While soy can be a go-to for anybody with an intolerance to dairy, it’s not rare for people to experience negative side effects that cause them to reevaluate their faithfulness to this legume. The reality is that while soy is often touted as a superfood and is considered a good alternative to dairy in a lot of diets, studies have recently started to suggest that soy products might offer up more harm than good.
For example, over 60 percent of soy products in grocery stores are highly processed and genetically modified. And much of the soy that lines your grocery store shelves hiding in products like canned tuna, burgers, and yogurt, all of which make for some of the unhealthiest ways to consume soy.
Though it’s tough to say once and for all whether cutting soy out of your diet is the right choice for you, here are three things that might happen when you nix the legume.
1. Kiss Those Extra Pounds Goodbye
If you’ve been consistently working out and haven’t been able to shed those extra pounds, the culprit might not be that you’re not exercising hard enough – it might be that you’re just eating too much soy.
Soy can have a tendency block your body transformation thanks to its estrogenic properties that make it harder for you to lose weight, especially if you are dealing with that bothersome belly fat. The high levels of estrogen found in soy can cause bloating, water retention, and fat gain.
So when weight loss is the ultimate goal, it might be a good idea to swap out unfermented soy products for healthy bacteria and more fiber-rich foods.
2. Gain More Control Over Those Wacky Hormones
Soy has been known to be a powerful protein source and a dietary staple in the U.S. but the downside is that soy can cause major hormonal imbalances that might make your mood shift faster than the most hyperactive child on the playground.
This is because soy contains isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogren that’s similar to the chemical structure of the body’s natural estrogen. When you eat lots of soy, isoflavones interfere with the activity of your body’s normal estrogen, leading to reproductive issues. Men could face issues like testosterone imbalance and low sperm count, while women may endure ovarian cysts and autoimmune disorders.
Eliminating soy from your diet, though, can lead to healthier hormones that allow you to better fight those feisty menstrual cramps, reduce hot flashes during menopause, and decrease your risk of impaired fertility.
3. Toast to a Happier & Healthier Lifestyle
Cutting soy out of your diet might not directly lead to a more joyful disposition, but there is one thing that’s definitely true: happiness comes more easily when you don’t have major health concerns invading your thoughts every second of the day.
Just think about it: if you’re constantly running to the doctor’s office to obtain tests and pills for thyroid disorders, breast cancer, brain damage, kidney stones, and other health concerns – all of which research has proven may be soy-related issues – you may not have time to do all the things you love.
Plus, when you indulge in too many soy products, you’re not getting the full range of nutrients and minerals that your body needs to function at its best. Soy contains high amounts of phytates, antioxidant compounds that bind to dietary minerals in the digestive tract and slow their absorption. It also increases the body’s need for Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, and calcium.