” – but Asians do not eat a lot of soy “

Asians have been eating soy foods for centuries, with none of the side effects often mentioned in the ongoing anti-soy hysteria going on in the United States. One point I often hear is that contrary to popular belief, Asians don’t eat that much soy.

Below is an interesting excerpt from a letter by the author of “Diet For A New America” to “Mothering Magazine” in regards to a strongly anti-soy article that the magazine ran:

But Asia is a very large area with several billion people.

What’s important is not the average soy consumption for the whole of Asia, but the soy consumption in those parts of Asia which demonstrate the highest levels of human health. And there is no question about where that is. The elder population of Okinawa (a prefecture of Japan) have the best health and greatest longevity on the planet.

This is important because the highest soy consumption in the world is in Okinawa. Many North Americans know of Okinawa only for being the site of one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War II, and for now housing U.S. military bases. But the people of Okinawa have repeatedly been shown to be the healthiest and longest-lived people in the world. This has been demonstrated conclusively by the renowned Okinawa Centenarian Study, a 25-year study sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Health.

How much soy have the elder Okinawans eaten throughout their lives? The Okinawa Centenarian Study included an extremely thorough analysis of food consumption in the prefecture. The principle investigators and authors of the study (Makoto Suzuki, M.D., Bradley J. Willcox, M.D., and D. Craig Willcox, Ph.D.) state: “Okinawan elders eat an average of two servings of flavonoid-rich soy products per day.”

This is about 20 times more than the amount of soy Kaayla Daniel claims “Asians really eat.” When she says “there is no historical precedent for eating the large amounts of soy food now being consumed,” she is incorrect. Soy makes up twelve percent of the diet of Okinawan elders.

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