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 Post subject: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Hi, I am new to all this. Husband and I are trying to eliminate meat and dairy, but in quest for new recipes, I have noticed there is a lot of soy involved. I have always heard that soy is bad. I have two young daughters who will also be eating my meals. Is it something I should limit, or is eating daily fine? I just got the Vegan with a Vengenace cookbook, so I am meal planning for next week.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Hi and welcome! You may find this article helpful in answering your questions about soy: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/soy_wth

The short answer is that like everything else, soy is great to enjoy in moderation along with all of your other favorite plant-based whole foods. I enjoy tempeh, which is a fermented soy product, but I also enjoy seitan, which is a great meat substitute made of wheat. Recipes that center around beans or lentils will also be filled with protein and very filling. You could have soy milk every day, or you could explore other non-dairy alternatives if you decide to limit your intake of soy. (My personal favorite is almond milk.)

Vegan with a Vengeance is one of most-used, favorite cookbooks- I think you and your family will really enjoy it. You may also like The Vegan Mediterranean Kitchen, a cookbook filled with fresh, healthy foods with supermarket ingredients and no meat substitutes: http://www.amazon.com/Mediterranean-Veg ... 1557883599

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:47 pm 
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Thanks. I am still searching for all those foods at the grocery store. As a newbie, I only know where tofu is. I stopped dairy all together for myself and picked up some almond milk for cereal, and it is much better then some others I have tried in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:19 pm 
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I love soy. I "limit" it in that I try not to have it for every meal, but I probably have some every day. Especially with soy milk in my cereal. I try to mix it up for dinners with bean or lentil dishes, instead of or in addition to soy products.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:21 pm 
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I don't take the anti-soy mongering too seriously. You want to keep soy in it's most natural (unprocessed) state as possible, but you won't have any problems if you dive into a jar of Vegenaise every now again. And you want to eat soy only in moderation. Both of these can be said for just about any food.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Actually, isn't the protein in soy more bioavailable in some of the more processed soy foods such as tofu and tempeh, than in strait up soy beans?

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:22 pm 
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enmommy wrote:
Thanks. I am still searching for all those foods at the grocery store. As a newbie, I only know where tofu is. I stopped dairy all together for myself and picked up some almond milk for cereal, and it is much better then some others I have tried in the past.



Where do you live? Usually tempeh and other stuff is pretty close to where soy protein lumps are stocked in places like Whole Foods. In more standard supermarkets, they may not have tempeh and seitan may be disguised as "wheat meat" or something like that. Mostly wheat-gluten-based stuff is variants of seitan anyway...

Safeway and other supermarkets around here usually have a vegetarian protein section over near the produce, too.

Seitan isn't too hard to make yourself, though, so if you can get vital wheat gluten you can probably make better seitan than store-bought anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:47 pm 
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i just found out that i have a low thyroid level- not out of normal range, but since i eat dark leafy greens and soymilk daily, as well as a tofu or seitan once or twice a week my nurse practitioner suggested that i limit each of them to one a day since they can interfere with my bodies ability to use the hormone i'm producing. I have been reworking my diet and it shouldn't be a big deal, i switched my nondairy, to almond, i used soy bc we kept it for my son who needs the protein in soy milk. Still, i don't think that you need to eliminate soy unless you or someone you cook for has a sensitivity to it, if you are worried about it being bad for you, zenparenting.com did a great review of the peer reviewed evidence that soy is in fact not dangerous.

Personally, just because i was trying to eat a more whole foods diet, i stopped buying many of the meat analogs, which usually have processed soy in them. I have found that i still have plenty of variety- i cook two different beans a week, and have tofu or tempeh meal one night and make another scratch vegan protein another- it might be a creamy alfredo sauce or seitan.

Since i have a toddler, i try to cook larger amounts of my proteins and use them for several meals. i do beans on Monday and Wednesday and use the first batch in soup one night and in as part of a bowl ala isa then next. the next batch i use in wraps one night and salad the next. I also make burgers with my leftover grains and beans every friday- i heat them up and add some nooch, onion, and whatever spice or flavors i want and a bit of oatmeal or ground flax seed if needed and let it cool into a paste and form into burgers and panfry. my menu planning is kinda along the meatloaf on monday lines, but it gives me a framework to be creative in and we never eat the same thing week after week and i am finding that it keeps me for getting bored of beans, because they are cooked and spiced and made into different textures each time i eat them.

Finally, i also try to make sure we are eating whole grains, which have a higher protein count, we love quinoa, and you can use it in any recipe that calls for couscous or rice and make it a protein meal. since this new development, i have started branching away from rice too, and trying to eat more of other grains with higher protein and amino acids- amaranth, whole spelt and teff are all in the bulk section of my co-op and are reasonably priced (although still a bit more then my old standby brown rice).


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:26 pm 
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There`s an ongoing debate about whether or not soy is healthy for us. I`d simply like to point out two things:
1) Yes, asians eat a lot of soy products, but it`s important to know that most of these soy products are FERMENTED.
2) Vegans tend to eat too much soy, as it`s a very versatile food product and known to be loaded with protein, but it`s not good to have it at every single meal all the time, just like anything else. Moderation is key!
That`s all =)

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:17 pm 
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Wow thanks ladies. Yeah I was thinking I might just pick a different protein every night. It is just learning new recipes I guess. I did find quinoa at the store, expensive stuff. And there is an international market nearby that has bins and bins of different dried beans and lentils (finally found some that I saw in recipes). I live in SE Michigan but pretty far from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, and by far I mean 30-40 minutes, so not out of the question every once and awhile. My store has a Morningstar Freezer Section, and a tofu cooler in the produce section. It was broken this week so I am not sure what other stuff is in that case.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Morningstar stuff often has eggs in it, so watch out for that. I think most of their stuff is vegetarian now, not vegan...

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:46 am 
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I live in the mitten as well and I have a lot of luck getting dried grains and beans at Meijer and specialty items (vegan Daiya cheese! Seitan!) at Kroger. Michigan has gotten super vegan friendly in the last few years. Let me know if you need help finding anything, whether an ingredient or a place to order a vegan birthday cake!

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:38 am 
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I am impressed with Meijer. I found some of the things in the tofu cooler, and then there was a section of Bobs Red Mill that had most of the grains and flours. There was a cheese product in the tofu cooler but it says it includes milk products (??). And I was looking at butter/margarine, and the Willow Run Margarine has 3 grams of trans fat....yikes! Might have to travel for that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:49 pm 
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In moderation I'm sure it's fine. You probably weren't aware how many of your pregan products had soy in them anyway (the stuff is EVERYWHERE). I developed an allergy to soy after about 4 years of being vegan - and I didn't over do it too much because I hated tofu/tempeh and milk was never really my thing though I did like veggie dogs and veggie bacon. However, I was sort of predisposed to it - my mother had a soy allergy as a child. I wouldn't be overly concerned as long as it's not making a constant appearance. There are tons of delicious soy-free recipes if you decide to avoid it but I wouldn't say you have to. However, if you or your family develop painful GI or other allergy symptoms keep in mind that soy COULD be the culprit along with other things like gluten, IBS, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:59 pm 
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I think saying to eat soy in moderation is kind of misleading. when someone says "in moderation" i think of foods that aren't healthy like cookies and candy. I think when people say to eat soy in moderation, what they should be saying is that you should eat it as part of a balanced diet that contains other sources of protein. You don't need moderate your soy, just make sure you get a variety of foods. That is true for every food! you want to get a variety to make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need. it's not that soy is a bad thing that you need to watch out for. Unless you have an allergy or another condition that causes you to need to limit your soy intake. Eating soy daily is totally fine. just not for every meal, you know?

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:03 pm 
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yeah that's sort of what I meant. don't eat veggie bacon for breakfast, tofu stir-fry for lunch, and yves veggie burgers for dinner while drinking soy latte's all day haha. It's good to throw some beans and seeds in there as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:11 pm 
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cool! and i was just sorta speaking generally to the thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:47 pm 
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Ha ha. Thanks!

Ugh....painful GI and other weird symptoms is one of the reasons why I am changing up my diet in the first place. I thought maybe milk was my problem, but never thought about soy. I know gluten isn't the problem because I already went through all those tests.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:32 pm 
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In addition to reducing the risk for breast cancer as mentioned above, soy also provides benefits for preventing prostate cancer, lowering LDL cholesterol, and improving menopausal symptoms. When you add up all the research on soy, there is no reason to think that two servings per day are harmful to most people, and good reason to think soy will provide some health benefits.


That is from Jack Norris, RD.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:18 pm 
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About 6 years ago when I first went vegan I was always hearing the "soy is bad" news...then it seemed to be disprooven (is that a word?) and nobody really mentioned it for awhile. All of a sudden, I am hearing so many things about soy being unhealthy. I see it everywhere now and people I speak to say "yeah, I avoid soy, soy is unhealthy." Whoever started this "soy is bad" propaganda sure did a great job because all of the people I talk to about nutrition just matter-of-factly tell me soy is dangerous. Then they go off and eat a hot dog off the grill. Where is all of this coming from? This has been debunked over and over and over. Soy is unhealthy when you eat processed soy products like isolated soy protein. Edamame, tofu, tempeh, soymilk are minimally processed and are pefectly safe to consume. Someone said above, every bean has phytpestrogens and every plant food has some type of toxin in it. Soy is being targeted because it is processed and put into everything....that is not healthy. But I believe processed soy(soy oil, soy lecitan, soy protein isolate) is different then tofu, tempeh etc etc...

It is such a shame that people think soy is so evil and then think it is perfectly safe to go eat a burger. I just wish it would stop.

Thanks for listening to me rant. I am no expert but I did TRY to research this topic thoroughly. I hope you all can set your friends and family straight about soy. It's just a bean.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Eudemonia wrote:
yeah that's sort of what I meant. don't eat veggie bacon for breakfast, tofu stir-fry for lunch, and yves veggie burgers for dinner while drinking soy latte's all day haha. It's good to throw some beans and seeds in there as well.


That pretty much sounds like a typical day for me. I've never suffered any ill effects, but I do mix it up now and then. I am alternating soy milk with almond milk to cut down on calories a bit. If anyone is going to get a goiter from eating to much soy, it's going to be me, and at least so far it hasn't happened yet. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Bonnie480 wrote:
About 6 years ago when I first went vegan I was always hearing the "soy is bad" news...then it seemed to be disprooven (is that a word?) and nobody really mentioned it for awhile. All of a sudden, I am hearing so many things about soy being unhealthy. I see it everywhere now and people I speak to say "yeah, I avoid soy, soy is unhealthy." Whoever started this "soy is bad" propaganda sure did a great job because all of the people I talk to about nutrition just matter-of-factly tell me soy is dangerous. Then they go off and eat a hot dog off the grill. Where is all of this coming from? This has been debunked over and over and over. Soy is unhealthy when you eat processed soy products like isolated soy protein. Edamame, tofu, tempeh, soymilk are minimally processed and are pefectly safe to consume. Someone said above, every bean has phytpestrogens and every plant food has some type of toxin in it. Soy is being targeted because it is processed and put into everything....that is not healthy. But I believe processed soy(soy oil, soy lecitan, soy protein isolate) is different then tofu, tempeh etc etc...

It is such a shame that people think soy is so evil and then think it is perfectly safe to go eat a burger. I just wish it would stop.

Thanks for listening to me rant. I am no expert but I did TRY to research this topic thoroughly. I hope you all can set your friends and family straight about soy. It's just a bean.

And the hot dog off the grill is probably about 50% soy, because it's cheaper for the producers than meat, but they often ignore that.

Yeah, soy is fine as long as you're not allergic or sensitive to it and you eat a variety of foods. Nom nom tofu.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:11 pm 
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Because of the breast cancer risk in my family and the fact I've had a couple of mammograms in the past that raised concern, my doctor told me to try and limit my soy servings to three a month. While there is no direct evidence linking soy and breast cancer in humans in the things I've read, the theory is that it might act like estrogen in the body, or sumpin, so doc told me to be on the safe side and cut my soy consumption down. I thought it would be challenging to do at first, especially since I don't particularly like seitan so I don't eat that much, either, but cutting down soy hasn't been nearly as difficult as I thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:18 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
Because of the breast cancer risk in my family and the fact I've had a couple of mammograms in the past that raised concern, my doctor told me to try and limit my soy servings to three a month. While there is no direct evidence linking soy and breast cancer in humans in the things I've read, the theory is that it might act like estrogen in the body, or sumpin, so doc told me to be on the safe side and cut my soy consumption down. I thought it would be challenging to do at first, especially since I don't particularly like seitan so I don't eat that much, either, but cutting down soy hasn't been nearly as difficult as I thought.


I would prob. do what the dr. says in your case also. Just to be on the safe side. BUT, what I don't understand is why don't you hear doctors telling omnivores to limit their consumption of dairy products just to be safe. Dairy products are scientifically proven to cause hormonal cancers like breast and prostate. I just don 't get it.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have to limit soy?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Lots of good points. I have noticed the recipes I like using don't really contain soy, so I guess it will not be that hard to limit afterall. I guess I was more worried about my kids getting too much soy since they are the ones that need their milk replaced, and soy is the closet option. My kids don't seem to be drinking 3x8oz of regular milk so I will probably just give them one of soy milk, one of OJ, and assume they get the rest of their calcium from the good food they will be eating.


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