My little brother Jeff is a competition bodybuilder and on one of his recent visits, I offered him some edamame as a snack, thinking my health-conscious brother would appreciate the gesture. Jeff actually had no idea was edamame was and that led to the 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.

But with all of the great things that soy has brought into our lives, there has also been a high level of concern because many people have heard the rumors that eating soy will lead to 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 claiming that eating soy won't cause breast cancer. Backing their claim is the Susan G. Koman foundation, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and others.

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. Koman/University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center]