What is Soy Protein?
You can turn soybeans into a number of wonderful ingredients: tofu, tempeh, soy milk, and of course, soy sauce. But you can also extract the protein from soy, usually as a kind of powder. This protein carries some of the nutritional value of soybeans along with it, and you can mix it into drinks and smoothies.
Soybeans, by the way, originated in East Asia, where it is still widely cultivated. But it is a versatile crop, and today is grown around the world. The US, Brazil, and Argentina now collectively produce some 80% of the world’s soybean output.
Nutrition at a Glance
Isolated soy protein is pretty much all protein. 100g contains:
- 335 calories
- 88.3g protein
- 3.39g fat
- 0g fiber
- 0g carbs
- 0g sugar
- calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium
- vitamins C and B-6
88g of protein is a lot of protein. For most people, that would be plenty of protein for a single day, all in one or two scoops of soy protein powder. Bodybuilders and athletes might need a little more than that.
Soy protein is also perfect for keto, because it contains 0 carbs. You can consume as much soy protein as you want without ruining ketosis.
Soybeans are a remarkably nutritious food. They provide a number of health benefits, including:
- Improving heart health
- Fighting cancer
- Regulating blood sugar
- Improving gut health
Soybean protein may not provide all of these benefits as well as regular soybeans, but it will help somewhat.
Improving heart health
Heart disease it the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It is preventable by good diet and lifestyle decisions.
One such good dietary decision is consuming plant products, including soybeans. Soy in particular has been shown to be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. However, it is not entirely clear if eating soy causes this- it is also likely the case that people who eat soy products are healthier to begin with.
The exact causes of cancer are not fully understood. Studies usually succeed only in showing correlations, both positive and negative, between cancer and lifestyle factors.
Soybean consumption is one factor that has been shown repeatedly to be associated with a lower risk of cancer. Studies have shown this connection with both breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
Regulating blood sugar
Diabetes is another major cause of death in America. While it can be transmitted genetically, type II diabetes is preventable with the right diet and lifestyle.
Those who have diabetes have to manage their blood sugar to stay healthy, and a plant-heavy diet is a great way to do this. Soy in particular is a blood sugar friendly ingredient.
Soy products of all kinds, including soy protein, have been shown to be associated with a lower risk of type II diabetes.
Improving gut health
Plants are good for your gut. They contain fiber and plenty of nutrients.
Fermented plants are especially good, since they carry helpful bacteria with them. While soy protein is not always extracted from fermented soybeans, it still benefits your microbiome.
Soy is generally a safe food. Like anything else, consuming too much of it can cause problems. The main concern with high soy consumption is the buildup of phytoestrogens. These molecules disrupt your ordinary hormonal functioning.
Soy contains phytoestrogens, but you would need to eat a lot of soy protein to build up enough phytoestrogens in your system to cause real problems.
Compared to other forms of protein
Soy is an excellent place to source your protein intake.
Some meats, like chicken or fish, may be more nutritious and contain more amino acids. But for vegetarians, soy is one of the best options.
Whey protein is also nutritious and can fill your protein needs. But it also contains carbs, and should be used sparingly on keto. It is also not vegan.
Almond protein is a great vegan option, but like whey protein, it does contain some carbs.
How we use soy protein in our products
We use soy protein as the primary protein in our three vegan, plant-based bars:
Take a look at our products for more information. You can see the nutrition facts for each product by clicking “View Nutrition Facts”.