Proteins are the building blocks of the human body, and they play a critical role in human health and well-being. Dietary protein can be split into two categories: the first is composed of nutritionally essential amino acids like histidine, isoleucine, leucine, and lysine. The second component contains nutritionally dispensable amino acids like aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid, alanine, and serine.
A combination of plant-protein foods can serve as a complete and well-balanced source of amino acids essential for all our physiological requirements for this class of molecules.
Soy products are low in sulfur-containing amino acids. Nutrients get denatured by heat, changes in pH, detergents, organic solvents, urea, and other chemicals. Heat treatment of soy flakes (while it inactivates nearly all biologically active components) retains most of its functionality (Wu et al., 1974).
Soy products are particularly beneficial for cardiovascular and overall health. These are rich in polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and low in saturated fat (Sacks et al., 2006).
A 100 g of whey fluid contains 2 percent protein. It is a complete, high-quality containing all essential amino acids. In addition, it is very digestible and absorbed from the gut quickly compared to other types of protein.
As a dietary supplement, whey is widely popular among bodybuilders, athletes, and others who want additional protein. Consuming excess whey may cause flatulence in some individuals. The choice of protein – whey or soy is an individual preference. I could not find anything in science that would make me choose between the two.
The quality of these molecules depends on various factors, including their amino acid profile, bioavailability, and digestibility, and not just the source. Plant-based and animal-based food sources have pros and cons; their choice ultimately depends on individual needs, dietary restrictions, and personal preferences.
Animal-based sources, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs, are considered complete proteins, meaning they contain all essential amino acids. They are also highly bioavailable and easily digestible. However, many animal-based protein sources are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, and some may also contain hormones and antibiotics.
Plant-based protein sources, such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are often lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Some plant-based protein sources, like soy, are also considered complete proteins. However, the plant-based of these molecules can be less bioavailable and digestible than animal-based products. Additionally, some people may have difficulty obtaining enough protein from a solely plant-based diet.
In conclusion, both plant-based and animal-based protein sources have their benefits and drawbacks, and the choice between them ultimately depends on individual dietary needs and preferences. It is also possible to achieve a healthy diet by incorporating a mix of both plant-based and animal-based protein sources.