Protein Powders, Are They a Health Food? - Bariatric Edition - Bariatric Food Expert

February 19, 2019by admin0

We have all seen the advertisements for protein powder.  They talk about all the health benefits to adding protein powder to your lifestyle.  There are so many different protein powders to choose from also.  You can buy whey, hemp, rice, soy, pea and the list goes on and on.  

Are protein powders the solution to weight loss?  Do these mixtures promote good health and a lean body?  Let’s chat about how not all protein powders are created equal and some of them are just not as healthy as you would like to believe.

What goes into your protein powders?

Most of us actually have no idea what is a protein powder or what it consists of or how it got from a protein into a powder.  This powder that you purchase in a large tin or pre-mixed in a can is considered a dietary supplement that consists of dairy, peas, rice or a mixture of substances.  Protein manufactures sometimes add different vitamins and minerals to the powders depending on what their end goal is.

The bottom line is that your protein powder is still a processed food.  Sure, it may come from natural or real food sources but that doesn’t mean that protein powder is a real food itself.  In nature, you will never find protein powder which means it is not a naturally occurring food.  Nowhere will you find a protein powder plant or a protein powder flower.  Protein powders are created in labs and not in nature.

We need to consume protein almost every day but do we really need to consume protein powders to get that protein?  

The protein we ingest is required for building and repairing muscles and tissues.  Protein also has an important role in hair, fingernails, red blood cells and hormones.  Today the regular diet has more refined and processed carbohydrates.  This means that we need to eat more protein in general.

These protein powders get so popular because marketing companies and MLM companies would like to have us believe that we are all deficient in protein and offer us an easier way to consume it.  It is a BIG business.  

Protein powder contains different types of protein but when you drink a protein drink, it doesn’t work as well as eating the real protein food.  Our body is much better equipped to use protein in its natural form and not in the form of a processed powder.

I promote the use of protein powders two weeks prior to bariatric surgery during the pre.op diet phase and for one month to a maximum of six weeks post bariatric surgery.  It is always better to eat the food over taking the supplement.  We supplement as an insurance plan but we need to make the move over to real, live, fresh, good quality food.  The protein food over the protein powder will always be the better choice.



About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

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