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soy steaks and seitan instead of protein powder?


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right, i could eat a lot of tofu - but then there would be no space left in my tummy for all the other healthy stuff


soy steaks are made of dehumidified soy protein. they look like that:



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I think it's not a great idea to depend on seitan for a large chunk of your protein. Quality is just as important, or more important, than quantity, and gluten is a low-quality protein that is very difficult to digest. Those soy steaks are probably better, but like others have said, still more processed than tofu or tempeh.


Personally I think you can get more than enough protein from tofu/tempeh, beans and rice, and vegetables - all of which are reasonably priced (and besides, how can you put a price on your health?) to support most training regimes/lifestyles.

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I eat a lot of seitan at times and do not find it difficult to digest. I'm not sure what is meant by "low quality" protein but I assume it means that some amino acids are in lower amounts than found in soy,whey or egg protein. However, all essential amino acids are present - although lysine is present in smaller amounts compared to other essential amino acids. You can deal with this two different ways. Eat other foods that are high in lysine (not too many in the plant world) or consider lysine the "limiting amino acid" when eating a lot of seitan (so maybe you should count your 25 gms of gluten protein as only 20 gms).

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All these complicated methods of determining protein quality seem to be subject to quite a bit of criticism, e.g.


The PDCAAS method may also still be considered incomplete, since human diets, except in times of famine, almost never contain only one kind of protein—however, calculating the PDCAAS of a diet solely based on the PDCAAS of the individual constituents is impossible. This is because one food may provide an abundance of an amino acid that the other is missing, which means that in this case the PDCAAS of the diet is higher than that of any one of the constituents. To arrive at the final result, all individual amino acids would have to be taken into account, though, so the PDCAAS of each constituent is largely useless.


For example, grain protein has a PDCAAS of about 0.4 to 0.5, limited by lysine. On the other hand, it contains more than enough methionine. White bean protein (and that of many other pulses) has a PDCAAS of 0.6 to 0.7, limited by methionine, and contains more than enough lysine. When both are eaten in roughly equal quantities in a diet, the PDCAAS of the combined constituent is 1.0, because each constituent's protein is complemented by the other.



Still, it would seem soy isolate is still the best vegan protein out there, using these 'PDCAAS' and 'Biological Value' scales. Soy and rice both seemingly having a higher 'Biological Value' than beef and fish!! However the BV scale is still subject to criticism:



The BV method uses nitrogen absorption as a basis. However, it does not take into account certain factors influencing the digestion of the protein and is of limited use for application to human protein requirements because what is measured is maximal potential of quality and not a true estimate of quality at requirement level.

Edited by seitan_man
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My assertion that gluten is difficult to digest doesn't have anything to do with complicated methods. It has to do with my experience, the experience of many people I know and that I've interacted with over the years, and my interactions with multiple nutritionists, who all tend to agree (of course there are exceptions and everyone has a slightly different opinion, but I worked in the health food industry for years and worked with a number of highly qualified nutritionists and have read quite a few books on the subject) that gluten is a difficult protein to digest, and in some cases that can lead to serious side effects (celiac disease/gluten sensitivities and intolerances are very widespread). In other cases, it just means your body has to work harder to assimilate the food you're putting into it. That might not matter to some people, but for a lot of people, especially athletes, I think it's an important factor considering you'd probably be better off saving that energy for working out, recovery and strengthening your immune system.


But I certainly won't argue that seitan isn't tasty and delicious. If your body handles it without side effects and you enjoy it then more power to ya, but I think it's important to let people make an educated decision with both sides of the story rather than pretending there's nothing wrong with it.


Just my opinion.

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So we should cut out









and now gluten too?




Christ what is left to eat?


Is this directed at me? I never said to cut out soy. I eat soy every day. But at any rate, there's plenty left to eat. Fruits and vegetables, gluten-free grains (brown rice, millet, quinoa), beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts/seeds and nut/seed butters, even Garden burger makes vegan gluten-free veggie burgers and other meat imitations. A little creativity and it's really no problem whatsoever, you can come up with all kinds of combinations and creative uses of recipes based on these fundamental foods.

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Okay, I'm probably going to be unpopular with this post, but here goes.


I have to admit.... I don't understand why so many Vegans seem obsessed with everything being non-processed. Unless you have a really crappy Vegan diet filled with simple sugars refined carbohydrates, french fries, etc, etc.... I think most Vegans (on this board at least) eat very healthy.


If I am eating fresh veggies and fruits, no flour, very little sugar, no junk food, then I could care less if most of my protein sources are processed and I take in a small amount of artificial sweeteners. When I recommend a BCAA supplement to my Vegan clients, half of them say, "But there's artificial sweetener". I can't help but roll my eyes a bit sometimes. It's a few times a week, and it will help you get to your goals faster and better... you'll live!


I know I'd go crazy if I focused as much as some people seem to, with every single morsel they consume being not-processed, Organic, etc, etc, etc. We're already Vegan... life is just so short to worry about all of it.

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I'm with both of you on this one. I lurk on bodybuilding forums and no one every says "yeah, but _______ is a difficult to digest protein source." (this comment is not directed at anyone in particular).


I'm concentrating on bodybuilding. My husband is not. He wouldn't dream of eating 1/2 lb of plain seitan, 1/2 lb of plain tofu, 2 lbs of sauteed kale and a high protein powder fruit smoothie - as I've done some days. Replace the seitain and tofu with chicken and egg whites and I would fit right in on a bodybuilding forum.


We constantly have these types of discussions on this forum because we have a few bodybuilders/figure competitors and a lot of people interested in "fitness" - I really don't know what that word means. Obviously, a bodybuilder's diet will look different than the average person interested in fitness. This problem doesn't occur on omni boards because there are no websites dedicated to "omni bodybuilding and fitness." There are enough omni bodybuilders that their forums are large enough to support a membership devoted entirely to bodybuilding.


I don't know what the answer is here. I just hope that those who are interested in vegan bodybuilding won't be turned off to a potential protein source because of certain members' bias to it. There are some of us, knock on wood, who can eat large amounts of soy, gluten and protein powders with no GI discomfort. Just because some people have a difficult time digesting something doesn't mean we all do.

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it's been my experience that veganness does lead many people to question or at least think about the appropriateness of what they're putting into their bodies on many different levels... vegan body builders, vegan endurance athletes, or whatever... more than omnivores do (or carnivores, haha.) I think it's just because so many of us have come to our veganinity precisely because because we have asked more questions in the past. It's in our nature. That's a good thing.


I personally try to eat more whole, lesser-processed foods because I believe that our entire world is overprocessed. My veganhood sort of goes hand-in-hand with a DIY aesthetic that is not only a living protest against the powers that be, but an attempt to return my family's lives to a less cruel, lesser complicated, over-all lesser processed lifestyle.


All things equal, if I have the options of using valerian or valium, I'll choose valerian every time. If I have the option of using acidophilus or monostat, I'll choose acidophilus every time. If I have the choice of using kidney beans or very processed proteins, I'll choose kidney beans.


The issue here, like VP says, is what we need to do to meet our goals. In the case of body building, concentrated proteins are preferable and will get most people to their goals more efficiently.


It's a matter of goals, though: How important is the goal of bodybuilding vs the goal of unplugging from the matrix of the overprocessed, unwholistic lifestyle for us vegans? I believe for many vegans, answering that isn't as simple to do as it is for others.


Now I'm off to crunch on an aspartame-laden Ice Breaker while I digest my boca burger. Yumyumyum!

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I'm extremely torn on this issue. Allthough I don't think protein powders are optimal for ones health I also think that we o lot's of things that aren't optimal.

There are different ways to look at protein powders, if you only look at the macro profile it's great, or even more than great acctually. But if you believe people like Novick and Fuhrman (with their "health equation", which I kind of do) protein powders are about as good for ones health as white refined sugar.

Most people will probably still have good health if they live like you VP, and you have muscle ambitions and not just health ambitions.

But why would you sell BCAA powder with sweetners? I buy mine with neutral taste and it's no big deal. Smells like pistachio and tastes nothing.

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