I know people who eat soy products. Some are Vegetarian and some are Vegan. I have had clients that are what I call 80% vegetarian. They are ovo-lacto vegetarians usually, allowing only diary products and eggs. Some found other ways to eat protein by adding fish into their diet as well (ovo-lacto-pesco vegetarian). Then there were clients somewhat in between that ate in this fashion, yet would occasionally have poultry or red meat at a meal.
Grilled Chicken Breast vs. Edamame (Whole Soy)
When working with clients that had eliminated animal proteins from their diets, the number one task for me is to assemble a diet that meets their daily need, including total I know people who eat soy products. Some are Vegetarian or Vegan. I have had clients that are what I call 80% vegetarian. They are ovo-lacto vegetarians usually, allowing only dairy products and eggs. Some found other ways to eat protein by including fish into their diet as well (ovo-lacto-pesco vegetarian). Then there were clients that ate in this fashion, yet would occasionally have poultry or red meat in their diet.
Proteins as Building Blocks
When working with clients that have eliminated animal proteins from their diets, the number one task for me is to assemble a diet that meets their daily protein needs, using the proteinÂ “building blocks” that the client has given me to work with.Â The client often isn’t worried when you tell them there isn’t enough protein in their meal plan. The client acknowledges this and then exclaims, “I’ll just eat more soy!”. No, I don’t want you to eat more soy! The picture should show you that for equal amounts of protein, with the soy you are eating a much larger volume, and taking in an extra 23 grams of carbohydrate. Oh and more than twice the total calories of the chicken.
[box type=”note”]With us today to help enlighten us on nutritional differences between chicken and soy is Karen Pendergrass fromÂ Paleo ApprovedÂ (www.PaleoApproved.com).[/box]
Itâ€™s common knowledge that human beings must have protein to maintain a healthy diet, but there is some confusion about which sources are best. Between chicken breast and edamame, the picture clearly shows that you need less chicken to achieve the daily requirements for protein. But does that mean that chicken is better?
Essential Amino Acids
Most people do not think about their food items in terms of essential amino acids or hypo-allergenicity, but we will here. An organic chicken that eats insects, grubs, and seeds (not corn), will have all of the essential amino acids. Essential means that our bodies cannot produce it, therefore it must be consumed. As long as the chicken is fed a species-appropriate diet, it is hypo-allergenic as well (1). But is it still better than edamame?
Allergenicity of Edamame?
Letâ€™s take a closer look at edamame in terms of protein and allergenicity. Soy has many different proteins, however, 28 of those proteins in soy bind to (2)IgE antibodies and is therefore highly allergenic. The phytates in soy also block the absorption of vitamins and minerals, contain high-levels of phytoestrogens (which is especially not good for men or children) and have protease inhibitors (3) that prevent the absorption and digestion of protein.
So as you can see, in terms of protein and overall well-being, soy is not a good alternative to getting protein, good quality chicken is far superior. Following a diet similar to that our Paleolithic ancestors, you will be assured of a hypo-allergenic diet and sufficient amounts of quality protein.
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