Soy Protein: Separating Fact and Fiction

Soy Protein: Is It A Healthy Option?

With all of the questions surrounding fitness getting “answered” on trendy websites that cater to fads, as well as by personal trainers on fitness forums who are fresh out of the certification process, one of the biggest mysteries seems to be what is the best protein? There’s any number of ways to answer this question, as it can be interpreted several different ways. As a long time Austin personal trainer, I’ve seen many fads and myths come and go, so I think the best way to answer this question is to break each major type of protein down in it’s own article, and evaluate them on their own merits. Today’s blog will address soy protein, what it is, the myths surrounding it, and it’s usefulness.

The best protein, like the best anything you care to name, is going to come down to what works best for each individual. Sweeping statements should be swept under the rug as I’ve mentioned many times, but there certainly can be some overlap in these discussions and answers. In order to answer what is the best protein, we have to understand some different protein sources.
Soy protein is a protein that comes from soybeans. Once rid of their fat and dehulled, soybeans are made into 3 kinds of high protein concentrate products. Isolates, flour, and concentrates. While soy has previously come under scrutiny for being estrogenic, that is not at all accurate. The isoflavones found in soy protein, particularly genistein and daidzein, have been falsely regarded as being estrogen boosters, but in fact, soy protein has never been shown to increase estrogen levels in women, nor has it ever been shown to decrease testosterone levels in men. It has, in fact, in several studies been linked to a reduction in prostate cancer in men.

Soy protein was erroneously thought to be not only raise estrogen levels, but not be what is known as a complete protein. This too is a falsity. Soy protein is a complete protein as it contains all of the essential amino acids required for human beings. A few other things soy protein is thought to have going for it, is that it has been clinically associated in the late 1990’s, with lower serum cholesterol levels (LDL, which is the bad cholesterol) as well as triglyceride levels. These studies have come under scrutiny in more modern times and especially as of late, suggesting that the correlation between lower LDL and Triglyceride levels has more to do with the omitting of animal proteins and their associated fats in the foods which they come from, as a benefit as opposed to the genistein and daidzein’s direct effect on those levels.

Is soy protein a good protein? Absolutely it is. It has been demonstrated as such in countless studies wherein soy protein was ranked in it’s protein efficiency ratings as slightly lower than egg whites for protein, but actually marginally higher than animal based proteins. Don’t believe all the hype and misinformation that’s all too pervasive in the health and fitness world. Soy protein is a solid option, especially for those who are vegetarian or vegan, as well as anyone else who wants a healthy, sustainable, and complete protein supplement.

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My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
Soy Protein: Separating Fact and Fiction
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Soy Protein: Separating Fact and Fiction
Longtime Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey debunks the many myths surrounding soy protein, and simultaneously extols it's virtues.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
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