My brother Jeff is a competition bodybuilder and on one of his visits to my house I offered him some edamame as a snack, thinking my health-conscious brother would appreciate the gesture. 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, he didn’t want to risk eating anything that might throw up a red flag, even if it were only one little soybean.

Over the last few years, people have really taken an interest in soy. 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, but with all of the great things that soy has brought into our lives, there has also been a high level of concern surrounding soy because of the many rumors that ingesting it will lead breast cancer, even in men (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 that claims eating soy won't cause breast cancer. Backing their claim is the Susan G. Komen foundation, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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

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