Welcome everyone to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health. 

As many of you know, Performance Medicine has a LIVE Q&A every Tuesday night at 7pm. This show is the epitome of what’s on people’s minds when it comes to their health. Hop on any social platform (Tuesday nights, 7pm) and you will see what I mean! One concern that keeps coming up in the show is the controversy around SOY. Is it bad? Will it lead to cancer? What about SOY and heart disease, neurologic problems, insulin resistance, (etc., etc.)? 

Great questions, all of which led me down the rabbit hole of “SOY?”. I hope you will take a few moments to check out this podcast on YouTube and Spotify, and afterwards, you can decide for yourself if it’s good or bad. Let’s dive in!

PODCAST NOTES

  • Soybean oil is very common in the United States, but it contains high levels of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can break down into harmful free radicals during temperature processing. 
  • High consumption of soybean oil is linked to several health issues including cancer, weight gain, diabetes, liver abnormalities, hormonal disruptions, and neurologic problems. 
  • Healthier cooking oil alternatives (with low smoke points) include coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and grass-fed butter. Smoke points are the temperatures at which oils break down and produce smoke (with higher smoke points leading to more free radicals and carcinogens being released during cooking). Eating burned foods is not good for you (think carcinogenic). 
  • Soy protein isolate and concentrate, byproducts of soybean oil extraction, are often used in processed foods and should be avoided. These ingredients are found in many soy protein smoothies, energy bars, and meat alternatives like Impossible Burgers. If you see this ingredient, avoid it! 
  • Soy is very estrogenic. Soy contains isoflavones, which convert into phytoestrogens in the body, potentially disrupting hormonal balance. It’s particularly high in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the U.S. 
  • When choosing meat alternatives, Beyond Burgers are a better option than Impossible Burgers. Beyond Burgers are based on pea protein rather than soy and contain fewer harmful ingredients, although they still contain canola oil. 
  • Fermented soy products like natto, miso, and tempeh are healthier compared to non-fermented products like tofu. Fermented soy is easier on the gut and commonly consumed in Japan, which correlates with longer life expectancy. 
  • Although some argue that plant-based meats are better for the environment, they are not necessarily healthier due to their highly processed nature, and the presence of inflammatory oils.  

The debate will always be there. A lot of it depends on who funds the studies. Always follow the money with stuff like this, but understanding the impact of soy and soybean oil on our health is crucial. While it’s easy to get caught up in the debates and conflicting studies, it’s vital to be cautious about what we’re consuming, especially when it comes to processed foods and seed oils. 

If you don’t want to eat any meat, I think pea protein is the best option. It’s Non-GMO, rarely sprayed with glyphosates, and it’s usually organic and less allergenic. Personally, I like grass fed beef, wild caught fish, organic fruits and vegetables. 

As always, I encourage you to do your own research. Experiment, see how you feel, and do what’s best for you. Remember, YOU are the most important person in healthcare.

Stay educated. Stay healthy.

Till next week.