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View Full Version : Not Enough Protein vs Too Much Soy?



dvride
Jun 14th, 2009, 04:36 AM
Hi, I have a bit of a problem and this seemed like the right place to ask for some advice. I've been vegan for five years and I'm currently very poor, as in barely-eating poor, and I've found that the only way for me to get the recommended amount of protein is to buy Whole Foods brand soy protein powder in bulk and eat it plain. I've never been particularly health conscious (not great for a vegan, I know) and I just recently found out that it has been suggested by several studies that too much soy protein in the diet can cause problems, specifically thyroid problems which I know are very unpleasant. I can't afford any other types of protein as I can barely afford this, and I know I'm not getting enough protein otherwise because I start getting really intense meat cravings when I stop eating the powder. So my question is: Too much soy protein or not enough protein? Which is worse?

Cherry
Jun 14th, 2009, 09:05 AM
I'd say not enough protein. It doesn't sound healthy to be eating protein powder as your main source of protein, though! Lentils? Beans? You can make a bit vat of lentil curry very cheaply.

There was a thread somewhere about cheap eating in the US. I'll have a look...

edit: Here we go: Poor vegan, cheap living (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1056)

*live*&*let*live
Jun 14th, 2009, 11:29 AM
Hi dvride, welcome to the forum.

I'm not sure how much the soy powder is where you live, but I am sure you could get other soy products for less than the tinned stuff and it tastes much nicer too! Like Cherry says you can eat quite cheaply with dried pulses, beans, rice etc. Just try to get some fruit and veg in your diet too. If you make a big pot of something you can always freeze it so it lasts longer. Menu planning always helps for me when we are a bit tight, so I try to stick to that and not deviate so you save money that way too.

In answer to your question about soy being unhealthy in large amounts I have read studies on the internet about this that states it can be unhealthy in large amounts, but I would rather be having that than meat anyday of the week! We are always being told that a certain food item is not good for you, then the week after it's the new superfood and 'don't eat this and don't drink that' - I think it's like all things - everything in moderation and balance. :smile:

cobweb
Jun 14th, 2009, 01:09 PM
i agree with both replies.

i get loads of protein - its in almost everything - i have cereal with nuts in it for breakfast, topped with soya milk, then through the day either tofu or pulses or peanuts, veg, potatoes, peanut butter. None of it is expensive. Personally i don't worry too much about eating soya products and would prefer to eat them in an enjoyable way rather than use protein powders.

Just as a further thought - i gain muscle really easily and have to watch that i don't gain more than i want as i already resemble a less toned version of Fatima Whitbread http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/04/boxing_sports_personality0_what_happened_next0/img/8.jpg&imgrefurl=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/04/boxing_sports_personality0_what_happened_next0/html/8.stm&usg=__Wqtf80lJMc3aATIrfWIZY3R6MYE=&h=300&w=300&sz=19&hl=en&start=8&sig2=0av_grrvp_0HfRftxkHZzQ&tbnid=lbgRGhQhnTsMuM:&tbnh=116&tbnw=116&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfatima%2Bwhitbread%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3 D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN&ei=Qeg0Ss6zAoiNjAfE-riWCg, so i reckon i must eat enough protein! :D

*live*&*let*live
Jun 14th, 2009, 02:28 PM
Just as a further thought - i gain muscle really easily and have to watch that i don't gain more than i want as i already resemble a less toned version of Fatima Whitbread


Ah but can you throw a javelin like her cobweb?! :D

cobweb
Jun 14th, 2009, 02:29 PM
Ah but can you throw a javelin like her cobweb?! :D


actually i did try it when i was at school and i wasn't too bad :p (maybe i missed my true vocation?)

*live*&*let*live
Jun 14th, 2009, 06:03 PM
Think it could have been a pretty useful skill to have, spearing politicians and animal laboratory 'scientists' to a big board where they can be tortured too. :mad:

Korn
Jun 18th, 2009, 08:12 AM
I can't afford any other types of protein as I can barely afford this
Hi,
I would strongly advice against using powders or supplements as a substitute for real food. Are you sure that eg. lentils and beans are more expensive than protein powder, a processed product?

Check this for more info about vegan protein sources...


Vegan protein (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1382)
What are your favourite vegan protein sources? (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3696)

dvride
Jun 18th, 2009, 09:51 AM
Thanks everyone who answered, and I've been checking out the protein guides you linked.

In response to price questions: Yes, beans are more expensive. The protein powder runs me about $5/Week for about 50g of protein/day. An equivalent amount of protein from say, garbanzo beans would be roughly $1.60/day, or $11.20/week, which I just can't spare (isn't being unemployed great?). I can look into bulk lentil prices in my area. While protein is in just about everything, it's not necessarily complete, and I've done some research into the rest of my diet and it looks like I'd be deficient in lysine if I tried relying on that. I DO eat the supplement at the same time as other food, if that helps at all.

cobweb
Jun 18th, 2009, 10:11 AM
..........but at the moment you are buying both food and powders, aren't you?
what about using Braggs liquid aminos to spray on your food, that's pretty cheap stuff.

gogs67
Jun 18th, 2009, 10:58 AM
Thanks everyone who answered, and I've been checking out the protein guides you linked.

In response to price questions: Yes, beans are more expensive. The protein powder runs me about $5/Week for about 50g of protein/day. An equivalent amount of protein from say, garbanzo beans would be roughly $1.60/day, or $11.20/week, which I just can't spare (isn't being unemployed great?). I can look into bulk lentil prices in my area. While protein is in just about everything, it's not necessarily complete, and I've done some research into the rest of my diet and it looks like I'd be deficient in lysine if I tried relying on that. I DO eat the supplement at the same time as other food, if that helps at all.
Ever thought about buying Gluten powder and making your own seitan? Or even making it from scratch from wheat flour?
Problem solved!

Mahk
Jul 2nd, 2009, 04:24 AM
what about using Bragg's liquid aminos to spray on your food, that's pretty cheap stuff.
Bragg's contains 0% DV of protein per half teaspoon serving or as the company deceptively labels it "310 milligrams". If one upped the quantity and drank an entire cup [:eek:] one could get a reasonable amount of protein but then one's sodium intake would be dangerously high (15,360 mg whereas the daily limit we shouldn't exceed is 2,400 mg).

Bragg's tastes great but nutritionally is not much different than normal soy sauce (shoyu) despite their attempts to market it as otherwise.

Mahk
Jul 2nd, 2009, 04:41 AM
While protein is in just about everything, it's not necessarily complete,.
Two things to consider:

A) the number of grams listed on the label per serving is the complete part, any excess amino acids that aren't complimentary balanced aren't listed as "grams of protein".

B) not only do you not need to consume complete proteins within the same meal, you don't even need to eat them within the same day. They mix in your body, as long as you are consuming all the essential ones, throughout the week. Frances Moore Lappe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Moore_Lapp%C3%A9), author of the groundbreaking vegetarian book of the 60's/70's "Diet for a Small Planet", which was the first to postulate the now debunked concept of "complete protein must be consumed per meal", actually conceded this to me when I questioned her on it personally just a few years ago.

Mahk
Jul 2nd, 2009, 05:12 AM
I just recently found out that it has been suggested by several studies that too much soy protein in the diet can cause problems, specifically thyroid problems which I know are very unpleasant.

The American Thyroid Association (http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/Hypothyroidism%20_web_booklet.pdf), page 7 :

"Soy does not cause hypothyroidism, but it does interfere with the body's ability to absorb thyroid replacement therapy." [emphasis mine]

So unless you are on prescription Synthroid, you can eat all the soy you want.

There is a ton of anti soy propaganda on the internet, from sources such as quacky Dr Mercola, but I have never seen any credible medical establishments denounce soy or suggest we should have limits for the normal population. [of course some find it hard to digest or makes them "gassy", true of most other beans as well, but that's a different matter.;)]

cobweb
Jul 2nd, 2009, 12:10 PM
yep, and there is a lot of evidence that areas where soy products are widely used generally are linked with better health.

gogs67
Jul 2nd, 2009, 02:03 PM
Mate of mines wife just found out she was allergic to soy!

They've been married years but she never went vegan, then about 3 months ago she decided to go the 'whole way'.
A couple of weeks ago they were at home and she went into anaphylactic shock and got rushed to hospital where they diagnosed it as a soy allergy.
They think that she always had the allergy but the increased intake in the few months previous had triggered it!

dvride
Jul 2nd, 2009, 06:26 PM
Thanks a ton for all the super informative replies everyone! It's really helpful to know all this stuff o.O My protein situation isn't nearly as dire as I was lead to believe. I've been told a lot of lies, it would seem.

Good news! I just landed a job, so it looks like I'll be back to eating ridiculously delicious and expensive imitation meat products in no time. Thanks again for all the info, I may actually have to start watching my health now.

Mahk
Jul 2nd, 2009, 07:04 PM
Congrats on the new job!

I thought of one more thing to add. There is a wonderful nutritional database on the web where you can quickly analyze the nutrition of anything and it has a great section where you can insert a search criteria such as "Find foods highest in X (protein or lysine as two examples) but search only through category Y (vegetables or nuts and seeds as two examples):

http://www.nutritiondata.com/tools/nutrient-search

A learn something there every time I visit. You don't have to sign up to use 90% of the site.

VegaLi
Sep 16th, 2009, 09:04 PM
I think it's like all things - everything in moderation and balance. :smile:

And what is that??
Ild like to keep the calorie/carb-intake quite low (want to lose some weight) and eat more proteins and healthy fats.
I love tofu and I eat at least 300 grams/day, is that "in moderation"? :confused:
Though soy is the only complete vegan protein-source (yes, Im one of them who believes that) I rather not eat combinations like chickpeas and bread, cause it gives too many carbs.
How much soy can you eat without it being a health-risk? :dizzy:

Korn
Sep 16th, 2009, 09:44 PM
You don't need to eat those per-meal-combinations - and you don't even need soy. :)