Recently I've given thought to eating more of a vegetarian diet for health reasons. I've heard that tofu is a good protein source and is often used as a meat substitute in some meals. However, I've also read that tofu is a soy product and that soy contains chemicals that mimic estrogen. That worries me, as I wouldn't want to cause any hormonal abnormalities. Also, I'm male, and I worry about what effect that would have on me. Is it true that tofu/soy contains estrogen-like chemicals, and if so, does tofu contain significant enough levels to warrant caution?
Yes, soy does have estrogenic properities but is more of a concern for females, if they have had hormone positive breast cancer. I believe it would have very little effect on a male's hormone balance. Keep in mind that soy also has a chemical called genisten, which many studies suggest is a cancer fighter. Soy is also good for the bones and easier on the kidneys, than animal protein. Overall, I believe that soy is a very healthy addition to most people's diet and poses very little risk for the average person.
I follow a plant based diet as well and am also a breast cancer survivor.
Even in br. cancer, oncologist's have different views on soy. Most say no or use in moderation but avoid soy pro powders, as they have very high levels of soy protein.