SAVORING the MOMENT

Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle

Sunday

The other white "meat"

Yesterday a friend of mine called tofu the "other white meat" and I laughed out loud. It's true. Lots of people who like meat tend to like tofu if it's fried and slathered with some yummy sauce, like the kung pao tofu my friend and I happened to be eating when he made the comment. Kung pao preparations generally include red bell peppers, hot chilies, and peanuts, plus the usual soy and garlic flavors -- so this was pretty yummy tofu.

I've noticed that there are plenty of soy debunkers in the world these days. A friend (a different one) recently showed me an article in an apparently legitimate if fringe-hugging publication that said that tofu causes breast cancer. I don't know how much research the author did, but apparently he/she missed the fact that the estrogen-like substance found in soybeans is actually a mild-mannered little biochemical that blocks estrogen receptors in the breast (and elsewhere in the body) that would otherwise bond with actual, not-so-mild-mannered estrogen. So in fact, the kind of estrogen we get from soy protects us from the kind our bodies make -- which, by the way, shouldn't be demonized; it does all kind of good things for our bodies and brains.

If you want to hear this from a reputable doctor, check out what Dr. Andrew Weil has to say on the subject. (His website is chockfull of useful information on all kinds of health and nutrition topics, in case you didn't know.)

The article went on to say that we shouldn't think that Asian women have less estrogen-triggered cancer because they eat soy, since they have more cancer in some parts of the body, like the kidneys. Huh? That's pretzel logic if ever I heard it. Couldn't we just as easily believe that they'd get more of every type of cancer if they didn't eat soyi to protect them from the estrogen-triggered variety? To my mind, it's pretty convincing evidence that the soy-eating women of the world get less breast cancer, since American researchers have determined that soy does the things I mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

Anyway, I believe soy protects my breast health and eat soy foods frequently, in whole food form like fresh green soybeans, tofu, and tempeh. Make sure they're made from organic soybeans and eat your daily dose. Oh, but if you have a thyroid problem, maybe you should go easy on the soy. Apparently it can be goiterogenic. (Textured vegetable proteins, a soy derivative, is a highly process food that may cause unwanted health consequences, but that's another story.)

There's a lesson here. Don't believe everything you read. Develop an inquring mind and search out the dietary facts from truly authoratative sources. Blessings and be well!

1 Comments:

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