My brother Jeff is a competition bodybuilder and on one of his recent visits, I offered him some edamame. Jeff had no idea was edamame was and wanted to know what it was that my toddler was snacking on. That led to an explanation that edamame is basically baby soybeans

Jeff recoiled and said he had no interest in trying edamame because soy is notorious for mimicking estrogen and since he gets tested for drugs and hormones when he competes, Jeff didn’t want to risk eating anything that might throw up a red flag, even if it were only one little soybean.

Soy is something that a lot of people have started talking about in the past few years. As a matter of fact, we've seen all sorts of products made with soy pop up in everything from candles to dairy-free milk alternatives.  My husband is allergic to dairy, so soy has been a great alternative, allowing him to enjoy a bowl of cereal with soy milk, or lasagna made with soy cheese alternative every once in a while.

Friends and family have expressed concern with the amount of soy my household eats because they've heard the rumors that eating soy will lead to breast cancer, and yes, men can get breast cancer, too.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, eating soy  every now and then will not cause cancer. Yes, because soy can mimic estrogen, it could in some very rare cases lead to a hormonal imbalance, but soy has actually been proven to help protect people from cancer.

The American Institute for Cancer Research isn't the only organization claiming that eating soy won't cause breast cancer. Backing their claim are the Susan G. Koman foundation and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, among others.

So, if you’ve avoided eating foods containing soy, go ahead and indulge a bit. Just remember- everything in moderation.

[via American Institute for Cancer Research/Susan G. Koman/University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center]