Soy Lecithin- Good or Bad for the Health?

If you are eating your favorite chocolate, you may take some time to look at the label and notice that soya lecithin appears very often in most product, not only in your chocolates. Who among us who will pay attention to just small details? But come to think of it: are we not somehow responsible to what we opt to eat and how foods we choose can directly implicate health problems in the long run? This article will point out how lecithin becomes “good” and “bad” for the health and hoping that this piece of information will bring to everyone’s attention how certain ingredients can implicitly affect somehow or another.

What is Lecithin?

Lecithin is the mixture of phospholipids which derive from soybean processing and commonly used as emollient and emulsifier in industrial applications and various foods. In other term, phospholipids are lipids act as building blocks of biological membranes such as cells in all organisms. Lecithin is an emulsifying agent used to keep the texture and consistency of foods such as margarine, chocolate coating, creams and dressings. While in cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies, they also benefit using this lecithin, as well as the textiles, waxes, paints, and lubricant industry as replacement for an expensive ingredient.

Production of Lecithin

To produce soy lecithin, soybeans are tempered and keep the moisture at consistent temperature for one week to loosen the hull. After which, soybeans are cleaned and cracked into smaller pieces so beans are now separated from its hull. After the distillation process and soybean oil is extracted, soya lecithin is now separated from the oil and undergoes steam precipitation process. Quite simply, lecithin is the byproduct of soybean oil through infusing the oil with water, separating the mixture from the oil, and then drying the lecithin.

Health Claims on Soya Lecithin

If you would stop in most vitamin shops, soy lecithin is available as food supplement promoting various health benefits and here are some of them:

  • There are scientific claims of how beneficial soya lecithin to human because the choline compound in lecithin can fight high cholesterol, support the liver, and promote weight loss.
  • Moreover, choline content found in lecithin also aids in breaking down fats and increases metabolism so it has the potential to convert fats into energy. In fact, the Food and Nutrition Board has recognized the choline as one of the important nutrients that can be added to our daily nutrition.
  • There are also studies showed that lecithin can facilitate the cellular regulation with its significant effects on brain improvement. On the other hand, it has to be tested if it can treat several brain related disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and amnesia.
  • Lecithin can also work well in breaking down the cholesterol to very small particles to prevent the build up to arteries and vein walls. There are also health claims how lecithin can keep the unwanted fats to disperse in water and put off the build up of cholesterol to liver.

Although lecithin is widely available in different forms, soy lecithin granules are recommended as the best way to get enough of this nutrient and it is very easy to prepare. Just stir the soy lecithin granules into your milk or juice; however, it will not dissolve in cold drinks unlike in hot foods.

Health Implications of Lecithin

The implication of deriving lecithin from soy is that it is made through 90% genetically engineered processing with the use of some toxic chemicals. For example, a chocolate manufacturer has to use soy lecithin in order to reach the consistency of the production preventing the separation of cocoa butter and cocoa in the final process. Lecithin is a fatty source and maybe crucial for health.

Moreover, for people who have not heard on the researches found linking soy products to ovarian cancer, many studies have shown the significant effect in health of consuming soy in the long run. The main reason is the genistein substance with pythoestrogenic properties which is said to be one of the causes of ovarian cancer. The main cause of this killer disease to women is too much estrogen and if soy act as estrogen, there is no way it can be beneficial to health, most especially to women who have health issues.

What is even more alarming is that even organic products labeled as non-genetically modified organism or non-GMO soy lecithin can also contain GMO legally because the sources are limited. The main source of lecithin is soy in most countries like United States, so it is difficult to check if the lecithin is genetically engineered or not.

Several years ago, the Cornucopia Institute put pressure on the USDA for an update with its guidelines on organic pertaining to using non-GMO soy lecithin on all organic food products since it is now widely available since 2004. Meaning to say, there is no way that organic manufacturers will continue using GMO soy lecithin with their produce.

Healthy Options for Soy Lecithin

Now, the use of sunflower lecithin gives all the manufacturers a healthy option as replacement for deriving emulsification process from soy lecithin because it can be extracted without any harmful chemical solvents such as acetone and hexane. It is the only type of lecithin that is obtained as chemical-free and raw. Not to mention that it is wonderful source of essential fatty acids such as phosphatidylethanolamine which increases speed in memory retention, and phosphatidylinositol which is also good for cell membrance. Likewise, fatty acids are vital to health in preventing cardiovascular diseases because it can break down fats that may build up in artery walls. There is a reason for people who have soy allergy to have better and healthy options because sunflower lecithin is harvested with no added chemicals and 100% GMO free.

We cannot dispute the fact that lecithin can be found in various variety of food as nature puts it to be there are natural emulsifier. Nevertheless, you have to be cautious and selective because many foods which have lecithin are the culprit as these foods contain high cholesterol and fats leading to killer diseases. Most processed foods have lecithin and these are foods worth avoiding and should be excluded on your daily budget. That all being said, it is only you who can decide whether you would like to put some garbage into your stomach or produce a stunning and healthy body for choosing the right selection of diet that provide good nutrition.

The Myths About Soybean

With the popularity of non-meat diets among many people, looks like soybean has been living up to its name as the number one choice for the vegetarian as well as health-conscious group.

What is Soybean?

Soybean is a species of legume native to the East Asia. Its plant has been widely used in China for 5000 years because of its ability to produce nitrogen into a soil as part of crop rotation.

Today, as Chinese learned how to ferment soy beans, it has become a well-known “nutrition food” among many people. It is commonly used as a substitute for meat and is known for easily digestion. Generally, it’s considered to be one of the most beneficial and body building food around.

However, latest researches reveal facts that are contrary to the common belief about soybeans.

Here are 3 unknown truths about this product that you probably haven’t heard of.

Myth 1: Soybean is good for the health

Fact: Contrary to that popular belief, soybean is excessively loaded with many natural toxins or “antinutrients”

Soybeans are high in phytic acid. It’s a substance that can obstruct the absorption of vital minerals such as magnesium, calcium, copper, iron and most importantly zinc. These minerals are important in maintaining a strong immune system so frequent intake of soy risks severe mineral deficiencies.

Furthermore, a very large percentage of soy is genetically altered and it also has one of the highest percentages of contaminations by pesticides of any of our foods.

Myth 2: Soy formula for infants is safe and actually healthy

Fact: Soy food is the least beneficial food for infants because of its many natural toxins.

In fact, According to the Soy Online Service, any soy for infants is too much.

Soy foods contain inhibitors that slow down the protein digestion and will also cause a tremendous harmful effect in the functioning of the pancreas. Those inhibitors can also lead to poor growth. Soy food amplifies the body’s need for vitamin D, the mineral responsible for having strong bones and normal growth. Furthermore, soy’s deficiency in cholesterol which is essential for the development of a young’s brain and nervous system, is evident. Therefore, malnutrition is very likely to happen among infants that are fed with soy formula

Myth 3: Soybean may have adverse effects, but they are not very dangerous to health.

Fact: With the large quantity of different kinds of harmful toxins present in soybean, it proves to be associated with deadly disorders like cancer. It also has phytoestrogens that harmfully affects the endocrine function. Another is the goitrogen which reduces thyroid function and results to thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism. Since it is high in trypsin inhibitors, it can cause pancreas enlargement as well as other pathological disorders.

In addition to that, a toxin haemagglutinin, clots the blood and cause the red blood cells to clump together. Blood clotting can lead to serious medical complications such and can be potentially deadly.

What to do then?

It is best to avoid different kinds of soy altogether. Discontinue your intake of tofu or miso in your diet. Hidden sources of soy include oil used to fry packaged chips and crackers, Commercial soy milks and other soy foods and packaged meals like chips and nuggets.

Soy foods and organic soy alike share similar harmful toxins and it doesn’t matter how they are processed. Consequently, the effects of these products whether fermented or organically prepared, still remain the same.

To sum up, soy products may be a number one option for healthy diets over the years, but then, latest research shows the opposite. This should keep us aware of the truths behind this popularly opted product. In addition, we should continue to educate ourselves about the many foods and its real contributions to our health in general.