Textured Vegetable Protein, commonly referred to as TVP, is vegetarian meat. It gives a unique texture and flavor when added to sauces, chili mixes, and other food items.

You can also add TVP in meat dishes for extra protein. It is readily available in nearby grocery stores.

What is Textured Vegetable Protein?

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVM)

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is usually made from soybeans. It is highly processed food produced from soyabean oil. The soy proteins are separated from whole soybeans, and the soy flour is first cooked under pressure before drying.

It is usually available in dried chunks, granules, powder, or flakes. You can also use other ingredients to make, like wheat, oats, and cottonseed.

TVP contains no fat and cholesterol and is full of proteins. It does not have its own flavor but gives an amazing flavor when added to vegetable dishes or other non-vegetarian dishes.

Textured Vegetable Protein Nutrition

Textured Vegetable Protein is a rich source of protein, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals like copper (good for brain health and iron metabolism), magnesium, folate (helps with DNA production), thiamine, etc. [1].

It is low in calories, making it a popular choice for people who need a high protein diet without adding extra calories.

One serving (i.e., 17 gms) of TVP contains [2]:

Calories56
Proteins9 gm
Carbohydrates6 gm
Fiber3 gm
Fat0.2 gm
Copper77% of the DV (daily value)
Folate13% of the DV
Magnesium12% of the DV
Thiamine10% of the DV
Iron9% of the DV
Potassium9 % of the DV
Phosphorous9% of the DV
Vitamin B66% of the DV

Is Textured Vegetable Protein Healthy?

TVP

TVP is full of nutrients and offers many health benefits. Soy is a complete protein that your body needs. Also, it is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, making it a healthy choice.

Let us understand the health benefits of TVP

Rich Source of Protein

Soy is referred to as a complete protein meal as it contains the required amount of protein and all amino acids. TVP is a rich source of protein for vegetarians and vegans [3].

Good Source of Fiber

Textured Vegetable Protein is made from soybean and not grains; therefore, it is a rich source of fiber. It is gluten-free and low in calories, and high in nutrients. It is the best combination of protein and a fiber-rich diet. If you want to lose extra weight, you can think of switching to TVP.

May Support Heart Health

Research suggests that Textured Vegetable Protein can benefit heart health as it is rich in protein and fiber.

You prepare TVP from soybeans which helps reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, further preventing heart-related problems [4].

According to studies, TVP also helps to control blood pressure levels and lowers the risk of stroke and heart diseases [5].

Textured Vegetable Protein Health Risks

Textured Vegetable Protein is produced from soy, and because it is genetically modified, it is one of the common allergens. You should avoid consuming TVP if you are allergic to soy.

Some of the other risks include:

If the soy is not properly soaked and sprouted, it will not break down, leading to digestion problems. The antinutrients in soy will block other minerals and nutrients from being absorbed. Therefore, soy must get properly fermented before consumption.

Soy contains isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen commonly known as plant estrogen. This estrogen can sometimes act like human estrogen and can impact your hormones. Therefore, you should be careful while including TVP in your regular diet.

Another risk when consuming TVP daily is that it is a highly processed food. And it contains many additives and, preservatives, other unwanted ingredients. If it is not adequately processed at any stage, then small solvents are left on TVP. Always be careful if using TVP for a longer duration.

TVP also contains high sodium. Therefore it may not be suitable for everyone, especially if you are advised to consume a low sodium diet.

Textured Vegetable Protein Pros And Cons

Pros

Let us have a look at the pros of TVP.

Economical and Long Shelf Life

Textured Vegetable Protein is quite more economical than meat and other protein-rich products. Also, it has a long shelf life. TVP is available in dry form and can easily store for many months. You need to rehydrate before using it, making it an excellent choice to keep in hand.

You need to store TVP in a dried airtight container for long shelf life.

Suitable for Vegetarian

TVP is an excellent source of proteins for vegetarians. Though it gives a texture of meat, it is a pure extract from soya and thus suitable for you if you follow a vegetarian and vegans diet.

It is like a replacement food for meat and beef due to its nutritious value. 1 serving of TVP has all the nutrients like protein, calcium, iron, vitamin b-12, phosphorous, folic acid, etc.

Blends Well with Flavor

TVP does not have its own flavor but blends amazingly well with anything. It adds texture and gels well with spices, sauces, or vegetables and gives the dish flavor. For example, adding TVP with meat will reflect meat flavor. If you add it with spices, it will mirror the spices’ flavor.

Cons

There is majorly only one downside of having TVP, i.e.,

Potential Allergic Reaction

If you are allergic to soy, consuming Textured Vegetable Protein can result in rashes, sneezing, wheezing, tightness in the throat, stuffy nose, coughing, swelling, etc. Otherwise, consuming TVP is safe and nutritious.

How to Cook Textured Vegetable Protein?

TVP

You have to reconstitute TVP first as it is a dehydrated product.

To make it edible, you need to boil the dried chunks in hot water for approx. 10 mins.

You can add this to soups, pasta, and other vegetarian dishes to make them protein-rich. TVP blends well with any dish as it absorbs all its spices and flavor. It works as a versatile staple for vegetarians and vegans.

Bottom Line

Textured Vegetable Protein is made from dehydrated dried soybeans and is used to enhance the nutritional value and texture of dishes. It is popular as vegetarian meat as a rich protein source. 

The highly processed food contains nutrients and other minerals that help maintain heart health. It can cause allergic reactions and indigestion if consumed in high quantity.

Enjoy this power-packed protein TVP in moderation to receive its health benefits. 

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Michelfelder A. J. (2009). Soy: a complete source of protein. American family physician79(1), 43–47.
  • Merrell, B. J., & McMurry, J. P. (2022). Folic Acid. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
  • FoodData Central. (n.d.-e). Retrieved September 18, 2022, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1100465/nutrients
  • Messina M. (2016). Soy and Health Update: Evaluation of the Clinical and Epidemiologic Literature. Nutrients8(12), 754. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8120754
  • Kou, T., Wang, Q., Cai, J., Song, J., Du, B., Zhao, K., Ma, Y., Geng, B., Zhang, Y., Han, X., Jiang, M., Guo, H., Hu, B., Li, Z., Zhai, Y., & Zhang, C. (2017). Effect of soybean protein on blood pressure in postmenopausal women: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Food & function8(8), 2663–2671. https://doi.org/10.1039/c6fo01845a

Author

  • Sarika Moghe

    With her Master in Business Adminstration (MBA), Sarika has explored numerous industries and picked up valuable experiences and skills along the way. She is now a professional content writer and meditation instructor who enjoys helping and empowering people to get deeper in touch with their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Sarika also has experience as a social media manager and research and marketing professional, which equips her to communicate effectively through her articles. LinkedIn

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With her Master in Business Adminstration (MBA), Sarika has explored numerous industries and picked up valuable experiences and skills along the way. She is now a professional content writer and meditation instructor who enjoys helping and empowering people to get deeper in touch with their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Sarika also has experience as a social media manager and research and marketing professional, which equips her to communicate effectively through her articles. LinkedIn