Less-Than-Stellar Options: Soy and Alcohol

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal BMI is 24.9.

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Less-Than-Stellar Options: Soy and Alcohol

Less-Than-Stellar Option #3: Excess Soy

For years, we heard about what a super food soy was – this lean protein helped lower cholesterol, protect bones, improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and lower the risks of cancer and diabetes.

The food industry’s inevitable reaction?

If a bit of something is good, way more of it must be better.

Almost overnight, every processed-food product seemed to have added soy or isoflavones, the flavonoid in soy that showed promise in many of these health claims.

There’s only one problem:  Isoflavones are endocrine disruptors that mimic the actions of estrogen.

When we get isoflavones from natural products, we’re fine – the body knows what to do with the 38 grams of isoflavones in a half cup of tofu.

But it’s really not sure what to do with 160 grams of concentrated isoflavones in a Revival soy bar.

While at first isoflavones were hailed as a shield against breast cancer, a growing body of research suggests isoflavones might be dangerous for women who are either postmenopausal or at risk for breast cancer.

The estrogen-like activity of isoflavones encourages abnormal cell growth in those already at risk.

When you consider how many processed foods use soy as a cheap protein source, and you add in the rising tide of environmental estrogens, you can see the last thing we need is extra estrogen supplementation!

Plus, many soy products are made from genetically modified (GMO) soybeans.

In fact, 85% of all soybeans planted in the U.S. are GMO.

A little bit of soy can be a good thing – it’s rich in lean protein, omega-3s, iron, magnesium, and various cancer fighters like saponins and phytosterols.

And some of the phytoestrogen activity can be protective, especially for younger women.

But given the problems soy can create for those with thyroid issues and those at risk of breast cancer, I recommend you limit your soy intake to whole foods that have the content of isoflavones nature intended them to have, and eat only 2 servings per week.

Hormone HomeworkI’m all for a few chunks of tofu or tempeh in a stir-fry, and miso soup is also acceptable – these more natural uses of fermented soy have been around forever.  But steer clear of processed products with isolated soy proteins and/or high levels of isoflavones, like soy nuts, soy-fortified bars and drinks, soy flour, soy cheese, soy milk, and faux meats.  And if you’re a parent, really do your homework before you put your baby on soy formula.  Soy formula can damage babies’ immune systems and has been linked with a 90% higher usage of allergy and asthma medications later in life.  Beware.

Less-Than-Stellar Option #4 – Excess Alcohol

You’ve probably heard a lot lately about wine.

“It extends your life!  Fights diabetes and heart disease!  Prevents cognitive decline!”

All due to the miraculous effects of resveratrol, a powerful phytochemical that fights viruses and inflammation.

Alcohol releases estrogen into your bloodstream, promotes fat storage, and decreases muscle growth.

As soon as you have a drink, your body gobbles up all the glycogen in your liver, makes you hungry, and reduces your inhibitions, so you’re more likely to grab that chicken wing or stuffed potato skin at happy hour.

You also burn way less fat, and burn it more slowly, than normal – Prevention magazine estimates just 2 drinks can cut your fat-burning ability by 73%.

While some argue resveratrol’s phytoestrogen nature is actually protective against cancer, alcohol itself is a breast cancer risk.

One study found alcohol helps develop the most common type of breast cancer tumors, those with both estrogen and progesterone receptors.

Analyzing data from more than 184,000 women, scientists found 1-2 drinks a day increases your risk of developing these kinds of malignant tumors by 32%; 3 or more bumps that number to 51%.

On the other hand, especially if you’re a guy, we can’t deny wine has its benefits:  it protects your heart, helps lower inflammation, fights viruses, and might even lower blood sugar in diabetics.

Recently, researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine found 1 glass of wine a day may decrease the risk, by almost 40%, of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition associated with insulin resistance and heart disease.

Bottom line, 1 drink a day probably maxes out your benefits, so keep a cork in your alcohol consumption.

Hormone HomeworkIf you’re going to have alcohol, drink wine.  Women who had an occasional glass of wine (one or fewer per day) increased their breast cancer risk by only 7 percent, which might net out with other health benefits – provided you don’t have other individual breast cancer risks.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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If you’d like to read Jillian’s book, you can get it here: Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!

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Dick and Lenay

email: Lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join me on my weight loss journey here – http://bit.ly/13lxgzD


 

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