Maybe this is a silly question, but really – why wouldn’t soy (and, by extension, soy milk) be Paleo?
It’s not hard to imagine that soybeans would have been eaten a million years ago, and it’s not that much of a stretch to think about somehow mixing soybeans with a bit of water and making a milk-like substance.
it’s also an important question because dairy is a big problem for many folks.
Unfortunately, soy milk is decidedly non-Paleo (and not healthy).
Legumes are not the worst things you can eat, but some are worse than others. Soy, in some ways, is the worst of the legumes, and soy milk – along with tofu – are the worst forms of soy.
Here are 4 reasons to avoid soy milk:
- Highly Processed: Have you ever seen a soy-cow or a tofu-tree? Didn’t think so. Soybeans are somewhat problematic, but soy milk is so highly processed that it amplifies all the problems of soy by concentrating the worst parts of soybeans. In addition, most soy processing involves acid-washing, along with added sugar and MSG.
- Phytates and Lectins: Like all legumes, soybeans have phytates that prevent your body from absorbing many minerals and lectins that can cause gut irritation. But when you start to process soybeans in the manner necessary to make soy milk, it concentrates the phytates and lectins, increasing the likelihood that they’ll interfere with your gut health and nutrient absorption.
- Phyto-Estrogens: Occasional soybeans probably won’t cause too many problems in this regard, but soy milk is incredibly high in phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens bind to the same receptors in your body, which then thinks that it’s not producing enough estrogen, thus throwing your entire hormonal system out of balance.
- GMOs and Pesticides: Have any guesses as to what the most genetically modified food in the United States is? Corn is a close second, but the title goes to soy. Not just that, but soy is great at absorbing pesticides. Take all of that, process it, concentrate it into soy milk, and you have a drink that is not healthy in any regard!
Is Soy Milk Paleo?
Some fermented soy products are healthy for you, but soy milk definitely is not.