Is Soy Good or Bad for You?

Soy milk

Is Soy Good or Bad for You?

Increasing numbers of people are turning away from meat and embracing a more plant-based diet, meaning that soy foods are more popular than ever. But just how healthy is this plant protein? Here, I run you through the facts.

 

Soy foods such as tofu, milk, miso and edamame have long been popular ‘health foods’, particularly amongst vegans and vegetarians. They are one of the few good, non-animal sources of protein and are also rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. So, where’s the downside? Headlines and studies over recent years have spiked a backlash, with claims that it can negatively affect your hormone balance, thyroid function and may even increase your risk of cancer. What should we believe?

 

As with many foods, the answer isn’t straightforward. The key to making the healthiest choices is knowing the facts. To help you do that, I’ve highlighted a few positives and negatives, so you can make informed decisions about whether to include in your diet, and which soy foods are the best…

 

SOY: THE GOOD

Soy is nutritionally dense. It’s one of the best non-meat protein sources out there. Vegans have limited choices when it comes to protein sources so tofu and tempeh are relatively healthy alternatives to animal proteins. It is also a good source of fibre, vitamin C, folate and manganese.

 

While headlines suggest soy has been linked to an increased risk of cancer due to the contains isoflavones (more on that later), there has in fact been no study proving such a link, and in fact, consumption has been shown to reduce risk and recurrence of both breast and prostate cancer.

 

SOY: THE BAD

Not all soy products were created equal. In Asia, where it has long been a key part of the diet, products like miso and tempeh are traditionally fermented, far preferable to the processed soy milk and tofu that are more popular in the west.

 

Ambiguity around the safety of soy products due to the high levels of isoflavones (oestrogen-like compounds) found in it can make it hard to make clear decisions. The FDA has made several back-tracks when it comes to the benefits or surrounding the plant protein and heart disease. A small number of studies have shown a link between soy consumption and reproductive problems and thyroid disease but these have all been done on animals, so it seems like we might need some more studies before we can say for sure.

 

THE VERDICT

Soy isn’t a one-stop-shop replacement food for vegans. For example, I would never recommend soy milk over the other dairy-free alternatives on the market. You can see my favourite non-diary milks in my round-up. There are also plenty of vegan protein shakes that provide an excellent way for non-meat-eaters to boost their protein intake.

 

It is a good idea for people with certain health conditions to avoid it, such as those with thyroid disorders. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s a good idea for you to eat it, always check with a qualified nutrition expert.

 

Soy can be a healthy (and safe) food for most people, as long as it’s eaten in moderation. Opt for fermented products over processed options and try to include a variety of different protein sources in your diet.

 



AILSA HICHENS

 

Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.

 

Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.

 

Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.

 

To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

NIKKI ANDRIANI

 

Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.

 

Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.

 

A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

STÉPHANIE ACHAR

Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.

 

Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

 

To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.

INNA WEARN

Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.

 

Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.

 

Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!

 

To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.

ANIA MASON

 

Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.

 

After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.

 

Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 

 

To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.