Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Soy's Surprising Link to Obesity

I was just reading a REALLY interesting article in Mother Earth News magazine (one of my favs!) and I felt the need to share some info. Now this may be information overload for some.. and too much 'nutrition' terminology.. but it's super important and I think you should read it :)

The article was talking about the link between soy and obesity. It started off by comparing the collective diet today vs. the common diet 100 years ago. Surprisingly.. fat consumption has NOT increased much in the past century..(despite what you may have heard).. but as you can see from the graph below that I screenshot... Soybean oil in particular has SKYROCKETED! **US consumers eat 1000 times more soybean oil today than 100 years ago!**

Not only is this from vegetable oils made mostly from soy and also in processed foods.. but it's also related to the way animals are raised. Today's livestock, poultry, and farmed fish are almost universally fed soybean meal and oil. The feed's components are then found in YOUR meat, milk and eggs.  So basically you are getting much of your soy SECONDHAND.

So why is this a problem? Soybean oil is super high in linoleic acid.. an essential omega 6 fatty acid that is linked to obesity. (Sorry.. here's were the crazy nutrition terms come in :P ) Since we now consume 1000 times more soybean oil than we did 100 years ago, this means we're getting a MUCH higher amount of linoleic acid. A diet that has a HIGH ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is linked to inflammation.. but the evidence on obesity connects specifically to linoleic acid.

So get this.. they fed lab animals a diet that had 8% of it's calories from linoleic acid to mirror the modern US diet... and this made them FAT. Reducing it to 1% (similar to our ancestor's diets) made these same animals skinny again! SAME amount of calories.. SAME high fat diet.. but with different KINDS of fats.. and obesity reversed itself. WOAH.

So what do you do? Try to eat your dairy, meat and eggs from pastured animals.. which provide the kinds of omega-3 rich fat profiles that actually contribute to a healthful diet! :) Skip the vegetable oil and aim for coconut or olive oil. (Just for reference.. Soybean oil is 56% linoleic acid, Olive oil is 10% and coconut oil is 2%) :)

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