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Archive for November, 2008

Soy and Toxins

Posted by cavewomanrunner on November 17, 2008

Since I’m doing more research into certain foods on the non-Paleo list as I try to discover for myself why they are considered bad foods, I figured I might as well include soy.

I am not a big soy fan. I’ve only had tofu a few times and have tried soy milk in my cereal in the past. I found soy milk upset my stomach big time. So avoiding soy is not a problem for me – although I didn’t realize how much is it used in processed foods!

Studies out there show that soy actually has many natural occurring toxins and can produce bad side effects, so many are recommending you don’t consume soy (or if you do, in very moderate amounts).

Some are adament about the toxins in soy: “soy is nothing but a multi-million dollar marketing strategy based on scanty facts, half-truths and lies. Most people remain unaware that soy is known to contain an array of potent chemical toxins. The modern manufacturing processes of high-profit industries make no effort to remove these potent toxins. High levels of phytic acid, trypsin inhibitors, toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines are all present in soy products.”

Others warn about the toxins and how manufacturers cannot keep them out of soy products: “There is no legislation to protect consumers from soy toxins in raw soy products. With the possible exception of soy lecithin, all soy products, no matter how well treated, contain low to moderate levels of soy toxins; processing cannot remove them all of any of them. The soy industry has little in the way of quality control to protect consumers from exposure to inadequately treated soy products.”

Other problems with soy? Besides being one of the top allergens for people, it can disrupt the digestive, immune and neuroendocrine systems of the body and play a role in rising rates of infertility, hypothyroidism and some types of cancer including thyroid and pancreatic cancers.

Following the Paleo KISS strategy – soy cannot be eaten raw since it contains toxins. And after hearing how it can increase estrogen in children and cause a host of other problems, I’m going to keep it on my “foods to avoid” list. As with anything, we all make our personal choices, especially when it comes to what we consume. This is just my personal choice.

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Defective Food Pyramid

Posted by cavewomanrunner on November 17, 2008

Continuing on my fat phobia thread, I found this great article on why the USDA food pyramid needs to be revised, since it is “nutritionally and biochemically unsound.”

Its recommendations for 6-11 servings of bread, rice, cereal and pasta – in addition to an allowance for sweets – is what many believe is leading to increased disease and our unhealthy masses. Just take a look at our horrific obesity rates over the last few decades – and our dependence on carbs, processed foods, fast foods, and trans fats. More research is showing that the low fat, high carb diet does not work. You need to eat more protein, more good fats, and fruits and veggies instead of carbs (sound familiar?).

USDA Food Pyramid

USDA Food Pyramid

Some points to note:

“By promoting consumption of complex carbohydrates and eschewing all fats and oils, the Pyramid provides misleading guidance. In short, not all fats are unhealthful, and by no means are all complex carbohydrates healthful.”

It is a biochemical fact that no carbohydrate is essential for human nutrition. The body’s metabolism can make all of the glucose it needs from proteins, and it can obtain all of the energy normally supplied by glucose from fats. Although not essential, small amounts of carbohydrate are of benefit to conserve protein by eliminating the need for the body to use protein to make glucose.”

“The recommended 6 to 11 servings a day of bread, rice, cereal, and pasta are not only nutritionally unnecessary, but unwise. Unlike fruits and vegetables, these foods are rapidly converted to glucose. The unfortunate result of this recommendation is a carbohydrate burden that encourages stimulation of excess insulin, which in turn directs excess calories to synthesis of body fat and cholesterol. Excess insulin also interferes in essential fatty acid metabolism. Synthesis of body fat and cholesterol is not the only damage from excess insulin. For example, Schwarzbein, in writing about the fallacy of exercising strenuously to justify the overeating of carbohydrates, states: [I]f you eat a bowl of pasta to carbo-load before exercising, you can burn off the excess sugar as energy but you cannot burn off the excess insulin that has been secreted to match the high sugar. Once insulin levels increase to higher than normal levels, damage begins to occur in your metabolism.”

“The major source of trans fats in foods is the hydrogenation process, which is used primarily to extend shelf life of fats and oils derived from vegetable seeds, by eliminating the highly unsaturated fatty acids (omega-3) responsible for rancidity. Thus, consumers can and should be given the very simple advice for avoiding trans fats, which is to read all labels and not buy any product whose list of contents include such words as partially hydrogenated or vegetable shortening.”

Perhaps the USDA should consult us Paleo folks! Bob Hodgen has a great article on a “correct” food pyramid, that basically turns the USDA one upside-down.

Paleo Food Pyramid

Paleo Food Pyramid

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