Soy protein is the protein extracted from soybean. The soybean meal is husked and the fat is removed, which is then processed into three kinds of products: Flour, concentrates and isolates. Soy contains 30% carbohydrate of which 15% is fiber. It also contains 38% protein, 14% moisture and 18% oil of which 85% is unsaturated. Soy contains all nine amino acids and that too in perfect ratio.
Types of Soy protein:
As mentioned earlier, soy protein comes in three forms- isolates, concentrates and flour. Below is a bit detailed discussion on them.
- Soy protein isolates: It is the most refined form of soy protein. It is mainly used in meat to refine its taste and texture. It contains 90% protein.
- Soy protein concentrate: It contains 70% of protein and does not have water soluble carbohydrates.
- Textured soy protein: It is called so because it is made by adding texture to soy protein concentrates. It is available as dry flakes, like flour or chunks. Textured soy contains approximately 70% protein.
Consumption of Soy:
If you have never consumed soy, then it’s advisable that you start adding a little to your diet at a time. By substituting animal protein by soy protein at least a few times a month, this is the best way to cut off saturated fat from your diet. Moderate consumption of soy protein is good, but taking it a lot can harm your body in ways. If you are allergic to soy or if you cannot digest soy, it is advisable that you don’t consume it at all. It is better if you consult your doctor before adding soy to your diet.
Common Concern about Soy:
- Contamination of metal: Giant aluminum vats are used for extracting isolates that are 90% protein. Aluminum has a tendency to leach on to protein. This increases the risk of metal contamination in soy protein. So, it is essential that you don’t opt for some cheap non-branded soy protein.
- Risk of pesticide: Usually genetically modified soy is resistant to glyphosate which is a common compound of pesticide. The most common concern is that you will be consuming more of this chemical if you are consuming soy protein. The good part is human gastro-intestinal tract does not absorb glyphosate. But the studies have not yet proved that soy protein is even the primary source of consumption of pesticide.
- Concentration Isoflavones: Isoflavones are antioxidants that are known to mimic estrogen in our body. Soy isoflovanes can increase bone density, but these are equally efficient in increasing the risk of breast cancer. Though no study has shown the effect in human, animals have shown the effect.
There are many advantages and disadvantages of soy protein. Soy protein in India can easily be bought online. Soy protein can also be taken in form of food like tofu, soy milk, soy nut butter, soy cheese, etc. Soy sauce and soybean don’t contain soy protein. Make sure the soy product you are buying is low in saturated fat. Soya is another word for soy.