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Tofu Bad for Men?


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Hey everybody,

 

My wife and I just got back from out first time with a personal trainer, we are looking to get fit. When we mentioned that we were Vegan and ate Tofu. He was very against tofu saying that it is not good for men and can mess up one's thyroid and that it is mostly made of Genetically Modified Soybeans. I know I have read an article in Veg News about this.

 

I know it is best to have a varied diet, but I don't want our personal trainer to have a bad opinion of Tofu, I like him as a trainer.

 

Any ideas on what I should tell him or articles I could send him.

 

Thanks,

Tom Scholfield

http://www.AHealthyVegan.com

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Your personal trainer obviously does not know much about nutrition so I would either find a new one (allthough I doubt it's easy to find one that's good) or just say that you will fix your diet yourself and let him take care of your work out regimen. Your PT probably read some BS article in some BS magazine and thinks he knows the truth. You can probably find a lot of PTs that read the exact opposite (that soy is a "super-food" etc etc) in another BS article in another BS magazine (or possibly the same magazine cause they tend to be turncoats).

Tofu and soy isn't bad, it's probably very healthy in normal amounts. It is important to get enough iodine when eating a lot of legumes and other plants and if you do there really is nothing to worry about. There is a lot of threads on the forum regarding soy and estrogen/testosterone, thyroid issues etc. Use the search function and you will find a bunch of links to actually science based opinions.

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When I asked him where he had read this information about Tofu he chuckled and said it was just common knowledge about soy and tofu. We really liked him as a trainer and we really need to get into shape and he is the cheapest around, only $60 for 2 people for a hour.

 

But, I was disappointed in his opinion of Tofu, so I should just forget about it and focus on the workouts?

 

What kind of foods have iodine?

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Soy is only a problem for your thyroid if you have an existing thyroid problem, in which case it MAY make it worse. It will not harm healthy thyroids. As for estrogen in soy, I don't believe a there's ever been a single study that showed that people who eat soy regularly have lower testosterone.

 

Stick to reasonable amounts of tofu and you'll be fine.

 

Like others said, this topic has been covered many times in the "Health/Nutrition Programs" part of this site... http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=6

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Sorry for a starting a new topic on something that has been covered extensively, after our training I came home and did a quick search and did not find anything, I really appreciate all of the great responses so far.

 

Thanks so much.

 

Peace to the Geese,

Tom Scholfield

http://www.AHealthyVegan.com

 

That's because your trainer is full of it.

 

If he's a good trainer, that's fine.. But leave the nutrition to somebody who doesn't read crap in crap magazines and dumb websites (which is probably where he got the info from but is too embarrassed to say)

 

After all, most of us on this website have accomplished a lot by eating tofu. You can see the results by looking at the profiles on this website. Point 1 for vegans!

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You can buy tofu made from organic soy beans. If a food is labeled as organic, by law it can not be GMO.

 

There is a lot of big business threatened by soy, also a big business. There is a lot of intentional misinformation out there and with a few notable exceptions personal trainers in gyms tend not to be scholars.

 

When I come across an article that seems fair to soy, which is rare, but becoming less so, I post it to a dedicated category on my blog just for this kind of situation.

 

If you read a few of the articles there you should feel more relaxed:

http://beforewisdom.com/blog/?cat=23

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I use to avoid soy because i read about it being estrogenic.I even went as far as telling Mac Danzig not to eat it but he told me that was bs and seeing him fight or at the weigh-ins you see all the evidence you need because he is ripped as they come.For $60 an hour you could get Mac himself to train you.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I use to avoid soy because i read about it being estrogenic.

 

If it were a fraction as estrogenic as the "sources" claim, I'd have man-boobs down to my belly button and would be sobbing to Lifetime movies all day long. The people spreading that sort of info are probably the same who would have fallen for lines like "Smoking is good for you" back about 50 years ago when some people actually thought it was true.

 

There's more misinformation out there than there are facts. Soy gets blasted way too often, but I'll always side with FallenHorse's sentiment - eat it in moderation and you won't have any concerns!

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"Smoking is good for you" back about 50 years ago when some people actually thought it was true.

 

Yeah kids of today are lucky.

 

 

Well it has to have some effect. To think it doesn't is: head in sand attitude. There are alot of foods that fit into this catagory sweet potatoes, and eggplants are two, and there ain't nothing or nobody gonna keep me from my eggplant bean curd over rice plate.

I suppose what is more important is his attitude about vegans in general.

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As an experiment in September I decided to abstain from eating soy just to see what the effects it would be. I've been solid in my commitment all the way up to the present day and have I noticed a difference? Yes, definately... but I'll qualify my conclusions about soy by saying two things. #1 I'm a naturally lean person and losing or gaining weight has always been a problem for me and #2 throughout my life I've had ongoing issues with acne. Through the spring and summer I was bulking and put on a big gut from the crazy amounts of soy protein I was taking in to support muscle growth from lifting ie. 2 scoops of soy protein powder + at least a few servings of tofu and tvp everyday. Now I did gain weight and become significantly larger but I needed to cut back during the fall to shave off this extra fat I put on my gut during my bulk period. Also, around this time is when I was reading all those anti-soy articles that have been swimming around the internet so I decided to see if there was something to it because at the least I needed to loose weight and eating less soy I knew would contribute some to that goal.

 

Now, having said that I did loose weight, I wouldn't say significantly much more than in my past slim down periods with soy but I did notice a difference not only in my rate of fat loss but in my body emotions as well. In general, since I've stopped eating soy I feel much lighter and more dexterous in my body and haven't been prone to seasonal mood swings as I have in the past. The second thing is that my acne has significantly lessened. I've read further that acne can be a side affect in some people from superdosing on soy which would make perfect sense in my case since around the time I became vegan 7 years ago is when I started to have a reoccurence of adult acne.

 

So, those are my conclusions but again, that's just me. I imagine if you tried the no soy diet for yourself you may have a very different experience but I will continue the diet as long as I see fit for my health. Now I just have to find an adequate way to bulk up without the soy!

 

BASS

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  • 5 weeks later...

There are downsides to tofu, though I am sure your PT was not talking about what I am going to discuss. He probably read about the "estrogen" in soy and how it prevents you from building muscle. That is generally BS. The problem with soy is that it, like dairy, nuts, and wheat, is a common allergen. That means that many people are allergic and even more are sensitive to it, usually without knowing it. Eating soy at every meal, every day can make someone sensitive (even allergic) and hence why it should, as with most foods, be used to complement your diet not act as the foundation of your diet.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you ever read Jack Norris' blog? He is a registered dietician and I think the president or founder or cofounder or something of Vegan Outreach. I know he has an article in there on soy and links to other articles regarding medical research. Most of the research that has been done apparently has been performed by injecting megadoses of soy into animals. That's not even remotely close to a normal human eating a little tofu and having some soy milk now and then.

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I will say what I have always said: the plural of "anecdote" is not "data". Until the day I see a credible, well-constructed study showing any significant effect of soy (this applies both to the "soy shrinks your nads" and "soy cures cancer" camps), I will continue to view it as a healthy, inexpensive, nutritionally-dense food that is an asset to my diet as a vegan, and nothing more.

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A friend of mine.... Ted who help start the Soy Silk co. who currently owns WholeSoy & Co. http://www.wholesoyco.com - he also makes soy milk for Trader J's. He Informed me about the processing of soy, and 2 ways soy is processed & produced. He mentioned one being much better than the other.... a cold rinsing process that doesnt happen with a lot of soy.

Also a lot of studies done on soy that claim it to be so bad, are backed & funded by the dairy industry, according to Mark Messina, Ph.D., M.S., executive director of the Soy Nutrition Institute.

Dr. Messina has devoted his time primarily to the study of the health effects of soy foods and soybean isoflavones.

I saw his speak at a Cancer Project Nutritional symposium you can see his presentation here http://www.cancerproject.org/webcasts/bios/messina.php

He mentions it being good for men- less prostate cancer.

Dr. Messina is the co-author of three books, The Simple Soybean and Your Health, The Vegetarian Way, and The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets: Issues and Applications.

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Vegans whine about how annoying the "protein question" is after the umpteenth time, but I think the soy thing is worse. I was chatting it up last night with a woman I've been talking to from an online dating thing last night. She mentioned that she avoids soy as it makes her break out in pimples. I mentioned that I love soy. She told me about some actor who is convinced that it gave him man boobs..........groan. She was joking and trying to get a rise out of me, but boy are comments like that are just old.

 

BTW, very few men have gynostemia, most who think they have it are just overweight. Most are "cured" by eating less and moving more.

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Ari Gold (or I mean the actor who plays him) claims he got man boobs from soy.

If you actually read the articles where he talks about it, he says he drank twelve glasses a day! That's 1200 extra calories! I highly doubt his man boobs are the result of hormones and more the result of too much intake with too little output.

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I don't believe a there's ever been a single study that showed that people who eat soy regularly have lower testosterone.

I actually found one T-Nation article which had "scientific evidence" that it lowers testosterone.

 

However, when I run a search on the journal the source was published, I found out that there has never been an article with that name, and I also checked that no scientist with same last name has published anything about soy in that magazine. Ever.

 

If you guys find articles which claim such things, I heavily recommend that you find the original study and first check a) that it exists b) the article actually claims what it should and c) that the amounts used to get statistically significant results are from this world (i.e. you should drink 16-20 litres of soymilk per day to get too much phytoestrogens).

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