Let me preface this post by saying that I used to be an avid soy eater. Having gone vegetarian at sixteen and blindly following the advice of the USDA, FDA, ADA and other agencies, I thought I was so healthy. I scoffed at meat eaters. I was such a little jerk. It’s funny, I never made the connection between my “healthy” diet and my declining health. I had rapid weight gain and loss, crazy mood swings, awful periods and horrible skin. Do I really blame soy for this? Hell yes I do! That along with my other vegetarian staples: wheat, sugar, various grains and vegetable oils. I cringe.
It is also interesting to note that soy is one of our biggest cash crops, it is largely grown in the US and according to the USDA, over 94% of it is genetically modified. We know that GMO crops destroy not only our health, but also the health of the environment. These crops are doused with harsh chemicals that seep into the land and end up in the water supply. This ends up destroying entire ecosystems and severely disrupting several others. Last time I checked, my grass-fed meat comes from a farm up the road that actually builds topsoil and provides nourishment for the land. Still think soy is so environmentally friendly?
“After cattle ranching, soybeans are the main driver of Amazon destruction,” said Roberto Smeraldi of Friends of the Earth Brazil. “Today, we have lots of areas being cut down by small holders with the idea of selling them to soybean farmers and in other areas pasture is being converted to soy.” (1)
We have an overabundance of soy, which is exactly why it is marketed as a health food. To drive sales. It’s genius, really. How do you take an unhealthy, cheap and destructive product off your hands? You convince the public that it’s good for them. And is it good for them? Not quite.
Soy oil is one of the most widely used oils. To extract the oil from a soy bean, the bean must be highly processed, beyond recognition as a food. It isn’t a food. Manufacturers use hexane, a neurotoxin to extract the oil. And what’s left is after making this oil is a ton of processed, refined junk. Otherwise known as your healthy veggie burger! Jokes aside, the leftovers go into making mock meats, soy milk, and into almost every junk food. Have you read the ingredients on a box of Oreos, or Funfetti cake mix, or Pillsbury dough? They all contain soy!
Not only is soy processed beyond a food, it is high in phytic acid. Phytic acid is naturally found in many plants and legumes, it inhibits the absorption of minerals like zinc and iron. Soy is also full of trypsin inhibitors. Trypsin is an enzyme secreted by the pancreas that breaks down protein in the small intestine. Thus, vegetarians eating soy for protein are not really receiving the full benefits of protein.

Soy is high in phytoestrogens (even NIH admits it). Phytoestrogens mimic estrogenic effects in the body. Therefore, soy interferes with our natural hormone production. Furthermore, due to the fact that phytoestrogens mimic estrogen in the body, this causes increased cell proliferation, which can lead to cancer; particularly breast or ovarian cancer. (2)

In 1992, Swiss Health Services discovered that eating 100 grams of soy per day provides the estrogenic equivalent of the pill. Which is why soy has been linked to infertility. And this study from Harvard found that men consuming the equivalent of one cup of soy milk per day had 50% lower sperm count than men who did not consume soy (even accounting for other factors like age, caffeine and alcohol intake, etc).
Not to mention that if you’re consuming soy because you think it’s more environmentally friendly, it definitely isn’t. Consider how far it has to travel, how much land is necessary, how much water, how many animals were killed to plow that land. Hell, according the World Wildlife Foundation, in South America, almost 4 million hectares of forests are destroyed every year, 2.6 million of them in Brazil alone. And yes, while majority of it grown for livestock feed – your’e likely also consuming it.
And if you think a veggie burger is healthier than a grass-fed one, just take a look at all these ingredients:
It ain’t even gluten-free! But at least it doesn’t have all that (heart healthy) saturated fat.
This post is part of the Monday Morning Mix-Up. As well as Real Food Wednesday and Whole Foods Wednesday.


  1. Thank you for posting about this; I found it very interesting.
    I, for one, have never been a fan of soy. As a year-round competitive swimmer, I am a firm believer that you need meat and fats (OH NO! ANYTHING BUT THAT!) in order to be healthy.
    Anyone wanna know the secret to how not to gain weight when eating meat?
    Work out. Working out releases endorphins which make people happy and NATURALLY relieve pain. I don't like taking pain medication,even when on my period, because it basically inhibits endorphin effects because your body builds up a sort of resistance to it- thus succesfully blocking the effects of endorphins. Not to mention it KILLS your kidneys. I have friends who take tylenol like candy and I always tell them "I'll really miss you at our high school reunion. They of course have no idea what I mean and when I try to explain they just sit there with a blank look and then complain about how much it hurts. Pain is a state of mind that you can snap yourself out of if you focus.
    Hahaha oops. Long comment. Well, this is what happens when a 16yr old nerdy smart-butt with ADD tries to write a comment about how she thinks soybeans taste bad anyway. Hehe.. Sorry ^.^

    • I love this comment! Meat and fat are not the devils we have been led to believe. And I don’t take pain medication either. However, I wasn’t smart enough not to at 16. Keep up the good work, that’s awesome!

  2. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your blog and in
    depth information you provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information.

    Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  3. While I appreciate this article, you are based in the USA (I assume), so the overwhelming information that you are describing is about soy in relation to GMO. In my country, there is practically no GMO used, and just about every soy product is organic.

    Also, I think it would be good to add in that some soys are not as bad as others. My grandmother is Japanese, and has no illness ; but products such as tempeh, tofu and soy milk are a staple in the Japanese diet. Interestingly enough, the Japanese have much lower rates of breast cancer and other diseases. On the contrary, there are many studies that show that soy can assist in preventing breast cancer.Of course, crap like soy protein isolate, mock meats and hydrogenated soy oils aren’t exactly healthy. And anything with GMO. That’s the problem with the soy debate. Some soy is good, others are not.

    And I don’t think meat is good for the body either. Even if it is organic, free range or whatever, it is highly acidic, contains L-cartinine which converts to TMAO, contains cholesterol +saturated fat, clogs arteries etc. And on what planet do you need meat to be healthy? in fact, I would consider the opposite.

    • dani stout Reply

      “you are based in the USA (I assume), so the overwhelming information that you are describing is about soy in relation to GMO. In my country, there is practically no GMO used, and just about every soy product is organic.”

      I am in the US, but this article was not in relation to GM soy. This is all soy.

      Soy milk is an entirely new product, your grandmother is likely healthy because she grew up on whole foods. Also, I have a family friend that moved here from Japan in the 90s, he said that soy is mostly used as a condiment and not as a main dish, unless people are vegetarian, and that tofu is now on most menus due to the rise of vegetarianism.

      You need to do more research on soy. There is a reason why women with breast cancer are told to avoid soy, and that’s because it is so high in phytoestrogens; we know that increased levels of estrogen are one of the driving factors in developing breast (and other) cancer.

      You also need to do more reasearch on meat. Grass-fed beef is some of the most nutritious food on earth, and is much more nutrient dense than soy (this is simply a fact). Food does not have ANY impact on the acidity of the body, that myth has been debunked time and time again.

      Saturated fat is the good fat, you need to do more research on healthy fats.

      Did you know you would literally die without cholesterol?

      So on what plant do we need meat to be healthy? This one. That is how it’s always been. It is what our ancestors ate, it is what allowed us to evolve and thrive, it is what gave us larger brains. Not eating animal products is extremely detrimental to one’s health.

      • Grass fed beef is one of the most nutritious foods on earth?

        It’s listed by the world health organisation as a group two carcinogen.

        Stop perpetuating outdated soy myths based on pseudoscience.

        Your website has to be the single worst nutrition advice website I have ever come across in my life.

        Biased opinion based articles without any credible peer reviewed sources whatsoever.

        The science is clear on both beef and soy products, actually read the studies on both and remove your blatantly aggressive bias and you might actually absorb information that doesn’t fit in with your beliefs.

        Here’s an article that actually has peer reviewed and credible citations, if anyone wants to see what the truth looks like.


  4. Edgardo Bernabe Reply

    Lucinda the main reason for the clog arteries is hipothyroidism not meat. Dr. Broda O. Barnes(The thyroid God) discover that more than 40 yars ago(You need update your Knowledge) You can not put a Type O blood person on a vegetarian diet the evollution is clear type O needs meat you just check the work of naturopath James D’adamo and Peter J. D’adamo. Diabetes people and hipo people have the same symptoms neuropaties you give them thyroid hormone (natural) and the symptoms disappear. Cholesterol is the mother of all hormones. And obviously when a person have cholesterol high is a thyroid problem(Is better know history than medicine) In the 40 when you go to the MD office whith high cholesterol they know you have a thyroid problem. Uppssss Lucinda soy is a thyroid disruptor in spanish esa mierda jode la tiroide.

  5. Edgardo Bernabe Reply

    UPSSSSSSSS Dr. Barnes in his practice of over 50 years MD PHD discover. When a woman have his thyroid status good they do not have breast cancer and check your vitamin D serum because some experts think breast cancer is a Vitamin D deficiency problem. Hashi and hipo people have a probelm whith D vitamin in the receptors cells. JesuSSSSSSSS save Lucinda and pt the right information in hi brain. Another clue Soy=hipo=breast cancer you do not need be a genius to understand that.

  6. Edgardo Bernabe Reply

    And excuse the bad english my language is Spanish I am from the caribbean paradise Puerto Rico.

  7. Edgardo Bernabe Reply

    If you need understand better you just follow Danis advive and compare with Weston PRice work from the 1930sss Weston Price is considered the Thomas alba Edison of nutrition.

  8. haha! I am so relieved – I thought from the title that you meant that you were eating some soy whenever you ate beef, and I was horrified – that didn’t sound like something you’d do at all…So instead, I see a really good article on the risks we’re exposed to by the scam that has created this glut of soy products! (But I must say the title is misleading, and at the risk of offending, I think you maybe meant “Why I Have A Beef with Soy” ? Maybe?

  9. Nicole Tozier Reply

    As I understand it, fermented soy is ok, when non-GMO. Even good for you. I was forced into a vegetarian lifestyle due to allergies and health problems, and I can’t get enough protein! I was thinking of learning to eat things like tofu, but now…should I not??
    I don’t what else to do! 🙁

  10. Well its funny that you brought up that study about lower sperm “concentrations” because these men did not have a lower sperm count. All the soy did was increase the amount of seminal fluid, while the amount of semen remained the same—>lower sperm concentrations, same sperm count.
    Also we know that 90+% of soy is fed to animals. Furthermore…what about the REAL estrogens in animal products? Also: maybe your vegetarian diet was just deficient? You say you blindly follwed their advice? Do any of them recommend sugar or oil as staple foods? I didnt think so. Did you supplement b12? You didnt mention anything about it after all..

    • dani Reply

      You literally made that up. Did you even bother to read the study or did you just not understand it? Because it clearly states:

      “There was an inverse association between soy food intake and sperm concentration that remained significant after accounting for age, abstinence time, body mass index, caffeine and alcohol intake and smoking. In the multivariate-adjusted analyses, men in the highest category of soy food intake had 41 million sperm/ml less than men who did not consume soy foods (95% confidence interval = –74, –8; P, trend = 0.02)…Soy food and soy isoflavone intake were unrelated to sperm motility, sperm morphology or ejaculate volume.”

      Soy literally lowers sperm count.

      Of course my vegetarian diet was deficient, because all vegetarian diets are. You can only obtain certain nutrients from animal foods. And I did supplement. You can read about it here: https://ancestral-nutrition.com/how-vegetarianism-ruined-my-health/

  11. Pingback: Shakeology: Nutrition Scam & Waste of Money - The Science Of Eating

  12. Pingback: AN UNBIASED REVIEW OF ADVOCARE: Another Unhealthy Weight Loss Scam - The Science Of Eating

  13. Soy has curiously been touted to both prevent and cause breast cancer. This stems from the fact that soybeans contain a uniquely high amount of a group of phytochemicals called isoflavones. Isoflavones from soy have some estrogen-like properties and can act similarly to estrogen in some circumstances or have anti-estrogen effects in other circumstances. Critics of soy claim these estrogen-like properties may be harmful to those at risk for breast cancer, however, the most recent evidence does not point to this. Some evidence has even suggested that soy isoflavones may be beneficial for those with certain breast cancers. Even more compelling research suggests that women who consume soy in childhood and teen years have a lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life. The bottom line here is, at a minimum, we don’t have good evidence to show that whole soy foods are unsafe for healthy women and they may actually have some benefits.

    Sources: https://abeautifulmess.com/2018/02/ask-a-dietitian-is-soy-safe.html

    References: 1. Norris, J., Messina, V. (2011) Vegan For Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet. Da Capo Press. 2. Melina, V., Craig, W., & Levin, S. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116(12), 1970–1980. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2016.09.025 3. USDA National Nutrient Database. Available at https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/ 4. Mishra, B. (2009) Secret of Eternal Youth; Teaching from the Centenarian Hot Spots (“Blue Zones”). Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 34(4), 273-275.


    Wow, if you did actual research you’d know that over 90% of the world’s soy is grown to feed livestock! Livestock is the #1 reason for deforestation! Your lack of facts in this article is very alarming and reckless. Please atop spreading missleading information.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.