Legumes are banned from the paleo diet because they contain phytic acid. Beans, peas, and soy are all bad for paleo, so the question “is soy milk allowed on the paleo diet” only has one answer—and it’s not yes.
Soy milk is made from soybeans and is therefore not paleo-friendly. What’s more, soy is one of the unhealthiest foods ever created. It is heavily modified, bad for the environment, and has little to no nutritional value.
The paleo diet has been around for centuries, though it was only brought to light by Lorain Cordain, Ph.D., in the 2010 bestseller, The Paleo Diet.
The paleo diet is not a new secret diet, but the renaissance of what our ancestors in the Paleolithic era used to eat. It consists primarily of meat, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and herbs—staples of the ancient hunter-gatherer diet that humanity subsisted on for millennia.
The paleo diet restricts food groups that emerged from agriculture. Refined foods such as sugar and vegetable oil fall into this category and dairy, grains, and legumes. When it comes to foods that are bad for paleo, soy, a legume, sits right at the top of the list.
Best Soy Milk Alternatives
If you’re looking for milk that’s paleo-friendly, then here are some better options:
Coconut milk – Coconut milk is nutritious, paleo-friendly, and very delicious. You can find good quality coconut milk at some health food stores, but it’s easy to make some yourself
Almond milk – Almond milk has a distinctive nutty taste that gives it a rich flavor. It is nutritious milk that you can turn to butter and cheese
Hemp milk – Hemp milk is another excellent alternative that you can use in a supportive role. However, hemp milk does lack the balance of nutrients but has many other health benefits
What Is Terrible About Soy Milk?
Like everything else made from soybeans, soy milk is usually highly refined and tends to contain toxins. However, soy may only consist of trace amounts of these toxins. But these toxins already disqualify it from the paleo diet, as the goal of the paleo diet is to remove all toxins.
The trace amounts of toxins in our foods won’t have much effect on us. It’s when the foods containing these toxins are consumed in large quantities. So if you’re going to eat soy, it should be consumed in moderation.
What Is The Makeup Of Soy
Lectins interfere with brain signals that indicate hunger and energy levels. As a result, lectins can make you feel hungry even when your body does not need additional calories.
That’s why you shouldn’t eat legumes if you’re on the paleo diet to lose weight. If lectins mess with leptin resistance for too long, you could develop insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Soy has a large number of phytates, even for a legume. Phytates are harmful compounds because they bind to minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron, preventing the body from absorbing them.
It would be best to keep in mind that in most foods containing Phytates, the cooking process removes a lot of the Phytates. So by the time the food gets into our bodies, the amount can be minimal.
Trypsin inhibitors, also known as protease inhibitors, interfere with digestive enzymes tasked with breaking down specific proteins.
Plant estrogens are a big issue with soy, which has large amounts of isoflavones. These can alter the chemical balance of your body’s internal environment, lowering testosterone in men and causing significant hormonal fluctuations in women.
However, recent studies have shown that isoflavones don’t impact testosterone levels as we first thought. More studies are required to confirm these new findings.
In women, they can cause infertility, increase the risk of breast cancer, and disrupt the menstrual cycle.
In men, plant estrogens lower libido, promote fat accumulation, and affect virility, energy, and stamina.
Soy is especially bad for newborns. Soy milk contains large amounts of estrogen, which could interfere with normal growth and development. Some soy milk formulas contain as much estrogen in each serving as five birth control pills.
Goitrogens are compounds that prevent the thyroid gland from utilizing iodine correctly, therefore leading to hypothyroidism.
Thyroid problems are very common, especially in women. Even though some vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower also contain goitrogens, these are usually eliminated by cooking. That’s not the case with soy.
Thyroid problems can leave you feeling cold and weak all the time, plus they drastically weaken your immune system, making you highly susceptible to infections.
Nearly All Commercially Available Soy Is Heavily Processed
In many cases, the soy you’re eating is a processed form of the bean itself. As bad as soy is, artificially refined iterations of the legume are twice as bad, especially since they have lower nutritional values.
Moreover, processed soy has increased levels of all the toxins we’ve talked about, so they’re even more dangerous than the bean itself.
Soy Is Linked To The Deterioration Of Brain Function
Scientists speculate that the high levels of phytoestrogens in soy could help speed up the deterioration of crucial brain functions.
The fact that some people are replacing meat with processed soy tells you of the considerable danger it poses to people’s health if eaten in large amounts.
Most Soy Is Genetically Modified
Unfortunately, we can’t solve the soy problem by going organic. Nearly all the Soy available in the United States is genetically modified. The toxins are embedded at a genetic level, so there’s no workaround for soy milk. It’s just not good for you.
While researching the information for this article, I found there is much conflicting information about soy. Some studies show soy is good for you, while others are saying it is bad for you.
It would appear the older studies on soy would suggest soy is not suitable for us, but the newer research is saying otherwise. However, more research is required to determine the health benefits of soy.
Even though soy contains some properties that are not good for you, I did find that they are only found in small traces.
And as far as the Paleo diet goes, soy milk is not paleo-friendly, so you will have to give it a miss and not worry if soy is good or bad.
References Used In This Article
- Microglial Lectins in Health and Neurological Diseases
- Four Myths About Food and Nutrition
- Is Anti-Nutrients Harmful?
- Inactivation Methods of Trypsin Inhibitor in Legumes: A Review
- Neither soy nor isoflavone intake affects male reproductive hormones: An expanded and updated meta-analysis of clinical studies
- Dietary Isoflavones and Breast Cancer Risk
- Will eating soy increase my risk of breast cancer?
- Metabolic Syndrome