We may know someone who strives to be healthy—being active and eating the right food but often complains of being tired all the time, has unexplainable cravings and is gaining weight. These people (yes, this might include you) believe that soy milk, which is vegan, would be part of a healthy diet. It’s plant-based after all!
Soy milk, a plant-based beverage made from soybeans by soaking, grinding, boiling, and filtering the mixture, is one of the most popular milk alternatives today. People have been switching to lactose-free options since more people are becoming lactose intolerant—a condition making them incapable to properly digest lactose in cow’s milk, which can lead to issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Is soy milk good for you?
The answer is no. In conventional farming practices, 94% of total acres are used for growing GMO soybeans. These beans are being sprayed with different chemicals that pose huge health risks. These includes:
Chronic kidney disease
Increased risk of breast cancer through estrogen receptors
Increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Disrupted endocrine signalling systems
The handling process of soybeans alone is risky. Another factor to watch out for is that soybeans have several additives mixed with them, such as carrageenan, a substance used to thicken foods. Carrageenan causes gastrointestinal ulcers and abnormal tissue growth (neoplasms) in animal models.
Lectins, carbohydrate-binding proteins that are classified as anti-nutrients and serve as deterrents, are abundant in soybeans. Particular lectins found in soybeans can decimate gut health by affecting the intestinal structure, barrier function, mucosal immune system, and balance of intestinal flora.
Soy has the highest levels of enzyme-blocking, mineral-binding phytates of any legume. Phytates block the absorption of zinc, iron, calcium, selenium, and other minerals when consumed by humans.
Soy can be healthy as long as what you’re eating is organic and properly fermented. You should always read the product’s label when purchasing to ensure the safety of the food you are consuming. Regular soy products, including soy milk, are out of the question.