Is Soy Lecithin Paleo?
This question – or the same question with a different food or ingredient inserted – is probably the most popular question asked in all of Paleo-land.
Lately, several bloggers have argued that we shouldn’t ask if a food is Paleo. They say we should just ask if it’s healthy.
I don’t agree.
Just asking if a food is healthy hasn’t really worked. Paleo works partially because it offers a simple explanation and framework for how to eat and live better.
And yet, asking if Soy Lecithin is Paleo is a DUMB question. (Sorry kids, despite what you were told in school, there are both dumb questions and dumb answers.)
I’m going to explain why it’s a dumb question (probably not what you think), but first…
What is Soy Lecithin?
In the simplest terms, soy lecithin a byproduct of soybean oil production.
It’s extracted either mechanically or using a chemical called hexane. It contains pretty much none of the soy proteins that we try to avoid, although it does contain many of the phyto-estrogens inherent to soy.
It’s used in a very wide variety of foods, including confectionery, doughs, and cooking sprays, and candy bars.
The main benefit of soy lecithin is that it acts as an emulsifier, which means that it stabilized foods like candy bars and makes them stick together instead of breaking apart.
There are many websites out there that will give you a lot more detail about what soy lecithin is (for example, see this article or this article).
This brings me to Dumb Question #1
1. Is Soy Lecithin Paleo?