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Thread: how much tofu is too much?

  1. #1

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    Default how much tofu is too much?

    my friends always tell me i'm going to grow boobs from eating too much soy.

    this seems unlikely, but at what point would too much soy be unhealthy, particularly for men because of whatever it is about soy?

    i've started biking about 30 miles a day and tofu's an easy hunger fix, if i have it multiple times a day is that bad?
    xxx
    john

  2. #2
    Anouk's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    well, as far as i'm concerned, soy could be a problem because of hormones that are similar to womens. it's like with other foods, i guess - you shouldn't over do it. multiple times a day sounds like it, i'm afraid (although i don't know what side effects could be - it might be just about too much protein).

    too many different information out there about soy thing, really.
    Life is about having to change ... Taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

  3. #3
    Mrs. Beane fondducoeur's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I don't think anyone has any real idea. I have read quite a bit about the dangers of soy, but also quite a bit about people debunking these theories. I often eat tofu more than once per day, but there are some days were I eat none. I have tried to watch consuming soy in so many products were it is unnessesary though (mostly over-processed foods) because its all the soy that we eat withough thinking about it that adds up, imo.
    tabbouleh-bouleh

  4. #4
    Gets nervous chickpea_chica's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    From an article on 'diet and cancer':

    Soya
    The scientific association between soya protein
    consumption and the reduction of risk of some kinds of
    tumours is clearly increasing. An epidemiological study
    (2) put into evidence the reduced number of prostate tumour-
    cases in severe-combined immunodeficient
    (SCID) mice. The soya rich diet of these mice supported
    these results. The plant, of Asiatic origin, represented
    the staple food in that area for 5000 years. Soya is rich
    in proteins (42%), lipids, glucides, vitamins, minerals,
    fibres, saponins and isoflavones. These last components,
    including phitoestrogens, guarantee a protective action.
    In fact, isoflavones have an empirical formula similar to
    estrogens and can bind to the same receptors, blocking
    their action. On the other hand, some studies have
    shown a non-estrogenic mechanism of the phitoestrogens
    of soya. One of them, Genistein, does not influence
    the enzymes involved in signal transduction that regulates
    cellular growth and multiplication and has antioxidant
    properties. Its mechanism consists in anti-oxidation,
    inhibition of arachidonic acid metabolism, modulation
    of the cellular integration signals, inhibition of
    hormone activity, of neoplastic cell growth and of oncogenesis.
    An American study (3) conducted in 59 countries
    shows the importance of some substances in the reduction
    of the incidence of prostate cancer; soya is one
    of these substances. A Japanese study (4) has puts into
    evidence that in food-restricted mice, plasma levels of
    anticancer substances such as IFN-gamma, TNF-alfa
    and cytokines are higher than in the control group.A recent
    study of Billings et al (5) shows that the consumption
    of soya beans reduces the risk of colon-cancer up to
    50%. Men that ate at least 39 g of soya proteins per day
    for a year showed a lower cellular division of their cancerous
    cells than men whose diet did not include soya.
    An American study (6) demonstrated that a regular diet
    based on soya, protects from lung metastases of melanoma,
    showing the important action of isoflavones.

    Divisi et al (2006) Diet and cancer. Acta Biomed 77, 118-123.

  5. #5
    Veli
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Processed soy is what is considered not good for you. Isolated Soy protein. i.e. - these fake meats, veggie burgers-- processed-commercial soy milks.

    Japanese, who consume soy as normal part of their diet, still only consume a small percentage of soy altogether. They do not consume nearly as much as Westerners do. And the soy that they consume is fermented-- meaning non processed, like Miso, Tempeh-- and considered safe, with health benefits over processed.

    One reason soy is dangerous is IGF-1, or insulin like growth factor, which is a hormone that facilitates & increases cancer cell growth once in the human body. IGF-1 is also known to increase the aging process. IGF-1 is also in high concentrations in milk (especially hormone injected cows) and injected meats.

  6. #6

    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I eat a ton of tofu. I ride my bike hard (23pmh+ average) for about 20 miles every two days, and I swim hard (intervals on 1:25 per 100 meters long course) for 1.5 hours 5 days a week.

    I eat A LOT of soy. A LOT of tofu. A LOT of processed soy. I've also fathered two kids, with my wife (who also eats lots of soy). The kids eat lots of soy, and at 2 and 4 years old they're doing very healthily acording to our pediatricians.

    I've been eating lots of soy for well over a decade, and I've been training with periods of increased intensity (and slow periods too) for 7 years.

    I've yet to get boobs. I have gotten a bit more muscle definition... but that's more the weight lifting routine than how much soy I do or do not eat.

    Soy has PLANT estrogens. Not animal estrogens. It's not the same as taking birth control pills which are synthetic animal hormones. That's like saying the eating bamboo will make you grow because bamboo grows quickly, or that eating rocks will make you strong because calcium is a mineral and rocks are full of minerals.

    Any food eaten exclusively will cause problems. Too much tofu can certainly be problematic, as can eating pop corn every day, or eating only apples.

    Your problem, if any, isn't in the tofu, but in just eating too much of one thing.

    Vary it up a bit. Eat plenty of tofu, but take a long other proteins too. Eat some peanut butter and bananas (my favorite workout food). Eat some apples. Eat some whole wheat pasta or bread. Each some pea protein. Eat some brocolli (has more protein per calorie than most animal flesh). Eat some Hummus.

    You'll be fine if you vary it up. You can still have tofu are you "go to" eat. It'll just be good to have a no.2 backup to mix things up once in a while.
    context is everything

  7. #7

    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I think the whole soy debate is something you have to research and then decide for yourself. There are so many articles (and health gurus) against any and all consumption, and then others who say it's okay to eat it in moderation.

    We have one health food store in town whose owner (who is well known around here) refuses to carry tofu or any soy products at all. The guy went bonkers when I asked if he carried tofu the first time I visited his store back in '06.

    Another local health food store owner (who I used to work for) is slowly limiting his soy products as well. He tells all his customer to completely avoid soy because it "leads to cancer, thyroid problems and other complications".

    Personally, I just don't know what to believe anymore but I haven't cut it out of my diet completely. I just try not to over do it.

    Also, I think what Veli said is basically what the debate is about: processed soy versus fermented.
    Fermented soy, like tempeh (which I can't stand personally) is considered "safe" while processed soy isn't.

    They do make a fermented soy shake out there. Can't remember the name but it's out there somewhere

  8. #8
    Mahk
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I get the impression the meat and dairy councils, the people who would stand to lose the most (financially) if the western diet migrated to a soy based diet, have actively sought out the lunatic internet "health experts" (Dr. Mercola and Weston A Price) to launch anti-soy campaigns.

    From Dr Joel Fuhrman:

    there is internet chatter and opinions from health writers who have an agenda to vilify soy as a dangerous food. Soy may not be a super-food (such as broccoli) but the preponderance of evidence does not suggest that eating moderate amounts of unprocessed (edamame or soy beans) or lightly processed (tofu or soy milk) soy creates hypothyroidism or causes cancer. Processed foods, because of their low nutrient levels, high amount of salt, acrylamides and other toxic additives should not be considered healthy. Vegetarians and vegans who eat tofu-turkey, soy burgers, soy ice cream, soy hot dogs, soy cheese and other soy-derived processed foods on a regular basis are certainly not eating a healthy diet. Isolated soy protein is a heavily processed food with a low nutrient-per-calorie ratio. The key to good health is to eat unprocessed foods because their nutrient per calorie density is high.

    edit to add: This other guy seems to have come to the same conclusion as me.

  9. #9
    BJJNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    So what soy things are good and what soy things are bad?
    Someone should write up a list and make things really simple for me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Quote BJJNick View Post
    So what soy things are good and what soy things are bad?
    Someone should write up a list and make things really simple for me.
    Fermented = Good
    Non-fermented processed = not as good

    Or something like that.

    In the good list: Tempeh. Fermented soy. Tamari.

    In the "bad" list: Boca burgers. TVP. Bac-O's. Soymilk

    In the "in between" list: tofu

    At least that's how I've read the dozens of threads on this issue. Not that I end up doing any of it. If processed soy is as (un)healthy as other processed foods, then I'm going to eat it as such and it it sparringly, but enjoyably. Bring on the toffutti ice cream!
    context is everything

  11. #11
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I've never really looked at the ingredients lists for fermented and non-fermented.

    Damn, soymilk is bad... (

  12. #12

    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Quote BJJNick View Post
    I've never really looked at the ingredients lists for fermented and non-fermented.
    It's not on the ingredient list.

    That you just have to know.

    Oh, Miso is also fermented. But that's usually fermented rice.

    If it's got a "Umame" flavor to it, it's usually fermented.
    context is everything

  13. #13
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I think there are some legitimate concerns about soy. There are lots of beans which along with nuts seeds and grains will provide great protein in a vegan diet. Then you can add a little soy without concern but I wouldn't recommend basing your protein needs on it.

  14. #14
    Festival Buddy Frank's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I picked this up off the web:


    ''Soy — Toxin or Tonic

    Is soy a good or a bad food? Here's how to identify and enjoy the healthful soy products. And to avoid the poor quality ones.

    As with any food, careful processing of a quality ingredient yields a superior product. Whereas, poor quality soy products that were cheaply produced and highly refined are shoddy. Do your health a favor and avoid such foods.

    Inherently, soy contains anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, which interfere with the digestion of protein. Over 3,000 years ago, Asians discovered how to increase soy's digestibility and flavor by soaking, fermenting and sprouting the beans. This eliminated the anti-nutrients and increased soy's nutrition.

    Fifty years ago Western food technologists saw the value of the common soybean as an affordable protein. Bypassing the traditional and time consuming preparation steps, they created new soy foods. In record time, soy became the least expensive protein source in virtually every country.

    While many of these products are excellent in quality and free of anti-nutrients, unfortunately, not all are. This helps to explain the contradictory soy information we see in today's media.

    Have you ever considered why we don't sit down to a bowl of soybeans as we would to a bowl of pinto or black beans. Because of their anti-nutrients, whole soy beans are a bear to digest. Unless, that is, they've been properly prepared or processed.

    Two exceptions are black soy and immature soy (edamame). The later are widely available as green soybeans in the pod. The black soy beans have such a lush, creamy texture and chestnut-like flavor that they're worth seeking out. They're available dried from Asian markets and canned from Eden Foods.

    With the following guidelines you can easily chose quality and avoid the toxic soy products. It will require some label-reading vigilance. But, before long you'll identify and select only the trustworthy brand names.

    Two guidelines for selecting quality soy foods:

    1. Purchase products made from whole beans such as miso, soybean sprouts, edamame, tempeh, shoyu, tamari soy sauce and natto.
    2. Make sure soybeans are from a quality source. Favor organic soy products that contain no GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Sixty percent of soybeans on today's market have been genetically modified.

    Soy Products to Avoid:

    Bypass soy foods made from fractionated or defated beans or that contain soy oil. Please note that some foods, like soy sauce, tofu and soymilk may be made from either whole or fractionated beans. Soynut or soynut butter are cheap, high-tech products that I cannot endorse.

    Fractionated beans are processed in a way that denatures proteins and doesn't remove the anti-nutrients. Such beans are typically dissolved in petroleum-based solvents and then extruded at thermoplastic temperatures to mold them into desired shapes and textures. If the label lists TVP, TSP, soy isolate, or soy protein, then isolate them from your diet.

    You'll find these shoddy ingredients in some tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, meat analogs and extenders, energy bars, infant formulas, frozen desserts, meal replacement and protein drinks, soy cheese and soy deli foods.

    Likewise, avoid products that contain soy oil including margarine and mayonnaise. Virtually all soy oil currently available in the US is a byproduct of the soy industry. It is a highly processed, denatured oil that contributes to the formation of free-radicals.

    Soynut and soynut butter are not recommended.''
    I Think, Therefore I Am A Vegan

  15. #15
    organic fanic august's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    That's like saying the eating bamboo will make you grow because bamboo grows quickly,
    such a funny analogy

    Oh, and I agree with your advice.
    "The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking." -byron

  16. #16
    BJJNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Thanks for the advice guys.

  17. #17
    heat13
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    So veganaise is bad for you

  18. #18
    Mahk
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Quote Frank View Post
    I picked this up off the web:
    Me too:
    http://www.all-lies.com/misinfo/2005/2005-11_soy.shtml

  19. #19
    heat13
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    HAHA That's a good one!

  20. #20
    Fuhzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Damnit I use TVP for sloppy joe's and soy isolate in my Clif Builder Bars!

  21. #21
    heat13
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Quote Fuhzy View Post
    Damnit I use TVP for sloppy joe's and soy isolate in my Clif Builder Bars!
    I love TVP in Sloppy Joes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. #22
    Mahk
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    There are lots of links to articles talking about the dangers of soy on the web but there are even more that discuss UFO's, Big foot, the magic healing powers of crystal pendents etc. It doesn't prove anything. Lot's of internet quack doctors like Mercola and the Weston A. Price people have been quick to quote each other about the "dangers of soy" but I'll tell you what I haven't found: A single medical body or institution that warns against any kind of soy consumption (unless it is coincidentally also a highly processed food high in fat, sodium, and devoid of fiber and nutrients, that is).

    I'm talking about medical bodies like the American Medical Association, the British Medical Association, the World Health Organization, or perhaps a general consumer health watch-dog group like Consumer Reports magazine.

    Anyone?

  23. #23
    BJJNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I just made some sloppy joes made from lentils. www.theppk.com

    I'm pretty sure that's where we got the recipe.

  24. #24
    Mahk
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    This may be a more direct link to Snobby joes.

    So how was it BJJNick?

  25. #25
    Lover of ducks Mila's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Quote Misinformation
    In addition, soy has a weak estrogen effect and, in large amounts, has a tendency to turn men into women, which in many cases is undesirable.
    My husband is vegan too, and we friggin' loooove tofu. Good thing gay marriage is legal in California now.
    I'm just a love machine and I won't work without a union contract.

  26. #26

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    Default too much tofu?

    Is it really bad to eat too much soy? I buy organic and GMO free but usually have soymilk in my cereal in the morning and some tofu, tempeh, or another whole soy based protein at another time most days. I don't buy processed "fake meats". I know there's a lot of conflicting opinions with soy, so do you think it's good or bad to have everyday? (btw I feel fine)
    Last edited by Korn; Feb 23rd, 2011 at 06:27 AM. Reason: This was the first post in a similar thread

  27. #27
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: too much tofu?

    Quote onestar View Post
    Is it really bad to eat too much soy?
    Dear Onestar,
    I just merged your thread with a similar thread.
    These threads may also interest you:

    Too much soy?

    What is the truth about soya

    Not Enough Protein vs Too Much Soy?

    Catarrh? Too much soya?

    Re. your question: the answer is yes, because if it wouldn't be bad for you, it wouldn't be 'too much'.

    Luckily, we don't need soy at all, so if you're in doubt - just reduce or eliminate your soy intake altogether...
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  28. #28

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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I really don't know much about overdoing soy, but that's because I don't eat much of it. But my feeling is that if you are eating it every day, and sometimes more than once a day, it might be a concern from the point of view of not getting enough variety in your diet. If I were you I would try to cut down on the tofu and start varying the foods you eat.

  29. #29
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Quote fiamma View Post
    But my feeling is that if you are eating it every day, and sometimes more than once a day, it might be a concern from the point of view of not getting enough variety in your diet. If I were you I would try to cut down on the tofu and start varying the foods you eat.
    Yes, I was thinking that as well - that the soya might be sort of displacing other things you might otherwise be eating, onestar. There are lots of other protein-y things you could for a change such as beans (e.g. in a salad), chickpeas, lentils, nuts and seeds.

  30. #30

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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    I love soy, been eating it for years but have been trying to mostly eat the fermented type such as tempeh. Years ago stopped drinking soymilk and switched to almond milk - usually unsweetened. I use it with cereal, and for protein shakes. Of course that protein has some soy along with pea protein

  31. #31

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    Default Re: too much tofu?

    thank you!

  32. #32

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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Take a look at this very interesting piece of information (from one of the threads Korn linked): http://www.johnrobbins.info/blog/what-about-soy/

    And - quite frankly - please consider that most likely you ARE already getting all the protein you need (you do not need much) just from eating whole, non-processed vegetables and fruits, without much need of eating additional tofu, quinoa, lentils and so on.

    Best regards,
    Andy

  33. #33

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    Default Re: how much tofu is too much?

    Quote Andy_T View Post
    And - quite frankly - please consider that most likely you ARE already getting all the protein you need (you do not need much) just from eating whole, non-processed vegetables and fruits, without much need of eating additional tofu, quinoa, lentils and so on.
    I understand where you're coming from, Andy. But tofu, quinoa, lentils and so on DO provide excellent sources of protein, as well as adding variety and other nutrients besides protein. I've never heard a vegan tell another that pulses were next to unnecessary, unless the latter wanted to follow a raw food diet, and even in that case many pulses can be sprouted, such as chick peas and lentils.

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