To Soy or Not to Soy

Here in Vienna, I’ve been eating a lot of fake meat and other soy products from Spar.

I haven’t done this much in the past because most countries don’t offer that kind of first-world selection.

But German-speaking countries love their meat. They love all manner of Wursts (sausage). Bratwurst, Currywurst, Blutwurst. So I counted myself lucky to find soy substitutes at Spar, the grocery store a stone’s throw away from our apartment building.

Until after I made Spaghetti Bolognese with the meat substitute. The next day, my stomach was extremely bloated and crampy. When I realized I hadn’t eaten anything else but that, I did more research.

I’ve always ignored the complaints against soy—and I’ve heard them before—because I figured if Asians eat it as much as they do, and they have the life expectancy that they do, it can’t be bad.

However, this article debunks that idea:

Basically, the Asians don’t eat soy like Westerners eat soy.

First, they only eat about 7 grams per day on average.

My serving of spaghetti had 25 grams.

Second, the soy Asians do eat tends to be fermented, which gives it probiotics and makes it easier to digest.

Soy is an anti-nutrient.

That means it blocks absorption of minerals and enzymes. It interferes with the thyroid. If you have a history with your thyroid, like I do, that doesn’t sound good.

So I’m not going to eliminate it, but soy can’t be the fix-all protein solution I’m looking for either. I would like to be able to get 40 grams of protein a day. And for now I don’t want any more than 5-10 grams of it to be soy, unless I can find the fermented kind.

Have you had any problems after eating soy?

Do you have any go-to sources of protein besides meat?

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 371 awesome articles for us.

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