Let’s talk about soy isoflavones. Soybeans contain phytoestrogens called isoflavones. There are some who claim that these soy isoflavones act as the female sex hormone, estrogen, and potentially increase the risk of cancer (especially breast cancer), as well as reduce testosterone levels in men. But science, based on well-planned research studies, has yet to uphold any of these claims.
Soy is not only safe to eat, it is beneficial! Soy is one of the most researched foods and the bulk of research shows health benefits of soy consumption when eaten in moderation. There is a large amount of misinformation about the effects soy isoflavones have on health and we recommend the following articles for further details on the health effects consuming soy products:
What’s the deal with soy? Is it safe to eat or not? – Anya Todd, LD RD
Soy: What’s the Harm? – Jack Norris, RD
Soy Isoflavones and Estrogen – Ginny Messina, RD
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory using genetic engineering techniques. Scientists alter genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides and herbicides.
There are criticisms about the practice surrounding the bioengineering and the production of genetically modified organisms. In more than 60 countries around the world, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of genetically modified organisms. Here in the US, the government has approved the use of GMOs based on information contained in studies conducted by the same corporations who created them (and profit from their sale). (3)
Learn more about GMOs at The Non GMO Project.
When looking at soy tofu, unless the product is specifically labeled as GMO-free, then there’s a good chance the product was made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Look for organic products or products specifically labeled as using non-GMO ingredients.
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