When it comes to soy, the components of most debate are the isoflavones, which are polyphenols with oestrogen properties – meaning the isoflavone chemical structure is likened to oestrogen (a hormone).
Many people will avoid soy due to the fact that soy, or soy products will act like the hormone oestrogen in our bodies – so to what extent is this true?
Since isoflavones and oestrogen have a similar chemical structure, isoflavones can bind to oestrogen receptors in the body, causing a weak, anti-oestrogenic, (prevent oestrogen from mediating any effect), or NIL effect. It is important to note that the human body contains a number of different oestrogen receptors, and isoflavones do not bind to ALL of those receptors. Therefore, phytoestrogens will not reflect the typical agonist response of classical oestrogens.
As the science currently stands, the following points are evidence-based facts on the consumption of soy products.
Complete source of plant-based protein (i.e. contains all 9 essential amino acids)
Source of unsaturated fatty acids; has exerted positive effects towards cholesterol status.
May reduce LDL cholesterol for those with high cholesterol status.
May reduce risk of coronary heart disease
Soy will not affect testosterone levels in men
Source of B vitamins
High in fibre (1 cup cooked soybeans = 14g fibre)
The type of carbohydrates in soy are indigestible to humans, so they are fermented in the large intestine to feed and grow our gut microbiota
May be protective against development of breast, prostate and bowel cancer
Contains phytic acid – which affects the absorption of some minerals such as calcium and iron. By cooking or fermenting soy, it deactivates the phytic acid.
Unlikely effects to overall thyroid function. However, it is suggested for those on levothyroxine, to distance soy consumption from medication intakes due to potential interference/interactions.
So, to summarise:
Soy is not AS BAD as the claims set it out to be. As with all foods, try to avoid consuming excessive amounts of soy. 25g of soy per day is the recommended amount – which is equivalent to around 100g of tofu, tempeh, or soybeans.
Based in Sydney, Australia, I have recently graduated as a Nutritionist from the University of Wollongong, completing my Bachelor of Nutrition Science (BNutSci) in 2019.
I am now completing my Master of Nutrition and Dietetics (also at UOW) to graduate as an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) in 2021.
I am a passionate foodie who loves to cook, bake, learn and educate others.
My favourite foods include sushi, chocolate and avocado. I love cats, yoga, baking, and my friends. I have particular interests in digestive health, adolescent nutrition and women’s nutrition.
In this live session we will dive deep into the underlying impact of the gut-brain axis in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and provide practical strategies to help you better manage symptoms of IBS. We will discuss the top 10 strategies to improve your gut health to feel comfortable, confident and healthy!
Marika Day is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist with over 6 years of experience working with people who suffer from digestive illnesses and concerns.
She now heads the new brand and program Gut Started which aims to do nutrition differently, to reduce the confusion around nutrition, and to make eating healthy fun, enjoyable and simple.
Her Gut Started: IBS Control program has helped hundreds of men and women across Australia bring confidence back to their life, feeling free and in control of their digestive concerns.
Source: Department of Gastroenterology, Monash University. This blog and recipes were created and reproduced with permission from Monash University (monashfodmap.com).
What do you do when you feel better following a low FODMAP diet? Re-introduce FODMAPs! While this may sound illogical, it is important for a number of reasons, first and foremost to ensure your diet is minimally restrictive, while still providing adequate symptom control. Read on for a simple guide to the 3 phases of the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet™.
Step 1. Low FODMAP This is to be commenced under the supervision of a dietitian for a period of 2-6 weeks. During this phase you would use the Monash University FODMAP Diet App to choose foods with a ‘green’ serving size. This means that you only eat foods in a low FODMAP serve. But remember, a low FODMAP diet is not an elimination diet. Rather, it is a substitution diet, whereby you swap one food for another, e.g. switch your daily apple for an orange, or swap an onion for chives.
Step 2. Reintroduction This step involves reintroducing foods back into your diet in a methodical way to determine which foods and FODMAPs trigger symptoms and which do not. Each FODMAP subgroup should be reintroduced separately while your background diet remains low in FODMAPs. The reintroduction step is also best completed under the guidance of a dietitian, who will advise you on when to reintroduce; which foods to reintroduce with (e.g. honey to test your tolerance to excess fructose); the amount of the reintroduction food to have, and the order of reintroducing foods. Remember to have a break of a few days between reintroduction of foods to avoid any crossover effects. A dietitian will also help you to interpret your responses. It takes most people around 6 to 8 weeks to complete the reintroduction step.
Step 3. Personalization The third step of the diet involves establishing your longer term, personalized FODMAP diet. Once your dietitian has interpreted your food triggers and tolerances, you can begin to reintroduce foods and FODMAPs that were tolerated well and avoiding ONLY the foods that triggered your symptoms. It is important to remember that FODMAP tolerance can change over time, so if there are foods you didn’t tolerate as well, try again in a few months to see if anything has changed.
We understand there may be a hesitation to reintroduce foods, especially if you are feeling well after following a low FODMAP diet, but there are important reasons why you should complete Step 2 – Reintroduction and expand your diet. To read more about these reasons, take a look at our previous blog posts on the topic.
She spoke about Gut Health and the importance this plays when dealing with allergies or intolerances.
She has shared some insight below on Probiotics that can help to restore the gut and help with allergies and intolerances.
Peanut allergies have increased by over 350% in the last 20 years. It’s the most common cause of fatality due to food-induced anaphylaxis. (1)
Other food allergies are also massively on the rise. Recent statistics show that 10% of children under one have a proven food allergy (2). These stats don’t even include all those suffering from food intolerances and their related health conditions of eczema, asthma, behavioural and digestive disorders.
There are many theories regarding this rise, from poor gut health, the Standard Australian/American diet (SAD), genetically modified foods (GMO’s), chemical toxins and even vaccines. But everybody is in agreement on one thing:
Up until about 50 years ago, allergies were RARE, and now they are RAMPANT.
While the rise in allergies is very concerning, as a parent there is a level of comfort here. These stats tell me we can’t blame genes entirely and that we‘re powerless to do anything. Genetics don’t work that way or evolve that quickly.
It does suggest that external factors such as diet, the environment and lifestyle choices can have an influential role to play on whether your child has an allergy and if they can reverse it.
PEANUT ALLERGIES REVERSED, USING PROBIOTIC TREATMENT (STUDY)
In a fascinating study, researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute have been able to drastically reduce allergic responses to peanuts by administering probiotic therapy.
Over 60 peanut-allergic children in the study were either given a dose of a probiotic, (Lactobacillus rhamnosus), together with peanut protein in increasing amounts, or a placebo over 18 months to assess whether children would become tolerant to peanut.
A fixed daily dose of probiotic was used while the peanut oral immunotherapy included a daily dose of peanut protein starting at very low doses and increasing every 2 weeks (capped at 2 grams of peanut protein).
At the end of the treatment, a peanut challenge was conducted on all the children two to five weeks after stopping the treatment.
Incredibly, researchers found over 80% of children who received the oral immunotherapy treatment using the probiotic strain were able to tolerate peanut at the end of the trial, compared to less than 4% of the placebo group.
This is 20 times higher than the natural rate of resolution for peanut allergy. WOW!
23 of 28 (82.1%) probiotic treated children and one of 28 (3.6%) placebo-treated children were able to include peanut in their diet at the end of the trial.
In summary, the likelihood of success was high – if nine children were given probiotic and peanut therapy, seven would benefit.
By supporting the immune system and building up the gut health of allergy children, there seems to be a higher chance for the immune system to produce protective responses to peanut protein, rather than developing a harmful response.
QUICK WINS TO GET PROBIOTICS INTO YOUR KIDS DIET
I’m a huge fan of probiotic supplements and also making your own probiotic dairy-free yoghurts at home which are so easy to do.
Get your buying guide to probiotics by clicking HERE.
If you’d like to make your own probiotic-rich cultured yoghurt I have the recipe here. This yoghurt is full of incredible gut-healing probiotics that are ideal for allergies, eczema and digestive disorders.
This video provides advice on solid introduction and allergy prevention. While we cannot predict food allergies, there are a few things we can do to reduce the risk. Deatouches on how and when to introduce allergenic foods to your baby, knowing different allergy reactions (mild to moderate and severe reactions), and what to dowith hertop tips you can do right-away!
Dea | Allergy Dietician
Hello! I’m Dea.
I’m a dietitian and a mother of a 2 year-old daughter.
I have worked with mothers and infants with food allergies and intolerances in the last 8 years.
I am passionate in helping mothers gain confidence in navigating (what can be) a challenging world of food allergies and intolerance.
I find it highly rewarding to see my allergy babies thrive and eat confidently without their parents worrying about incidental reactions, eczema, abnormal stools and irritability/fussiness.
Heavily based in corn and fresh vegetables, and meat, Mexican food can be a great choice when dining out. However, there are potential sources of gluten to watch out for.
In addition to the obvious gluten unfriendly dishes (such as wheat tortillas), check for the following when confirming which options are gluten free:
1. Corn Tortillas
Corn tortillas are a natural gluten-free alternative to wheat tortillas. However, some corn tortillas are not pure corn! Certain restaurants might use corn tortillas that have wheat flour added – which makes them cheaper to produce. Always check when ordering corn tortillas that they are 100% corn-based.
The chips served with salsa/guacamole and nachos are often corn chips. However, some restaurants fry tortilla chips in oil to make them crispy. Sometimes this oil is the same used for frying wheat tortilla dishes such as chimichangas or battered fish included in fish tacos. This can cause cross-contamination. Always ask about whether chips are fried and if the fryer is shared with other wheat-based dishes
3.Sauces and Seasonings.
Certain sauces, such as enchilada sauce and queso, may be thickened with wheat starch. The spice mixes coated on otherwise gluten-free meat dishes (such as carnitas and chicken tacos) can sometimes have flour in them as well. Always double-check with seasonings and sauces.
Born and raised in New York, I relocated to Sydney, Australia in 2018 for work. I love exploring the incredible gluten free food scene in Sydney as well as experimenting with gluten free cooking and baking.
I was diagnosed with Celiac when I was 12 years old and in the 14ish years since my diagnosis, I‘ve maintained a strict gluten free diet. I love sharing tips and tricks I’ve learned through my experience and showing how a GF diet can be exciting and delicious.