• For those with ER+ breast cancer diagnosis re: soy in everything these days

    Asked by Bengal on Sunday, June 7, 2020

    For those with ER+ breast cancer diagnosis re: soy in everything these days

    I became frustrated while grocery shopping the other day. I have become very much more ingredient conscious since my diagnosis and learning that those who are ER+ should avoid soy products (among other things). They have special sections in the super market for diabetics, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant etc. but we are left to fend for ourselves. It seems EVERYTHING these days has soy in it, not because it is necessary but because it is a cheap and plentiful filler. Every label I looked at had soy. I understand that small amounts of soy probably would not be an issue but if everything has soy then it starts to add up. This concerns me.

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Read the labels very carefully--if soy is not among the first four ingredients, there's not enough of it to affect ER+ tumor cells, even if you ingest a variety of those products. It isn't in everything, either. The type of soy you need to avoid is soy protein isolate, e.g., soy "cereals," fake meat such as Boca or Impossible burgers. It's in some canned meats & fish, so be sure to get your tuna packed in nothing but olive oil (e.g., Pastene, Cento, Wild Catch). Edamame, tofu, soy sauce are harmless.

      6 months ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      Thank you very much for telling us this, ChicagoSandy. I too have wondered about soy and even avoided Soy Sauce because I was that afraid of getting cancer back. I will know to avoid the "fake" meats and use Soy Sauce in moderation. HUGS and God bless.

      6 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      I was told to avoid edemame and tofu. Soy sauce is OK because it's fermented. Web information just clouds the issue because one list will at yes but another says no. So I just try to avoid soy. Except, as you say, Chicago Sandy, where it is a far down on the list additive. Thanks for your insight.

      6 months ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      Tofu is okay? When my NP told me I would need to avoid soy, I was disappointed because I love tofu and I told her that. She said I could have a little bit once in a while, but I should be smart about it. I never researched it. I try to avoid processed foods as much as possible, but that was true even before I was diagnosed. I think I have only eaten tofu once since my treatment (over a year ago). And it's not like I want to eat it every week, but I would be glad if I could include it a few times a month.

      6 months ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      My oncologist told me it's processed soy that is the culprit; and further, that the phytoestrogens in natural soy may not have the same effect on systemic (i.e., made within the body) estrogen that chemical and supplemental phytochemical estrogens (hormone replacement, vaginal creams & suppositories, black cohosh & evening primrose) and "endocrine disruptors" (phthalates, BPA, parabens, oxybenzone) do. Furthermore, it's all dose-dependent over time. (Just like 15 oz of wine at one meal is much more harmful than three 5-oz glasses a week, or that 15 oz of wine spread over smaller amounts--2-3 oz--daily). She said I could have edamame, tofu, miso and soy sauce on an occasional basis (e.g., edamame on salads, tofu in miso soup, soy sauce as a condiment)--but no more not oftener than I'd been eating before.

      6 months ago
    • Gabba's Avatar
      Gabba

      I avoid soy at all costs, not for my cancer, but my heart! I am on a sodium restricted diet, I don’t even use low sodium soy sauce...I actually enjoy the taste of food better since eliminating all soy.

      6 months ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      I too have to watch the salt. Liquid amino acids is a good substitute for soy sauce, tastes just like it. I love it for stir fry vegetables and other dishes.

      6 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Good topic. Thank you, Bengal. My cancer was also ER-positive, and I, too, was concerned about all the soy in many foods. Good info here.

      6 months ago
    • Maryflier's Avatar
      Maryflier

      Thank you ChicagoSandy (again) for the helpful information. I knew about soy protein isolate, which is the first ingredient in so many foods, but didn’t know soy was ok if it’s not among the first 4 ingredients. That definitely increases food options, though I’ll still take it easy on the soy.
      Stay strong and stay safe everyone.

      6 months ago
    • Ashera's Avatar
      Ashera

      Good information and good question Bengal! I'm...positive everything - but for the ER part - it makes me angry too that I see soy in so many things. It's been second nature with me to read labels on every single thing with a label. I know the tricky ways they hide soy - and I do miss eating certain things. I don't try to break it down into good soy, ok soy, no-way soy...And don't forget supplements that aren't...dry. Many times there is soy in the gel caps. I take Vit D...and there's only one place I can find 'dry' tablet form of Vit D - Swanson online. Truly, I try to go for the single ingredient foods. I truly believe it's been the "stuff" we've eaten all our lives that contributed to cancer in too many cases. When you see something you crave...and it's got something in it that you know isn't good ... get creative. There's always a healthier ingredient that can trick your mouth! Good luck to ALL of us!!

      6 months ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @Ashera, I am pretty new to this. What are some of the ways they hide soy?

      6 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      Chocolate! Most chocolate has soy in it. Why? It's totally unnecessary to the process of making chocolate but they have to throw it in there. And, yes, you can find chocolate that is soy free but it's usually super expensive. I do continue to have my little chocolate fix from time to time but try not to go crazy. ;-)

      6 months ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @Ashera, never mind. I just looked some of it up. Wow!! There truly is soy in almost everything. I am going to be having a major change in my nutrition. I think I am going to have to throw out almost everything in my kitchen.
      I know healthcare is expensive, but so is eating completely soy free. One of the sites I saw had eggs @$9.95/dozen in 2017. I can only imagine they are closer to $12 now. Nothing is inexpensive for sure. I think my grocery budget is going to increase 500-700%. I guess I better get a second job. LOL

      6 months ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      You know, we could scare ourselves to pieces if we aren't careful. (!) I never really thought that much about it, but now I just checked my favorite chocolate bar and sure enough - soy lecithin. What the XXX is soy lecithin? Even my popcorn cake, that is topped with dk chocolate has soy lecithin on the label (probably in the chocolate). I have to admit it kind of freaks me. So I just re-read ChicagoSandy's post and am relieved to note it was not one of the first four ingredients...still...I never realized it was ever there. I think balance is the key here - fresh food and splurge every once in a while with chocolate (for the soul). When you think about it, it's the best way to go anyway. I suspect the worry and anxiety about what we are ingesting could be more harmful than a few soy lecithins here and there. ;-)

      6 months ago
    • Ashera's Avatar
      Ashera (Best Answer!)

      Just this morning, heard something on a food show that made a bunch of sense to me : "If you look at the ingredients on the label of something...and there are items listed on that label, that you could not go to the shelves and find by themselves, why would you let the food manufacturer put it into your food?" Back to my statement about trying to eat single ingredient - real - foods.

      6 months ago

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