Great news is afoot with regard to the public’s perception of soy. There’s no doubt that more and more people are getting the message that soy is not the “healthfood” that it is portrayed to be and that soy actually poses a grave danger to health even in menopausal women.
The bad news is that a little information can sometimes be dangerous!
In this case, it appears that many who recognize that soy is an unhealthy food are under the mistaken impression that sprouted soy is fine to consume.
Or, just as bad, some believe that organic soy or soy that is certified GMO free poses no problem to health.
Perhaps the healthy traditional practice of sprouting grains, legumes, and other seeds resulted in confusion about soy because it is a legume – causing it to somehow get lumped in with everything else.
Or maybe it’s the GMO issue which is confusing folks who just assume the reason soy is bad is because most of it on the market is now overwhelmingly genetically modified.
Even food manufacturers are misguided about this issue as many supposedly “wholesome” breads and pastas are including sprouted soy and trumpet this fact on the label like it is somehow a good thing.
Let’s set the record straight once and for all:
Any form of soy with the exception of fermented, nonGMO soy in small condimental amounts should be avoided as much as possible in the diet!
Soy was an unhealthy food to consume long before the issue of GMO soy came into play. The fact that most of the soy on the market these days is GMO just makes what was already an unhealthy food even worse!
With regard to sprouted soy, don’t be fooled! It’s actually more harmful than unsprouted soy!
Soy sprouts, by the way, are not healthy. Short-term germination increases the strength of soy‘s antinutrient fractions. In contrast, long-term sprouting plus fermentation will decrease and nearly eliminate them. Soy sprouts are mentioned in historical accounts as useful, sometime pharmaceuticals, not as a daily food.
The Weston A. Price Foundation concurs, warning that high levels of phytic acid even in sprouted soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.
Phytic acid also blocks mineral absorption, causes digestive distress, and can contribute to tooth decay, according to Rami Nagel author of Cure Tooth Decay.
Be sure not to be taken in by the argument that because soy is organic, nonGMO or sprouted that it is just fine to eat it. Fermented soy in small, condimental amounts as practiced in traditional Asian cultures is the only safe way to consume this legume and even then, only for those who have healthy thyroid function because it is so extremely goitrogenic. Miso, tempeh, natto and soy sauce (IF traditionally brewed) fall under this category.
Everything else soy? Just pass!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist