In Nutrition

Why Not Soy? 

There was a time when soy was thought to be the miracle solution for estrogen dips that occur with menopause. A smarter and closer look says otherwise.

High levels of soy in your diet reduce levels of adiponectin- a hormone involved in regulating blood sugar and fat levels. The increases the chance your body will store fat rather than burn it for fuel.

I shutter to think back 15 or more years working with a woman going through menopause who was convinced that soy, soymilk, soy nuts, were the right choice for boosting her estrogen during this phase of life. She suffered terribly from hot flashes, but couldn’t be convinced to drop soy.

Soy can also make additional fat cells.

It’s no surprise now that my client struggled with losing weight – likely not simply attributed to her travel and social calendar. You have to look at the evidence, or the lack of it, when you’re considering the impact of foods.

So we’re talking goodbye to edamame, miso soup, soy sauce, and tofu. That’s not all though. Check your labels for soy lecithin (its everywhere), soy protein powders, mayonnaise, and chocolate bars.

One More Big Fat Liar

Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG, is a menacing flavor enhancer that is in most processed and packaged foods. It’s a part of the reason you can’t eat just one. So the yummy flavor that is likely laced with artificial colors, flavors additives and preservatives also has this going for it: it causes Leptin resistance. That means no fullness.

It’s why you can polish off the bag of chips so easily and claim you otherwise don’t have much of an appetite. The MSG makes them irresistible and nothing is telling you your tank is full. Then you get insulin secretion. Insulin is a fat storage hormone that drops blood sugar and makes you hungrier faster. After such flavorful treats as chips you’re going to go back for more high flavor, highly addictive tastes.

MSG can be in many foods and it can be masquerading until the following aliases:

  • Glutamate
  • Glutamatic acid
  • Magnesium glutamate
  • Monoammonium glutamate
  • Monopotassium glutamate
  • Textured protein
  • Yeast extract
  • Soy isolate

Read your labels carefully. It’s becoming both harder and easier. Foods that are known allergens like wheat have to be noted. Foods that aren’t yet can use another name (case in point, the list above and the long list of artificial sweeteners).

The safest bet? Is and always has been to eat foods that were recently alive as close to where they were grown as possible. Enjoy a halleluiah for fewer casseroles and the ease of creating meals with lean protein and a variety of raw and cooked vegetables.

Got a food concern? Share it and we’ll continue the discussion in a future blog.

~Debra


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