Wednesday, 9 January 2013

My troubles with soy

I wasn't sure if I would post on this just yet because I am always sceptical about my food sensitivities, but before Christmas I had a follow up appointment with my holistic nutritionist and she suggested (after a lot of trial and error) that I eliminate soy.  Soy! Seriously??

I took a couple of weeks to follow the advice because I was completely overwhelmed.  I don't eat tonnes of soy - but it was definitely a shift.  I will admit that I love smoked tofu. I eat cubes of it like people eat smoked cheese.  I also eat lots of clif bars and luna bars, both of which are heavy on the soy (and pretty processed but that is a whole other topic).

I haven't been overly adventurous the past two weeks but I have done quite well. I am eating a lot of chick peas, cannelini beans and vega shakes.  To be honest, the hardest part is the energy bars. How did I become this lazy?? I am not sure if ezekial bread with coconut oil makes me any less lazy - but I think it is a bit healthier.  Also,  as those with allergies are acutely aware, there is a lot of hidden soy.  I have not yet been that diligent with label reading. I started with the big stuff first.

So what's the point?

I am not sure if I have talked about it before, but I have some pretty yucky digestive issues.   I also have a milk allergy.  There have been many evenings spent in the fetal position on the floor waiting for the stomach pains to pass.  Becoming vegan was the first change that made a noticeable difference.  I still have some problems with iron and vitamin absorption - but I go for testing pretty regularly.

Recently things weren't that great however, so I have been trying to make tweaks.   So far the soy free approach seems to be working.  I didn't really understand how so I did a little digging.  Here is what I found:


  • The unusable vitamin B12 in soy actually makes the body need more B12.

  • Soy intake increases in the body’s need for vitamin D.

  • Phytic acid in soy reduces the body’s use of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and other important minerals.

  • Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders.

  • The plant estrogens found in soy, called phytoestrogens,disrupt endocrine function


While I am not a researcher or a dietician, I do feel it is important to be informed and I can speak to the positive changes over the past few weeks.

Have you had a similar experience? Did you eliminate or reduce soy significantly. Please share!

Sources:
Ditch the Soy

Dangers of Soy

Studies Showing Adverse Effects of Soy

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