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Soy 101, please

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Can someone please educate me on the good, the bad, and the ugly about soy. I stopped eating tofu a while back because I thought it wasn't good for a North American's diet. But now I'm reading about the benefits of miso and tofu.

What is fermented soy? Is it tofu or not? If so, what is UNfermented soy?

I did a CH search, but all I get is how to cook with tofu. I'm just confused.
Can someone please spell it out for an idiot!

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Many thanks in advance.

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  1. I have heard that fresh soy is not good for women. I don't eat tofu or edamame but do eat soy sauce and miso in moderation...

    1 Reply
    1. Here is a good place to start
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean
      Your question is too broad for any sort succinct answer.

      1. There are as many articles on the evils of soy as there are about the benefits. The truth is somewhere in between. Soy doesn't provide all the promised benefits of the everything-soy fad of years ago nor has it been demonstrated to be a health risk.

        Here's a recent article that addresses soy in a non-alarmist manner:

        http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09...

        1. I mostly eat only fermented soy. My thinking on it is this:

          If you have hormone issues (male or female) or have some cancers, you need to be careful about phytoestrogens.

          Tofu is a highly processed food and I don't eat much processed foods.

          With all the soy products now available in high concentrations, it is not a "natural diet" to eat so much of one thing ( tofu, soy milk, edamame, soy sauce/paste/nuts, etc) you can easily get ALOT of soy without trying too hard.

          Unless you are really carefully reading labels, much of the soy in processed foods or soy products are GMO's or full of pesticide residues and additives.

          Those are the reasons I limit the soy in my diet. I love fermented soys though- especially miso and soy sauce and I read labels carefully.

          1. Well, there are a lot of potential goods and bads of soy products. For example, soy has the ability to lower blood pressure as well as LDL cholesterol. For example, soy also may slow down thyroid function. In term of real impact, one don't need to look any further than Japanese and Chinese. An average Japanese and Chinese consume more soy products than an average American.