I want to be clear: I love Kashi cereal (Cinnamon Harvest to be exact), and I love my eggs. That is what makes this a difficult post to write.
The way Kashi advertises their Go Lean line of cereals irritates me just a tad. Here’s the ad for your viewing pleasure (this one’s kind-of old, but the campaign/claim continues, as I saw an updated spot this morning).
If you only took away one thing from the above ad, it is that Kashi Go Lean Crunch has the same amount of protein as an incredible edible egg. “True, but” are the first two words that came into my head after hearing that claim. Those are also the first two words that came into my head when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s Grammy speech to say that Beyonce had one of the best music videos of all time, as in “True, but this is not the time or place to make that argument, Kanye.” Sorry. I got off track there for a second.
Kashi Go Lean Crunch has the same amount of protein as an egg. If you’re measuring by the number in grams that’s on the label, then yeah, it’s just as good (even better) than an egg. But there’s no mention in the ad of what kind of protein you’re getting in the box. Here’s the label.
CONTAINS WHEAT AND SOY INGREDIENTS. Boom. There’s the one thing that turns me off. While both egg and soy protein contain all the essential amino acids, they were not created equal. Here’s a quick breakdown from Livestrong.com comparing egg and soy (and whey) proteins in a different way:
The average egg contains 6 g of protein and contains about 70 calories. Eggs are a low-cost, high-quality protein and an important source of choline. Most protein powder is made from egg whites, which contain protein without the fat found in the egg yolk. All proteins are rated for their “biological value,” which measures how quickly and how well your body can use the protein you consume. According to Wageningen University in the Netherlands, “Egg white protein is considered to have one of the best amino acids profiles for human nutrition.” Although many foods contain all amino acids, the protein in egg whites is the most bio-available — meaning you body can use all of its protein quickly and efficiently.
Whey is a by-product of cheese making. When casein is separated from milk by curdling, the watery remains are whey. Look for whey protein isolate, which is strictly the protein, with all other components of the whey removed. Whey is a complete protein — meaning that it contains all amino acids. It’s particularly high in the amino acid leucine, which may help to build lean muscle tissue.There is slightly more leucine in whey protein than in egg protein. Whey protein may be a better choice than egg protein post-workout when your body needs quick energy and fast protein synthesis. However, it isn’t absorbed as well at other times.
Soy is the most problematic of these three proteins. Soy is unique because it’s the only plant-based protein that contains all the amino acids, but it also contains isoflavones — an estrogenic compound that can affect hormones levels. It may affect thyroid levels and can raise estrogen levels in men. This often isn’t a problem if you use soy rarely, but daily supplementation may have side-effects. This is the best protein option for vegetarians and vegans.
A raised estrogen level is obviously a bigger concern for men than it is for women, and like the above info shows, it’s probably not a big deal if used rarely.
But soy is becoming more and more prevalent in our diets today, and in the case of this Kashi cereal, it’s competing against the egg to become the consumer’s everyday breakfast choice.
I’m not here to say that soy is the anti-christ and that you should avoid it at all costs. I’m saying that egg and soy are two completely different beasts with their own sets of pros and cons. According to Kashi, they’re exactly the same. That is false.