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Why you should avoid soy like the plague

By Dr. Jessica Kanwhen, Pharm.D.

Most people are under the impression that soy is a good, healthy alternative.  People who hit the gym hard may be using soy protein to increase their protein intake. Someone who is avoiding meat may eat tofu as a healthy substitute.  Or you could be chugging soy milk because you want to avoid dairy.  All of these are great reasons! But the unfortunate truth is that your health goals are being shattered by consuming soy products. Here’s why….

Soy lowers Testosterone!

Soy contains compounds that act as phytoestrogens in the human body. They are similar to estrogen and have similar effects in the body.

Consuming estrogen-like products will lower testosterone in both men and women. And we ALL need testosterone, not just the fellas.  Testosterone supports lean body mass.  The more lean body mass that you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be.  When you’re striving to reach a certain weight goal, you want a higher metabolic rate (higher metabolism).

You may be thinking… “What’s the big deal if I have low testosterone?” If you have low testosterone you can having the following issues:

  • Increased body fat/waist size
  • Decreased muscle mass/muscle strength
  • Diminished physical or work performance
  • Loss of bone strength
  • Increased fatigue/more tired than usual
  • Increased joint/muscle pains
  • Low to zero sperm count in men
  • Decreased mental sharpness/poor concentration
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Less enjoyment in personal interests/hobbies
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Loss of emotional well-being
  • Loss of memory
  • Low self-esteem
  • Decreased HDL (HDL is the good, heart healthy cholesterol)
  • Dry, thin skin, with poor elasticity
  • Thinning and dry hair
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Sagging cheeks
  • Sagging skin
  • Thin lips
  • And More!

So when you’re trying to slim down and get buff, the last thing you should be reaching for is a soy protein shake!

Soy can make you fat!

Soy is an allergen and people can be sensitive to soy.  Being sensitive to something produces the same result as an allergic reaction: Inflammation! Oh, The Horror!

Inflammation is terrible for the body.  Not only is inflammation the root cause of every major disease but inflammation can make you fat. Yes, you can be carrying extra weight just because you’re eating inflaming soy products! Some people are having problems losing weight because they’re inflamed. If you’re having trouble losing weight, then you should definitely avoid soy-containing products.

If you’re doing hard-core workouts like CrossFit, then inflammation should be a dirty word for you.  Being inflamed can cause pain and make it a lot harder to complete your WOD like a boss.

So to sum it all up, soy is bad for you. If you want to consume healthy protein alternatives, I highly recommend plant-based protein and bone broth protein. This way you won’t have to worry about lowering your testosterone or accidentally getting fat :).

*Jessica is the pharmacist and Thyroid Specialist at Bethel Pharmacy.  She is a recognized expert for treating hormonal imbalances and is available for paid consultations via phone and Skype.

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