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Author Offers Advice on Soy Food in Diet

Author Offers Advice on Soy Food in Diet

Chicago Tribune

Despite concerns over excessive soy intake, most mainstream organizations say up to two servings per day can be part of a healthy diet. Kaayla Daniel, who holds a doctorate in nutrition and is the author of “The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food,” offers the following advice.

Oils and ingredients: Avoid soy flour, soy protein isolates, soy protein concentrates, hydrolyzed soy protein, texturized vegetable protein and soybean oils. Daniel says these modern soy foods can cause digestive and reproductive problems as well as endocrine disruption. Most vegetable oils are primarily made from soy and can become rancid quickly but because of deodorization may not smell rancid.

Soy infant formula: “The Israelis, French and Germans have been clear that soy formula should never be used except as a last resort and I agree,” Daniel says. “There are many other options, and soy is absolutely the worst choice.”

Genetically modified soy: Most soy grown and consumed in the U.S. is genetically modified, and the only way to avoid it is to buy organic soy. Jeffrey Smith, author of “Seeds of Deception,” says genetically modified soy contains higher levels of potential allergens called trypsin inhibitors.

Soy milk: Daniel says it’s generally OK in small quantities (two cups a week, maximum) but says she is concerned about the high sugar levels, often low-quality supplemented nutrients, phytates and estrogens that soy milk contains. Even two cups exceeds the daily soy protein levels recommended by the American Dietetic Association.

Edamame: “An occasional appetizer (half-cup) portion at a Japanese restaurant is not a problem,” says Daniel. “But a lot of people have digestive issues with the edamame, and if the quantity gets high enough it could trigger all of the issues associated with modern soy. … A whole bag is not a good idea.”

Tofu: Daniel approves of it in small quantities – “like the cubes you typically find in your miso soup at a Japanese restaurant.”

Fake meat products: “You can have the occasional Tofurky, Veat, Boca burger or (any) other of the highly processed, high-tech modern American soy foods. The important thing is: Don’t pig out.”

Traditional soy products: “Natto, miso, tempeh, tamari, shoyu, and naturally fermented soy sauce are wonderful in small normal quantities.”

- Monica Eng

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