Soy Protein and Weight Loss: Does it Actually Work?
Soy protein shakes and snacks have become popular health food options.
Besides offering a handy milk alternative for those who have to avoid dairy, many soy products also claim to help you lose weight. And in today’s busy world, who isn’t looking for easy ways to lose weight?
But what’s the real story on soy protein and weight loss? Does it actually work?
Let’s find out…
Soy Protein and Weight Loss
Soy protein is protein isolated from soybean (or soya bean), a type of legume native to East Asia. Soy protein is made from defatted soymeal, meaning that fatty acids are removed during processing.
Claims have been around for quite some time about the health benefits of soy protein. In the late 90’s, the FDA stated that consuming 25 grams of soy protein a day could help lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy heart.
Although there’s some controversy surrounding these claims, soy is naturally low in calories and low in fat.
The benefits of soy protein don’t stop there. More recent studies have shown that soy protein has important weight loss properties independent of its low-calorie content. Scientists at Iowa State University have found that soy protein is high in isoflavines, organic compounds which help to reduce the deposit of fat and support lean protein growth.
In addition to less fat storage, soy protein helps stabilize your insulin levels because it’s a low-glycemic food. This means fewer sugar cravings and junk food binges. It also increases your metabolism during digestion, meaning you’ll burn more calories by consuming this protein source. These effects are similar to consuming other lean proteins, like fish and chicken.
Because soy contains estrogen-promoting compounds, it has been suggested that men should avoid a soy-rich diet. Most recent studies have not supported these claims, finding that testosterone levels remain stable in men who increase their soy intake. It is definitely a controversial topic though and I have read that more extensive studies are currently being conducted to see how it effects estrogen levels for both men and women.
My point of view is that if you haven’t tried whey protein products yet or have tried them and had intestinal discomfort it might be worth giving another brand a try as it is usually the artificial sugars that are the culprit and not the whey. However, if you are a vegan and want to live a strict vegetarian diet then the newest studies on soy seem pretty promising, but if you have found any to refute this please leave a link in the comments below.
That aside, what’s the best way to get more soy protein for weight loss? Here are some suggestions:
Include soy products in your diet. Eating more tofu and drinking more soy milk can be great ways to increase your soy protein consumption and support your weight loss goals. Be cautious of some vegetarian foods which contain soy, as some can be high in fat.
Invest in a good soy protein isolate. Soy protein isolate powder can be a great way to get more soy protein in your diet. Mix it into your favourite shake or have it with some juice, just like any other protein shake. You’ll support weight loss and lean muscle growth. Plus, it tastes great! Try the tasty Optimum Soy Protein for a total vegetarian soy option. For a more complete protein supplement that includes both soy and whey protein, try MHP Probolic-SR Muscle Feeder.
Snack on soy protein bars. Another great way to include more soy protein in your diet is to try out some soy protein bars. These are great weight loss alternatives for a busy lifestyle. Try the tasty Promax Protein Bars, or for those on a diet, go for the Myoplex LIte Bars. Both contain protein isolate combinations of soy and whey, providing more complete protein snacking options.
Remember, if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to make sure your diet is healthy all around. Combined with exercise and smart food choices, soy protein can be a great addition to your weight loss efforts.
Have any questions or feedback about Soy Protein and Weight Loss? Please leave a comment below…