Is soy beneficial or not for one's diet?
Soy has been a controversial topic of discussion with its benefits and consequences. False claims about soy, such as that soy mimics estrogen, have also made it controversial. While it is true that some studies may claim that such health consequences result from the consumption of soy, the majority of others find them to be false. Instead, soy’s nutrient content and many health benefits make them very beneficial for one’s diet.
Many claims have been made about the consequences of consuming soy and soy products. Some of these claims have been that soy mimics estrogen, there is a risk of cancer by consuming soy, soy impairs thyroid function, and reduces the production of testosterone. While it is true that soy and estrogen have similar structures, soy has weaker and slightly different effects than estrogen and the similarities between them are not fully understood. Most studies also find no correlation between the consumption of soy and cancers. In fact, The Dieticians of Canada believe that those who have had breast cancers sensitive to estrogen can consume soy. Solely animal studies find that soy impairs thyroid gland function, while human studies find no correlation. Human studies do not find that soy reduces the production of testosterone either. These false claims find the negative effects of soy minimal, instead, soy is found to be very healthy and useful.
Soy is necessary for good health, being linked to lower blood sugar levels, improved heart health, and possibly lowering the risk of cancers. It contains all of the essential amino acids and contains an abundance of plant fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is also a natural source of polyphenols especially isoflavones, protecting the body against cell damage. Eating a lot of soy reduces LDL cholesterol levels by 2–3% and raises HDL cholesterol by 3%. Those with heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes will find many benefits by consuming soy. However, the benefits vary from individual to individual.
Those who are healthy and do not suffer from illnesses can consume soy and soy products with virtually no consequences. Soy is mainly in products like baked goods, canned broth, canned tuna and meat, cereals, frozen dinners, high-protein energy bars and snacks, ice cream, infant formula, baby foods, and cereals, which can be consumed freely for those not suffering from illnesses. However, consuming pure soy really depends on the health needs of someone and the medical advice given to them by a doctor.
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