5+ Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Tofu IMMEDIATELY! Number 4 is Very Important
Vegetarians have a complicated relationship with tofu, by far the most popular meat alternative in America. Tofu, also called bean curd, has gained popularity over the years especially as a vegetarian- and vegan-approved source of protein. It seems to have a healthy reputation with consumers, but what is tofu exactly? The truth is tofu is made from soy, and the majority of the time soy is bad for you.
What Is Tofu?
People often wonder what is tofu made of? It makes perfect sense why tofu is often called bean curd since it’s made by curdling soy milk (from soybeans) and then pressing the resulting curds into soft, white blocks. The process of making tofu is relatively similar to the way that cheese is made from milk. Tofu nutrition is impressive, and that’s why many people assume it’s such a great health food.
– Reasons to Not Eat Tofu –
Tofu is made from soy, and soy contains goitrogenic compounds, specifically the soy isoflavone genistein. These goitrogens are thyroid hormone blockers that can interfere with thyroid hormone production and specifically cause hypothyroidism.
Tofu contains phytate, which science has shown contributes to the firm texture of tofu. (9) Phytate is essentially phytic acid bound to a mineral. What’s the problem with phytate? Well, phytate and phytic acid are known antinutrients, and they aren’t the only antinutrients in tofu. Soy products like tofu contain several highly concerning antinutrients, including: (10)
Lectins and saponins — linked to leaky gut syndrome as well as other gastrointestinal and immune problems
Oligosaccharides — gas-promoting, which is why soy is sometimes called the “king of musical fruits”
Oxalates — known to promote kidney stones and vulvodynia
Protease inhibitors — interfere with protein digestion and have caused malnutrition, poor growth, digestive distress and pancreatitis
Phytates — block mineral absorption, causing zinc, iron and calcium deficiencies
When it comes to tofu, cooking it does not seem to reduce the level of phytates and other antinutrients. What does reduce these antinutrients is fermentation.
3.Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D Deficiencies
Soy contains a B12 analogs, which means that tofu contains compounds that resemble vitamin B12. However, these B12 analogs cannot be used by your body the way it would use real B12. This is why soy foods like tofu can actually contribute to vitamin B12 deficiency, especially among people who avoid animal protein like vegetarians and vegans.
You probably already knew how widespread vitamin D deficiency is in this country, but you probably didn’t know that unfermented soy foods are part of the problem. Soy foods like tofu also increase your body’s vitamin D requirements, which means that eating tofu can make a vitamin D deficiency even worse.
4.Tofu causes Breast Cancer
Tofu contains phytoestrogens — or plant-based estrogens. These compounds have an estrogen-like effect on the body so they block normal estrogen production and have been linked to breast cancer. Some scientific research finds that soy might “feed” certain breast cancers since it can behave just like estrogen. It might depend on how much soy is consumed as well as the overall health of the woman, but if you have breast cancer currently, are a survivor of breast cancer or you have a family history of breast cancer, I would definitely avoid tofu and other unfermented soy products entirely.
5.Potential Heart Issues
While tofu is often marketed as a heart-healthy alternative to animal meats, there have been studies that definitely debunk this claim. One such study was done with animal subjects, and the results were highly interesting.
Researchers specifically looked at the effect of a soy-rich diet on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick and makes it hard for the heart to pump blood. The study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that mice fed a soy diet exhibited significantly worse HCM than mice fed a soy-free (milk protein) diet. These study results provide evidence that a soy-rich diet can have a profound negative effect on heart health.
6.Soy Formula Could Harm a Baby’s Development
Some 20 million infants have used soy formula since the 1960s — but some people are concerned that the isoflavones it contains could affect a child’s growth and reproductive development. Yet the only large, long-term study on humans, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, (ii) found that there were no major health differences in 811 men and women between the ages of 20 and 34 who had been fed either soy or milk formula as infants.
More recently, a report issued by the National Toxicology Program Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction concluded that there just isn’t enough human or animal data to say for sure whether soy formula harms a baby’s developmental or reproductive health.
So what should a mother do? First, breastfeed if at all possible, for as long as possible — ideally until your child is one year old. If that’s not possible and you have to use soy- or dairy-based formula, don’t beat yourself up about it. If there are any risks, they are likely to be very small. Hopefully, continuing research will shed more light on this question.
Thanks to Monsanto, the leading producer of GMO foods in the U.S., the majority of soy products are made from Monsanto Roundup Ready Soybeans. These soybeans are genetically engineered in such a way that their DNA is changed so the soybean plants can withstand the herbicide glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. First grown commercially in 1996, Roundup Ready Soybeans allow farmers to spray their entire crops with glyphosate to kill the weeds but not damage the soybean crops.
How scary that eating GMO foods can so directly and majorly impact our vital organs! Even if you buy tofu that is not made from genetically modified soybeans, there is still a variety of other substantial health concerns.