What is soy protein?
It is a plant-based protein that comes from the soybean, which is a legume. This makes a great source of protein for both vegetarians and vegans alike, as well as those avoiding dairy, with no cholesterol and very little saturated fat.
There are three categories:
1. Isolated soy protein
This is the highest quality soy protein available. It’s more refined and processed than the others, but it has the highest biological value compared to the other two types below. This means the body will use a large amount of what’s ingested.
This type can be found in:
✶ Protein-based supplements (shakes, bars etc.)
✶ Dairy products
✶ Certain meat substitutes
✶ Bread products
2. Soy protein concentrate (SPC)
SPC is made by removing the sugars (a part of the soybeans carbohydrate) from de-hulled soybeans. It’s still high in protein, but maintains most of its fibre, which is useful for digestive health.
SPC is most commonly found in:
✶ Baked goods
✶ Infant milk formula
✶ Some meat substitute products
3. Textured soy protein (TSP) or textured vegetable protein (TVP).
This is made from soy protein concentrate, but is found in larger pieces or chunks. It often resembles a meat-based product
TSP can be used to make many of the popular traditional meat-based meals such as soups, curries, stews and more.
What are the health benefits of soy protein?
One of the reasons why people move towards a more plant-based diet could be to eat less dietary cholesterol, as a diet that is high in meat is often high in cholesterol.
A benefit of soy protein is that it has no cholesterol and low amounts of saturated fat, whilst being a high quality protein. This makes it a useful alternative to a meat-based equivalent.
There’s further evidence that soy might actually lower LDL levels (the so-called “bad cholesterol”) and raise HDL levels (good cholesterol). The effects were found to be greater in the less-processed soybeans rather than the refined proteins.
Soy protein is relatively high in zinc, unlike many other plant-based sources. The absorption of zinc from soy is only about 25% lower than that of meat. Low levels of zinc are linked to low testosterone which impacts muscle growth and feeling tired.
So, if you find you’re often feeling drowsy, then maybe try sipping on a soy protein shake.
It is also high in vitamin B, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium, which are needed to support the immune system and energy production. This can improve that all round feeling of health and wellness and give you that all-important energy boost.
What are the uses of soy protein?
It can be used as a replacement or an addition to your diet. Since it comes in so many varieties and options there are countless possibilities.
Soy protein can also be used as an addition to your regular diet. If you’re looking to increase your protein intake, but can’t use whey or casein, then this could be a great alternative. It’s high in branched-chain amino acids and contains all 9 essential amino acids, so you won’t have to give up on your muscle-building goals.
Looking to get lean? Soy protein supplementation can fit easily into a calorie deficit diet just as well as a diet designed for muscle gain. Soy is high in an amino acid called leucine, which is responsible for driving muscle growth. This process is essential for both cutting and bulking when you want to maintain and build muscle.
What are the side effects of soy protein?
Soy has got a lot of bad press over the years. It has been linked to lowering testosterone in men and increasing phytoestrogens (dietary oestrogens). This has only been noted in isolated cases where the intake of soy protein was extremely high and the diet itself was unbalanced.
The majority of the research concludes that the risks of soy as a “feminising” food has been overstated. Soy will have a largely neutral effect on testosterone if combined with a balanced diet.
For most people, it is considered safe with little to no side effects as long as you are not allergic to soy.
Soy nutritional information
The soybean contains all three macronutrients — protein, fat and carbohydrates. According to the USDA Food Composition Database, for every 100g of raw soybean, there’s 36g of protein, 20g of fat and 30g of carbohydrates on average.
These ratios will change depending on the product in question – A shake made from soy protein isolate will have a very different makeup from a soy protein burger.
Soy is high in protein, Vitamin C, and folate. It’s also a good source of fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and thiamine.
Soy protein is a plant-based supplement. Both animal and plant-based proteins are made up of amino acids. Being a complete protein, this means that soy protein is made up of all the 9 essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, and histidine).
Soy is a good source of branched-chain amino acids. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are made up of leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids play an important role in building muscle, recovering from heavy workouts, and improving exercise performance.
Post time: Dec-17-2021