Many people eat and drink soy and soy products. I’m asked questions about soy frequently, so I thought I would address this food.
Soy has many negative effects on health because it is difficult to digest, affects your hormones, and is closely linked to GMOs, pesticides, and harmful processing chemicals.
Soy protein is a complete protein but can be very hard to digest. The Chinese did not eat unfermented soybeans, because they contain quantities of natural toxins or “anti-nutrients” and are high in phytic acid. This means ingesting unfermented soy can prevent the body from absorbing other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and particularly protein.
In China, soy was not used as a food until fermentation techniques were discovered in the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC). When soy is fermented—as in miso, tempeh, or soy sauce—the soy nutrients are more digestible and easier to absorb.
Soy has been linked to gastric distress and pancreatic problems, including cancer, and it can impair our body’s uptake of amino acids.(1) It also contains goitrogens, which are known to suppress the functioning of the thyroid.(2)
Most soy on the market today is from genetically modified (GM) seed. 91 percent of soybeans planted in the United States are GM, and the rate is rapidly growing throughout the world, according to Natural News newsletter.(3)
Dr. Gregory Damato points out that “more than 95 percent of GM soy (and 75 percent of other GM crops) is engineered to tolerate glyphosate herbicide, the most common formulation of which is Roundup. (4)
Recent studies by French scientists on the Toxicity of Roundup and Glyphosate found this herbicide carcinogenic.(5)
They found it:
1. Causes cell cycle dysregulation, which is a hallmark of tumor cells and human cancers.
2. Inhibits DNA synthesis in certain parts of the cell cycle— the cells’ reproductive process, which underlies the growth and development of all living organisms.
3. Impedes the hatchings of sea urchins. (Sea urchins were used because they constitute an appropriate model for the identification of undesirable cellular and molecular targets of pollutants.) The delay was found to be dose dependent on the concentration of Roundup. The surfactant polyoxyethylene amine (POEA), another major component of Roundup, was also found to be highly toxic to the embryos when tested alone, and could therefore be a contributing factor.(6)
These reasons are some reasons why I don’t eat soy if I can avoid it, or any other genetically modified food or non-organically grown food.
I recommend reading more about glyphosate herbicide if you are eating non-certified organic foods.
Be aware that soy is added to tortillas, breads, fake meats, and many other foods, supposedly for the “health” benefit. In my opinion, it is really used as cheap filler.
Health and nutrition expert Dr. Joseph Mercola writes that the advertising industry has misled the public about the safety and health benefits of soy, as well as the widespread use of it in the Asian diet. He states, “A study of the history of soy use in Asia shows that the poor used it during times of extreme food shortage, and only when the soybeans were carefully prepared (e.g. by lengthy fermentation) to destroy the soy toxins.”(7)
He goes on to say that, contrary to some reports in the West, it is not the usual practice in Asian countries to feed soy milk to infants.(8)
Be aware of this when you read food labels that refer to soy’s health benefits, even those that display an FDA statement that soy can help lower the risk of heart disease.
In 2000, two FDA employees, Daniel Doerge and Daniel Sheehan, were so worried about the danger of soy that they wrote a controversial letter to their employer, protesting the positive health claims for soy that the FDA was approving at the time.
There is abundant evidence that some of the isoflavones found in soy—including genistein and equol, a metabolite of daidzen—demonstrate toxicity in estrogen sensitive tissues and in the thyroid. This is true for a number of species, including humans.
Additionally, isoflavones are inhibitors of the thyroid peroxidase which makes T3 and T4.
Inhibition can be expected to generate thyroid abnormalities, including goiter and autoimmune thyroiditis. There exists a significant body of animal data that demonstrates goitrogenic and even carcinogenic effects of soy products.
Moreover, there are significant reports of goitrogenic effects from soy consumption in human infants.(9)
Think carefully about the effects that soy can have on the thyroid (our master gland which affects almost all aspects of our health) and estrogen. Many doctors and nutritionists are soy proponents. Be careful and research this yourself if you are concerned.
A billion-dollar industry advertises soy as the answer to many health issues, from heart disease to weight problems. Soy is frequently touted as the answer to women’s menopause hormone imbalances. This is one of the reasons why so many doctors and older women were happy to embrace it.
Soy and soy-based products contain isoflavones or phytoestrogens, which are plant-based estrogens. Soy is not the only food that contains phytoestrogens. There are other less controversial and more digestible foods with phytoestrogens you can include in your diet.
For men, eating soy isoflavones can significantly reduce testicular function and lower luteinizing hormone (LH) production, which is what signals the testicles to work. A high soy intake which potentially lowers level of LH increases the probability of estrogen dominance in men, contributing to hair loss, swollen and cancerous prostates, and insulin resistance.
Dr. Doris Rapp, MD, a leading pediatric allergist, asserts that environmental and food estrogens are responsible for the worldwide reduction in male fertility.(10)
Soy consumption has been linked with cancer in adults, notably breast cancer, as I read in an article by Jim Rutz. He went on to say:
That’s why the governments of Israel, the UK, France, and New Zealand are already cracking down hard on soy… In sad contrast, 60 percent of the refined foods in US supermarkets now contain soy. Worse, soy use may double in the next few years because (last I heard) the out-of-touch medicrats in the FDA hierarchy are considering allowing manufacturers of cereal, energy bars, fake milk, fake yogurt, etc., to claim that “soy prevents cancer.”
It doesn’t…P.S.: Soy sauce is fine. Unlike soy milk, it’s perfectly safe because it’s fermented, which changes its molecular structure. Miso, natto, and tempeh are also okay, but avoid tofu.(11)
Soy can create allergic reactions. In 1986, Dr. Stuart Berger, MD, placed soy among the top seven allergens, one of the “sinister seven.”
Finally, completely avoid soy protein isolate. It is a byproduct of soybean oil processing that is found in a huge number of vegan foods. A standard soybean contains 40 percent protein, while soy protein isolate is usually about 95 percent protein. But it poses serious health risks.
The processing of soy protein isolate is done mostly in aluminum tanks that leach high levels of aluminum into the product. Then MSG, flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, and synthetic chemicals are frequently added to help get rid of the “beany” taste and add more “meaty” flavor. In animal experiments, the test animals fed soy isolate developed enlarged organs, particularly the thyroid and the pancreas.
After the soybeans—which are mostly GMO varieties—are crushed to extract the oil, the leftover soy “chunks” (which still contain fiber, water, some fat, and other carbohydrates) then undergo another extraction process that involves hexane—a neurotoxin that is also a substantial component in gasoline.
The next step involves soaking these chunks in a chemical mixture (which commonly contains ammonia and hydrochloric acid) to help concentrate protein levels and achieve a sponge-like texture. Finally, the mixture is spray-dried.(12)
Soy protein isolate can only be made in factories. Healthy, whole foods should be possible to make in a kitchen. You can grind your own almond flour at home from almonds. You can make your own seitan (wheat meat) at home. You can make your own rice milk or hemp milk at home with a blender and some whole-food ingredients.
The only way to make soy protein isolate is by using extremely flammable and hazardous chemicals, like hexane, and extreme temperatures that you could not possibly obtain in a kitchen setting.
Hexane is not used in the production of organic soy protein isolate. For a list of which protein bars and soy burgers are made using hexane-extracted soy protein isolates and which aren’t, go to: www.cornucopia.org/hexane-guides/hexane_guide_bars.html.
As I researched soy, I came to seriously reconsider its use. I avoid it in most forms, but I do, however, use organic, non-GMO fermented soy sauce. I also use organic miso and tempeh occasionally. There are alternative organic misos now that are made with brown rice, garbanzo beans, and barley—and they taste terrific. I buy these instead of the soy variety.
In conclusion, I do not recommend soy or soy protein for a healing diet.
If you are going to buy soy, purchase certified organic, sprouted, non-GMO soy because it won’t be from genetically modified seeds. If you must buy soy, purchase sprouted and/or fermented, non-GMO, certified organic soy for a more digestible and less harmful soy protein, and avoid soy protein isolates.
1. Damato, Gregory. (2009, May 27). “GM-Soy: Destroy the Earth and Humans for Profit.” Natural News. http://www.naturalnews.com/026334_soy_Roundup_GMO.htm l#ixzz1RzIZAWwh
2. Fallon, Sally, & Enig, Mary G. (2000, April–May). “Newest Research on Why You Should Avoid Soy.” Nexus, 7(3). http://www.eregimens.com/therapies/Diet/Soy/NewestResearc honwhyYouShouldAvoidSoy.htm
3. Damato, Gregory. (2009, May 27). “GM-Soy: Destroy the Earth and Humans for Profit” Natural News. http://www.naturalnews.com/026334_soy_research_Roundup.h tml
5. Mercola, Joseph. (2012, June 9). “New Evidence Against These Cancer-causing Foods – and the Massive Cover-up Effort.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/09/mons anto-roundup-found-to-be-carcinogenic.aspx
6. Bellé, R., et. al. (May 9, 2012). Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews, 15(4): 233-237. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10937404.2012.67 2149
7. Mercola, Joseph. (2009, January 9). “Learn the Truth About Soy. Just How Much Soy Do Asians Eat?” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/01/09/truth-about-soy.aspx
9. Sheegan, Daniel M., & Doerge, Daniel R. (1999, February 18).Letter to Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305). The letter was posted on ABCnews.com as “Scientists Protest Soy Approval.”
10. Bellatti, Andy. “You Ask, I Answer: Soy Protein Isolate.” Medpedia. Belatti is a commenter on the original article by Kelsey Lepp. http://smallbites.andybellatti.com/you-ask-i- answer-soy-protein-isolate/
11. Rutz, Jim. (2006, December 12). “Soy is Making Kids ‘Gay’.” WND Commentary. http://www.wnd.com/2006/12/39353/
12. Cousens, Gabriel. (2008). There Is a Cure for Diabetes. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
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I love the tradition of sharing a meal with family and friends on an annual basis. For this reason, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.
The American Thanksgiving is a traditional meal inspired by the pilgrims. The original feast was probably shared sometime in the fall, possibly in October, with the Wampanoag first nation’s people. Thanksgiving did not become an annual federal holiday until 1941, and what we have come to know as our traditional meal of turkey and fixings has evolved over time.
Thanksgiving often involves a number of rich, savory foods, creamy dips and fried foods. And yet, these foods don’t always make our body feel at it’s best. So, here are a few ingredient or food choice tips that can make our dishes healthier to share with beloved family and friends.
When making or serving snacks, dips can be a healthy high protein hummus or guacamole. Cutting some cucumber, red bell pepper or celery to use as the dipping chips is a great choice! If you want to serve crackers or chips, try using a whole grain, sprouted, organic version.
A potato dish can be made with sweet or purple potatoes in place of white potatoes. Use a high quality, organic butter or use organic ghee or coconut oil as the healthy fat to mix into it when mashing them up to cook or to cut up and bake as fries. Sweet potatoes are delicious and high in fiber and beta-carotene.
When preparing a turkey, try using a little orange juice and coconut oil to add moisture to the turkey, and try baking it instead of frying it. If you are baking, frying or sautéing anything, use organic, pure coconut oil in place of lard, vegetable oil or a trans fat like Crisco. It handles heat well and has fantastic health benefits.
For other types of animal, fish or fowl, you can grill, broil, or sauté them in a little coconut oil. After you remove it from the heat, you can drizzle some pure, organic, extra virgin olive oil on it and serve with lemon juice or a lemon juice vinaigrette. When dining, choose skinless, white meat pieces and then add just a tiny bit of gravy.
For a healthy stuffing, try making one with organic sprouted rice or even wild rice. Then, bake your stuffing in a separate dish instead of cooking it inside the turkey where it can absorb a high amount of high saturated fat from the meat.
When making corn bread stuffing, purchase the non-GMO, organic cornmeal (which is free of the bT toxin). If you are feeling brave, try using blue cornmeal which is about 30 percent higher in protein and has more zinc and iron than white or yellow corn
Now for dessert, try making a pumpkin pie! You can make a whole sprouted grain crust yourself or you can find a whole grain ready-made crust at the store, and make my cashew crème recipe as the whipped cream for the topping.
Try using non-dairy milk in your recipes or for your coffee creamer.
If you want it to be sweeter, blend the milk (like the unsweetened, vanilla coconut or hemp milk) with a little extra added vanilla or maple extract in a blender and add some pitted dates (I soak them in water to make them softer, so they will crème up easier) and voilà! You have a healthier version of a sweet, holiday creamer for your coffee or desserts.
For snacks, try serving combinations of organic, sprouted nuts, sprouted seeds and raisins.
With these ingredient substitutions, you can still eat all the delicious flavors you love while enjoying a number of health benefits.
In this way, you can feel and look your best as holiday activities continue on into December. Instead of regretting what you ate, you will glow with radiant health as you welcome the New Year of 2016!
The vegetarian diet goes way back in time. It was recorded in the sixth century by the Greeks. Today, many people are becoming vegetarian to lose weight, health, environmental, or ethical reasons.
Studies show that people on healthy vegetarian diets have lower risks of:
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., former president of the medical staff at the Cleveland Clinic, writes that you can reverse heart disease with no drugs and only a plant-based diet. He bases this conclusion on the groundbreaking results of his 20-year nutritional study. Backed by solid scientific evidence, he argues that we can end the heart disease epidemic simply by changing what we eat. Dr. Esselstyn recommends a plant-based, oil-free diet that he says can prevent heart disease, stop its progress, and even reverse its effects.
The late Walter Kempner, MD, founded the Rice Diet. He advocated a diet of rice, fruit, and vegetables on the basis that it has the power to do miraculous things for people and help them gain back their health. He treated hundreds of people at Duke University where he prescribed a diet of rice, vegetables, and fruit that reversed hypertension, diabetic eye changes, heart failure, kidney failure, and obesity.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD, professor emeritus at Cornell University and co-author of The China Study, the most comprehensive human nutrition study to date, advocates a plant-based diet for optimum health. I was fortunate to be part of Dr. Campbell’s class at Cornell University, where he told us:
Plant-based eating is a superior way of eating. Benefits of eating this way: Live longer, look and feel younger, have more energy, lose weight, lower blood cholesterol, prevent and even reverse heart disease, lower your risk of prostate, breast and other cancers, preserve your eyesight in your later years, prevent and treat diabetes, avoid surgery, vastly decrease need for pharmaceutical drugs, keep bones strong, avoid impotence, avoid stroke, prevent kidney stones, keep your baby from getting type 2 diabetes, alleviate constipation, lower your blood pressure, avoid Alzheimer’s, beat arthritis and more.
Dr. Campbell discussed studies he had done on the diseases that arise in populations when meat protein is introduced into the diet. He continued:
My early research gave me the understanding that animal protein, when tested experimentally, was substantially different from plant protein in its ability to promote tumor development. It turned out that animal protein had its effect by operating through a constellation of integrative mechanisms. The division between animal and plant foods was a signpost of a division of the kinds of foods having an effect on cancer.
In Dr. Campbell’s class on plant-based nutrition, I learned of many studies that prove it is possible to be healthy or overcome illness on a plant-based diet. Recently, one study conducted by a team of American and Japanese researchers showed that people who have diabetes can vastly improve their health by eating an entirely plant-based diet. More than 100 million people today have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
The study’s findings agree with my experience. Working with people who have diabetes, I have found they show remarkable improvement in their health and well-being from consuming a plant-based and almost completely raw food diet.
For that study, the researchers also undertook a new meta-analysis—which is considered the highest level of scientific evidence—in which they compared six significant prior research studies. The researchers found a plant-based diet significantly improved blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes, and specifically in a key indicator of blood sugar control called hemoglobin A1c. The participants’ results improved as much as 1.2 points, which was greater than the effect of typical oral diabetes medicines.
The study also combined the results of all of the available studies. It indicated the benefits of excluding dairy (including cheese), eggs, and meat from the diet was as much as 0.7 points in some studies, averaging 0.4 points overall. The participants in most of these studies were not required to reduce their calorie or carbohydrate consumption.
I’ve learned everyone needs to find the diet that works best for them, and find balance in their life. I also know that the quality of the food we eat is vital. From my studies, I believe an organic, plant-based diet can benefit your health, and even heal your body.
Order my new Best Selling Book, for the best information on becoming vegetarian to lose weight in a healthy way and make it a healthy lifestyle and this book has the best vegetarian recipes that can help this eating plan taste delicious as well!
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“How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian” is an excellent book. Having had the opportunity to assist and promote health and nutrition with world-class athletes over the last 25 years; it is my opinion that Nancy Addison’s book is a formula for high-level performance in our daily lives. I can’t imagine a more informative book for the person looking to improve their health. The chapter about sugar is the most complete information available. Nancy is an expert in Nutrition. What you put on the end of your fork is more powerful medicine than anything you will find at the bottom of a pill bottle.”
Gary L. Massad M.D.
-First National Corporate Medical Director and founder of Occupational Health Centers in America. Attending physician to the Iron Man Hawaii; Attending Physician, United States Triathlon Association; Attending Physician United States Tae Kwon Do Association, Attending Physician United States Cycling Federation.
“How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian – wonderful book!!
Finally, a book that I can recommend to my patients without reservation. It is concise, well-written, and easy to follow.
Patients and consumers alike are inundated with the number of books, articles, and marketing that surround our eating habits.
This book easily puts the fundamental concepts into one place that anyone can understand and utilize. The recipes are tasty and can be made with relative ease.
For anyone wanting to make a positive and healthy change in their eating habits and their health this is the book for you!”
“I have just finished reading Nancy Addison’s book “How To Become A Healthy Vegetarian.” It is well written, compelling and informative. The health benefits are indisputable. Nancy, being a gourmet chef as well as nutritionist provides some recipes that clearly explain why Nancy’s dinner guests are pleasantly surprised to indulge in a meatless meal. I found Nancy’s book interesting, well researched as well as a fun read that might be very helpful to anyone who would like to be a healthy vegetarian!”
-Louis P. Brady M.D.
 Brown University. “Being a Vegetarian: What are the Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet?” Retrieved from http://brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/nutrition_&_eating_concerns/being_a_vegetarian.php#4
 Esselstyn, Caldwell B., Jr. (2008). Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure. Avery Trade.
 McDougall, John. “Nutrition in the Medical Clinic Part III” lecture. Plant-Based Nutrition. eCornell University.
 Campbell, T. Colin. (2010). “Principles of Nutritional Health. Plant-Based Nutrition.” eCornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation.
 Yokoyama, Y., Barnard, N.D., Levin, S.M., & Watanabe, M. (2014, October). “Vegetarian Diets and Glycemic Control in Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Cardiovascular Diagnosis & Therapy, 4(5), 373–382.
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This book gives vegetarians the power of healthy choices and assists them in creating long-term, sustainable, and life-enhancing strategies for being a healthy vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist. In this book, #1 bestselling Author Nancy Addison inspires, motivates, and teaches easy-to-implement suggestions for leading a nutritious lifestyle. She also offers incredible insight into health and wellness for people of all ages. The book includes over 110 easy recipes, many of which are gluten free, raw and vegan! Get your copy of “How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian” Second Edition today!
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“How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian“2nd edition is an excellent book. Having had the opportunity to assist and promote health and nutrition with world-class athletes over the last 25 years; it is my opinion that Nancy Addison’s book is a formula for high-level performance in our daily lives. I can’t imagine a more informative book for the person looking to improve their health. Nancy is one of the top nutrition experts I’ve ever known. What you put on the end of your fork is more powerful medicine than anything you will find at the bottom of a pill bottle.”
– Gary L. Massad, M.D. FACOM, FAASM, FAC, LM. Past attending physician to the 1984 and 1996 Olympic Games, attending physician to United States Cycling Federation, USTAA, and USMAA
Addison is a Dallas native and raised her two children on an organic, whole-grain, vegetarian diet.
“Eat like a cow and you’ll be as strong as an ox!” – Nancy Addison
Do you want to know quick easy vegetarian recipes? This book has over 115 quick vegetarian meals, extensive information and recipes for protein rich foods for vegetarians, information about probiotics, the thyroid, and extensive amount of other importanit information you will be thrilled to read about. Because this book is about being healthy. Making this lifestyle easy and healthy.
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For all of you looking to the weekend or any other fun summer get-togethers, where you are firing up the barbecue grill; it is important to know a few tips to protect you and your friends and family, from the potentially dangerous chemicals that grilling meat can create.
“Grilling, frying, broiling, and other cooking methods that expose meat to extremely high temperatures, creates potential cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs).
This is especially true when the meat is charred or overcooked.
Moreover, when fat drips on the heat source, the plumes of smoke can coat meat with other dangerous chemicals.
The worst offenders are fatty, well-done beef, pork and lamb, but even poultry and fish produce HCAs when seared.”
If you love grilling, here are a few ways to reduce the dangers:
• Buy lean types of meat and trim off all visible fat.
• “Marinate meat. Researchers have found that this can decrease HCAs by more than 90 percent. Use combinations of beer, cider, vinegar, citrus juices, mustard, herbs, and brown sugar.”
• Precook meat in an oven, and then finish on the grill.
•Try using a lower heat. Don’t put the meat right over the fire. Put the meat to the side of the grill where the heat isn’t as hot.
• Turn the meat more frequently, and grill the meat just until it is cooked and safe to eat. Don’t cook it until it is charred. You can use a meat thermometer to check and make sure it is done.
• Avoid breathing in smoke, which also has risks.
• Veggie burgers, seitan (a protein-rich food made of wheat gluten, used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes),
Portobello mushrooms and vegetables have little or no formation of HCA’s when grilled.
Try going vegetarian once in a while! It tastes good, and is good for you!
Resources and quotes are taken from the Berkeley Wellness Alert University of California - 5/24/2011
My son, Gibbons, makes delicious sandwiches during the summer. Sometimes he grills and sometimes he roasts his veggies. I like mine to have only sliced and grilled portobello mushrooms.
This recipe is great any of those ways!
When preparing the veggies, slice them about 1/4 of an inch thick. You don’t want them too thick.
This recipe makes one serving.
1 whole-grain pita bread, warmed
½ zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
¼ c. red or yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
½ c. hummus
1. Heat the grill.
2. We put our veggies in a grilling rack that is then placed on the hot grill. The rack is optional.
3. Grill the vegetables 10 to 15 minutes, until they are slightly soft and
warm. Then remove from heat.
4. Spread hummus in the warm pita bread.
5. Lay slices of grilled vegetables in layers inside warm pita bread
on top of hummus.
1. Coat vegetables with a little coconut oil and sea salt before
grilling for a richer and moister flavor.
2. Add slices of portobello mushroom, for a meatier flavor and texture.
3. Substitute sliced avocado or mayonnaise for hummus.