Four years ago Dianne Gregg, the author of The Hidden Dangers of Soy, went into anaphylactic shock in an emergency room. Doctors stabilized her condition but could not find the reason it had happened, even after many examinations and tests. Their tentative diagnosis was food poisoning. The author felt that food poisoning was not the answer, but she could not figure out what had gone wrong either.
“For two weeks, I was afraid to leave the house because since nobody knew what was wrong with me, I didn’t know if that would happen again, and I was afraid to drive anywhere. Once I was feeling better, I had my soy protein drink and was out the door. When I got to the parking lot, I started to feel weird again (more like an anxiety attack), but not bad enough to go to the emergency room. I immediately called my husband and he told me to go home and look up “soy allergy” on the Internet. And wouldn’t you know it — I had most of the symptoms listed!”
When she began to cut soy and soy products out of her diet, she started to feel better almost immediately. But then she began to realize what those of us with soy allergies have to deal with. Soy is EVERYWHERE… in foods, personal care products, packaging, manufacturing materials. Eliminating your exposure to soy products is much easier said than done.
The Hidden Dangers of Soy contains twelve chapters and is basically divided into three sections:
- The first section details the author’s story and the stories of other people with soy allergies, young, old, male, female. One of the stories is about a teenage girl who died after soy exposure.
- The second section presents background on soybeans and describes how the soy industry has promoted soy as a health food without really having any evidence to support those claims. As the book points out, the modern form of soy actually contains toxins that can cause adverse reactions even in people who are not allergic… it is not at all the same product that Asian cultures have eaten (in moderation) for centuries.
- The third section talks about how to avoid soy and presents a partial list of aliases for soy that you might find on an ingredient label. For example, “Most of what is labeled ‘vegetable oil’ in the U.S. is actually soy oil, as are most margarines.” This section also includes twenty-eight of the author’s soy-free recipes, ranging from main dishes to dessert.
The book also includes many pages of testimonials and anecdotal accounts from people whose lives and health have improved after removing soy from their diets.
The United States government has named soy as one of the eight most common allergens (along with milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and wheat). So many people have adverse reactions to soy, it probably wouldn’t be in such widespread use if it were not so cheap and backed by such a powerful lobby. Trying to avoid soy in your life is a full-time job, but as the author puts it:
“The good thing is that it inspired me to write this book and do my research about soy so I can pass this information on to you. Now you will be informed and decide for yourself. Based on the information in the following chapters, do you really want to take a chance and harm your health…?”
The Hidden Dangers of Soy, by Dianne Gregg, 141 pages. Published by Outskirts Press. I received my review copy of this book from the author.