I have been asked several times by readers lately what protein powder I recommend. This is a question that is hard for me to answer since I don’t use protein powders myself. It is not that I haven’t tried them in the past. There was a time when I experimented with several of the brands at the health food store, quickly returning them or throwing them out because they just tasted TERRIBLE. Lucky for me because since then I have realized that protein powders are unhealthy and generally unnecessary.
Now I know that protein powders can be a sensitive topic for those that consume them on a regular basis. I am not here to argue or pass judgement in any way. This post is merely to answer back to my readers who have asked my opinion on protein powders. I prefer not to consume processed foods, and protein powders, in my mind, extremely processed.
What’s wrong with protein powders?
#1 Protein powders are highly processed and loaded with garbage
The process of making many protein powders often leaves a highly denatured and damaged protein , destroying many of it’s health-giving benefits and making it useless as a health supplement. I’m not talking about the kind of denaturing that comes with cooking a steak or egg. I am talking about incredibly high temperatures where proteins are heated to the point that our bodies do not recognize it as food.
On top of that, many manufactures add synthetic, toxic ingredients to their products Aspartame, saccharin, fructose, and artificial colors are all things you might see on the label. Processed protein powders may also contain large amounts of MSG in the form of protein isolates because separating protein from its food source during manufacturing results in the creation of MSG. You won’t see it in the list of ingredients because it is a by-product of manufacturing and does not have to be listed. (SOURCE)
#2 Eating concentrated protein without saturated fats is harmful to your health
Without the presence of some good quality fats, your body is not able to assimilate and absorb many vital nutrients. Imbalances in Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin D could result. Some health issues associated with vitamin and mineral imbalances include heart arrhythmias, eye problems, bone loss, auto-immune disorders, thyroid issues, and kidney problems. Our bodies are meant to have a balance array of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in order to function optimally. I’m talking REAL food here.
#3 Protein powders can expose you to harmful levels of heavy metals
In a study of 15 protein drinks, the researchers found:
“All drinks in our tests had at least one sample containing one or more of the following contaminants: arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.”
Even though the levels were relatively low, imagine consuming these products every day, sometimes 2-3 times a day as recommended by some health coaches. Alarmingly, the amount of lead in a single serving in 8 of the tested protein supplements would require a warning label in the state of California. NO THANKS!!! (SOURCE)
What’s the Alternative?
My recommendation is the get your protein from REAL food sources. You will notice that foods high in protein generally have some healthy fat along with it. Grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, and good quality dairy (especially RAW) are great examples. Adding mineral and collagen rich bone broths and fresh local produce will ensure that you are getting a good balance of fats, carbs, and proteins. Like I said before: REAL FOOD.
If you still feel like you need a little extra protein and want the extra added benefits of collagen, try adding some grass-fed gelatin to your diet. With about 7 grams of protein per tablespoon, it makes for a great supplement. There are 2 kinds of gelatin on the market. I use THIS one in cooking (needs heat to dissolve) and THIS one in my drinks and smoothies. The latter has a smaller molecular structure that allows it to dissolve in cold liquids.
Where to Buy Good Quality Grass Fed Gelatin
I also like to add hemp seeds to my smoothies. One tablespoon of hemp seeds contains 152 milligrams of potassium, 2.3 grams of carbohydrates, 1.6 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein along with 13 percent your daily need for iron of and about 8 percent of your daily vitamin A. THIS is the brand that I use.
There is no magic “pill” for good health. It takes REAL, unprocessed foods and balanced living. It’s a lifestyle not a diet…..
Read more about the dangers of protein powders here:
- 5 Problems with Protein Powder
- Protein Powders/Drinks Rob Your Health
photo by: Phú Thịnh Co
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Megan G says
Thanks for this info. I always thought protein powders would add extra oomph to my smoothies to take on the go, but never got around to researching/shopping/buying. I won’t bother now.
Yeah, don’t bother. Stick to REAL food instead. Processed foods are never as nourishing as the real deal. 🙂
I am a vegetarian I don’t eat dead bodies. I use only pure cross flow micro filtrated whey protein with absolutely nothing else in it. I add to this an excellent greens powder with a variety of greens, seeds, and other vital whole food nutrients. I add some almond milk made by soaking almonds and blending them. I add Udo’s Choice Oil complex for the healthy balanced fats Omegas 3, 6, and 9. A little stevia for sweetener and some whole fruits. That works for me and makes my body hum with energy and wellness. I just wanted to show that there are alternatives to eating dead bodies as whole food. It is true that there are health benefits to eating dead bodies however the impact on the environment is destroying the planet. The United Nations, World Heath Organization, after years of study has determined that the slaughter and processing of animals as food is the leading cause of Global warming, water pollution and exhaustion, deforestation, and the deprivation of enough food to feed the 60,000,000 people who do not get food to eat each day. So the UGLY and INCONVENIENT Truth about consuming so called whole foods which are made from dead bodies it that they are destroying our lives, our health, our resources, our planet, and our future. By the way I am transitioning to Coconut and Hemp Protein to avoid the use of Whey and leave the animals out of it altogether. Thanks for listening.
Hi, Joseph! I totally respect your opinion but I disagree with your argument. Yes, commercial and factory animal farming is not good. Bad. Bad. Bad. On all levels.
But i disagree that a plant based diet is more sustainable. My blogger friend Craig from Fearless eating said it the best: plant based diets are not more sustainable than animal based diets. Think about this: fossil fuels are not sustainable. Without fossil fuels, you would eat what your local environment provided. For the majority of people on this planet, that would include meat. Plant-based diets are not natural to climates and landscapes that don’t support varied plant life. Just ask the Eskimos.
But I see more destruction coming from the plastic wrapped, genetically-modified, chemical-sprayed tofu burger than I do in my local grass-fed burger. How many animals had to die for that soybean field to be planted? I could say the same in just about every plant-based food in supermarkets which destroys the diversity in ecosystems to grow crops unsustainably.
Nature thrives on diversity and that includes animals. We need to honor the cycles of life and death in our food. That means choosing foods that promote sustainability.
If you look at the issue of growing food sustainably, animals are absolutely necessary. For example, manure is nature’s fertilizer and promotes soil integrity. Fossil-fuel based fertilizers promote soil erosion. They have given us vast fields of corn, soybeans and wheat, much of which goes into the processed, nutrient-deficient, lifeless food that fills our supermarket shelves.
As Joel Salatin says, “There’s no system in nature that does not have an animal component as a recycling agent. Doesn’t exist. Fruits and vegetables do best if there is some animal component with them – chickens or a side shed with rabbits. Manure is magic.”
Honey… (Locally source only – big brands have banned chems from china disguised from tax free countries)
Coconut sugar is dehydrated etc.. Stevia is highly processed as bad or worse than HFCS. http://alternative-doctor.com/news-stuff/41/
Sent in other comment not complete… Would like to say your post is intelligent and responsible and reflects what we should all aim for. But would like to say local honey and coconut sweeteners are actually all natural.. whereas stevia is highly processed. Thanks for standing up for life… I am not a vegetarian .. still not there yet… but realize you are part of the change needed by people and future generations who are thinking clearly
Brilliant reply. I used to eat meat and dairy everyday. Became plant based a few years ago. All my illness and symptoms vanaished. I am mainly raw plant based. Some cooked plant food such as potato.
I admire the way you wrote and your good sense for the planet and animals and all mankind. You are a quality human being.
At the beginning of my meat to all plant consuming transformation I did try a great variety of PLANT PROTEIN POWDERS and overtime I felt sick on them. I find I am stronger and happier and loads of energy on UNPROCESSED mainly raw plants and some cooked potato.
I wish I’d done this from the day I was born.
On the positive side, my body now appreciates the change over to a full plant healthy eating diet.
Dear Joe, Are you a lacto-ovo vegetarian that allows dairy in your diet because whey protein comes from milk, which obviously comes from a cow. And if you’re a complete vegetarian than you don’t eat any animal products nor any by products .
Andrew Dionysiou says
So you are linking the taking of pea protein iisolate with heart arrhythmias, eye problems, bone loss, auto-immune disorders, thyroid issues, and kidney problems, if saturated fats are not taken with it, are you ? Do you have any references for this please ?
Katja Heino says
If you only eat protein without any accompanying fat or carbs, not only will you overwork your liver and kidneys, but you also won’t get enough of the fat-soluble micronutrients that your body needs for other important processes. The health problems that result from this kind of extreme protein overload are well documented. The Inuit referred to protein toxicity as “rabbit starvation,” not because it results from eating too much “rabbit food” in the form of raw vegetables, but because the Inuit suffered from it when the only food they could obtain was rabbit, which is a very lean meat. The symptoms of “rabbit starvation” are weakness, weight loss, and a general feeling of illness. You can find a bit more information on this through the Weston Price Foundation. http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/principles-of-healthy-diets-2/
Hope that helps. 🙂
Andrew, she is right. ALL of the Industrial powders, shakes etc it nothing but PROCESSED “foods” that are not GOOD for your body at all. Yes, it will keep you alive but humans were not designed to eat only proteins without fats and vice versa. All this is just a common sense!
Katja, you are 100% right on your statements and don’t let others tell you other wise. Thank you so very much for being smart;;)
Many thanks for the info and this is so correct and intuitive to me. Processed food is processed food.
Animal casein is not something I would recommend with regularity either. For healthy vegan smoothies my preferred fat and protein sources are greens, avocado, hemp seeds and blanched almonds or shredded coconut, ground flax.
I also think there is room for innovation in this space with fermentation. Like a rich thick sweet koji/amazake fermented from a combination of organic gaba rice and organic mung dal. I’m imagining a texture similar to miso. It would be a super sweet plant protein with three ingredients and plenty of bio available nutrition – it would require refrigeration but might still have a long-ish shelf life.
Deborah Davis says
Thanks for sharing the ugly truth about protein powders.
These overprocessed shortcuts are very expensive and harmful to health.
I too prefer to eat real food. It is healthier and much more cost-effective.
yes, REAL food is the best! 🙂
So what if your taking protein shakes which are for gaining weight and not muscle ?
also the one I wanna get is in a store called ‘tesco’ and tesco wouldn’t sell unsafe products …I think
Hi, there! I am not familiar with Tesco, so I cannnot comment. But this post is about real food being better than highly processed supplements. Here’s some tips on gaining weight on real food—> http://chriskresser.com/how-to-gain-weight-on-a-paleo-diet
Karen Faivre says
Thank you for your post. I have never quite been able to figure out why someone would want to buy an expensive can of protein powder. Most of them are pretty gross smelling/tasting. Why not just add some hemp seed? At least then you know what you’re getting.
Sarah @ RevolutionaryMom.com says
Thanks for doing your research and sharing with us! I have wondered about adding protein powder to my diet, since I’m eating for 2 and work out regularly. You confirmed my suspicions! (Plus, it seems like a lot to shell out for something that’s not as nutritionally complete as real foods!)
GiGi Eats Celebrities says
I couldn’t agree more! EAT WHOLE FOODS! I keep on screaming this at people, but they don’t listen! ha.
What about 100% natural, raw, plant-based protein powders (not soy, of course)?
I’m wary of anything that is so processed. I have read about denatured protein in even the ones that say RAW. Just straight up protein can be hard on the body if not combined with the right amount of fat, so be sure to eat it with some fat. That’s why I prefer REAL food to supplements because REAL food is a combination of nutrients versus isolated ones. 🙂
Do you eat your eggs raw? Cooking eggs will denature the protein.
Yes, cooking does denature proteins. But that is not what we are talking about here. The process of isolating the protein for protein powder is completely different. These protein isolates are usually obtained by a high temperature process that over-denatures the proteins to such an extent that they become virtually useless while increasing nitrates and other carcinogens [cancer causing substances].
So what you’re saying is that your “research” is biased by “naturalist” opinions you already hold. Otherwise, you’d understand that denaturing a protein does not make it useless, and that fearing nitrates and nitrites is as ridiculous as fearing your own stomach acid. Your own spit has more nitrates than anything you could ever eat. Denaturation of proteins don’t have an effect on the structure of amino acids. Proteins “behave” based on how their amino acids are bonded. This literally means that denaturation has no effect on how a protein behaves in your body.
Taking a high school anatomy class may have helped you not make absurd points
Hi, there! I can see that this article really upset you. But that does not change the fact that what I said is true. Most protein powders are extremely processed, full of junk, and are not REAL food. Yes, I understand what denaturing is. I denature my eggs and steak all of the time bu=y cooking it. The type of damage that occurs form the extreme processing that protein powders go through is completely different. And it is my preference NOT to consume these. I prefer to eat REAL food. And before you make assumptions about my opinions about nitrates and nitrites, please read this very well written article on the topic—-> http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon. Thanks so much for coming by. Have a sweet day.
John Weissman says
Sorry, most proteins are cold processed. If plant, then by enzymes. If whey it is cold filtered, using, however, pasteurized milk at low temps.. Soy is EZ to get as organic, but will not be an isolate, which is preferable. It will be soymilk powder. Seed proteins other than pea will be hard to assimilate. Organic skim milk protein with nut butter or other fat is good, if you can digest casein. All protein powders should be consumes as unflavored with nothing else added, and in smaller servings than recommended, depending on what else one is going to eat. Protein powders can, and should, replace some or all of the protein portion of a meal. These products, when of the highest quality, produce great results if you work out with weights. Period. There is no MSG in these products. Glutamic acid is NOT MSG !
Thanks much for the article.
I guess I am a bit late to this discussion but I would just like to point out something. I couldnt reply directly to simon says but this is a response to him saying
“Denaturation of proteins don’t have an effect on the structure of amino acids. Proteins “behave” based on how their amino acids are bonded. This literally means that denaturation has no effect on how a protein behaves in your body.
Taking a high school anatomy class may have helped you not make absurd points”
I am not sure where you took high school biology but I have taken college anatomy and physiology/microbiology classes and I can tell you that you are 100% incorrect in your statement. The shape of the protein is the ONLY thing that matters when it comes to function. The bond between each amino acid called peptide bonds form a polymer/protein and they all bond the same way. Your RNA trancribes your DNA into proteins and then the proteins are attached to R bonds on other molecules via dehydration synthesis usually. That doesnt matter. It is standard for most biomolecules. the bonds are not special. Once the proteins are transcribed they do have to go through folding processes into secondary, tertiary or quaternary structures and their shape is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. Denaturation screws up how the proteins are folded and they absolutely cannot function properly in your body. This is how prion disease works. a prion is one misfolded protein that will go on to corrupt other healthy proteins and they become misfolded causing a domino effect. And if you are not aware the science community believes there is strong evidence to suggest things like Alzheimers could be a prion disease. So we cant say we know what exposing ourselves to inorganic denatured proteins would or would not do. Also mad cow is a prion disease. Look it up dont take my word but know your stuff before you try to put someone else down. Or maybe not put someone else down at all.
P.S. This is also why having a high fever is such a bad thing. you start getting anything over 107 fever and you own body temp/heat will literally start to cook/denature your body’s own proteins (which we have a lot of) and I am sure the average person knows this is a bad thing. And the reason is once the proteins are cooked/denatured, they will not function the same. they are useless and there can be serious health consequences behind it.
Those completely natural protein dosnt exist, they will be expensive.
Like whey proteins, if they want make it from real milk as they say,
1Lmilk=40g protein, so to get 1kg protein needs 25L milk. +they have factory cost + workers salary+ packing+ marketing+profits+graduaty+ vacations+etc
So 1kg of whey protein will be sold for 100$ minimum.
Susie Horvath says
I could not agree with you more on eating REAL FOOD, but smoothies are easier for me to digest and I get better nutrient absorption when I drink them.
I either use egg yolks from pastured chickens as my protein base or I use a protein powder from Swanson Vitamins. I totally agree with you that not all protein powders are created equal, as I used to get headaches from them until I tried the Swanson Vitamins one. I also ALWAYS add a fat (coconut oil or avocado) to my smoothies for better absorption and to balance sugars.
Here are some stats on the non-denatured one I use:
– Hormone-free high-protein nutrition with Aminogen plant enzyme
– Boost overall health and support lean muscle development
– 17 grams of protein per serving
– Delicious all-natural vanilla flavor
Try Whey Vanilla Powder with Aminogen from Swanson Health Products! This delicious formula surpasses other whey protein powders because it comes from grass-fed cows that deliver more amino acids and nutrients. It is made with the finest non-denatured, non-acid, cold processed whey protein concentrate from grass-fed cows that are not hormone treated. This protein powder also includes the patented Aminogen plant enzyme to boost absorption and retention.
Raw eggs are a good source of protein. I do that too sometimes. I’m still wary of non-denatured protein powders. But I think it is awesome that you add the fat. Your body does better when macronutrients are eaten in the right proportions. 17 grams of protein ia a lot to consume without proper fat. 🙂
You really need to do more research on what a denatured protein actually is. Denaturing a protein makes it EASIER to digest. Proteins are complex chains of amino acids that are usually tightly packed into a specific shape (and it’s that shape that gives them function).
When they are denatured, which your body has to do to use a protein and is the entire purpose of having stomach acid, they are unpacked so that they can be broken down into smaller molecules that can be absorbed by your body. When they are in their functional shape, they are hard to break down because they are so tightly packed.
Cooking eggs makes them easier to digest. Raw eggs have less protein bio-availability.
Mr. J says
Yes, I would also like to know the author’s response to these facts.
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I dont think it matters if the eggs are raw or not when consumed. If you are eating something either your body is capable of breaking it down or not. saying that raw eggs have less bio availability is like saying that anything raw is less bio available. Its just not true. We are incapable of processing things like cellulose which are in plants so it acts as fiber and we poop it out. raw egg or not, If you look up the things that denature proteins, you will find pH is one of them. so even if the egg is not precooked once your eat it the pH level in your stomach (which is very low in terms of pH number on the scale or high from an acid standpoint) will still denature the protein. I am confounded by how many people are on this site trying to school the author on proteins and they themselves have a very loose grasp on the understanding of it in their own right.
to add on, the absorption of nutrients doesnt start until you get to the small intestine so please know, the amount of acid in your stomach is more than capable of properly denaturing a raw egg before it moves on to be used for nutritional purposes
Nancy P says
Great info, Thanks! You have persuaded me to not add protein powder to my smoothies. What are your thoughts on “greens” powders?
I think that there are some good green powders out there as long as you know that they are from a good, clean, food-based source. And i think that is hard to determine. Plus they tend to be quite expensive. You could always make your own like this—-> http://nourishedkitchen.com/green-veggie-powder/ Whole foods are always best 🙂
That explains the warning label next to the protein powders, I’m in California. I thought that was kind of odd and thought it was the container they were talking about. WOW! Thank you so much for this information. I don’t really use them either but now I will definitely steer clear of them. Yes, whole foods are better 🙂
Interesting point about “heating proteins to the point our bodies no longer recognise them as food” – Would you advise me to stop cooking meat products for the same reason? Should avoid Pasteurised dairy products too?
The amount of heat used to manufacture these protein powders is much more than cooking a steak or browning some meat. That being said, it’s best to not over cook things. Personally, I prefer my meat pretty rare. But you are right about pasteurization. It does alter the milk proteins significantly. That is why I recommend RAW dairy. Read more about REAL milk here—-> http://www.foodrenegade.com/the-basics/real-milk/ 🙂
Buy it from Dr. Lippmann –his protein powder commits none of these sins!
I do agree that most protein powders are not healthy. But, I started taking a non-denatured whey protein powder when I got sick with human parvo virus. I take Vital Whey, which is not denatured, tastes great without any added sweeteners, and is high in immunoglobulins. You can google Vital Whey to read more about it. The product is not meant for those trying to bulk up as much as strengthen the immune system of those whose health is weakened. I believe it was an important component in my body fighting off the virus. I can share where I purchase it and even share a discount code if anyone is interested. Most people don’t need a protein supplement, but for those that do, there are some safe, healthy options out there.
Clint Bauer says
I absolutely agree with that info, thanks for posting it! I’m a believer in getting your nutrients (where possible) from real food sources. I do it myself and I promote it to my clients.
Unfortunately so many personal trainers out there are promoting protein powders, full of absolute crap. I’m so glad I’m not one of them!
Thanks for providing easy-to-absorb info so more people can learn about the harmful effects of using protein powders, and that eating real food is all you need.
Thanks so much for the kind feedback! 🙂
We use One World Whey for its glutathione levels as heavy metal detox. It’s made with raw milk from grass fed cows. It’s never pasteurized so the proteins remain in tact and its sweetened with only stevia.
Humm… what do you think about: post-workout meal have to be carb and protein.. ???
Do you think that we have to add fat to the post-workout meal to make sure the protein absorb many vital nutrients…??
Good question. Yes, it’s important to eat fat any time that you eat protein. Many of the vitamins that we are trying to get are fat-soluble.
What about Dr. Mercola’s whey protein concentrate powders?
I find protein powders to be unnecessary unless you are a bodybuilder actively trying to bulk up. However, I think if you are going to consume protein powders, it’s best to choose on that is non-denatured and from a good source. Just remember that too much protein and too little fat can cause a negative calcium balance that can lead to bone weakness (insufficient vitamin K2), eye problems (from insufficient vitamin A), immune issues (commonly linked to insufficient vitamin D), and other health conditions resulting from excessive ‘lean’ protein consumption. So be sure to add lots of saturated fats to help your body assimilate. 🙂
I whole heartedly agree. But what about us veggies?
My recommendation to everyone, even vegetarians, is to get your macro-nutrients from REAL food. Concentrated protein sources not balance with the right fats is never healthy. I would recommend eating good quality protein at every meal, paying attention that you are getting enough fat to assist with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, especially good saturated fats. I know that is contrary to what we are taught but our bodies thrive on saturated fats. 🙂
Are we just talking about whey powders here or does this research apply to hemp, brown rice and pea protein as well?
I’m talking about all protein powders. Now I know that some brands are better than others, and that some claim to be non-denatured. I am not 100% convinced that these proteins are any better. I do however, recommend that you make sure that you are getting a balanced amount of fat if you decide to use these products. Too much protein combined with too little fat is hard on the body and prevents you from absorbing essential nutrients. Hope that helps. 🙂
J. J. Gregor says
I’ve been telling my patients for years that most of those powders are horrible for them and cause more problems than they are worth! Thanks for the post!
Madelyn Mathers says
I am planning to have laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy soon and the surgeon requires his patients to do a two-week liquid diet before surgery to shrink the liver. His office sells Bariatric Advantage brand protein drink powder that contains artificial sweeteners and other unhealthy substances. What would you recomend in this situation?
Without knowing what specifically the surgeon wants you to avoid, it is hard to give food recommendations. I would, however, visit your local health food store to check out if they have any non-denatured protein supplements. These will be a better choice. If the liquid diet just means nothing solid, can you just eat pureed REAL food? Soups and such? Making your own bone broths will give you lots of minerals and nutrients. Use a crockpot and cook it for 24-48 hours. The gelatin will be so good for you. You can also use a good quality gelatin supplement. It has protein in it as well. Gelatin is amazing for the gut. This is the brand that I use—–> http://amzn.to/16ha6OO and this oe can be added to cold drinks and smoothies as it doesn’t need heat to dissolve—-> http://amzn.to/17nqYIp. I wish you the best. And if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂
You are leaving out an ever growing part of the population that have had gastric bypass. We must have protein shakes several times a day. Whey protein is the most bioavailable protein there is for us. Since we don’t digest our food properly, despite all the vitamins we must take, the predigested shakes are what we must have. I’ve been on this regimen going on 14 years. We really have no other choices.
I totally understand what you are saying. I think that we do the best that we can. I would do my best to search out brands with the least ingredients, from a good source, organic, grass fed if possible, and non-denatured. 🙂
Ray D says
How do you feel about adding Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Hi-Fiber Powder to a smoothie of blueberries, banana, a dash of apple cider vinegar, baby spinach leaves, and Silk Almond milk?
Your smoothie sounds yummy! I’m not a fan of protein powders, but as far as they go, this one is a better choice. Ingredient list is small. Says only hemp protein powder. I’m assuming it means ground up hemp seeds, but not sure. I like that it contains some fat as well. If I need some extra protein in my smoothie, I just throw in 2-3 TBS of raw hemp seeds. Works great and makes it a bit creamy. No yucky taste like most powders.
I do want to comment about the Silk Almond Milk. Many non-dairy milks have questionable ingredients and synthetic vitamins. I prefer to make me own. It’s super easy. My recipe here—> https://www.savorylotus.com/2013/03/22/homemade-nut-milk/
Tp read more about why you may want to reconsider drinking boxed non-dairy milks, go here—> http://empoweredsustenance.com/non-dairy-milks/
Hope that is helpful. Have a sweet weekend! 🙂
hello. I´m 22 years old and I have a really irregular cycle.
After several studies my gynecologist found nothing weird with my reproductive system or my hormones, so she recomended me to take anticonceptive pills and a protein similar to this (http://www.similac.ca/en/products/similac-mom) because I´m too skinny.
I´ve been taking the pills but I hadn´t started taking the protein, yet my cycle has begun to regularize and I´m gaining weight.
After reading a couple of things about the pill and proteins, I´m really concerned about continuing the treatment. What should I do then? I don´t want to go back to irregular menstruation, thinness and horrible acne. (It hasn’t improved that much to be honest, but after the pill, my skin is a little better than before)
I can’t give you medical advice, but I can tell you that there are natural ways to deal with hormonal imbalances. And I know that there are healthier ways to gain weight than to drink processed protein drinks. Eating a REAL food diet with LOTS of good quality proteins and fats is ideal. LOTS of avocado, coconut oils, grass fed butter and ghee. Good quality pastured eggs, meats, and whole dairy products. RAW dairy milk is like gold to the body. If you have access to it, it can be so nourishing. It helped me gain weight with both of my pregnancies. I tend to be extra lean as well. I make RAW milk yogurt every week for my family. Grass fed gelatin in your smoothies with maybe some raw eggs could be beneficial as well. As far as the hormonal stuff—> When it comes to balancing hormones with diet, choose sources of healthy saturated fats over unsaturated fats. Excess polyunsaturated fats, in particular, have a devastating effect on hormones. Make sure you are getting a balance of ALL macronutrients: carbs, proteins, and fats. You need them all together to be healthy and vital. Eating lots of protein without fats inhibits the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. Eating protein without enough carbs exacerbates hormonal
imbalance.I would suggest avoiding unhealthy carbs like processed grains (crackers, cereals, etc) and refined sugars. Concentrate on properly prepared grains, starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, winter squash, parsnips. Whole sweeteners like RAW honey and coconut sugar. I know all of this can v=be overwhelming. Your body needs deep nourishment if you have been lean for a long time. Not having enough nourishment affects your hormones, especially not having enough high quality saturated fats. My recommendation would be to EAT and Eat LOTS. Feed yourself well and get the nourishment that you need. REAL food with real nutrients. Your body will thrive and your hormones will balance out.
And I agree with you about the birth control pill. It can have devastating affects on your hormones AND your digestive health. It can cause nutritional deficiencies as well.
I hope that is helpful. Let me know if I can answer any other questions. 🙂
Cori Leigh says
I use a very safe UNdenatured vanilla powder. I’ve tried others. Nothing compares and it’s very safe. I have one a day and not necessarily as a meal replacement although I have done that as well when in a hurry. It is delicious..no chalky taste. I throw in a fruit of my choice for that day and they are great. However yes I do know there are others that are horrible!
Dr. Mercola’s protein powders are awesome, they are delicious, come in various flavors, and are available in pea protein as well as whey. The whey is a whole protein, it is from grassfed cow raw milk, processed minimally, with safe sweeteners such as Lo Han and stevia. He has extensive information on the difference between whey isolates (which are dangerous, as this article states) and whole whey protein from grassfed raw milk. They are an excellent option for my family, I combine this with frozen fruits, coconut milk and raw milk yogurt for a quick breakfast smoothie that we all love. Stating that *all* whey protein powders are bad is an over-generalization, and while it is true for many of the protein powders available on supermarket shelves or from mass marketing, there are good options out there. You just have to know what you are buying.
Thanks for the info. I agree that protein powders made from raw, grass fed milk are much better, for sure. Just be sure to add some fat with it so you can digest the vitamins and minerals. And that the body needs a balance of fats, carbs, and protein to function optimally 🙂
Sue David says
So glad I found your site. I thought for the sake of good health that protein powders were good for my health. After research and trying 4 different ones I decided that was not the way to go in order to maintain my good health. For one thing most were too sickening sweet for me. I am not an athlete so I can’t comment on that. It is back to real food for me.
LCHF is the way I found to go, so I am plodding through the info. Lot of info to plod through. LOL!!
I am 84 and take no meds. Still working. I finally learned to believe in me and my judgement for what is best for me.
Keep up the good work. I think I have found my home among all of the info.
One thing though. I have not figured out this blog stuff. How do I know you have made a comment to me? Do I have to read all these comments every day to get to the comment you make to me?
How awesome that you are taking charge of your own health. Inspiring! I love to hear stories like yours. I’m a big fan of healthy good fats in the diet. About the blog thing, usually there is a box in the comment section to receive an email if there is a response. You just have to check it when you leave a comment. My theme does not support that right now, but I am in the process of a total redesign and that will be an option in my comment section. I am so glad that you left me a comment. Welcome!
I go by your message and leave the protein suplements from now.. even I couldnt notice benefit by having it except spending lot of money….
EAT GOOD FOOD, MOVE YOUR BODY, and BE GRATEFUL..welcome!
Thanks a ton !!
Hmmm… I too used to be a skeptic about this however, having lifted weights for 30+ years and experimented with many of the brands out there, I would have to disagree with some of what you say here. While there is a process used, the process does not necessarily make it bad. Here’s my opinion based on my most recent health exam. I’m 55 years old and have used protein powders, Creatine and pre-workout supplements for nearly 30 of my 30+ years of weightlifting. I’ve done workouts with and without using protein powders and have found my greatest gains and overall feeling of well being have come from when I use them. And this is from the legitimate companies that have been around for the long term. One thing you learn through experimenting is that there are those who will poison you as you say BUT,… there are those whom you failed to mention that are legit.
So, my exam… the Doctor gave me a very clean bill of health. Her exact words were “you have the heart of a man half your age. Your blood tests and colon health are.. incredible. ” She told me I could be a “poster boy” for good living. With all of the supplements I have taken for so long, I just don’t get why (or where) you would classify all protein supplements into the same category as “dangerous”? It’s a matter of reading “all” the research in my opinion, plus spending the time to read labels, research the companies and ask for samples. Companies will generally provide free samples if you ask.
While whole foods are the best. A good protein supplement can benefit you as well if you’re a lifter or for whatever reason your body may need more without “stuffing” yourself with foods (Sometimes you need the correct supplementation and not just “gelatin”). Also,…. the specific kind of protein is important and Whey (when processed correctly) is very beneficial (and there’s a lot of research to back this). In addition, one should not always eat just whole foods as some junk once in a while has also been proven to be beneficial as well as the opposite being true that too much of a good thing can be bad for you, even whole foods. So my adv ice would be to junk out once in a while. I do and my health levels are great. I base my opinion on my own research of 30 years and my physical condition as well. Oh, one more thing…you will also benefit mentally as well with correct supplementation.
In conclusion… there are some good protein supplements out there that are processed. Getting a good Whey and Egg protein (without eating a ton of milk and eggs ((since you would get fat if you did)) along with a beef protein now and then is actually good for you. Your body needs the variety in order to function at its maximum capacity. Many doctors agree on this wholeheartedly.
Take it or leave it but I think the other side of the coin needed to be addressed here and as I said before I’m pretty healthy and enjoy McDonalds now and then. Oh, sorry, one more thing and then I’ll clam up… not all whey isolates are “dangerous” either. They are in fact more quickly absorbed and that is important when you’re a weightlifter as I am myself. Research for this is also easily available but I would not take the research either from the source of the product nor from the FDA since neither are interested in your well being.
Patrick Lane says
So many things you say here are incorrect. Denatured proteins are easier to digest, more easily absorbed by the body (hence why they are in the powder) and maintain the proteins amino acids and health benefits. Eggs that are cooked also have denatured proteins. Aspartame is not toxic, its one of the most heavily studied products in the world and has been ruled safe and non toxic by the FDA. According to the American Cancer Society, one would have to consume the equivalent of 19 diet sodas to reach the daily limit of aspartame.
Eating protein is harmful if not consumed with saturated fats? Yes, your body needs fat to live. So you shouldn’t ONLY consume protein or protein shakes. It’s not rocket science. Eat a balanced diet. Protein shakes are for people trying to gain muscles who might have a difficult time finding enough protein in their regular diet.
They contain harmful things? So does rice. So does tuna in a can. So does a lot of things. From the study you linked they found only THREE powders that would reach the daily limit IF consumed 3 times a day. Who uses protein shakes 3 times a day? I’ve been lifting weights and being very active for over ten years and I’ve never done that. Not to mention the fact that 3 powders is a very tiny sample size of the amount of total products out there. That’d be like testing 3 samples of bread and finding the same thing, which we probably could. But you wouldn’t reccommend people to never eat bread would you?
If you want to encourage people to be healthy, good, please do so. But writing about things that you have absolutely no knowledge about should not be part of your goals.
Healthy eating is about eating real, unprocessed foods. Protein powder is highly processed. Therefore I do not advocate it.
Yes, cooking does denature proteins but that is not what we are talking about. Protein powders are highly denatured and are not real food. Totally different than cooking a piece of steak or chicken.
As far as aspartame goes, I have to disagree with you. Quoting that it is deemed safe by the FDA does not make it safe. The FDA has ruled many substances safe that have later been shown to cause much harm. Not an organization I trust. Over 10,000 complaints have been filed with the FDA on this substance since 1980 and has actually never been proven to be safe before it was approved for use in our food supply. Aspartame is linked to diabetes, auto-immune disorders, depression (which can cause you to eat more – once again), birth defects, and several forms of cancer. Here’s some more info for you—> http://chriskresser.com/the-unbiased-truth-about-artificial-sweeteners
And about harmful things in protein powder, I do not like to expose myself to any toxic or poisonous things if I can help it. The study I quoted actually found the amount of lead in a single daily serving of eight of the protein supplements tested would require that the products carry a warning in California. This does not sound benign to me. We should not be seeing foods that contain harmful chemicals in them. That is one of the reasons I do not eat tuna. Contaminated food.
There is much misinformation out there and much of the standard food industry is dictated by people and companies who have a financial stake in it all. Did you know that: Despite the fact that the food is not being tested for radioactive contamination in Japan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has agreed to continue purchasing seafood from Japan. Independent testing in Japan showed 65 per cent of the catches tested positive for cesium (a radioactive material), but instead of refusing to purchase the poisoned fish, food safety agencies in both the United States and Canada have simply raised the “acceptable level of radiation.”
I like to eat a clean diet. I don’t like to eat processed foods. And I do not think protein powders are healthy. That is my opinion. Thanks for coming by!
so where are the data sources? not links to other bloggers site, the real sources. Do you have any real sources? Are you just believing in magical data? Have you spent significant time analyzing data to come to your conclusions? Are you qualified? (e.g. do you have an appropriate degree?)
I am, as a matter of fact, a medical professional with a medical license and degree. I just don’t advertise that here as I am not dispensing medical advise. I am sharing information. And the harmful things found in protein powders is well known and documented. Here is an article from consumer reports—> http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/july/food/protein-drinks/what-our-tests-found/index.htm
Like I said, I am merely sharing information. I don’t expect everyone to agree or like it. We are all just here trying to live the healthiest life we can live.
Peace and love! 🙂
Jan Oswin says
What a load of crap. I want to see your proof vs dozens of quality studies saying that protein supplementation with powders is in fact harmless and improves athletic performance. As long as you get your powder from a reputable source of course…
I still disagree. I am a real food advocate and that is what this article is about. 🙂
Anna Gabriel says
I am so glad to have found your site. I suffer terrible from fibromyalgia, and unfortunately, I just spent a lot of money on Rockin Wellness Wholebody Nutritional Shake. It’s Vegan, Wheat, yeast and Gluten-Free. Made with Organic Ingredients. Are you familiar with this product? I am trying to get rid of all the inflammation in my body and this supposedly helps, now after reading your post, I am not all that sure about it. I am surprised by all the great ingredients in it, and all natural also, I wonder if you could check this product out for me. I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks Anna
Hi, Anna! I am sorry but I cannot really comment on this particular product. But I can say that there are ways to reduce inflammation in the body. I take a whole foods approach to health and nutrition. The first thing would be to eliminate foods that cause inflammation: industrial seed oils like corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, sunflower, etc. Elevated consumption on Omega6 fatty acids leads to inflammation. Other inflammatory foods are processed grains and sugars. Here’s some good info—> http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-1-dont-eat-toxins
I highly recommend eating a Paleo diet for those working on reducing inflammation. Here’s some good info on that—-> http://paleodietnews.com/2494/cooling-inflammation-with-the-paleo-diet/
Hope that is helpful!
We purchased a high speed blender a year ago, and since then have given up my lifelong joy of cereal for a smoothie every morning. My son left behind a large container of protein powder months ago, so I decided to start using it rather than throwing it away. I just presumed it would be of benefit, so added a scoop with every smoothie. Since then I am now into my third container. I have always been active, extremely active until mid 40’s. Now I am mildly active. Eat pretty healthy overall.
Over the past year I started to get pain in my left upper arm which I have concluded was probably due mostly to holding phones and tablets up while reading them. I have changed that and it seems to be improving. Over the past three months I noticed some discomfort in my right shoulder, recently it has become extremely painful, both in motion and in palpation. Never had anything like this, and have not damaged it physically in any way, it just came on over time.
I have been racking my brains what could possibly have changed to cause this because I have never had any problems with arms/shoulders in my life.
Then it dawned on me the only thing that I have never done before and do now is the protein powder I add to my morning smoothie. Could it be…………… Don’t know.
I have been reading/browsing over the past couple of days wondering if it could be the cause and it seems it could.
I stopped today and am not using it again and see what happens over time. I know I get enough protein in my regular diet, so I really don’t need it anyway.
Found this page interesting and would be interested in hearing from anyone else that may have had a similar experience and thought it could be excess protein through supplements. Not saying it is, but I am going to eliminate completely and see what happens and how long it takes if anything changes at all.
Aspartame ,, is a artificial sweetner provides 200-300 times sweetnes wid nil calories its not a bad ingredient
Aspartame is a artificial sweetner ,200-300 times sweet wid nil calories so its a gud ingredient, used for diabetics n those on healthy diet
Katja Heino says
Hi, there! Aspartame is not a healthy or safe products. It has been widely research and known to cause many health issues. You can read more about that here—> http://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/hidden_dangers.htm
Michael Kjergaard says
It has also been proven that aspartame needs to be injested in such a high quantity that its impossiable before it gets unhealthy..
Like you also put salt in your food.. and salt in its self isnt bad.. but too much of it could kill you.
I do like what I read here, and you sound very professional. Due to many negative reactions to all meats and all fish, except shrimp and canned clams, I am resorting to protein powders along with regular foods, and eggs that are not made into a powder. I like my protein veg powders and I like the hemp protein powder very much.
It is the same one that you use that you mentioned above with a link to Amazon. However, must correct you by mentioning that Hemp Protein Powder has practically no Vitamin A, and also does not contain Vitamin C.. Also, there are powdeted Vegetable drinks that do not contain Vitamin A or D, either. Therefore, when I do take powdered drinks, I add Carrot powder to get my vitamin A and C into the protein drink.
Also, aren’t you creating a contradiction to your article, by giving a link to Hemp Protein Powder on Amazon. It is a Protein Powder, which is negating (invalidating) the subject of your article.?
Katja Heino says
The hemp seeds that I link to are just plain hemp seeds. Not a powder. And they are a good source of protein. I prefer the actual seeds to the protein powder. 🙂
Thank you for sharing such an interesting article with us :)! Didn’t know that protein powder can be so harmful.
Michael Kjergaard says
Too be honest, there are too many ppl with too many opinions on whats good and whats bad for you, but noone really got any evidence to back it up. sure sometimes someone links to a study that noone understands, or maybe the link is broken like here. 😛
You shouldnt eat meat, you shouldnt drink protine shakes but get your protines from diary products instead.. another study show’s that eating diary products increases your chances of getting cancer ect ect..
stick to what you like.. and dont over do it, eat varriated.! 🙂
I’m glad you said this. I want to slap people who advise to not eat processed foods then push protein shakes. Hello?!?!? Those are processed foods!!! Stick with REAL food,
DANISH ROSHAN says
ARE YOU SURE THAT THE CONSUMPTION OF THE PROTEIN POWDER CAUSE KIDNEY PROBLEMS? WHAT ABOUT WHEY PROTEIN?IS IT HARMFUL FOR OUR HEALTH? PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS. BECAUSE I HAD A GREAT PASSION IN FITNESS AND MY FRIEND SUGGEST ME TO CONSUME WHEY PROTEIN… BUT I DIDN’T BUY IT..YET .
Katja Heino says
Hi, there! I am not saying that all protein powders will cause kidney problems. What I was explaining is that kidney problems could be caused by vitamin and mineral imbalances. The problem with consuming tons of vitamins and minerals without the proper amount of healthy fat, is that your body may not assimilate and absorb them.If consuming high amounts of protein and or vitamins/minerals (which are often fat soluble) you want to make sure you are getting enough healthy fats. Does that make sense? Hope it helps.
Collagen hydrolysate (which is the same thing as hydrolyzed collagen) is not exactly the same thing as gelatin. In the hydrolyzed form, the collagen is processed more intensively, which actually breaks up the proteins into smaller pieces. They both have the same amino acids, but different chemical properties.
I consume hydrolyzed collagen for the high glycine content. Protein powder is super beneficial for growing people due to the high L-glutamine content, which is the main amino acid used for repairing skeletal muscle, etc. Glycine is the second, it is used in various matrixs, cartilage, etc. Great for a person who is also growing, or who works out passionately, and obviously improves the skin, etc.
Gelatin = collagen, protein powder concentrate = protein powder Isolate/hydrolysate.
A point that everyone fails to see is that the packaging and advertisements for these protein powders (and nearly everything else) is nothing more than marketing. Manufacturers pay big bucks to advert agencies to come up with the wording to sell their product. Its all made up nonsense, i.e. lies. Studies are paid for by the manufacturer. Everything you see, hear and read that’s favorable about a product…well, take it with a big dose of skepticism.
Nicole J Kriebel says
I’m sorry but there is no proof at the very least not enough evidence that gelatin does ANYTHING for you.It comes from (some,not all) diseased animal tissue and maybe mad cows. Yes,even grass fed.That being said I think you should let your readers know it’s an animal product in case any of them are vegetarians or care about the treatment of animals.
Katja Heino says
I have to disagree with you. There is PLENTY of evidence about the health benefits of good quality of gelatin. It’s based on science and nutrition. As with all food, we must be aware of the source.That is why I only buy from sources that I trust. I think that most vegetarians probably know that gelatin is from an animal source. Have a sweet day! 🙂
Kim Hovey says
Im looking for a frameable poster about ill effects of using protein powders – Protein Powders vs Real Food.
Any idea where I can find this?
Katja Heino says
Hi, Kim! I do not have one. Sorry!