk supply increases. Hence, increased consumption of dairy milk and milk products have been linked to more frequent cases of gynecomastia. Americans spend billions of dollars for breast augmentation. For men, this is really an embarrassing thing.

Myth # 4- Soy Vs Cancer

Truth busted for you: Consumption of soy products can actually be a protective shield against several forms of Cancer. For instance, it was confirmed that women who regularly consumed soy products were at a lesser risk of developing breast cancer as against the non-soy consuming counterparts. The research was carried out at the University of Southern California wherein the women consumed one and a half cups of soy milk while they also consumed half a cup of tofu. These women developed 30 percent lesser chances of developing breast cancer. This was against the category of women who consumed little or no soy products as a part of their diet.

Traditional Japanese diets are generally phytoestrogen enriched ones. Say for instance, a typical Japanese diet is rich in isoflavones. It contains about 25-30 mg of isoflavones which is nothing but your phytoestrogens. Adding soy to the food worth 2-3 servings per day is what lends you with a protective shield. Almost 10,000 breast cancer survivors were taken for a study based on their typical soy consumption. There was a visible 25% reduction in terms of reoccurrences of cancer even after a 7.5-year period post diagnosis.

A Chinese study also revealed that among people whose soy consumption was more, the body secreted more of isoflavones. This way, there were significant reduction of patients suffering from prostate cancer. A Japanese Health journal also revealed that among those whose dietary choices include soy products, cases of ovarian cancer too was brought down. As soya is a rich powerhouse of phytoestrogen that secretes isoflavones. And, this can act as a protective shield among different forms of Cancer.

Myth # 5- Quite a lot of people are allergic to soy

Truth busted for you: Hardly 0.1 percent of the US people have shown incidences of soy allergy. This is a negligent ratio as it is 290 people amongst 580,000 individuals. Those of you who have an allergy to consuming shellfish is 1.6%. Again, the percentage is 0.6% for people who have peanut allergy.

Myth # 6- Most of the soy products are genetically modified

Truth busted for you: Quite a lot of us are worried about the fact that soy products are genetically modified or engineered before the products hit upon store shelves. Via a statistical study undertaken at the US way back in 2003, it was revealed that soy is the product that is subsidized all through the US to make way for cheaper animal feed. Almost 55% of the soy products are genetically modified versions only. However, GMO indicators, haven’t been clinically proved that it has a significant impact on affecting human health. However, GMO soy may have toxic effects as the feed is exposed to pesticide residuals. You can go in for organic soybeans to make milk, tofu, etc.

Conclusion

These are some of the major misconceptions regarding the use of soy and its products. Not to forget the fact that it is soy cultivation that is responsible for cutting down of forests at the Amazon. Nearly the amount of land that is used for soy cultivation alone is a combined area of Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and France. 6% of humans consume soy products while 80% of soy consumption is utilized by animals like cows, chicken, pigs, etc. This is in terms of their animal feed. The remaining portion of soybeans finds its use while procuring soy oil. You find soy oil in canned tuna, sauces, breadcrumbs, etc.

Blog ideas taken from: The Truth about Soy - Busting the Myths (riseofthevegan.com)