The Soy Controversy

There has been a lot of talk about soy and whether or not it is safe. If you searched Wikipedia, you would see that the American Cancer Society, the Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research, The FDA, The New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Heart Association have varying claims about the impact of soy on our bodies. Most major assiciations agree that it is safe, but don’t necessarily agree about it’s benefits. So is it good for you, not good for you, or both? Well, it depends on who you ask.

Here are some good things we know. Soy has a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids, which is great, and many studies show that it helps reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol). Plus, Asian countries with diets high in soy have lower rates of breast cancer. So can we conclude that soy reduces cancer risk, takes care of our hearts, and improves cognitive function? Well, maybe. But more long-term studies need to be done and not all experts fell that these claims will be proven true.

Dr. Oz likes soy. He says it doesn’t cause cancer and may prevent it. He says it is good for your heart, contains high levels of healthy protein and fiber, and that it does not affect thyroid function in those with a normal thyroid (I didn’t even know that one was in debate). Does that mean it’s safe for you? Well, unless Dr. Oz is your doctor, you cant go by him 100%.

Our lives are full of choices, and the only way to make smart ones is to educate ourselves. Do the rewards outweigh the risks? Is any risk too great? Is the risk real or perceived?

At Kombu Kitchen we believe that there are many great health benefits to soy. Chef Kristen is a breast and ovarian cancer survivor who chose to have a double mastectomy and hysterectomy to ensure that she was cancer free. She knows about the soy/estrogen and breast cancer debate, and she still eats soy! For her, moderation is key. She believes that there are many health benefits to soy and that it is an important part of a vegan diet. However, since more information is needed, she decides that some intake is good, but not too much…

She prepares menus at Kombu with that in mind. Soy is used in some dishes, but not the majority. She uses her knowlege, best judgement, and a variety of plant-sourced proteins in her diet and for Kombu meals. But in the end, what is best for you is up to you to decide. Pay attention to your body and how it feels when you eat particular foods, and do research so you are making informed choices. Here, at Kombu, we will continue to educate ourselves in all areas of health and wellness, feed you as we do our own families, and be a trusted resource to help you making the best decision you can about the food you eat.

By Kristen Thibeault


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