Tag Archives: thyroid

Soy…What’s the real story?

16 Jul

I started my 2 year old on soy milk about 9 months ago. She was having digestive issues and I figured it was all the milk that she was drinking. I have issues with too much dairy, so I wasn’t surprised that she was having issues as well. The soy milk was helping and so I continued her on it.

At a play date one day, I was with two friends of mine. One is a vegetarian and the other is vegan. At the time I was still eating meat. The discussion of food choices came up and I mentioned that my daughter drank soy milk. My vegetarian friend looked at me as if I had a third eye. She then stated that her son drinks rice milk because soy milk was full of estrogen and all sorts of bad things for a person. That night, she sent me an article from a website about the dangers of soy.

I was alarmed. Many of the people that commented on the article had really strong opinions either for or against soy milk and the comments were turning into heated arguments. I began to panic a little thinking I had been doing harm to my daughter. Discussing this with my vegan friend the next day made me feel better because she stated that she also gives her daughter soy milk. I decided to let it go and continued to let my daughter drink it. I had not seen any negative side effects and felt that for the time being, it was okay for her to consume.

A few months later, I came across a Facebook discussion regarding soy milk and the ingredient Carrageenan. This ingredient is extracted from seaweed and is used as a thickening agent for soy milk. Some say that Carrageenan reeks havoc on a persons GI track and should be avoided. It is an ingredient that has been approved in many organic products. Again, this scared me regarding soy milk. My attraction to soy milk stems from the amount of protein in contains. My toddler is a picky eater and does not like meat. I considered trying organic milk again, but was hesitant because of issues she had in the past.

I myself had begun using soy milk in my morning smoothies and had began experimenting with tofu. I had actually made some yummy parmesans pan fried tofu one night. Later, that same night I saw a post from a vegan Facebook page I follow asking her followers what their thoughts were on soy products. Id say about 90% of commenters stated they stay away from all soy products. Those who did consume soy products stated that they will either only consume it if it is organic or fermented, or if they do consume it, they do so in low doses and not often.

I also read something that really made me nervous. Many commenters stated that soy products should be avoided if a person has an autoimmune disorder. I have Hashimotos a form of hypothyroid affecting my thyroid. Apparently the isoflavones in soy products causes the thyroid to function improperly. I read soy should not be consumed if one is taking thyroid medication.

Apparently as a newbie to vegetarianism and trying to eat healthier, I am really bad at fully researching the foods that I am eating. The soy confusion in my life has really opened my eyes to the fact that I need to look into what foods are best for my body as well as my family. I am frustrated because I have been trying so hard to make the right choices and keep running into roadblocks that set me back.

I decided to start giving my toddler organic milk again. So far she is doing well and has had no issues. My lesson has been learned regarding my food choices and I will be doing more research for now on. I still don’t understand soy and all its controversies, but right now I feel that staying away from consuming too much of it may be the better choice.

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