by Michele Lea
So many of us are changing our diet and cutting this and that out. Many of us as we get older notice we can no longer tolerate our usual diets or have become allergic to certain foods…gluten, acidic foods, nightshades (peppers, tomatoes, eggplants)…for me it’s broccoli, for Brad it’s SOY. He has been tested and is allergic to soy plus 8 other things. Soy causes him to have nasal inflammation and breathing issues. So I have learned to take soy out of our diet as much as I can. But we love Chinese food and I like soy sauce marinades! So what’s up with soy?
Soy can come in two forms – fermented and unfermented. In this excerpt, I am talking about unfermented soy which is in everything, your lotion, your toothpaste, cosmetics and soaps! Soy lecithin is in every baked good and chocolate! Because soy is part of the legume family, and many of us following a clean eating or Paleo diet, we try to cut legumes out, but do we know the many reasons why?
“Anti-nutrients” are chemicals known as lectins and phytate acid and make up legumes. Lectins mess up your leptin levels in your body, that evaluates your hunger levels, therefore causing one to consume too many calories and could lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels and the cells response to insulin which could lead to diabetes . Phytates can actually prevent your body from absorbing proper nutrients like magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron, which in term can cause you to be nutrient deficient, not to mention wreck your GI tract and immune system. Soy crops are in the news for being a “greed crop” (Monsanto) that is genetically modified and contaminated with poisonous pesticides. There are studies linking soy consumption with disruption of women’s estrogen levels leading to breast cancer, studies stating that eating soy interferes with the thyroid’s job of making hormones to regulate metabolism, gives men man boobs, and destroys the planet. YUCK!
There is a flip side to soy. Eating fermented soy has been part of the Asian culture for centuries. The traditional fermentation process actually reduces the “anti-nutrients” and allows the beneficial properties of soy available for the body to absorb. Fermented foods are a great source for probiotics in the body. They promote a healthy gut by aiding in digestion, warding off bad bacteria in the intestines, and increasing the growth of good bacteria which facilitates a healthy immune system.
In our kitchen, I used to cook with soy sauce for the added flavor, but since we have gone to Paleo or “clean eating”, I had to find something else. So a suggestion to you if you would like to stay away from soy sauce is to try Coconut Aminos. Coconut Aminos is made from the sap of the coconut trees and then is blended with sea salt and minerals that have been sun dried. Because the sap is in its active organic form, it ferments on its own without any boosting. It naturally contains amino acids which are the foundations to constructing proteins and good health within the body. They help to build muscle tissue and assist with neurological and physiological bodily functions.
Some may find the price of Coconut Aminos to be shocking. But, for us the price outweighs the risk. I buy it at Vitamin Cottage, where I have seen it to be the least expensive, and I also buy it in bulk where I get 12 bottles and a 10% discount.
Benefits of cooking with Coconut Aminos
- Certified 100% organic
- Raw – enzymatically alive
- 17 naturally occurring amino acids
- 65% less Sodium than soy
I use it in soups and Chinese recipes and especially to flavor my steaks and chicken dishes. Below is a recipe for marinade that I use for steaks – ENJOY!
For 4 SteaksRub meat with:
- cracked pepper
- sea salt
- 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos
- 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 Tbsp of Olive oil or Avocado Oil
- Whisk together
Let meat soak for a minimum of 20 mins
Here are some readings discussing Soy:
Paleo Diet Lifestyles – The Dangers of Soy
Paleo Plan – Why No Grains & Legumes (and Nuts?): Phytic Acid
The Incredible Health Benefits to You of Traditionally Fermented Foods
Also refer to The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain, PhD. for more information regarding the Paleo Diet.