Dangers of Overdoing Soy

Vegetarianism: Dangers of Overdoing Soy

Individuals who have chosen to become vegetarians must often walk a thin line when it comes to nutrition. Some foodstuffs have an abundance of vitamins and some foodstuffs have very little. Also, foods that may be good for you in small doses may be bad for you in large doses.

So, in order to get enough nutrition and not allow too much of a good food to bring on a bad reaction, vegetarians must be aware of what they’re putting into their mouths and how much of each item. Soy is one vegetarian product that should be monitored.

Since soy has been used as a culinary product in Asian countries since time unknown, it’s safe to say that soy, in small doses is acceptable. But when vegetarians turn to soy to supplement their diet, often large amounts of soy and soy-based products are ingested, which is where the problems arise.

Roundup Ready Soy

First of all, most soy today is genetically modified. Genetically modified (GM) means man has manipulated the nucleus of the seed to make it compatible with Roundup, a chemical sprayed in crop fields to kill weeds. Because the product is not damaged by Roundup, large doses of Roundup are often used on soy bean fields, which means Roundup residue often ends up on your plate.

To compound matters, when GM crops are presented to the public, as long as the vegetable looks the same as the original crop, the company that grew the vegetable does not have to label it as a GM product. Since about 90 percent of the soy in the United States is now Roundup ready, unless a customer is purchasing organic soy he or she will be ingesting GM soy.

Current tests show that Roundup causes liver and kidney problems in rats and birth defects in amphibians. Further testing has shown that infants born near GM soy bean fields have a higher incident of certain birth defects and children fed soymilk products in the first year of their life have lower bone density. While further testing is needed, consumers should take precautions until conclusive information is available.

The Disadvantages of Soy

Soy is filled with phytoestrogen, which is a form of plant estrogen, similar to a woman’s own estrogen, and because some tumors in breast cancer grew more rapidly when exposed to estrogen there is a chance that even the mild estrogen soy adds to a daily diet may be a precursor to breast cancer. Soy has also been linked to male infertility.

Soy is one of the foods that are called goitrogens. Goitrogens are foods that can promote goiter formation or an enlarged thyroid. Soy can slow down thyroid function and also help promote thyroid disease in individuals who are already prone to developing this type of disease.

Another concern is that soy can inhibit iron absorption. This should be well noted by vegetarians and vegans. Because people that eat no meat or animal products significantly reduce their iron intake, they need to be sure not to inhibit the absorptions of the iron they do eat.

Rather than making soy products their only source of protein, vegetarians should incorporate eggs, nuts, beans, spinach, and oatmeal into their diet. Additionally, it helps to pair some sort of vitamin C with iron, as it encourages iron absorption. Some easy ways to so this are:

  • Orange juice with eggs
  • Strawberries in oatmeal
  • Tomatoes and broccoli with spinach







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