21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: April 2012 Kickstart Forum: soy controversy
Created on: 04/02/12 11:46 PM Views: 1357 Replies: 5
soy controversy
Posted Monday, April 2, 2012 at 11:46 PM

So what are your opinions...is soy milk good or bad, especially if you are a woman? I hear mainly that it increases risk of breast cancer and maybe contributes to other health problems later on...I suppose it's not too big of a deal since there are so many other non-dairy milks (rice, almond, coconut) but, in coffee shops, the only vegan substitute they have for tea and coffee is soy milk.

I hope we don't have to give up tea for this kickstart? I love my chai, whether it's black with sugar, green tea, or a tea latte, with some non-dairy milk...now I just need to figure out which non-dairy milk to use!

RE: soy controversy
Posted Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 3:28 AM

I have read some of the for and against arguments and made the personal choice to keep some soy in my diet in moderation. I use soy milk in baking or on my morning oats but I dont drink it by the glassful. I also eat some soy meat substitute products but not a lot and certainly not every day.

I buy a low fat organic soy milk that doesnt have a bunch of additives. i found out out that many dairy substitute milks in New Zealand contain a lot (and I mean a lot) of oil and other additives I dont want to injest. Im not sure what is available in the U.S. but I highly recommend reading the small print on the labels listing ingredients before deciding what milk substitute to use. Not all are what I would consider healthy but rather i would put in the vegan junk food pile.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food - Hippocrates.

Edited 04/03/12 3:30 AM
RE: soy controversy
Posted Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Part of the issue is that we (US consumers) tend to go overboard with whatever thing it is and we also tend to not have the whole, unproccessed versions of things (like soy). There's a big difference between minimally processed tofu, tempeh, soy milk and the commercially made mass produced stuff. As was indicated, there can be lots of other stuff added.

For me, though, I don't do soy based foods (tofu, tempeh, soy milk) because when I tried it, my body didn't like it even though I was having maybe 1/2 cup of soy milk per day (so not going overboard with tons of soy all at once). And, I try to minimize the "partial" soy as well (the bits of broken down soy that are in many products across the board). That's one reason we prefer to make our own foods from ingredients rather than buy commercial products - no soy lecithin in our homemade whole wheat tortillas because we don't put it in there (for example).

--Deb R

RE: soy controversy
Posted Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Deb is right! We Americans think if a little is good, then a lot is better, even if its not quality. The whole thing started with soy years ago, when studies showed that the Asian communities that included daily amounts of natural soy products like tofu and tempeh in their diets, had lower rates of serious illness esp. cancer. Asian women also suffered less with menopausal symptoms. But then we blew everything up by putting processed soy isolate in everything. It is NOT true that everything is okay in moderation, but the latest studies show that some natural soy like tofu, and even a little soy milk or yogurt, seem to have more positive effects on health than negative and can have a place in our whole-food, plant-based diets. I love tofu, and have it maybe once a week, I also love Wholesoy cherry yogurt, but have cut that down due to the sugar. Occasionally I buy edamame, which we all love. But if one is "afraid" of soy, has been advised against it, or finds it just doesn't agree with them (yes, soy can cause gas, especially processed) then leave it out. I just hate to see it demonized as a "bad" food that we should avoid, which is not the case. Nor is it a miracle worker.

RE: soy controversy
Posted Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Dr.Susan Love's "Army of Women" initiative is looking for volunteers in LA area to study soy vs. breast cancer. If anybody is interested here is the link http://blog.armyofwomen.org/2012/04/help-us-find-out-if-soy-can-reduce-breast-cancer-risk/

RE: soy controversy
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 6:24 PM

As I wrote in a different post:

The interesting thing about soy is that it is probably the people eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) that eat the most soy. Look at the allergen statements from most fast food restaurants: Soy will be in just about everything.

With soy: Only eat the traditional soy products: soy milk, tofu, miso, tempeh. Don't eat products containing isolated soy protein, or any other lab-produced soy.

Here's an excellent article from Dr. McDougall on the subject:


Hope this is helpful,

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