I heard rumors about soy growing up, and I didn’t super buy into them, but I didn’t not believe them, either. It seems like there’s always been some confusion about soy.

Sounds like a job for … research! I discovered that most of the rumors I’d heard hadn’t been substantiated and were really just myths that got passed around by people who didn’t have any knowledge of their origin or validity.

And I found out that most of the misinformation about soy comes from the Weston A. Price Foundation, which I won’t get into much here, but that organization hasn’t produced a single peer-reviewed study to back up its claims that soy is unhealthy. It also promotes consuming raw cow’s milk, meat, and other foods high in saturated fat. ?

 So, are the myths true? Soy for yourself:

1. Soy does not give you “man boobs.” Yes, soy contains a form of plant estrogen called isoflavones, but these phytochemicals aren’t the same thing as human estrogen. They’re natural, nonsteroidal compounds sometimes called phytoestrogens, which are also found in flax seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, peanuts, beer, and more. Nothin’ to be afraid of! Meat on the other hand … ?

It’s a little complicated but interesting: Even though soy isoflavones have properties similar to human estrogen, evidence suggests that they actually have beneficial anti-estrogenic effects in breast tissue, while also having beneficial estrogen-mimicking effects in bone tissue. Soy is sort of … magical! ✨?✨

Also, clinical studies show that it doesn’t make people more feminine, reduce sperm count or degrade the quality of sperm, or lower testosterone levels. In fact, studies indicate that soy can help fight prostate cancer.

2. Soy is not an inferior source of protein. It’s a source of complete protein because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. And it’s loaded with it! Per cup, tofu has 20 grams of protein, raw soybeans have 68 grams, and tempeh has 31 grams. And no, you’re not settling for lower-quality protein—the type found in soy is superior to animal-derived proteins. ?

Animal “products” are the main cause of raised levels of the insulin-like growth factor IGF-1 in our blood, which is strongly linked to an increased risk of cancer. Soy in its pure form doesn’t cause this elevation.

IGF-1 is a cancer promoting growth hormone. Animal protein; dairy, meat, eggs, will drastically increase the levels of IGF 1 in your bloodstream. The more I learn, the more angry and scared I get that I’ve learned more about health and nutrition from just one year of being vegan than I ever did in all my years growing up. I had a massive mucinous ovarian tumour 9 years ago, weighing over 6lbs. I’ve always been curious about why and how. Dairy is mucus forming. Just one of the reasons that led me to finally cut out dairy, meat and eggs after years of being on/off vegetarian #IGF1 #cowsmilk #vegan #cancer #growthhormone #animalprotein #protein #dairyisscary #ovariancyst #ovariancancer #mucinous #mucus #mucusforming #breastcancer #prostatecancer #nutritionfacts #thechinastudy #forksoverknives #whatthehealth #veganism #worldhealthday

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A 2009 meta-analysis indicated that higher soy intake was actually associated with a 26 percent decrease in prostate cancer risk. It has also been linked to a decreased risk of lung, stomach, and colorectal cancers. You know what is linked to colon cancer? Meat.

3. Try as you might, it’s very hard to avoid soy completely. It’s used widely in almost every processed food. Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved, wrote that soy is found in nearly 75 percent of products on supermarket shelves and in nearly 100 percent of fast food.

Even if you typically avoid processed foods, guess what: The animals whose flesh or secretions you’re consuming were probably fed … SOY.

Soy has been on the menu for 5,000 years and it’s not going anywhere, so—unless you’re allergic—you may as well embrace it. Go on, give it a big hug.

4. Soy does not cause or worsen breast cancer. Research shows that soy doesn’t promote breast cancer and that women diagnosed with it who eat soy regularly actually see more improvement than women who avoid it. There’s also ample evidence that it can lower the risk of breast cancer and other cancers.

In Asian countries, where soy is a staple food, breast cancer rates are much lower than those in the United States—which launched hundreds of studies back when the connection between the two was first investigated, and not one of them has suggested that soy is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in humans. In fact, most of the studies show a decrease. You know what is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer? Dairy. Vive le soy milk!

5. Not all soy is genetically modified. If you eat soy products that are certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you should be good to go. Its standards prohibit the use of GMOs as part of its certification.

Speaking of government agencies: Soy doesn’t haven’t any cholesterol, and there are decades of studies showing that eating it reduces LDL (the “bad” cholesterol). The Food and Drug Administration even made a statement about soy’s ability to lower cholesterol. Hundreds of research articles and years of evidence are required for the agency to make such statements—very few foods qualify for such an honor. TOFU GAME ?

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The real findings about soy from real studies show that a greater intake of soy-based foods is linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer and other cancers as well as heart disease and that it helps prevent prostate cancer, lowers LDL cholesterol, and improves menopausal symptoms.

Just keep this in mind: Two to four servings of soy per week is a reasonable amount, and eating a variety of plants is crucial to good health. Try to avoid isolated and concentrated soy protein, like the type found in some supplements, and opt for edamame, tofu, and tempeh instead—eat a variety of beans, too, including black beans and chickpeas.

And if you’re still conflicted, just think about this: Wouldn’t consuming breast milk that’s meant for another species, hormone-filled decomposing flesh, and chicken periods (aka “eggs”) be way more likely to cause all the problems that we’ve been pinning on innocent soy this whole time?

Soy to the world! Check out these surefire ways to fall in love with tofu.