I drink one every day. How is it affecting me? What are my alternatives? Join the discussion below!
It’s pretty much ritual at this point. Wake up, get dressed for work, get in the car, then anxiously await my morning latte. If I’m early, I’ll go to Rocket Cat a few blocks away from home. (After some field research, I’m crowning them best soy latte in Fishtown.) If I’m running late, the one at work does just fine. I made the switch about 10 months ago. I was tired of drinking regular iced coffee and feeling the effects of that extra sugar and cream, i.e. stomach pains, probably from the dairy creamer. I thought switching to soy milk would be lighter on my stomach. So there it was. “May I please have a medium soy latte?” That’s the question I now ask every morning.
But then I got to thinking. Is this good for my body? I mean, I thought it was. I thought everybody else did, too. But…is there something better for me besides a soy latte? Actually, what IS soy?
Soy is a protein derived from — you guessed it, a soybean. It’s one of the few available plant-based sources of complete protein. Many of us come in contact with soy many times over the course of a day — via cheese, milk, bread, etc. It’s a dietary staple across the globe, and it gained popularity here when the idea of eating meat substitutes like tofu and tempeh translated to better health. Vegetarians and vegans rely on protein alternatives for nutrient support. After many reads, I’d it seems the general consensus is soy = good. It does possess many benefits: high in fiber, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc. But then there are the not-so-warm-and-fuzzy headlines, of which a main concern are the Isoflavones (plant estrogens) contained in soy which are linked to excess estrogen, and may lead to cause breast cancer.
Now, I don’t want to get too scientific, as I’m not an expert, so I’d rather talk about experience:
Around the same time I switched to drinking soy lattes, I also started adhering to a more vegetarian-based diet. Not full vedge, but I started consuming A LOT more fake meat than I did in the past. It didn’t concern me at first, but then I considered the amount of soy I was ingesting on a daily basis. The recommended intake is about 2-4 servings (25 grams) a day. About 1 cup of soy milk translates to one serving. Some days, I may surpass the 25 grams by eating a soy-based lunch and dinner, while also accounting for that daily latte. My friends standing in the coffee line started commenting on my order. “You know soy is bad for your lady bits.” Or, “You should really switch to almond milk.” Okay, well, almond milk in coffee is just bad in my opinion. My taste buds don’t allow it. But, is soy bad for your lady bits? One thing I will say is that my menstrual cramps have taken a turn for the worse. The past few months, they have been horrible, to the point where I can’t get off the couch. Could this be related back to my soy intake?
Just like anything, moderation is key. I honestly don’t think the amount of soy I’m ingesting is cause for any harm, but, it has got me starting to think more about my alternatives and my overall relationship with soy.
So, I’d love to hear from you all about your thoughts on soy and get a bit of a discussion going. Experiences, concerns, comments, suggestions…all are welcome in the comment section below!