What are the negatives (and positives) on soy milk? - Mothering Forums
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Women's Health > What are the negatives (and positives) on soy milk?
mother_sunshine's Avatar mother_sunshine 01:27 AM 06-05-2002
I drink soy dream daily and no longer drink cow's milk at all (except in cheese and yogurt). I was recently told not to drink very much soymilk. Can anyone tell me why? I also heard something about it interrupting or somehow messing with female hormones? My daughter drinks it as well.

pottermamma's Avatar pottermamma 02:33 PM 06-05-2002
Hi again !!! I'm not sure why someone would tell you not to drink too much soy milk, but I have always heard that soy is really great for women especially those in menapause (I don't think I spelled that one right: ) or approaching it???? We all LOVE Eden Soy here so I'd be really interested in hearing why you shouldn't use it so much. The only negative thing I've heard is that soy is really allergenic so you should be careful introducing it to a child too early on other than that I've only heard good things about soy
mother_sunshine's Avatar mother_sunshine 05:01 PM 06-05-2002
Thank you pottermamma

BTW, I love your quote.
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 05:58 PM 06-05-2002
* I read in Getting Pregnant that intake of soy products can decrease your chances of conceiving (not good to me).

* It contains plant estrogens that may not be good for pre-menopausal women (or for a guy's sex drive).
Zina's Avatar Zina 06:19 PM 06-05-2002
We go through a lot of Edensoy and have conceived under the most unlikely circumstances. And it definately has not had an affect on my husband's sex drive! But then, maybe we are just freaks rather than a random sampling.
pottermamma's Avatar pottermamma 01:25 PM 06-06-2002
I guess we'd be in that freak boat with you then zina:LOL We drink tons of soy milk too and Dh is as horney as ever and no problems getting preggo either
tessamami's Avatar tessamami 05:31 PM 06-06-2002
Soy really isn't all that and a bag of chips...

Tofu with meat or seaweeds is fine
and so is Miso (fermented soy)

But other kinds of soy products aren't very easily digested.

My DD's pediatrician tried cluing me in in his own primitive way: "they make plastic out of soy"

I finally got the real dirt from Susun Weed, herbalist and author of Herbal for the Childbearing Year at her website: http://www.susunweed.com

Type "soy" in the search box.

Here's a synopsis:

Herbal expert reveals too much tofu can be dangerous.
Consuming large amounts of unfermented soy-including soy milk, tofu, "fake" cheese and lunchmeat, tofu hotdogs, and soyburgers can lead to a myriad of health problems.
Herbal healing expert Susun Weed says soy can promote brittle bones, thyroid problems, memory loss, vision impairment, irregular heartbeat, depression, vulnerability to infections, and increased risk of stroke. Are all soy foods bad? Weed explains:
· Why tamari and miso are the soy family's "good guys"
· How soy interferes with the body's ability to liberate, utilize, or create key nutrients,
such as calcium, zinc, B12, and thyroid hormone
· Current research showing soy isoflavones may promote breast cancer cells
· What complementary foods, such as seaweed, counteract soy's negative effects

Real food for real people. What is real food? Real food contains no added ingredients.

Quick quiz
Which is real food: milk or soy beverage?
Which is real food: margarine or butter?
Which is real food: hamburger or soyburger?
The above is also from Susun's website. Note: vegan alternatives need not contain soy. What about natural oils like olive (delicious on bread)
or veggie burgers assembed from whole grains, nuts and sprouts? Yum.

I loved the full article - she's really done her research. Available at: http://www.susunweed.com/Weed_letter...1.htm#surprise
bebe luna's Avatar bebe luna 02:25 AM 06-07-2002
Soy can be very good... but people tend to overdo it. I prefer to keep the soy products I eat, as close to natural as possible. I eat tempeh, miso, and edamame. I occassionally eat soy vegi burgers and soy cheese.
I know that fermented soy is meant to be the healthiest (tempeh, miso, etc).
A lot of soy products contain not-so-good ingrediants. Like Tofutti brand products contain partially hydrogonated oils. Many soy drinks contain lots of sugar.
Soy consumed too often can cause soy allergies.
Eat soy, but eat it consciouslly and jut don't over-do-it.
valeria_vi's Avatar valeria_vi 12:29 PM 06-07-2002
just go to www/mercola.com and search for "soy"
you'll find tons of info.
TwinMom's Avatar TwinMom 01:11 PM 06-07-2002
Ack, I don't want to know all this! I'm trying to move my children to healthier eating habits and thought I could add more soy to their diets as I reduce the meat they eat. In the last 6 months I have stopped buying milk for them; they drink soymilk every day with dinner and have it on their cereal. I cook with it. What do I do? Do I stop using soymilk and go back to cow milk? Do I pump and use breastmilk for everything ?

I don't eat a lot of tofu, but I usually have a little bit each week--is that okay? I've started cooking with tempeh and am really enjoying it so maybe I could do more of that.

There are just too many foods to worry about. I have to be concerned about whether there are hidden meat and dairy ingredients in my food, artificial dyes in my kids' food, and I just don't have the energy to focus on anything else. What's a mama to do? :
hippiemom's Avatar hippiemom 02:15 AM 06-08-2002
i heard susun weed speak on soy last summer... very interesting. soy milk is highly processed, and also naturally high in aluminum. the "isoflavones" that many soymilk boxes tout as their benefit are phytoestrogens that mimic the action of actual estrogens in the body. i do drink it sometimes, and like it for smoothies, but i view it as a treat.
pottermamma's Avatar pottermamma 04:10 PM 06-09-2002
WOW What an article!!!!
Guess it just goes to show almost nothing is truely "good" for us anymore, unless we make it at home out of good, whole, REAL foods!!!!!!!!( Although I'm not so sure that I'd consider todays version of a hamburger a "real" food~ maybe elk or deer meat, although no meat still sounds good to me!!!!!) Back to the drawing board for us!!! I've been so happy using Eden Soy in place of milk and have not had any problems with it in any way, but if it is not healthy and especially considering the info about children we'll have to find something else
This is one of those times I am so happy to be informed but it would certainly have been easier to remain ignorant ~ There seem to be a lot of those situations in my life these days ~ Ignorance sure is bliss!! (Just kidding of course Thanks for sharing the info!!!!!)
mother_sunshine's Avatar mother_sunshine 06:08 PM 06-09-2002

Does anyone have the positives and negatives on RICE milk? Besides the fact that it doesn't taste as good...
EnviroBecca's Avatar EnviroBecca 11:42 AM 06-10-2002
Re: soy interfering with conception, I would think that's true if you have enough or too much estrogen already. If you have low estrogen, seems like it could help.

Saying that cow's milk is superior to soy milk because it's "real food" is overly simplistic IMO. Cow's milk from your average American supermarket is loaded with hormones and antibiotics. Any organic plant food is going to be lower in environmental toxins than any animal food, because animal bodies accumulate toxins into milk and meat. Supermarket milk may not be officially "processed" with a lot of stuff (except added vitamins) but it does go thru a lot of equipment and could be picking up bits of industrial lubricants and who knows what....

In general, moderation in all things! I have some dairy and some soy products in my diet, hoping to maximize the benefits and minimize the detriments of each, and I buy organic whenever I can.
elainie's Avatar elainie 12:49 PM 06-10-2002
Raw milk and products made from raw milk from grass fed cows (not grain fed as most organic milks are ) is the best way to go as far as consuming dairy is concerned. Rice milk is a very highly processed milk that is high in sugars and high on the glycemic index.
I make my own almond milk which is made from soaked organic almonds.
It tastes much better than any boxed milk out there and has none of the synthetic vitamins added like soy milk often has (synthetic vitamin D) which has been linked to cancer.
I would steer clear of any soymilk as far as giving it to my children or any child for that matter.
pottermamma's Avatar pottermamma 01:59 PM 06-10-2002
OK guys ~ I am so confused: :
I will do my own research when I finally have the time, but just from reading one of Susan Weeds articles and the rest of the posts from the folks here I don't know what I'm going to do...????

I look on the back of the box of the Eden Soy Extra that my family and I have been enjoying for the last 2-3 years and see that it does have seaweed in there, tessamami's post stated that combining soy with seaweed lessens/counteracts the negative effects of soy???? Does this work in the soy milk or is it simply the process of making soy milk that is bad??? or both???? then I read that it contains vitimin D2 "from the vegetable kingdom", whatever that means, guess I should call the company on that???? But ~ is that the same as synthetic vitamin D that you are talking about elainie?? And aren't our foods so often depleated of naturally occurring vitamins (and D I guess though you can get from the sun???) from over farming and poor faming methods in the past that even with buying organic as we do, don't we continue to need fortified foods to some extent???????

I am just so bummed cause the Eden Soy Extra is so nutricious (at least as it is writtend up on the "Nutrition Facts" label on the back : ) that we thought it was a good base for the rest of our meat free diet. I'd really like to hear more as milk is not an option for me either ~ I feel the same as EnviroBecca ~ that it really isn't much more of a real food than soy milk is chalking up to be. I also wonder if moderation isn't the key. Our diet includes a wide range of foods (dairy in yougart and cheese, eggs, grains, nuts, of course fresh fruit and veggies etc ~ so it isn't a diet based wholly on soy based protein like Ms. Weed warend against) and I think that is one of the most important aspects of eating to maintain a healthy system.

Can you post your recipe for almond milk elainie? and how do you store it? and, how often do you have to make a new batch (we go through about a case of soy milk a week (12 1 liter boxes))????

Thanks to all of you for your information and knowledge about this issue
TwinMom's Avatar TwinMom 02:12 PM 06-10-2002
I feel like you, pottermamma, totally confused. I mean, how are we supposed to know what to eat and what not to eat? The reason I give my kids soymilk is because of the calcium it has in it. I know there are other ways to get calcium, but they're not ways that my kids are likely to eat. Suggestions?

Does this mean that I have to give up Purely Decadent soy ice cream? That's just not gonna happen!
mother_sunshine's Avatar mother_sunshine 05:51 PM 06-10-2002
Tell me what you all think about this conflicting info...

Here is what the FDA has to say:


and another link with lots of articles (mostly positive). Type in soy benefits in search:


I am a bit leary of believing 100% in the FDA because I feel that they are largely controlled by money and big business. Then again, I don't know who Susun Weed is backed-by either. I just don't know who to believe anymore...

elainie, would you be willing to share your almond milk recipe with us? I would LOVE to try it! It sounds like a good solution to all this mess.

EnviroBecca's Avatar EnviroBecca 08:28 PM 06-10-2002
Pottermamma, instead of 12 1-liter boxes a week, have you considered powdered soymilk? (That is, if you are still going to use soymilk after this thread!) At my co-op the powder (from the bulk section) is a lot cheaper, it's less weight to carry home, and I'm not throwing away all those plastic containers. Also, if I'm not going to use a whole liter within a week or so, I can mix up a smaller amount and not worry about it going bad. It mixes up well in cold or hot water, and I can add vanilla or almond extract to make fancy flavored soymilk!
Mommy StormRaven's Avatar Mommy StormRaven 08:51 PM 06-10-2002
I have a bit of soy info in another thread regarding soy intake while PG and nursong. The overall gist of it is that the stuff isn't good.

It is a baby in the plant kingdom of the human diet - only been around for about 500 years and becasue of that it doesnt' digest easily.

I'm not saying it is EVIL but I am saying that it isn't good - It has been known to cause hypospadia in boys of PG women with a high soy intake. See my post about it for more info. It is on both the I'm PG forum and this one at Peggy's request. Dr. Mercola is the preemminant doc referenced in the articles.

What I do know is that the stuff is processed all to heaven and then some - given that how can it be that good for you?
elainie's Avatar elainie 10:24 PM 06-10-2002
First of all I'd like to clear up any assumptions one may jump to in thinking that the anti-soy folks (Susun Weed included) are backed by the dairy indusrty etc..
The truth is we (myself included) have been around the natural foods?health movement for many years and have seen the negative effects of consuming a lot of soy products.. I myself was a vegan years ago and consumed soy in the form of tamari, miso, and tofu and tempeh-never soymilk or soyprotein isolates.
I ended up with a thyroid that basically doesn't function and I'm a acupuncurist and holistic health/nutrition teacher and natural foods chef.
I know what to do when the body is out of whack and I still can't fix my thyroid.
Not a day goes by where I don't get something in the mail from yet another holistic health practitioner warning of the dangers and negative effects of soyfood consumption. This is not just hype. This is real. Sometimes and most of the time problems don't show up until many years later, but they do show up.
The soyfoods industry is about to show it's ugly head in the form of lawsuits
by people, parents whose babies health was compromised etc..
Please, for the sake of your children limit soyfoods consumption and use soyfoods that are safer like miso and tamari.
Edensoy only uses kombu in their soymilk because years ago the consultants (my husband was one of them ) told them since soy is such yin food it needed to be balanced with minerals (yang) etc.. It really makes no difference as it is still soy and is very difficult for the body to process.
I have been making almond milk though for many years as I never got into the soymilk thing and needed an alternative for dairy milk.
I soak 2 cups of organic almonds in fresh filtered water for 8-12 hours. You may soak longer too.
I change the soaking water if it starts to look dark (due to the presense of tannins in the skins).
I drain and rinse it.
I then add it to a blender (in two batches) with 4-5 cups of filtered water.
I puree it until it is smooth and then place it through a fine strainer (I use a nutmilk bag especially designed for making nutmilks).
I also add 2-3 soaked organic dates for sweetness and half a vanilla bean while pureeing.
A pinch of sea salt added at the end rounds it out. You may vary the amount of water added to make a thinner or richer milk. I like mine on the rich side.
I store it in a glass jar with a lid on it. It will keep for about 5 days but it's so delicious when it's made right it won't be around long.
I also don't eat any fortified foods nor do I believe in eating them. This is due to many reasons and can be the subject of another thread.
Mommy StormRaven's Avatar Mommy StormRaven 10:48 PM 06-10-2002
WOW Elaine! Thanks for the backgound info that helps alot! Good to know where you are coming from!
elainie's Avatar elainie 12:54 AM 06-11-2002
I would also like to point out that In TCM soy is seen as a cooling food, not one that builds strong and healthy constitutions. Children therefore are especially at risk because their comstitutions are formed during pregnancy and early childhood. Soymilk consumption from what I and other practioners have seen contributes to allergies, intestinal complaints, dark circles around the eyes and more. In TCM it leads to kidney weakness and loss of virility in adults. Tofu was a traditional food of Zen monks wishing to "cool down" their sexual fire.
Mommy StormRaven's Avatar Mommy StormRaven 01:06 AM 06-11-2002
Again Great points Elaine!

I have a friend that I am currently very concerned about. She is 8 months PG with a BOY and has been drinking Soy milk since she had her still nursing 19 month old girl. I have such great fear for those children's development. I think she started drinking it because she was WAY overproducing milk and it was suggested to help drop her supply a bit (strogens will do that) and she has simply continued with it. I have sent her what Info I have but evidently she either thinks nothing of it or hasnt' read it. I know - not my body not my kids but I still fear for her and them.
bebe luna's Avatar bebe luna 01:23 AM 06-11-2002
Twin Mom, Pottermama...
I prefer Rice milk to soy, cow, or goat milk. But only Rice Dream. All other Rice milks are awful IMO. Rice Dream enriched has calcium and other vitamins added. It's creamy, naturally sweet, and great on cereal!!
Almond milk can also be yummie.
Oat milk is also good. It's creamy and somewhat sweet.
Rice Dream ice cream is a great treat!! So is soft serve Oats Cream!!
Rice Slices by Soyco are great. I prefer the swiss and pepperjack flavors.
Almond Rella cheese is also pretty good.
I say stick w/ the tempeh nd occassional tofu, but cut back on the soy milk.
mother_sunshine's Avatar mother_sunshine 04:56 AM 06-11-2002
Originally posted by elainie
First of all I'd like to clear up any assumptions one may jump to in thinking that the anti-soy folks (Susun Weed included) are backed by the dairy indusrty etc..
Elainie, I'm sorry to have implied that anti-soy folks are run by the dairy industry. I didn't realize how rude that was at the time and I truly apologize to anyone whom I may have offended. My point was meant to be that I have come to a point where I don't know who to believe anymore. I am teetering somewhere in the middle and am waiting for someone to push me the right way. But I am also realizing that only I can do that, so I have more learning and deciphering to do.

It's so hard for me to make yet another sudden shift when I was led to believe that soy is one of the ultimately healthy foods. Just as it was initially hard for me to believe that milk, in fact, does *not* "do a body good". About 5 years ago my grandmother gave me an excellent article (from "Back To The Garden") written by a man named Michael Dye, which discussed the truth about cow's milk. It stuck in my head and I soon turned to soymilk as, what I thought, the safe alternative. So to hear this news is frightening, frustrating, and embarrassing that I didn't know (given the date of Susun Weed's article)! I was so proud of myself for doing what I thought was right for my family and now I'm hearing that we may have been better off just staying "mainstream". I'm just kidding, sort of. What an increasingly difficult World this is becoming.

Anyhow, thank you for sharing your recipe for almond milk. I better get on it as I don't have much to drink around here anymore, and cereal doesn't taste as good dry

pottermamma's Avatar pottermamma 01:36 PM 06-11-2002
Elainine ~ Thanks for your recipe ~ how much almond milk does that recipe make? We really eat a lot of cereal around here and just use milk (whatever kind I decide ~ I most likely will be talking Dh into homemade almond milk though) a lot. I guess though I'll have to check the cost of the organic almonds and the ammount of milk 2 Cups makes (although that can't be that many almonds as they are pretty big) Do you get just whole almonds, shelled or blanched????? (I'm not sure what that means ~ I don't use almonds that much myself only almond butter) Also, I'm not sure if you know the answer to this, but, I live at 8,000 ft in elevation and have problems soaking beans to get them soft due to this, would soaking the almonds be the same (just curious so I would soak them longer the first time just in case)?????
Thanks again for all the info ~ I don't think I'll even use the rest of the Eden Soy in the fridge What a drag that natural food companies are dishonest just like the rest of them I too drank soy milk during pregnancy ( and also mixed soy protein powder with milk for an extra boost to my protein intake) and had a boy so can someone tell me what hypospadia is?? when does it usually show up (newborn, toddler, etc.)?? My son is now 19 months old and been raised on breastmilk from a mother eating lots of soy and then drinking soy milk himself what problems should I be watching for and what if anything should I give him now to try to counteract the negative effects of his diet for the past 19 months?????? I am really pi**ed and really cncerned for the health of my family particularly my son ~ and I, like you mother sunshine, thought Dh and I were eating this wonderful diet with all the benefits of soy ~ I guess all advertising is BS ~ including that of natural food companies (just thought I could at least trust them ~ but business is business I guess ~ the bottom line is what counts, not the health your customers )
Guess I'm ranting now ~ Thanks again everyone ~ I would have never found this info out if not for you knowledgable folks here
Mommy StormRaven's Avatar Mommy StormRaven 01:44 PM 06-11-2002
pottermomma - Hypospadias is a birht defect (if your DS had it you would have known long before now) IT is when the opening of the penis is on the underside of the shaft usually somewhere along it instead of at the tip. I know that in girls it can cause early onset of puberty but as for what to watch for with boys I'm not really sure. What I do know is this - Estrogen is a fat sotring hormone so it may have a connection there somewhere (Don't know for sure but it seems logical). I would just staart cutign it out if I were you. I'm not saying to completely eliminate it necessarily but moderation is best - with all things...

THer is a thread that I posted a while back about Soy in PG, It has some links to good info if you want to look at them (it is in Health and Healing AND I'm Pg forums)

good Luck ...

You are right it IS sad... Marketing and Advertising is just that a BIG lie to the public - always has been always will be... It's really a shame - it's all about the $$$$ Even when it's natural..
pottermamma's Avatar pottermamma 01:50 PM 06-11-2002
Elainie ~ I have some more questions for you if you don't mind
Can you possibly post the nutritional values of almond milk (eg amt. of protein, iron, etc an 8oz galss contains for instance) if you have access to this info ????(You just seem so informed I'd like to pick your brain a bit )
Also, the dates and vanilla bean that you add to the almond milk ~ is that for each part???? (you said to blend it in 2 parts ~ do you add the 2-3 dates and 1/2 vanilla bean to each part or to the whole batch????).
Thanks again for all your help and your generosity with sharing your expierence and wisdom surrounding this issue, I'd love for you to start that thread about fortified foods too, if you have the time that is,
Thanks also to you Mommy StormRaven for letting me know what that illness is ~ and Ds's pee pee is A OK (opening on the end and all ). I really appreciate your quick reply
Mommy StormRaven's Avatar Mommy StormRaven 02:28 PM 06-11-2002
No problem Pottermom! It's all about gettign the info out as far as I'm concerned! WE are here to help each other!
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