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Soy has become increasingly important in our diets. However, unlike other Asian societies which extensively consume soy, in India, soy has not traditionally been a significant food ingredient.

In India, other than Soyabean oil, some other forms of soy have become popular in the diet. One is the “Soy Wadi” or Soya nuggets, which are made from de-fatted soybean meal, which is a waste product of the soy oil extraction industry. Another form, now prevalent in North India, is “Soya Chaap”.

Soybean is increasingly being also consumed as Soy Milk and tofu. However, these are limited to a much smaller section of people in relatively well to do, urban/metro, families.

There is much going for Soy and Soy products. But there is a food safety and health concern because of the oestrogenic effect of Soy isoflavones. This has been linked to increased rates of breast cancer, lower fertility and more. Here is an article on this – http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190816-is-soy-bad-for-womens-health

But why is there no such effect on Asian populations that traditionally consume large amounts of soy?

One theory I have heard of is that soy is traditionally consumed in those societies in a highly processed, and typically fermented, form. Tofu is a fermented product. Does this change the nature of the oestrogenic effect? I would love to see some scientific studies pointing that out.

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