One of the most frequent questions we get from our customers as they switch to a plant-based diet is, “How can I make sure I’m getting enough protein?” While there are numerous protein-packed ingredients in our meals, this year, we’ll be introducing soy into some of our meals to add even more protein and diversity to your meal line-up. We checked in with Splendid’s Kim Rose, a registered dietitian nutritionist, for her take on incorporating soy into your diet, including some too-good-to-pass-up soy benefits and myth-busting some common soy misconceptions!
Do you know what tofu, tempeh, edamame, and textured vegetable protein all have in common? You guessed it; all these foods contain soy. Soy is conceivably one of the most controversial food items on the market. A popular misconception about soy is that it causes cancer. But as a matter of fact, a 2017 study from the American Cancer Association website found that the consumption of soy actually decreased the risk of many different types of cancers (1). Don’t believe everything you hear — soy has many more health benefits than you think.
Soybeans are rich in isoflavones. Isoflavones are plant-based compounds that provide a variety of health benefits. For instance, the flavonoids in soybeans provide antioxidants, have anti-osteoporosis activity, and have anti-atherosclerotic activity (2). In other words, soybeans may help protect our cells from free radical damage, prevent weak and brittle bones, prevent plaque from forming on the arteries, and reduce cholesterol levels (2). Pretty impressive for a simple soybean, huh?
Aside from these four excellent health benefits, soy (or soybeans) can be--and often is--used as a meat alternative. This is because it is high in protein. Contrary to popular belief, protein is found in a lot of foods, not just meat. Don’t believe me? Check this out: one cup of cooked soybeans contains a whopping 31.3 grams of protein, 10.4 grams of fiber, and 401 calories (3). What does all of this mean? Well, if you are looking for a filling, heart-healthy, high-protein substitute for meat, soy products are awesome.
They can offer enough protein to sustain you through a workout and are practical enough to make a meatless meal in the middle of a hectic week.
The benefits of soy protein are manifold. But the benefit that is undoubtedly one of the most important is that it tastes great. And because it comes in many forms and flavor profiles, soy protein can stand up to just about any meat entree. So whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply want to include more plants in your diet, soybeans are a smart source for addressing the needs of your diet and satisfying the cravings of your palate.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kimberley Rose-Francis RDN, CDE, CNSC, LD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Certified Diabetes Educator | Nutrition Support Clinician
Philosophy: Let's Make Nutrition EASY!