This includes the innocuous green bean known as edamame.
The bad news is that a little information can sometimes be dangerous!
Sprouted Soy Myths
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. Somehow this fact caused it to get lumped in with everything else.
Or maybe it’s the GMO issue which is confusing folks. Some seem to just assume that the reason soy is bad is because almost all of it is now genetically modified.
Sprouting Soy Does Not Make it Safe
Even food manufacturers are misguided about this issue. Some supposedly “wholesome” breads and pastas are including sprouted soy and trumpet this fact on the label like it is somehow a good thing. Some vegetarian and vegan websites are promoting recipes for sprouted soy milk as healthy alternatives to dairy.
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!
The Truth about Sprouted 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 fooled by soy that is organic, nonGMO or sprouted. These characteristics do not make it safe to eat.
NonGMO, fermented soy in small, condimental amounts as practiced in traditional Asian cultures is the only safe way to consume this legume. Those who have thyroid conditions should still avoid it, however, due to the goitrogens.
One of the most popular examples of cultured soybeans is miso. Sushi restaurants in Western countries seem to always feature miso soup on the menu (though it is usually GMO).
Everything else soy? Just pass!
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. Her work is dedicated to helping families effectively incorporate the principles of ancestral diets within the modern household. She is a sought after lecturer around the world for conferences, summits, and podcasts.
Her work has been covered by major media including USA Today, ABC, NBC, and many others.