Hi, I apologize if this has been beaten to death at some point BUT...is tofu good or bad for you? I've read both and am completely confused about it. I do like it and want to eat more of it but am leery due to all the bad thing I've read recently. Anyone know much about it?
You're going to hear bad things about LOTS of foods. My personal belief is everything in moderation. Fast food is bad for you too, but I still eat it once in a great while. I don't deny myself the foods I love. It's just if a food I love isn't very healthy, I eat it in extreme moderation.
As for soy products, I don't know what they're on about with that. What are they saying, exactly?
I personally think that many of these 'findings' come from eating something in such an abundance that you're not getting enough nutrients from other food. I mean, yes, you *CAN* overdo something. Even something that's considered healthy. If you eat too many carrots, you risk Vitamin A toxicity. Well sure, if you eat 5 pounds a day. Celery has too much sodium. Even too much broccoli can supposedly cause health problems. I know a woman that can't eat very much broccoli for some reason or another, I don't remember now. Something about the Vitamin K content. So really, even too many fruits and vegetables can cause problems. On different levels for different people.
I think it's mostly about what YOUR body can tolerate. That and many people, once they get ahold of a particular health food, go crazy and eat tons of it thinking more is better. "Oh, this stuff's healthy, I think I'll eat loads of it every day to reap the benefits!" when really, in most cases, just small, regular amounts do just fine.
Then they end up with problems. So yeah, too much of a good thing isn't always good. Again, back to my favorite word, moderation.
I don't know where I put it, so I can't reference it properly, but the current issue of Vegetarian Times has a good soy primer that discusses the studies, potential problems, and offers some suggestions.
The studies I've seen say that soy interferes with thyroid function. Obviously, if you are trying to lose weight, this could be an issue.
Yeah, I found a little bit about it. But they're talking about unnatural forms of soy.
Soy is a food, but when you start down the "the more the better" route with the supposed "health food," you transform soy into a drug. Overconsumption of soy has been linked to increased risk of thyroid disease. In particular, the craze for soy powders, smoothies, soy patties, and potions -- everything from Revival Soy to Isoflavone pills -- has been problematic, as too much of these unnatural forms of soy may put a strain on your immune system and trigger thyroid problems in susceptible people.
Stick to natural forms of soy -- tofu, tempeh, miso soup -- in moderation, and you should be fine, but stay away from the pills, powders, smoothies, creams and other or your "health food" may actually ruin your health.
if i remember correctly (but please don't quote me on it since i can't find the info). I do believe the soy is high in phytoestrogen...a "natural" estrogen type substance..which is believed in very large amounts can lead to some cancers. But its sort of like what everyone else said...everything in moderation.
The Vegetarian Times article is great and a must read. What I took from it was that the pros outweigh the possible cons, in most cases.
The article touches on the thyroid issue. Basically it says that if you have a healthy thyroid, you should be fine eating soy. Most people consume enough thyroid protective compounds to offset the effects (ie. iodized salt, green leafy veggies, etc.) I'm paraphrasing a bit.
Most of the studies that bad mouth soy are contradicted by other studies. It's hard to know how true these studies are without looking at how they were implemented. I'd like to know how a mouse can be compared to the human body? I mean even carrots in high doses will turn you orange. I recommend anyone who is interested read the article.
Some of the healthiest (and longest living) people on the planet live in Okinawa, Japan. They eat soy (a lot of it.) If it was really terrible for you would scientists have gone and studied why these people live so long? Just something to think about. Sorry about the soap box!i I just get a little passionate sometimes.
I personally love soy products. I believe they are good for you but I'm not sure about taking all those extracts that come from soy. I recently read the Harvard Medical School Guide to healthy eating and it basically said that soy was good in moderation and that you can probably do no wrong unless you are taking parts of soy extracts as pills or dietary supplement. It's delicious, low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and high in complete protein. It also has healthy fat that you NEED in your diet.
My best friend is dietitian (who is married to a personal trainer, talk about perfect match) and she has been working on a study with soy proteins for the last couple of years, I cannot honestly say what the results are yet, but she eats soy fairly regularly, so I am thinking that the amounts that you would get just by including it in your diet are probably perfectly fine. I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years and I have never had anyone raise the issue of soy to me (other then the inevitable question of “do you really eat tofu? Yuck”) nor have I had any problems with my thyroid.
I think if you like soy go ahead and eat it but I would stay away from the supplements.
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