Soy: Friend or Foe?

I recently posted about protein and the important role it plays in the human body.  We took a look at non meat protein sources and I mentioned that I was not going to include soy in that list.  Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of soy, and I will let you be the judge of whether or not you want to consume soy as a regular part of your diet.


  • Soy is a complete protein.  If you have been following these nutrition blogs you will know that a complete protein contains a complete essential amino acid profile
  • It is rich in B vitamins and calcium
  •  Soy makes us feel fuller longer as it slows starch absorption in our intestines
  • Fermented soy is a good source of phytic acid which is said to help reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Soy products are often highly processed and frequently contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).  In the case of consuming a product like this, one would not be getting the benefits of soy
  • Soy is a common allergen and many people may be allergic to it without even knowing
  • Isoflavones are found in soy.  Simply put, excess estrogen.  Too much estrogen is linked to infertility and thyroid problems
  • Soy contains antinutrients such as: phytates, lectins, and saponins
Hold on.  What is an antinutrient?
An antinutrient is a compound that interferes with the absorption of essential nutrients in the human body.  Antinutrients may be natural or synthetic properties.  Lectins have been known to cause immune reactions and gastrointestinal problems.  Phytates tie up minerals that are essential to our health such as zinc, calcium and iron.  I mentioned above that soy contains calcium, however it is not absorbed efficiently.  Saponins are linked to leaky gut syndrome because they injure the gut mucosa.  You may be wondering what leaky gut is.  A leaky gut is when an intestinal lining has large holes in it and feces are able to enter the bloodstream.
Now seeing some of the pros and cons of soy, you might have a more clear understanding of whether or not it is something you want to include as a regular part of your diet. Keep in mind, soy is not the only food that’s linked to leaky gut syndrome.  Our 12 week nutrition program goes into leaky gut in great detail.  If you’d like to learn more about leaky gut syndrome, what causes it, and how to heal it, schedule in a session with one of our nutrition coaches.  Give us a call at 604-568-6006, email us at  or pop by the front desk to make an appointment.