Protein. Lots of it. The latest craze seems to be protein supplements, bars, shakes and other packaged foods hitting the shopping carts of everyday consumers. Every second person these days seems to be chugging down a protein shake for their quick morning breakfast on the go.
Yet is this high protein craze a healthy choice? The short answer: yes. The longer answer: it depends..... here's how:
1. Protein is a macronutrient every human needs for repairing and maintaining muscles.
2. It is mildly thermogenic, meaning that it raises your body's metabolic rate (how fast you burn energy).
3. Swapping out excessive carbohydrates with different sources of protein can reduce insulin levels for people consuming large amounts of high GI carbs.
However, it's not the idea of protein that I have a problem with, it's how its being taunted as a 'health product' to foods that aren't so healthy.
Chocolate bars with added protein does not remove the fact that you're still consuming a highly processed sugary treat. Swapping out whole foods for a protein shake is not an ideal for living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. For people wanting to up their calories or periodically cut carbs and are looking for additional protein sources, then protein powders can be an awesome supplement, but remember, they are supplements and shouldn't be the main source of nutrition for you.
I've seen breakfast drinks that are marketed as 'high in protein', but they're laced with sugar, protein balls that have cheap soy protein powders and very little in terms of actual nutrients.
So yes, protein is an excellent macronutrient that can and should be a part of a healthy balanced diet, but protein comes in many shapes and forms. An egg is a great source of protein and it's one of the most bioavailable sources of the human body. With approx. 6 grams per egg, along with healthy fats, why not swap out your so called healthy protein shake with an omelette!
Presented by Thomas Grainger