|I stopped drinking milk when I was very young. I simply didn’t like the taste and still don’t to this day. It seemed a sin when mom would make cookies to drink water with them, but I simply couldn’t bring myself to drink milk. That all changed the first time I had soymilk – I loved the taste and the texture. However, a couple years later I learned a few things about soy that encouraged me to stop drinking soymilk, or eating soy in general.|
Soy and soy products are often touted as good foods to include in a healthy eating plan. For vegetarians and vegans, soy protein, meat imitation products made of soy, and tofu are all viable alternatives for protein in place of meat.
It is true there are some benefits to soy, including soy as a source of protein. It’s proponents will argue that it lacks the fat of other traditional sources of protein, such as meat, which they would contend is a good thing. However, skipping out on that fat – especially in the case of grass fed beef or wild caught fish, whose fats are filled with health promoting Omega 3 fatty acid – isn’t necessarily a good thing, either. Many health practitioners are coming to agree that fat is a good, even critical, macronutrient for robust health.
Soy is also a bean, or legume. Beans and legumes are not allowed on the Phase 1 diet, but are encouraged in moderation on Phase 2. Legumes in general are fairly health fare, especially as a protein source for vegetarians or vegans. Black beans in particular are very healthy. However, legumes (including soy) run the risk of mycotoxin contamination; this is one of the reasons why soy is disallowed on the Phase 1 diet. Legumes in general posses a higher carbohydrate content than other protein sources. Since Phase 1 seeks to limit carbohydrate consumption in some degree, legumes don’t quite meet the criteria.
Soy is also probably not the best choice as a regular food source for men. Some studies have shown soy to raise levels of estrogen in men. In fact, some men who have regularly used soy as a protein source have experienced some physical level of feminization – not something most men are interested in experiencing. While it may not be in the best interest of men to depend on soy for protein for this reason, some health practitioners have encouraged it for women going through menopause. But because of the potential risk of mycotoxin contamination, the Phase 1 diet still discourages its inclusion in your diet.
There are a number of other options available as replacements for soy products. Try switching to almond milk if you drink soy milk. Coconut aminos can replace soy sauce. Any number of protein sources could replace soy proteins. In short, it is best to skip the soy on any diet.