Soy milk has recently come into mainstream culture, much to the chagrin of nutritionists and health experts everywhere. While it is often touted as being the healthier choice when it comes to buying milk, that notion could not be further from the truth.
In an effort to join the health revolution, many households have switched over from dairy milk to soy milk. Unlike milk from a cow, soy milk contains no lactose, so for people who avoid dairy, like vegans or those who have a lactose intolerance, soy milk seems like a good choice. Fortified soy milk is even a good source of protein, iron, B vitamins and calcium, while being low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Sounds good on the surface, right? The only problem is that research has shown that consuming soy milk can put your health in serious danger.
Here are the top six reasons to avoid soy milk:
1. Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. It's a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals – calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and especially zinc – in the intestinal tract.
2. About 99% of soy is genetically modified, so it contains one of the highest pesticide contamination levels.
3. The soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or "antinutrients." First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.
4. These inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking. They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.
5. The vitamin D that nature intended for us is D3. Vitamin D3 is the bio-avaiable form of the vitamin found in food sources such as grassfed dairy and cod liver oil. When we are exposed to sunlight, our bodies also produce the form of D3. Vitamin D2 is a synthetic and isolated form of the vitamin and, as a result, is extremely poorly absorbed (here’s the study). It offers no viable benefit to the body and may actually be harmful (source). Further, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Mother Nature paired foods rich in vitamin D with the healthy fats which are required for the absorption of this nutrient. For example, yolks from pasture-raised hens are a good source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2. The beneficial saturated fats found in the egg yolks allow the body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.
6. Fragile soy proteins are exposed to high temperatures during processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein. This makes them dangerous for human digestion.