Soy protein comes from soybean and is a by-product of soybean oil. The soybean is a legume that contains no cholesterol and is low in saturated fat. After soybeans have been hulled, ground and had the fat removed you are left with soy protein. There are three kinds of commercial soy protein; flour, concentrate or isolates. Soy protein isolate is highly refined with a minimum protein content of 90%. It has a neutral flavour and has been used widely in the food industry since 1959. Soy protein concentrate is about 70% protein and higher in fibre than isolates. It is the kind most widely used as a functional or nutritional ingredient. Soy protein flour has 50% protein content and can be used to produce gluten-free breads. The popularity of soy protein is increasing due its health benefits and because it is a good alternative to whey protein for vegans and vegetarians.
General Benefits of Soy Protein
Soy protein is extremely healthy, being low in fat and containing no cholesterol. It is particularly beneficial to vegetarians and vegans who can frequently struggle to get enough protein in their diet. Proteins are the building blocks of our body and are made up of amino acids. Soy protein is the only vegetable food source to contain all of the essential amino acids. Humans can produce 10 of the 20 amino acids required by the body but the rest need to be provided by our diet. These amino acids assist in the healthy growth and repair of muscles and boost our immune system. Failure to get enough of even one of these essential amino acids can result the body starting to break down muscle and in our health being compromised. We are unable to store amino acids so meeting the daily requirement is a must. The amino acid content of soy protein also means that other foods can be absorbed more efficiently.
Including soy protein in your diet on a regular basis will help to reduce cholesterol, resulting in better blood flow and a healthier heart. It has been proven to help in reducing the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and in preventing certain cancers. Using a soy protein drink post-workout is an excellent way to get protein back into the body in an easily absorbed form and to increase your daily protein intake.
Soy Protein and Fat Loss
Soy protein contains only around 4 kcals per gram and taking it can have a positive impact on body composition and help with weight loss as part of a healthy diet and exercise regime. Soy protein isolate products, such as our Soy Protein Isolate 90, will help you feel fuller for longer, help to reduce cravings, curb hunger and provide a temporary boost in metabolism. A study has shown that including soy protein in your diet can aid fat loss. Participants in the study who consumed soy protein as part of their diet experienced a reduction in abdominal fat. By comparison participants taking dairy protein experienced an increase in abdominal fat. Whether you are lactose intolerant, vegan or vegetarian, soy protein can help you maintain a balanced diet and achieve your weight loss goals.