Monday, January 31, 2011


Soybean if often trumpeted as the ultimate health food at least by the US Soybean industry during the last few years. There was a time when Peanuts were damned because of the lower quality of protein contained in them due to less than optimum levels of Lysine amino acid and since Soy is rich in Lysine its proteins always enjoyed a higher PER status. It is a fact of history that the powerful Soy lobby tried its best to "kill" de-oiled peanut meal taking the name of Afflatoxin though the latter survived this assault, still providing support to the feed industry in India and in some other countries. Same is true regarding Soy oil, an inferior cooking oil which tried to outsell others like Palm oil, Coconut oil, Peanut oil and Rapeseed oil through negative tactics which of course did not succeed. If American consumers were carried away by the high pitch promotion of Soybean in their country, they are going to pay for it, if the recent report regarding the safety of this legume crop is to be believed.

"Within the last 30 years, soy products have gained ultimate health food status. Promoted as being heart healthy, and a good source of protein, tofu, soy milk, and all varieties of soy-based meat and dairy replacements became the mainstays of most vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as being accepted among many omnivores. In Asian cultures, where soy is a traditional part of the diet, it is only consumed in small quantities, but for some reason, that didn't translate to the American consumer. We began eating soy without the knowledge that soy was never meant to be consumed in such great quantities, and even less in its unfermented state. For a while now, studies have shown that soy contains lots of phytoestrogens, making heavy soy consumption potentially very harmful for both men and women. Beyond the high levels of estrogen, the famous proteins in unfermented soy products, like tofu, soy milk, and most others, are actually quite difficult for our bodies to digest. Not only that, but unfermented soy contains phtyic acids that block our bodies' absorbption of lots of minerals, like calcium. Fermented soy, like tempeh and miso, are much easier for the body to take in and contain less phytic acid".

What lessons one must learn from this episode is very clear and that is, one should not be carried away by any super claims by the industry unless they are scientifically validated. It is a truth that best food is always a blend of diverse natural products and depending on one particular food is invariably fraught with danger and health risks. The principle of mutual supplementation through a blend of foods is the rock foundation of good nutrition and sound health, free from diseases and metabolic deficiencies. Just because a particular food is rich in one or two nutrients, it does not mean that it can be consumed ad libitum. A blend of peanut and soybean is more balanced because the contents of Lysine and Methionine, both essential amino acids, in the blend are more beneficial than either of them.

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