Health food folly
At some point this summer, I’m sure someone is going to try to convince you that cicadas are health food.
If you just said, “Ugh!” — believe me, I’m with you all the way. Even so, people do eat them. You can even find recipes online.
But “health” food? Sure. Someone will claim they’re good for you. But it’s doubtful they’ll have any research to back that up.
Soy is a different matter.
I’m sure you’ve heard people claim that soy is a perfect health food. And they CAN point to research. In fact, a recent study says soy isoflavones lower blood pressure.
But don’t be fooled. This health food darling is actually a dangerous toxin…
Beware the “everyday” diet
The study comes from the National Institutes of Health. And once again, NIH officials wasted their grant money.
According to the research, a daily intake of more than 2.5 mg of isoflavones dropped systolic pressure by more than 5 points.
Well… It looks good on paper. But then HealthDay News starts explaining “what that means to the everyday diet.”
At this point, HealthDay could have informed you how many peanuts or pinto beans equal more than 2.5 mg of isoflavones. But that wouldn’t promote the fantasy that soy is “health food.”
HealthDay says you’ll get 22 mg of isoflavones from an 8-ounce glass of soymilk. But to really power up the isoflavones, nothing comes close to soybeans. A 3.5-ounce serving of roasted soybeans delivers about 130 mg of isoflavones.
Chomp a handful of soybeans. Wash it down with a tall glass of soymilk. You’ll be master of your hypertension domain! That’s the clear message from HealthDay News, anyway.
In reality, isoflavones are not abundant in a normal diet. And that’s a good thing.
Weston A. Price Foundation research reveals the downside of loading up your diet with isoflavones. The estrogenic properties can wreak havoc on your health. For men, drawbacks include suppression of sperm production and infertility.
And it’s not safe for women either.
While estrogen can be beneficial, too much can lead to thyroid and immune system suppression. Even worse is the potential for DNA breakage. That means increased risk of leukemia, breast cancer, and colon cancer.
But the good news: Your blood pressure might drop! Slightly.
It looks like HealthDay editors didn’t weigh the pros and cons of soy/isoflavones intake. But why would they? Like so many others, HDN bought the absurd hype that soy is the modern miracle food.
It’s not modern. It’s certainly not a miracle. And in my book, it barely passes as food.
“Could Soy Help Lower Your Blood Pressure?” HealthDay News, 3/25/12, healthday.com
“Dangers of Dietary Isoflavones At Levels Above Those Found In Traditional Diets” Sally Fallon, Weston A. Price Foundation, 3/2/09, westonaprice.org