Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Soy. . . Does It Make A Body Good??

After my treatment for breast cancer I began to really look at what I was eating.  And in the process made significant changes to my diet.  In my quest for healthier foods I became interested in soy.  I had never eaten soy before, no edamame or tofu, but I was willing to try.  I had always heard that soy was good for women.  Women I knew were drinking soy milk and eating Luna bars.  The only soy I had ingested at that point was the type included in processed foods which I suppose is not the good kind.  Everything in a fresh state is best.  

What I became concerned about was hearing that women with breast cancer should avoid soy.  Reason being that soy, a plant, when it is ingested gets processed as a form of estrogen.  For women with estrogen receptor positive tumors this would not be a good thing.  Or so I was told by my doctors.  I am one of those ER positive women.  So I began running from soy.  Reading labels like a lunatic and becoming afraid to ingest any food or dietary supplements that included soy as an ingredient.  

That was 8 years ago.  Since then the verdict on soy and breast cancer has been mixed.  I found a recent article revealing the results of a study about soy.  It says that soy is safe for breast cancer survivors and may even reduce mortality rates.   However, in the medical community there is still debate about the topic.  One MD says that he feels soy as part of a balanced diet is safe however he would not go so far as to say it will reduce mortality rates in women with breast cancer.  Read the article here.

I am a big believer in moderation.  Over the years I have stopped running in fear of soy.  I was glad to hear this news although you never know what the next verdict will be...

As a breast cancer survivor do you include soy as a part of  your diet?  Did you ever fear soy after your treatment?  How do you maintain a balance in your diet?


Caroline said...

I have avoided soy since my diagnosis. Well I mean I dont eat tofu or buy edamame or drink soy milk but I do use soy sauce in cooking. I had heard the same warnings and have been avoiding it. Its a very mixed verdict but the one thing I have heard is if you want to eat soy, eat real soy like edamame or tofu but not soy supplement.

Sherry said...

I was not a soy lover before breast cancer and my cancer was not er+, however, I have no gone looking to add soy to my diet for any "health" benefits.

I think you are on the money here Cathy when you said you believe in moderation. I think that is the key to everything regarding lifestyle and health.

What might harm me, might not harm you and we can't know any of that "for sure" so being mindful and aware, making healthy choices that seem to fit with our own bodies...that makes good sense to me.

Cathy Bueti said...

Hi Caroline! Yes...the verdict is very mixed. I agree with you about eating the real deal!
Hi Sherry! I haven't really gone looking to add soy to my diet too much. And yes...moderation! Although I need to get much better at that in most areas of my life. It is very hard for me to say the least.