Do's and Don'ts
When I started going to a Functional Medicine doctor five years ago she immediately took me off all soy. She explained that because of my age, I didn’t need any extra estrogen in my body and soy is a significant source of estrogen.
The U.S. government subsidizes soybean farming. Therefore it is grown and sold below its actual market value. Because it is so cheap, food producers use it everywhere they can in the manufacturing of food products. You will see soy lecithin, soy flour, soy meal, soybean oil, soy sauce, etc. on the ingredient labels of food. It is also genetically modified to withstand the herbicide Roundup. Roundup is sprayed on the fields to kill weeds surrounding and competing with the crop. This results in corn and soybeans that are full of Roundup residue. Genetically modified or GMO corn and soy are in every packaged item in the store. That is why food manufacturers are spending millions of dollars lobbying congress to prevent GMO labeling of food. They don’t want a big sign on the front of their packages to say “CONTAINS GMO INGREDIENTS”.
Most people believe soy is healthy. About 20 years ago, a study of Japanese women showed that they had drastically lower rates of breast cancer than American women. Researchers correlated the reduction in breast cancer with the Japanese’s high intake of soy. Marketers used this info to promote cheap, government-subsidized soy as health food and began proudly displaying on the package that it contained soy. The truth of why Japanese women have less breast cancer has nothing to do with soy intake. In fact, when Japanese women move to the U.S., and start eating a western diet, their rates of breast cancer equal ours no matter how much soy they eat. Because prostate cancer is a hormonal cancer, there is a possible correlation with soy intake as well.
Called phytoestrogen, the estrogen found in soy promotes the growth of breast cancer. Other plants have phytoestrogen but are not consumed at a rate that would cause a problem. The poor little soybean is not a problem in and of itself. It is greed and gluttony that put it in every product we consume that made it a problem for our health.
So, what I tell all my clients when I am giving nutritional advice is, “choose your soy wisely”. That means, read ALL labels. Don’t assume anything you buy is just ketchup, mayonnaise, chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, etc. Don’t use soy protein powders or drinks either. You will be shocked how many items in your pantry have a soy isolate in them. If something has soy in it DON’T buy it. I save my soy for Chinese food. That is the only time I really want to use soy sauce. Occasionally, I have a dip recipe that calls for sour cream and I substitute tofu sour cream, but that is rare. Oh, by the way, edamame is soybeans.
So you won’t be left without anything to eat when you clean your pantry, fridge, and freezer and get rid of all the soy, here’s a great summer recipe for you!
Black Bean, Corn and Jicama Salad
“What’s a jicama”, you say? It is a brown root vegetable the size and shape of a rutabaga. Find it in produce by the peppers or ginger. If your store doesn’t carry it, use a can of chopped water chestnuts. They will provide the crunch of the jicama. This is perfect in a lettuce wrap with some avocado, roasted portobello mushrooms and salsa.
2 16-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels or 1 10-oz pkg. frozen corn, thawed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup jicama, peeled and diced
1 small fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
½ cup firmly packed cilantro, chopped
Juice of two limes
2 T olive oil
1 t salt (to taste)
1/2 t pepper (to taste)
1 t ground cumin
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 6-8
My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.