One of the necessary macronutrients needed by our bodies is protein. Proteins have amino acids that serve to build and repair muscle tissues. It also gives energy to the body to enable it to sustain its daily activities. On the average, an adult needs to consume about 50 grams of protein per day to meet its requirement for this important nutrient. The usual sources of protein are lean meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
There are times, however, when we need to get a quick dose of protein. Thanks to modern technology, this has now been made possible through ready to drink shakes or powder preparations that can simply be mixed with water and ice and blended easily. Soy protein, in particular, is fast becoming a popular source of quick protein.
Unlike whey protein which is derived from animal sources– it is a byproduct of cheese from cow’s milk– soy protein is made from plant sources. It is taken from the soybean plant that is a natural source of protein. If you’re considering to use soy as your protein source, consider the following advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of Soy Protein:
1. It helps increase bone density in women, especially who have undergone menopause. As a result, it is helpful in reducing osteoporosis which has been blamed for falls and fractures in the elderly.
2. It reduces caloric intake, reduces food cravings and raise the body’s energy levels. Thus, it is beneficial for those seeking to lose weight. It is particularly helpful for women who want to lose the excess pounds because of its lecithin content that is helpful in reducing cellulite.
3. It controls insulin production. When the body produces too much insulin, sugar is stored excessively in the body, leading to fat gain. Soy counters this.
4. It is easily digestible. It also helps prevent generative diseases, including cancer, although more studies are needed to ascertain this.
5. It is cheaper compared to other forms of protein sold in the market today.
Disadvantages of Soy Protein:
1. It is not advisable for people with thyroid problems to take in soy. According to experts, the isoflavones found in soy are particularly toxic to those who already have thyroid issues. This is still a subject of controversy, however, as others say that for as long as it is unprocessed and not modified in any way, shape or form, taking soy in moderate amounts does not pose any risk.
2. It is highly allergenic. Those with allergies to soy can suffer from diarrhea or difficulty breathing even with just a little ingestion of soy. Before taking in soy, it’s important that you make sure that you have no allergies to it.
3. No conclusive studies have been done as to determine the long-term effects of soy to health. Thus, moderate consumption is still best. However, there are no guidelines established as of yet as to what is actually a ‘safe’ amount to consume.
4. Others find soy too “nutty” or too “beany” for their taste.