Anyone who has been following this blog knows that nutritionists generally take a dim view of processed foods. But one sector of this market has been given a free pass, and that’s products that are made with soy. It seems as though it’s politically incorrect to criticize anything soy-based, because it’s the vegetarian protein source that’s going to feed the world.
But what could be more overly processed than a veggieburger? What kind of manipulation do soybeans have to go through to make then look, feel, and taste like meat? And can you expect a corporate food factory to put your health ahead of profits simply because they produce soy-based products?
If you eat soy-based products, I highly recommend you read this article from Mother Jones. Perhaps this quote will whet your appetite:
If a non-organic product contains a soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, or texturized vegetable protein, you can be pretty sure it was made using soy beans that were made with hexane.
For you non-chemists out there, hexane is an EPA-registered air pollutant and neurotoxin. Mmmm, tasty!
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Here’s more good news that’s sure to get your attention. According to researchers, dieting can actually harm your health, leading to conditions such as…drumroll please… heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
The studies showed that women who were put on a restrictive diet (1200 calories daily) produced higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Many of the subjects also experienced high levels of psychological stress because they were forced to count calories and constantly monitor what they ate.
Conclusion—yeah, you’ve heard it before—eating wholesome foods and exercising is the best way to stay healthy.
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Something else that you’ve probably heard before, but it’s worth repeating:
And finally, an interesting article from AlterNet that questions whether the multinational food industry can help alleviate global nutrition problems. As you might expect, public health leaders are a little bit skeptical. Lots of links are provided for extended weekend reading.