Soy: To Fear or Not to Fear?

Soy latte, anyone?

A dear friend of mine, who happens to be a cancer survivor, loves soy lattes, yet is afraid to indulge. Why?

Like many cancer survivors, she worries that the phytoestrogens will fuel tumour growth.

It’s not just cancer survivors that fear soy. To get a sense of the scope of soyaphobia, simply head to the health conscious shopper’s mecca: Whole Foods. You’ll quickly see that the soy-free label rivals the GMO-free label in its popularity. Notably, soyaphobia doesn’t seem to be common in Germany, where I’m sipping a soy latte right now (it’s strange not to see nut milk  —  a favourite North American soy alternative on any café menus!).

What do soy-avoiders fear? Women worry it will cause breast cancer or reproductive issues, while men worry about ‘man boobs’ or lower sperm count. Others don’t know exactly what they fear but would rather “play it safe”.

Yet, the latest science, based on dozens of studies in thousands of people, tells us loud and clear that enjoying soy is safe, and may even have protective health benefits.

This article tells the story of soyaphobia, one that provides insights into the pitfalls of science and its communication to the public. By the end of the story, I hope you will join me in fearlessly embracing this fabulous food.

Get the full story here.

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