Nutrition

Soy Protein | What is it, Health Benefits & Controversies?

Whether you follow a plant-based diet, are dairy intolerant or just fancy switching up your protein supplement source – soy protein definitely makes a great alternative.

We have just re-formulated our Soy Protein Isolate, it’s now smoooother than ever – don’t worry, we have kept your favourite flavours and it remains high in important nutrients, such as being rich in protein.

Why not read our new Soy Protein blog; Discover Our New Smoother Soy Protein Blend? Keep scrolling to discover everything soy protein related, from its health benefits, nutritional’s to controversies.

What is Soy Protein? 

Soy protein originally elicited from the soybean is a nutritiously-dense legume (also a certified member of the pea family)1. Unlike other legumes, soybeans are a great source of high-quality protein. This explains why it’s widely used as a protein source by those following a plant-based, vegetarian or dairy-free diet.2

Soy protein can be extracted from the soybeans in different ways – variations you may have heard of are soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate and textured soy protein. Pure protein powder is usually powdered soy protein isolate or soy protein concentrate.

Soy Protein Isolate 

Soy protein isolate is essentially soy protein with the highest content of protein. It’s made from defatted soybean flakes that are soaked in alcohol or water – this removes the sugars. It’s then dehydrated and therefore turned into powder.3

To Note: Although nutritionally dense, soy protein isolate may have fewer benefits than soybeans or soy protein due to the extraction production removing some isoflavones (polyphenols found in legumes; soybeans, chickpeas and peanuts). Polyphenols are micronutrients found in plant-based foods that are associated with various health benefits. You can find our Soy Protein Isolate here.3 

Uses of Soy Protein: Soy protein isolate is generally used in: breakfast cereals, shakes, snack bars, dairy products, meat substitutes, condiments (soups and sauces), bread. 

Soy Protein Concentrate 

Soy protein concentrate is made by removing a portion of the carbohydrates from defatted soybeans making a flavour consistency.4 

To Note: Soy protein concentrate is generally used within the meat and poultry industry to increase water and fat retention in products!4 

Uses of Soy Protein Concentrate: Soy protein concentrate is generally used in: breakfast cereals, shakes, snack bars, dairy products, meat substitutes, condiments (soups and sauces) and bread. 

Soy Protein (Textured) 

Textured soy protein (TSP) is pretty much cholesterol-free and can be processed as a low-fat food! Similarly, to the other extractions, TSP is also defatted soybeans however as a flour extracted from soybean oil.5

To Note: Textured soy protein (TSP) can have a shelf-life of more than a year when stored at room temperature! 6

Uses of Soy Protein (Textured): Soy protein (textured) is generally used in meat substitutes it’s a great meat replacement for ground beef. 

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What are some Health Benefits of Soy Protein? 

A nutritiously led alternative to meat or dairy products 

A distinct health benefit of soy protein is its diverse compound structure. As opposed to other plant-based protein sources, soy protein is a complete protein. Essentially this means soy protein has all of the essential amino acids your body cannot make but needs to obtain from food. Whilst there are many plant-based sources of protein, it can be difficult to easily source all essential amino acids naturally on a vegan diet – therefore this is a great discovery for anyone following a plant-based diet! 

A great source of vitamins and minerals 

A simple way to ensure you are receiving enough vitamins and minerals is by having soy protein. Examples include B-vitamins (essential when following a plant-based diet), iron, zinc, vitamin D and calcium. Soy Protein also has an array of anti-oxidants which supports the prevention of damaging free radical production. 

Rich in fibre  

Fibre is known to reduce the risks of certain diseases such as obesity, cholesterol and heart disease.7 Therefore, ensuring you are getting enough fibre in your diet is essential! Ensuring you are having enough fibre also lowers the chance of constipation by supporting the body’s natural digestion process.

How To Use Soy Protein

Soy protein isolate can be added to your juice, milkshakes or smoothies. It can also be sprinkled onto cereal to boost your protein content! Homemade yoghurt can be too watery sometimes; soy protein isolate can thicken this up!

Check out our recipe articles for inspiration, make sure you send us your yummy results on our socials, find us at @myvegan:

Salted Caramel Brownie

The Controversies of Soy Protein 

Despite serving as a major source of protein nutrients to vegans especially, soy protein can be known to be somewhat a controversial food group.

There are several articles linking soy protein to particular illnesses, however, fail to back up with significant evidence.8,9 Research has found those consuming just 1/2 cup of tofu (fermented soya bean) reduces the risk of developing certain illnesses by 30% as opposed to those who avoid soy.9 Furthermore, soy has been linked to a decrease in the risk of lung, stomach and colorectal illnesses.10,11

Our Soy Protein Isolate – Nutritional Information

Serving Size – 1 ¼ scoops (30g)

Servings Per Container – 33 (1kg)

Per 100g Per Serving *RI
Energy 1505 kJ/360 kcal 451 kJ/108 kcal 18%
Fat 1.5 g 0.5 g 2%
of which saturates 0.5 g 0.2 g 3%
Carbohydrates 1.8 g 0.5 g 1%
of which sugars 0.5 g 0.2 g 1%
Protein 90 g 27 g 54%
Salt 0.5 g 0.2 g 8%

 

* Reference intake of an average adult (8400 kJ/2000 kcal)

The nutritional information is based on the Unflavoured version, when choosing an alternative flavour the nutritional values may vary.

Soy Protein Isolate

In a Nutshell

  • Soy protein can appear in many forms; soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrates and textured soy protein (TSP).
  • Soy protein has many health benefits from being a nutritiously dense alternative to meat and dairy products, and a great source of many vitamins and minerals.
  • You can use soy protein in various ways from adding to juices and smoothies to creating post-workout shakes.
  • Soy protein is known to be a controversial food however conversation is not linked to substantial research articles.

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Find us on Instagram for exciting updates @Myvegan  


  1. González-Muñiz, R (2019) Bioactive peptides from food protein degradation: Legume peptides. 
  2. Cavazos, A. and Gonzalez de Mejia, E (2019). Identification of Bioactive Peptides from Cereal Storage Proteins and Their Potential Role in Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 12(4), pp.364-380. 
  3. Soya, 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.soya.be/soy-protein-isolate.ph.
  4. Soya, 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.soya.be/soy-protein-concentrate.php.
  5. Riaz, M.N., 2001. Textured soy protein and its uses. Agro Food Industry Hi Tech12(5), pp.28-31. 
  6. Soya, 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.soya.be/textured-soy-protein.php.
  7. Biotica International [online. Available at: https://bioticainternational.com/ojs/index.php/biorestoday/article/view/263.
  8. Nagra, M., 2020. 3 Myths About Soy – Setting The Record Straight – Center For Nutrition Studies. [online] Center for Nutrition Studies. Available at: https://nutritionstudies.org/3-myths-about-soy-setting-the-record-straight.
  9. Wu, AH et al. Epidemiology of soy exposure and breast cancer risk. Br J Cancer. 2008;98(1):9-14.
  10. Yang WS, Va P, Wong MY, et al. Soy intake is associated with lower lung cancer risk: results from a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2011, 94:1575-1583.
  11. Kim J, Kang M, Lee JS, et al. Fermented and non-fermented soy food consumption and gastric cancer in Japanese and Korean populations: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Cancer Sci 2011, 102:231-244.


Emily Richards

Emily Richards

Writer and expert

Emily has a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Marketing from the University of the West of England. This entailed an in-depth study of marketing strategy, analysis and creative content focusing primarily across skincare and nutrition divisions. Growing up beside several beautiful welsh beaches, Emily’s interests include venturing outdoors for long dog walks. Her interests also include fitness, specifically running where she completed the Royal Parks half marathon in London, raising a significant amount of money for charity. In her spare time, Emily enjoys exercising and socialising with friends. Her passion for the outdoors extends to supporting the local community with beach clean-ups and trying new veggie recipes at home! Find out more about Emily’s experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilyrichards97/