How to Tell One Protein Supplement from Another
When it comes to obtaining the full benefit of protein supplements for glucose balancing, immune support or weight loss, quality makes a difference. First, many protein supplements contain hidden sugars, soy and other undesirable ingredients. For example, data is accumulating soy may cause problems. Next, there is the issue of purity. Chemical analysis of protein powders published in Alternative Medicine Journal showed they varied a lot. Some contained as little as 30% protein, with the other 70% being fillers and other junk.
The processing methods for making protein vary a lot. Protein supplements can be made through concentrates, isolates or ultra-filtered. While these may sound similar, the process can affect nutritional value. While concentrates often provide inexpensive protein, some processing techniques denature (damage) the protein and alter protein components that are helpful in supporting immune functions or curbing appetite. Protein prepared by ion-exchange isolates retain some active compounds, but the amounts are significantly reduced or altered compared to micro filtered processing.
That’s why we only use ultra (or micro) filtered proteins that contain a full array of compounds that support immune functions, can help with glucose and insulin problems, may curb appetite or provide anti-oxidant benefits. Here are some of the compounds found in our micro filtered whey or rice protein:
Beta-lactoglobulins: highest in whey and rich in amino acids such as cysteine, methionine and 16 other amino acids.
Alpha-lactalbumin: contains amino acids that improve calcium absorption, can reduce free radical oxidative damage by binding toxic metals for elimination, blocks a range of harmful bacteria and can help promote restful sleep.
Glycomacropeptide: can suppress appetite, slow stomach emptying to curb appetite and stimulates pancreatic digestive enzyme secretions. Can help bind harmful bacteria and toxins for elimination and support immune functions.
Immunoglobulins: also known as antibodies that help protect against infections.
Albumin: provides essential amino acids, helps transport hormones and other substances in the bloodstream and can help protect against free radial oxidative damage.
Lactoferrin: aids in the absorption of iron and other minerals while having protective effects for the immune system and strong anti-oxidant benefits.
In addition, ultra filtered protein can help support cardiovascular functions, improve lean muscle mass (instead of fat production), energy metabolism and general wellness. I just insist my patients use quality products made properly and free of fillers and toxic substances.
David Overton, PA-C works at Natural Medicines & Family Practice integrating conventional and alternative treatments under the supervision of Dr. Richard Faiola, MD, ABFM. 360-357-8054 and natmeds.net.
About Protein Bars
Most “protein” bars have excessive carbohydrates, hidden sugars and potentially harmful additives that can upset glucose, insulin or hormones. For example, soy can disrupt thyroid, estrogen and other hormone levels or digestion. That’s why we recommend only very specific protein bars, available in our office.
How To Make a Protein or Meal Replacement Shake
Meals should ideally contain a mix of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. Properly made shakes can help with pre-diabetes, diabetes, malnutrition, cancer, amino acid depletion, protein deficiency, surgical wound repair, immune system dysfunction, hormone imbalances, attention deficit, anxiety, depression and more.
While I think it is best to consume real and healthy food, my wife and I have protein shakes for breakfast from time to time (especially on rushed weekday mornings) and I find them a good replacement when I crave ice cream. Kids really like shakes and parents know they are healthy snacks for their kids.
To make a protein shake or meal replacement shake:
Mix our ultra filtered Whey Protein Isolate or Rice Protein Concentrate with two tablespoons of our all natural Hot Coco mix and you have a healthy and tasty chocolate low calorie drink.
For a more complete meal replacement, place a scoop or two of our ultra filtered Whey Protein Isolate or Rice Protein Concentrate in a blender.
Add frozen, fresh or canned fruit. Frozen strawberries and bananas are a favorite for most people. Get bananas on sale, cut them up and freeze in advance. Costco has good prices on frozen berries.
Add yogurt if desired. Plain yogurt is best to avoid extra calories and sugar.
Add healthy fats, such as olive oil, flaxseed oil or sunflower oils.
Add liquid to desired consistency. Water is best, but you can use juice or cow’s milk. If you have diary allergies, use rice milk or almond milk.
Blend up and enjoy. Great creative. My wife likes shakes with frozen blueberries and I find shakes with peanut butter and chocolate or molasses to be healthy alternatives to sugary milkshakes or ice cream.
For more protein, fiber or for cardiovascular health: add some nuts. Tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts) are best but you can use peanuts.
For more fiber and flavor, I like unsweetened coconut flakes.
If you must use additional sweetness, use real maple syrup, rice bran syrup, stevia and various sugar alternatives available in health food stores, a small amount of chocolate sauce or use white sugar but keep it to a minimum.
David Overton, PA-C works at Natural Medicines & Family Practice providing conventional and alternative treatments under the supervision of Dr. Richard Faiola, MD, ABFM. 360-357-8054