Research: Soy protein also increases satiety


Soy protein induces satiety similar to animal sources.  


There are many studies that show that a plant-based diet can help you live a longer and healthier life.  Plant-based protein tends to be higher in carbohydrates and fiber.  Plant-based protein also tends to be of lower quality unless you acquire it from multiple sources.  These statements may lead medical providers to recommend that patients not partake in a weight loss program while dieting because every calorie counts and there is some evidence to indicate that it will take more to get the total amino acid requirements to meet your nutritional needs.  More food will lead to more calories, and this would be more difficult to lose weight.  If you stick to a lower calorie count, it might be fair to assume that you might have less satiety.  

High-protein diets are frequently used for weight loss and management due to their ability to research indicating that higher levels of protein might enhance energy expenditure, promote satiety, and promote lean mass retention.  More lean mass means that you will burn more calories.  Animal and dairy proteins have also been proven to promote satiety, but there is limited research to show that plant or soy proteins do the same.  

A recent study from 2017 looked at this very question while it compared the weight loss effects of an animal-based protein to plant-based protein in the form of soy[1].  This 12-month study was a randomized, non-inferiority clinical trial.   The subjects were participants in the State of Slim transformative weight management program.  The primary outcome was the relative change in body weight after 4-months of interventional weight loss program.  The enrolled population included 58 women and 13 men with an average age of 42 years and an average BMI of 32.9.  The subjects were asked to consume three servings of pre-made soy or non-soy protein foods in the form of powder, bar or patty per day for 12 months.  Body composition was assessed via dual x-ray absorptiometry.  Both groups lost equal amounts of weight and reported increased satiety.  

The Bottom Line: Both groups lost weight and improved satiety.  The results indicate that the regular consumption of soy protein is comparably efficacious to other forums protein for weight loss and satiety.  This study has changed my view on plant proteins, and I would recommend that you consider it as a regular part of your diet.  The fiber will keep you regular and assist in moderating hunger.  


K. Speaker et al., “Effects of consuming a high-protein diet with or without soy protein during weight loss and maintenance: a non-inferiority, randomized clinical efficacy trial.,” Obes Sci Pract, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 357–366, May 2018. [PubMed]
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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