Milk Protein vs. Soy Protein

Milk Protein vs. Soy Protein
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Casein and soy protein appear to have different effects on one’s waistline.

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So ideally, every day: greens, beans, berries, tea, and nuts. Don’t nuts make you fat, though? No! Here’s the latest study. Two handfuls of nuts added to their daily diet, and no weight gain. Every single one of the 20 studies on nuts and weight gain: 20 out of 20 say the same thing; no weight gain. We’re not sure if they boost our metabolism or heck, violate the second law of thermodynamics. Regardless, nuts will not make us fat. That’s what the science shows.

Though meat, eggs, and dairy might. The biggest study on vegans in human history found that not only are vegans leaner than everyone else—leaner than vegetarians, who are leaner than omnivores—but vegans get less of that age-related weight gain. We don’t know exactly why, but it may partly be due to the soy. Compared to milk protein, the protein in soy prevents the increase in abdominal fat observed with the milk protein casein.  Feed people dairy protein, and you can see their tummy fat increases 20 to 40 square centimeters. Whereas the same diet—the exact same diet, same calories, same everything, except soy protein instead of milk protein—and abdominal fat shrinks 10 to 15 square centimeters.

There’s lots of buzz about the new over-the-counter fat-blocking diet drug, alli®. It has some side effects, of course. Side effects with names like anal leakage. This is the drug company’s website promoting the drug, and they’re so concerned about the resulting uncontrollable diarrhea that they advise, “It’s probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and to bring a change of clothes with you to work.” They are forced to advertise the fact that their drug may cause you to crap your pants at work! So I guess you can choose a good diet, or a good diaper!

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

So ideally, every day: greens, beans, berries, tea, and nuts. Don’t nuts make you fat, though? No! Here’s the latest study. Two handfuls of nuts added to their daily diet, and no weight gain. Every single one of the 20 studies on nuts and weight gain: 20 out of 20 say the same thing; no weight gain. We’re not sure if they boost our metabolism or heck, violate the second law of thermodynamics. Regardless, nuts will not make us fat. That’s what the science shows.

Though meat, eggs, and dairy might. The biggest study on vegans in human history found that not only are vegans leaner than everyone else—leaner than vegetarians, who are leaner than omnivores—but vegans get less of that age-related weight gain. We don’t know exactly why, but it may partly be due to the soy. Compared to milk protein, the protein in soy prevents the increase in abdominal fat observed with the milk protein casein.  Feed people dairy protein, and you can see their tummy fat increases 20 to 40 square centimeters. Whereas the same diet—the exact same diet, same calories, same everything, except soy protein instead of milk protein—and abdominal fat shrinks 10 to 15 square centimeters.

There’s lots of buzz about the new over-the-counter fat-blocking diet drug, alli®. It has some side effects, of course. Side effects with names like anal leakage. This is the drug company’s website promoting the drug, and they’re so concerned about the resulting uncontrollable diarrhea that they advise, “It’s probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and to bring a change of clothes with you to work.” They are forced to advertise the fact that their drug may cause you to crap your pants at work! So I guess you can choose a good diet, or a good diaper!

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

Nuts may be high in calories, but can they actually help us stay trim? Learn more:

More on vegan versus omnivore weight:

And check out these videos on cow’s milk, and these about soymilk

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Vitamin B12: how much, how often?Poultry Paunch: Meat & Weight Gain, and Diet and Cellulite.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

28 responses to “Milk Protein vs. Soy Protein

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  1. LOL no diapers for me please! I don’t think people are stupid, just purely desperate to lose weight by any means in this overpalatable world. Will to try anything, except… oh…changing their diet and lifestyle.

    Just wondering what was their definition of a “handful” of nuts? 25grams?? 8 nuts? Big difference in opinion from one person to the next as to what is a “handful”. Many thanks.




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    1. I think in the fact that it is not dairy, is how it will benefit you. Almond milk is also rich in vitamin E and lower in calories. Both good things :). Get unsweetened and watch out for other additives.




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    1. Almonds are an excellent food to consume. As this video shows, they are extremely high in antioxidants: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-nut-2/ . This other video shows that almonds are great at reducing inflammation in the body: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-peanut-butter-good-for-you/ . One thing to consider when you consume almond milk. Unless you are making your own milk at home, store bought almond milk is a processed food and has little nutritional benefit (at least when compared to soy milk); though it is still significantly healthier than dairy.




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  2. Don’t you mean 1st law of thermodynamics? :)

    Thanks so much for yourwork. I’m trying to avoid a total knee replacement and lower my inflammation. I thought I ate well until I looked at your evidence.

    Re The China Study, isn’t casien problem, not so much whey?




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  3. I have an auto-immune disease, Churg-Strauss Syndrome, so I changed my diet to vegan, whole-foods, plant strong. Had a rise in EOS in March, so changed to all organic, am now juicing, and am drinking two green drinks a day to try and take in more nutrients. I am doing everything I can think of to continue decreasing the Prednisone and get off the medicine. After listening to the autoimmune videos, I wondered if anything I am doing is continuing to overstimulate the immune system. Anything else you can think of that can calm things down with food, naturally?




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  4. I eat lots of nuts and seeds and I don’t gain weight eating them :) and I was diagnosed with hypothyroid I tried the medications for thyroid like synthroid levothyroid thyroxine etc.. and im allergic to the thyroid medications so Im not on medication anymore what can I do for my thyroid since meds aren’t an option?




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  5. Hello, I wonder where can I get enough calcium in my diet if I stop drinking milk and eating cheese? I have heard that calcium supplement is dangerous for the heart, so I have become a milk drinker. I have also read that people who had enough calcium in their diet lost much more weight. Like so many other women I struggle with overweight and have tried to become a vegetarian but after some month I can`t resist the craving for cheese and meat. 48 year old woman.




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      1. Figure 18 – “The effect of varying protein or sodium intake on theoretical calcium requirement” drives home your point that 450mg is all one needs!




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    1. catherine: Toxins gave a great reply. I just thought I would throw in my 2 cents worth.

      1) Most people want enough calcium in their diet in order to help their bones. For healthy bones, I would refer you to the book, “Building Bone Vitality” by Amy Lanou and Michael Castleman. There is a lot more to healthy bones than calcium and they give you the balanced info you need. Basically, the book supports what Toxins said, but if you read the book, you can feel very confident in what you are doing and get the big picture.

      2) If you want to loose weight, there are way better and safer ways to do it than focusing on calcium. Dr. Forrester, part of the NF Team, has pointed several people to several resources for weight loss. I have one of them at my fingertips and maybe you could search to find his comment to others to get the other resource.

      The following link is to a youtube video of a called How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind by Doug Lisle, Ph.D.. GREAT video. Extremely helpful.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ

      I *think* the other resource was a DVD from Jeff Novick with the words “Fast Food” in the title

      3) “I can’t resist the craving…” I highly recommend you take a look at another book called:
      “Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings—And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally” by Dr. Bernard

      Also, keep trying to resist meat, dairy and eggs. You may not succeed right away, but your health is worth the effort.

      Hope you find that helpful. Best of luck to you.




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  6. Dr. Gregor, I am wondering if there are any studies regarding the health differences between vegan protein powders and whole food-based vegan proteins (e.g., tofu). I am very athletic, and do weight lifting 2-3x a week. I like vegan protein powders because of the convenience, and am wondering if they are not as helpful as I think they are because they aren’t a whole food-based product. Thank you!




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  7. Very striking,given the fact that nuts loaded with fat and calories,but still don’t affect our weight in negative way.

    Does this rule apply on seeds or seeds products like tahini also?




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  8. The supplement study participants were postmenopausal WOMEN. This has not been shown to have the same effect in men yet. And in mice studies genistein has been shown to cause weight and fat gain.




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  9. A new study warns against the poor nutritional quality of plant-based milk. Only soya based substitutes showed overall good results, comparable to cow’s milk. The authors discovered based on their analysis on multiple milk alternative products that stability and rheology properties were poor and only products based on soya showed good performances without containing hydrocolloid. They call upon manufacturers to choose adequate raw materials as well as tailored and consumer friendly processing technologies (i.e., the application of enzymes and/or fermentation technology), rather than adding low-cost fortifiers and additives like sweeteners and gums. Thoughts??

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11130-016-0583-0




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    1. Makes sense. Plant milks are a processed food and processed foods tend to be of lower quality than the whole food. I mainly use plant milks as a substitute for cow’s milk in places I like the taste of milk (e.g. in coffee or on cereal), but don’t rely on them for much actual nutrition. It’s worth looking at the label carefully when buying plant milks–they really vary a lot depending on how sweetened they are and how they’ve been fortified. Plus, some contain carrageenen, which is of questionable safety.




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  10. If I were to replace whey protein powder with soy protein powder in my diet, would I get any of the additional benefits you would get form consuming legumes, like improved insulin levels, improved cholesterol, and better regulated blood sugar? Also, with soy protein powder, is the fiber, folate, phytonutrients, and phytoestrogens removed?

    I really dislike most legumes, and it is currently my biggest hurdle for eating a healthier diet (doing well on other fruits and vegetables). If soy protein could provide me the benefits of eating legumes, even on a reduced scale, it would finally be a way I could get some legumes into my diet.




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