You look around and see billboards, commercials, and online advertisements of body builders and athletes consuming protein shakes, protein bars and even products like protein chips and cookies. With the extraordinary marketing tactics or perhaps the trend amongst your friends and those at the gym, you might have fallen into the obsession of protein drinks too.
The issue is that the majority of popular protein powders, bars, and shakes come along with some detrimental ingredients. Yes, they might contain a vast amount of protein amino acids, aid you to lose a few pounds, and give you results in your body building goals. Nonetheless, the ingredients I will mention indeed can impact your health in undesirable ways- if not instantaneously then down the road. While sharing the undesirable news, I happily must mention that there are many brands I suggest to my clients, and even other essential tips to implement in your diet for you to successfully build muscle, feel energized, and reach your optimum weight goals in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. With that being said, I will share a few ingredients to be wary of while purchasing your next protein powder or bars.
Earlier, I walked into a popular supermarket to do a little research myself. Out of over 30 different brands of protein bars and powders, with the exception of a few brands, many were options I’d advise my clients to stay gear of at all cost. Various ones were full of over a dozen ingredients, contained at least four or five genetically engineered ingredients, had artificial sweeteners, and were extremely high in sugar.
Genetically engineered ingredients in protein bars and powders are usually from soy protein or soy isolate. I highly recommend you avoid products that contain genetically engineered ingredients, as they have been directly linked to infertility, cancer, food intolerance and allergies, autoimmune disease, inflammation, birth defects and more. Canola oil or soybean oil are other possible ingredients swaying in popular protein products.
Another issue I’ve found repetitively across many popular brands has been the use of artificial sweeteners. Undoubtedly, decreasing the amount of sugar consumed in your diet is wonderful, however replacing it with artificial sweeteners is in fact a worse alternative than sugar itself!
Artificial sweeteners have been linked to brain tumors, weight gain, mood swings, autoimmune disease, migraines, and more. Many protein powders and bars, especially the flavored ones, might also contain lab-made food dyes, hydrogenated oils, and redundant additives. Look for natural protein powders, free of genetically engineered ingredients, a-critical sweeteners, and a novel of ingredients.
Whether you are trying to lose weight while exercising or want to tone up and feel great, I recommend a balanced and healthy diet to gradually reach your goals. I essentially advise you to be cautious of going on short-term diets merely having protein shakes and bars, as your weight-loss will not last. It will be temporary, you will feel hungry and deprived and as soon as you return to your usual routine you will find yourself slowly putting on weight back. Instead, begin with making small changes in your diet and exercise regime. A great suggestion that helped many of my clients is to replace heavily processed and deep-fried foods with healthier options, and consume more fresh fruits and vegetables. Consume whole foods, like proteins, grains, high-quality dairy, nuts, seeds, and legumes. All in all: concentrate on having a diet low in chemicals, rather than one low in calories. Look for high quality protein powders and bars, and don’t simply rely on them alone.
Don’t merely be obsessed with looking bulky while overfilling your body with these unhealthy chemicals. They might give you the outwardly results you are desiring, but in the long-run they are truly unfavorable to your physical and mental health.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.