6 Reasons to Say "See Ya" to Soy Protein
Shopping for nutrition bars can be a lot like car shopping. Seeing 15-20 grams of protein advertised on the sleek, exterior wrapper may look appealing, but it's often equivalent to buying a shiny car without looking under the hood, only to find out when you got home that you bought a lemon.
More important than quantity of protein is the quality of the source. If there are over 10 grams of protein in your bar, the odds are high that soy protein isolate is the protein source. And that's not good.
If we were your run-of-the-mill bar company, we'd likely be using soy protein too; it’s super cheap and we could triple our protein content in an instant, giving us a sneaky marketing boost. But doing so would be a shortcut with a cost to our consumers’ health, and we'd rather fold than do that.
Here are 6 reasons you should steer clear of soy protein:
1. Hormone disruptor – Soy contains phytoestrogens which can increase the risk of infertility, breast cancer as well as decrease testosterone in men. It also contains goitrogens which decrease thyroid hormone production.
2. Poor protein source – The amino acids (building blocks of protein) from soy are more likely to go to the organs than to the muscles for growth and repair. The high heat of processing renders the proteins in soy less effective.
3. Affects nutrient status – Phytic acid in soy impairs the body’s ability to absorb calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc and break down protein. Eating soy can also create nutrient deficiencies and increase the need for certain nutrients.
4. GMO – Most soy (estimates at 94%) has been genetically modified so that when pesticides are sprayed on soybean crops to kill the weeds, the plants aren’t damaged. The scary thing about GMOs is that when we consume them, there’s a chance their DNA can transfer into our gut bacteria and it’s unclear what effect this could have. GMOs have also been linked to increases in allergies, infant mortality, reproductive issues, digestive issues, organ damage and cancer.
5. Chemicals in processing – Chemicals such as ammonia are used in protein extraction. Yum. And don’t get us started on the artificial flavors, sweeteners and other chemicals that are added after processing.
6. Toxic byproducts – Compounds are formed as a result of processing soy, such as nitrosamines, a carcinogen.
In a nutshell, soy messes with your hormones, can contain harmful chemicals and is a poor source of protein.
Do you still wonder why we don’t use soy protein?
For further reading: draxe.com; Ettlinger, S. (2007). Twinkie, Deconstructed. NY: Plume; mercola.com; westonaprice.org