Proteins : Fascination towards the Building blocks
The times are changing and so is our diet. We’re increasingly becoming more and more aware of the Macro and Micro nutrients and thus we’re witnessing changes in the dietary patterns as well. As we progress towards a healthy eating plan, one of the most important concern that comes into picture is “getting sufficient proteins”. And it becomes a bedlam if you are Vegetarian /trying to turn Vegan, which is on the rise globally.
IDA concluded from a survey by IMRB that around 93 percent of Indians are not aware of their ideal protein requirements. 84% of the vegetarian diets are Protein deficient and 65% non vegetarian diets are protein deficient. Usually 9 out of 10 people are not consuming enough proteins basis their body’s requirement.
Quite an eye opener, Isn’t it? Have a close look at your diet patterns and you’ll acknowledge that we all are still embracing “Carb- based” diet with added saturated fats in the form of butter, ghee, oils. Are we really targeting a healthy body with dietary modifications (more proteins, less carbs) ? If yes, then do have a look at the quality of protein and whether you are consuming complete protein or not? We shall read all this below.
Soy protein awareness by DuPont
Recently, I got a chance to be a part of Soy Protein awareness, by DuPont, a global leader in F&B, Dietary supplements. As they say,
“At DuPont Nutrition & health, we provide manufacturers with natural ingredients for safe, nutritious and healthy products.”
Getting a chance to hear DuPont dignitaries (Mr. Indranil Chatterjee, Ms. Karuna Jaikrishna, Sujith Sathyadas) and Dr. Namita (HOD, Clinical Nutrition, Fortis Hospital, Noida), raising the awareness around Soy protein, was phenomenal.
We are aware that proteins are the basic building blocks of our body. Our daily protein requirement is 1gm/kg, i.e. If I’m a normal fit adult, weighing 60kgs and not indulging in lots of physical exercise, then my daily Protein requirement is 60 gms. This requirement varies (increases) for growing toddlers, children, physically active adults, sports people and even for elders.
Despite being aware of the daily Protein requirement, when it comes to me, being a vegetarian, even I found it quite challenging to fulfil my family’s complete protein needs. My focus has increased towards adding complete plant based proteins(with all 9 essential A.A) in diet. Personally, I have increased Tofu usage, added Soy Flour to my normal chapati flour, and included quinoa in our diet.
The surge of Plant based protein intake :
Globally there has been a rise in the intake of Plant based protein. Basically protein rich food should supply 9 Essential Amino acids which are must for the synthesis of the tissue proteins. The remaining 11 Amino acids can be synthesized from other sources in our body. The right plant based foods when consumed in right combinations, completes our body’s requirements. Plant based proteins give us less calories and fats compared to animal based foods. And this is why the consumption of Plant based proteins as Soy proteins, Pea protein, Quinoa are rising exponentially.
According to Statista, the plant protein market was valued at 10.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 and it has been forecasted at a continuous growth for next 7 years. So what matters is the Quality of protein you are consuming and this has been effectively measured by PDCAAS(Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score) score. As per wikipedia, “It is used to evaluate the quality of a protein based on the amino acid requirements of human body and also their ability to digest it”.
It was shared that DuPont Danisco Isolated Soy Protein has a PDCAAS score of 1, which means that it has all 9 essential Amino acids needed by our body and is easily digested as well. It is comparable to high quality animal protein as egg white and beef.
Soy Protein and its benefits : Facts about SOY proteins
Let’s have a look at the Soy Protein’s Nutritional science here :
- Soy serves as a lean source of high quality complete protein (having all 9 essential Amino acids), which can be consumed in various ways. Be it Tofu or Soy Milk or Soy flour, it needs a greater share in our diets.
- This protein is lactose free, Cholesterol free and vegetarian /vegan friendly.
- Whole soy foods are a great source of protein (Soybean has 36% protein). It has unsaturated fats (healthy for heart) and is low in Saturated fat as it is derived from plants.
- Soy is also rich in Vitamin B-Complex, Vitamin E, potassium, Iron, Calcium and is a good source of dietary fibres(15%).
- The best part is the flexibility Soy poses. It can be added to the foods in varied form.
- Soy Protein is easily digested and it supports in fulfilling the growth and development needs of growing children.
- Soy is less allergic compared to Dairy (18%), Fish (17%) and Nut. Though Soy allergies still tend to capture 11% share.
Importance of Soy protein at all stages of Life :
Looking for better Weight Management?
Then that’s a good news for you. Protein rich food keeps you fuller for longer durations, thus increasing satiety and reducing the cravings to grab those junks. Studies have shown that diets having soy protein curbs the anxiety to grab mid-day unhealthy snacks, improves appetite, supports loss of fat and maintains lean muscle mass (which should not be lost during weight loss).
Muscle Growth :
Who says that muscles are required only for sports people and gym goers? We all need the strength training and Proteins, promotes muscle gain and preserve muscle mass. The best benefit is obtained when Soy and dairy products are taken in combination within 30 minutes of workout. This combination works great for muscle recovery.
Active Lifestyle as we age :
As we age, we lose muscle mass and this risks elders for more falls and fractures. Little exercise and intake of Soy protein helps in muscle maintenance and is must for ageing people. Soy protein can be of great help in :
- Increasing bone mineral density, hence preventing Osteoporosis (more so after menopause in women)
- Preventing Joint pain and stiffness
- Eating Soy Protein can also help in reducing the Blood Pressure in people with High B.P.
Heart Health :
Thanks to the brands coming up with Soy Oil promoting it for better heart health. Daily soy protein intake may improve LDL or bad cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces the risk of heart diseases. Soy has a cholesterol lowering effect. To claim Soy protein for heart health, FDA released the statement :
“25gms of Soy protein a day, as a part of diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. “
For this ensure that you are having 6.25gms of Soy protein per serving and ensure healthy eating habits.
On a broader note, soy protein is excellent source to meet our protein requirements, more so when taken in natural forms. Also, those who are allergic to Milk or are Vegetarian / Vegan, soy protein is a great alternative. It must be added in specified quantities in diet.
This post should not be considered as a medical advisory for any individual to opt for Soy proteins. It is always suggested to consult your nutritionist before manipulating your dietary intake. Although, consuming foods containing soy protein is safe when taken in quantities which are available in natural foods. Soy is said be avoided if one is under anti-depressants or other medications where Soy proteins might change the molecular biology.
References : Deccanherald webmed