Did you know that meat has more estrogen than soy? Despite being told for years now about the “dangers” of estrogen in soy products and its potentially detrimental side-effects, we’ve never once heard about the possibility of meat being worse for us!
A few years ago, astonishingly, Men’s Health ran an article asking whether soy was the most dangerous food for men. The pages-long piece ultimately determined, arbitrarily, that soy was harmful to men because of the levels of estrogen. Nowhere in the work is a comparable admonition on the dangers of estrogen in meat products. The conclusion seemed to be continue eating meat, and if you happen to eat soy, stop that and eat more meat.
The truth is that estrogen, as we think of it, is not present at all in soy.
Meat, however, is a different story. Amazingly, there are such high levels of estrogen in meat that the American Society of Clinical Oncology has asked the question “does eating meat increase the rate of hormone-dependent cancers?” The study determined that the impact of estrogen in meat on hormone-dependent cancers could not be ignored as a factor in human health.
The real question then, becomes, why have we heard so much fiction about the estrogen content in soy, and have heard little to nothing about the true danger of estrogen in meat? The simple answer is that much of the literature and so-called “research” about the dangers of soy comes from the very industries who would do well to scare you away from the product forever: meat and dairy producers. In fact, the Boston Edge ran a piece a few years ago in which they stated, ”journalists and so-called nutrition experts perpetuate myths about soy that have been proven false with research.” Because these industries cannot actually boast about any truthful health advantages in consuming their products (there aren’t any), their only solution is to scare people away from the alternatives. How else do they get people to stop choosing a soy alternative to meat or dairy and therefore stop seeing the massive loss in sales they’ve witnessed in recent years?
Here’s the truth: soy contains isoflavones, which are also called phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are not to be confused with the hormone estrogen, which is what the meat and dairy industry, and everyone else poised to lose a lot of money should you eat more soy, would lead you to believe. Phytoestrogens are “selective estrogen receptor modulators” or SERMS which actually perform several important functions in the body. One function phytoestrogens perform is to block estrogen from activiating if your body has excess levels. This function will actually normalize estrogen levels if they happen to be elevated. And if levels of estrogen are too low, then phytoestrogens can bind to estrogen receptors, thereby acting like estrogen and provide a balance where there would otherwise be a dangerous deficit.
Even more beneficial, soy increases blood flow to muscles if consumed before a workout. More bloodflow means more vital nutrients and therefore, more power. Soy consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol levels and reduce symptoms of menopause significantly. In case that wasn’t enough, soy has also been proven to increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis!
Amazing how beneficial this tiny bean can be for our bodies. So, soy over meat? Absolutely!