Soy protein is made from soya beans and is a by-product of soybean oil. Soy protein is what is left after soybeans have been hulled, ground and had the fat removed. This leaves a powder that can be incorporated into a variety of foods. Soy protein is lactose free and contains little or no cholesterol or saturated fat. Soy protein is commercially available in the form of flour, concentrate or isolates.
Soy protein isolate is highly refined with a neutral taste and a minimum protein content of 90%. Soy protein concentrate is most commonly used as a functional or nutritional ingredient. It is about 70% protein and higher in fibre than isolates. Soy protein flour has the lowest protein content at just 50% but can be used in gluten-free baking. The popularity of soy protein has increased significantly due its health benefits and because it is a good alternative to whey protein for vegans, vegetarians and those with lactose intolerance.
Everyone can benefit from taking soy protein. Soy is considered a compete protein and the only vegetable source to contain all the essential amino acids our bodies need for general health, the growth and repair of muscles and boosting our immune system. Including soy protein in the 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. Including soy protein in the diet can be beneficial for diabetics, vegans, vegetarians, osteoporosis sufferers and women in the menopausal stage. Soy protein is especially beneficial for anyone wanting to reduce their body fat, athletes and bodybuilders.
The most common form of soy protein is as a powder. Soy protein can be mixed with water, milk or a milk substitute to make a shake and can be easily added to foods such as smoothies, soups and porridge. Soy protein powder can also be used as an ingredient in other recipes such as pancakes, herb coating for meats and fish or in sweets like fudge. Soy Protein Isolate powder is considered a slow to moderate release protein, so is ideal to use alongside other protein sources and supplements but do check the serving instructions on each product if you plan combining supplements.
It is recommended that you consume between 2-5 servings of soy protein per day, dependent upon your own personal needs. A serving would be classed as 30g (one scoop) of Soy Protein Isolate 90. It is recommended that you take 1g of protein per pound of body weight, so adjust your intake accordingly.