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FoodSize – What 25g of Protein from Grilled Chicken Breast and Edamame (Whole Soy) Looks Like!

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 protein  “building blocks” that the client has given me to work with.  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.

Paleo Approved

[box type=”note”]With us today to help enlighten us on nutritional differences between chicken and soy is Karen Pendergrass from Paleo Approved (www.PaleoApproved.com).[/box]

 

Karen Writes:

It’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?

Let’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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Make Sure To Visit!

More of Karen’s brilliant work can be found at Paleo Approved or Facebook

Additional FoodSize info-graphics can be found at Food Size

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Sources:

  1. http://www.gaianaturopathic.com/docs/hypoallergenic_diet.pdf
  2. http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v128/n4/full/5701126a.html
  3. http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/03toxins.htm
Jason Crouch is the owner of FoodSize.com, an educational blog that aims to teach portion and serving sizes through the use of pictures. Jason is a graduate of the Dietetic Technology program at Gateway Community College in New Haven, CT, an ADA/CADE approved nutrition program. FoodSize can also be found on Facebook for daily updates and commentary.

8 Comments

  1. ChuckC

    April 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Didn’t realize chicken was that much better than soy beans. I always thought of soy beans as the superior food. I definitely didn’t realize that edamame were highly allergenic. I appreciate the insight!

  2. SesaLee

    April 25, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Very interesting article. Would have loved to see some suggestions on what kinds of protein sources would work for a veg or 80% vegetarian. If I prefer not to eat chicken, this article does me no good.

  3. Health Votes

    April 25, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Here in India, most vegetarians eat milk and other dairy products. We consider it a vegetarian food, i guess that is the difference with the vegans.

    I try to eat balanced food, over all vegetarian, with milk and eggs and some times poultry. I avoid the red meat though.

    Some excellent points over all, never knew all that information about the soy. I personally eat quite a lot of soy and now it looks like i must substitute a bit of that with chicken more often.

  4. j

    April 24, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Much appreciated!
    I thought I had been going barmy when I first looked at it- before remembering I eat 100g of chicken for my dinner and occasionally swap with 50g of bean omelette!

  5. j

    April 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    OK, 100g of chicken DOES NOT equal 530kcals unless its heavily fried (which doesn;t look like it on your picture. 100g of chicken is closer to 150kcals.

    100g of beans is 1/4 of a tin can, its NO WAY 1850kcals. More likely to be 158kcals and thats once drained and partially dried out!

    Where on Earth are you getting your figures from?? Saying they are wrong just doesn’t feel strong enough, amazed this artical has been sent out to the general public!!

    • Jarret Morrow

      April 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      j, I posted the wrong Food Size infographic. I’ve updated the post with the originally intended infographic. Sorry again about that Jason!

  6. Linda Cusmano

    April 23, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Great article thanks for bringing it to my attention.
    I have many clients and competitors which I train whom are vegetarian in various ways so I know this well.
    Being veg myself and having tried the range of veg diets from vegan on and I still find myself happiest at lacto ovo with a bit of pesca…….I limit my fish now after so many years of eating it. I would eat it up to 6 times per day for lean down to stage so I tend to find myself sick of fish and only eat limited amounts.
    I was veg of choice but in trying to eat poultry and meats again, I get very sick, ibs and such so it seems my body dictates it now!
    I find now due to my experience I can design meal plans easily around any need or diet preference form my clients and competitors so they are not so lost for what to eat on their special diet needs.

  7. Evelyn Parham

    April 23, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Interesting information! I am a veggie person, but I would not eat that many beans at one sitting. ;) I try to eat a variety of foods and I don’t do soy too much. I didn’t realize soy was highly allergenic. That’s good to know.

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