In the early 1990′s, soy and soy products exploded onto the supermarket scene with promises of bountiful health benefits. This “new miracle food,” soy, was supposed to lower cholesterol, take the heat out of hot flashes, protect against breast and prostate cancer and offer a filling alternative to earth-loving vegetarians.
The problem with these claims? Many of them are false.
While some types of soy do have health benefits, it’s important to be aware of some of the potential negative effects as well.
For you vegetarians out there staring at the screen in open-mouthed shock, fear not. There are plenty of other healthy vegetarian alternatives, which I will discuss later in this article. What was once considered a minor industrial crop back in 1913 now covers over 72 million acres of farmland. But first, let’s examine the dangers and side effects of soy protein isolate and GMO foods.
Soy Protein Isolate — What is It, and How is it Getting in My Food?
The Soyfoods Association of America has a soy protein “fact sheet” defining soy protein isolate as the following:
“Soy protein isolate is a dry powder food ingredient that has been separated or isolated from the other components of the soybean, making it 90 to 95 percent protein and nearly carbohydrate and fat-free.”
Soy protein isolate can be found in protein bars, meal replacement shakes, bottled fruit drinks, soups and sauces, meat analogs, baked goods, breakfast cereals and some dietary supplements.
Bodybuilders beware: many weight gainer powders, bars and shakes contain this dangerous ingredient and it can cause troubling side effects such as diminished libido and erectile dysfunction — and this is just the start. You’ll find out more about these disturbing health effects later on in this article.