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a little soy/dairy debate

April 28, 2009

I was informed that perhaps a soy/dairy based yogurt battle is not fair.  And this got me thinking.  Because some people can’t eat soy.  Some can’t eat dairy.  Either by choice or allergy.  But I can eat both and I don’t necessarily think one should substitute for the other. So here is the real battle-that goes on in my head when I think about dairy/soy.

Things I like about soy: It is a heart healthy protein(as you will see on all soy containing products that the FDA says 25 g of soy protein/day is good for you heart), it doesn’t hurt my tummy the way dairy sometimes does, it doesn’t use milk made for baby cows( part of the reason I became a vegan was because I read The China Study which is a great book.  Humans are the only mammals that continue to drink milk past weaning, and from another species at that.  It is just weird when you think about it.) Soy products are almost all always made from organic soybeans that are GMO free.  I like that! I drink soy milk 99% of the time and I enjoy soy ice cream.

Things I do not like about soy: It shows up EVERYWHERE in the foods that I eat-veggie burgers, breads, soy crisps(haha DUH!), tempeh, tofu etc. etc. I think you should have no more than 2-3 servings of soy/day and I used to rely on this very heavily as practically my only source of protein.  Also, there is a lot of varying research available on soy-some say it is great for you, some say it is not! The phytoestrogens in soy are supposed to be good for you after menopause, but not after breast cancer? Google it. It just seems like soy can do a lot in our bodies and I don’t want to get too much of it.

Things I like about dairy: it tastes good! Is that a good enough reason? I LOVE yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, ice cream, etc.  I especially like that the low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese I buy are high in protein and low in calories. Most soy products don’t come close to their dairy counterparts in my opinion-except for soy milk!

Things I do not like about dairy: saturated fat, cholesterol, saturated fat, cholesterol, cholesterol, saturated fat.  Get the point.  Also, LOTS of people are lactose intolerant(this is especially predominant in people of Asian/African descent).  Our bodies just aren’t meant to digest the milk therefore the enzyme we need; lactase(which digests lactose-the natural sugar in milk) is not produced and the sugars are never fully digested which can cause gas/cramping/diarrhea/constipation etc.  My body stopped making lactase after I was vegan for almost 1 year because it didn’t need to.  I had to re-introduce dairy very slowly back into my diet and foods like yogurts and cheeses were tolerated best(yogurt had bacteria in it which can digest the lactose, some cheeses are lactose free).  Now I eat dairy, sometimes I think too much because in many situations this is the only form of vegetarian protein around.

Whewh! that was long and wordy.  I would love to hear anyone’s opinion on the dairy/soy battle.  There are also tons of other dairy-substitute options, like almond milk, rice milk, etc.  Many infants/toddlers who have a dairy allergy also have a soy allergy.  And it is VERY tough to avoid both those foods.

Just so you can see that I really do combine my dairy and soy- here is a smoothie made with Stonyfield farms yogurt and soy milk! Along with raspberries/strawberries/flax/ice and a dash of maple syrup(much necessary the raspberries were TART!) and a piece of whole wheat toast with a schmear of almond butter and pumpkin butter! YUM!cimg0675

Lunch was also a salad wrap with tofu and feta! haha I guess I eat a lot of soy and dairy, usually together.  They make a great team I think! Dinner was just soy though-a veggie burger topped on a salad with corn, avocado, and hummus.  YUM.  Over and out!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2009 2:12 pm

    Your dinner sounds fantastic! Thankfully I can handle both dairy and soy – I don’t know what I’d do without my beloved Greek yogurt 🙂

  2. April 28, 2009 5:56 pm

    Interesting points for both sides! I don’t know where I stand but I do consume both in moderation, which I guess is just the best option since I don’t want to give anything up!

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