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What about soy lecithin? Is soy lecithin good for you?

April 11, 2012 | Nutrition | 5 comments | Author:

What about soy lecithin? Is soy lecithin good for you? These are questions we get often at Life Fitness Academy, and questions we have to answer ourselves, as it seems soy lecithin is in so many products these days. The answer isn’t always simple, especially when food production is involved. Hopefully after reading this article you will have a little better understanding about soy lecithin and a good approach to it.

Lecithin in and of itself is good for the body and the body manufactures it. Lecithin is produced by every healthy liver and it is a major part of the cell membrane. It can help transport old bad fats and replace with new, especially as the diet is being changed over and better fats are being consumed. It transports cholesterol and other fatty lipids. Lecithin is an emulsifier–it blends and absorbs things that sometimes cannot be blended. So for example, when making mayonnaise at home you emulsify the oil with an egg yolk because the lecithin in the yolk emulsifies the oil and then you can have the blend that is known as mayonnaise. It is found in all sorts of plants and foods including egg yolks, soybeans, sunflower, grape seed, wheat germ, whole grains, and more.

In food production, lecithin is used to blend, lubricate, coat, smooth, and mix other food ingredients. It is at least good to know that lecithin is safe and good, however, as always, we here at Life Fitness Academy recommend getting our nutrition from whole foods. It is best to get lecithin in whole food form, from egg yolks, or vegetables (soy should be fermented or sprouted–remember this article?). Lecithin as an extract in otherwise healthy foods or food products can be ok and healthy, but it depends on a few factors. First, it should not be genetically modified. Second, many people who have a sensitivity to soy, should still avoid soy lecithin, and look for lecithin from egg yolks or sunflower. Third, it is best when it has been mechanically separated, and not chemically separated. Lecithin can be bleached, refined, and chemically modified, just like anything else.

Personally, my approach to lecithin as an additive, and particularly soy lecithin, is to avoid it generally, but if it is in an otherwise healthy product that I want to have and it is not my regular practice, then I will have it without worry as it is non-toxic and in small amounts. Also, the types of products that I might consume that would contain it, would be from sources that are producing higher quality, non-gmo, and organic foods.

By: Tim M.




5 COMMENTS


  • Chocolate :: Nashville Personal Trainer April 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

    [...] avoid soy lecithin, even though for most people this will not pose a problem. We just did a post on lecithin and soy lecithin so you can check that out for more info, just remember, most soy is genetically modified (so [...]


  • Diana May 3, 2013 at 7:18 am |

    I am taking 1200 mg of soya lecithin is this good for me will that help burn fat .


  • LFA May 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm |

    Hi Diana,
    In my opinion, lecithin is good to help clean out the liver and strengthen cell walls in the body. I recommend using lecithin that is not from genetically modified soy and that has not been processed with chemical solvents such as hexane. Look for organic soy lecithin or non-gmo sunflower lecithin that says it has not been processed with chemical solvents.

    Tim


  • Shannon September 9, 2013 at 9:51 am |

    Thank you, this may be one of the most life altering health articles I’ve read in a very long time. Is there something you recommend besides soy milk for those seeking to avoid the milk proteins in regular milk? My daughter has a hard time digesting when I drink regular milk. She’s 7 months, still nursing some.
    Also, how about edamame? My family’s favorite quick snack, I shudder to think what we’d do without that!


  • LFA September 9, 2013 at 10:13 am |

    Hi Shannon,
    Yes! We definitely have some recommendations for you! : ) Homemade almond milk is a much better alternative than soy milk and is pretty easy to make. You can google articles or I would be happy to send you some recipes. Also, coconut milk diluted with water would be a decent alternative. However, most likely it is the quality of the milk that you are drinking. Have you tried cultured raw dairy from grassfed cows? That is what we usually recommend and typical conventional dairy is a problem for most people whether they realize it or not since it is poor quality from grain-fed factory farmed animals with a bunch of dead bacteria and homogenized with synthetic vitamins added.

    Edamame is better since it is a whole food, I would just make sure that the soy is not GMO (approx 90% of soy is GMO in the U.S.). So it would be best to buy it organic. I would definitely avoid all the processed soy products though (tofu, protein, milk, etc).



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