This one ingredient is in EVERYTHING - and it could be sabotaging YOUR diet!
For the most part, it can be pretty easy to discern which foods are best for your overall health and which aren’t, like choosing a salad over french fries or swapping that late night bowl of ice cream for some chocolate grain-free granola. When it comes to ingredients and individual components, however, it can be harder to discern which are good for you and which can throw a wrench into your dietary and fitness goals without you realizing it.
This ingredient, while it can be a great alternative protein source that can lower cholesterol and replace dairy, can be responsible for an entourage of undesirable effects on your body. These effects can include hormonal disruption, increased cancer risks, and even decreased insulin resistance. The ingredient we’re talking about is none other than soy.
Keep in mind, we aren’t talking about the occasional snack of edamame, tofu, or miso soup. And we aren’t telling you to swear off soy milk or an occasional soy protein bar. However, as people look for protein alternatives, we always like to consider the consequences of a diet that is too focused on one ingredient.
That being said, this may come as a shock to some - after all, soy is heavily marketed as a healthy, plant-based protein alternative with a laundry list of benefits - but there are also side effects soy can have on your body that you may not be aware of..
First of all, soy contains a hormonal component that mimics estrogen. These compounds are known as isoflavones, and an increased consumption of these compounds can lead to an increased estrogen level in your body - for men, that can mean lowered libido, lower energy levels, and weight gain. For women, it can be worse - leading to disrupted menstruation and potentially higher risk for certain cancers.
It doesn’t stop there though - soy is one of the most highly processed foods in the world, with 94% of all total soy crops in the U.S. being genetically modified in some way. Anyone avoiding GMOs should make a point of avoiding soy, as itis often more saturated with pesticides and herbicides than any other crop. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Chemistry found that pesticide residue was as high as 20.1 parts per million in a sample of a soybean crop. For reference, the safe limit set by the EPA is defined as 20 ppm.
You may also hear people say that soy is an excellent replacement for animal proteins - the truth is that there’s really not evidence to suggest so. While it can be just as protein-dense as animal meat, the soy protein amino acid profile is incomplete when compared to other protein sources.
If you’re following a Paleo diet, however, you should already be well aware of how best to avoid soy - after all, it’s a legume, which makes it part of a food group that’s excluded from the Paleo diet. If you aren’t though, avoiding soy can be as easy as avoiding the most common soy-based ingredients like soy lecithin, soy protein isolate, and soybean oil - all of which can be found by looking at the ingredients label. And if you find yourself needing delicious snacks completely free from soy, everything we offer at Caveman Foods is one-hundred percent soy free. Check out the quiz below made by the Caveman team to test your knowledge of soy - and get yourself a 20% off code when you finish!