By Steve Martindale on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Most of the bad vibes on soy emanate from the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). This group of zealots is devoted to promoting animal fat as the major food group. The WAPF denies the proven link between high-cholesterol diets and heart disease and promotes the consumption of unpasteurized milk, cream, and cheese, along with lots of eggs.
I eat and drink a fair amount of soy in all its various forms: soy milk, cereal, burgers, tofu, tempeh, faux meat, etc. And I haven’t grown any “man boobs,” my voice is just as deep and raspy as always, and I haven’t lost any muscle mass. But I have noticed that my cholesterol readings are much lower than they were before I adopted a completely plant-based diet. I also have more energy, a healthy heart, and normal blood pressure. Yet I still hear a lot of talk about the supposed health risks of eating soy.
Dr. Neal Barnard is still settling the soy “controversy,” even though it is quite clear that the health benefits of eating soy have been well documented. The phytoestrogens (plant compounds similar to the hormone estrogen) found in soy and other veggies have only minimal impact on the human body, which is why my voice hasn’t changed. In fact, repeated studies have shown that soy has no detrimental effects on fertility for women or potency for men. And soy protein has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, fibroids, and osteoporosis-related hip fractures. None of this should come as a big surprise when you consider that people in China have been enjoying soy for more than 3,000 years with no ill effects. The one note of caution that I found in my research: Soy products may reduce the absorption of some thyroid medications, so if you are taking such meds, it’s a good point to discuss with your doctor.
Given the overwhelming benefits of soy, why is it that we keep hearing scary stories claiming that soy isn’t healthy? Could there be a misinformation machine at work? Well, yes. Most of the bad vibes on soy emanate from the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). This group of zealots is devoted to promoting animal fat as the major food group. The WAPF denies the proven link between high-cholesterol diets and heart disease and promotes the consumption of unpasteurized milk, cream, and cheese, along with lots of eggs. Did I mention that the WAPF also wants you to eat lots of meat? In its special message for vegetarians, the WAPF rails against soy as a source of protein, claiming that nothing can replace good old-fashioned bloody flesh. The WAPF campaign for animal-based diets is full of scientific-sounding gibberish that contradicts reams of well-validated research on the health benefits of a vegan diet—and soy in particular. Too much of a good thing can, of course, be too much. So don’t forget to include other protein-rich foods, such as peas, beans, peanuts, grains, and nuts, as part of a balanced diet filled with plenty of fruits and veggies. Let’s eat!