The Least-Demonized Macronutrient
Throughout our lives, we have heard about all different kinds of opinions on the amount of carbohydrates and fat we should be consuming in our diet. Low-carb, low-fat, which then lead to both high-carb and high-fat diets. There is no amount of carbohydrates or fats that has not been “shown” to do something beneficial. Then, there are those who exalt their minimally processed carb and minimally processed fat diets. But how come people are not talking about minimally processed protein? Is protein really that superior of a macronutrient that we do not care whether or not it is processed? Is getting enough of it really all that matters? I am here to tell you: no.
For as long as I can remember, I hated protein bars. I yearned to like them because I thought more protein would make me healthier; I would try all sorts of brands with no luck. That chalky, dry taste left in my mouth was enough to turn me off of them pretty much forever. I cannot understand why someone would put themselves through the misery of eating one of these bars just for the gains. But maybe there was a reason I was not a fan of the protein-y taste left in my mouth.
It is not a normal to just eat protein by itself, so why do we? We have protein powder, and not just more “conventional” proteins like whey and soy, but pea protein, hemp protein, pumpkin protein, you name it! But it is not natural to be extracting the protein out of these foods. In fact, it is a heavily mechanical and involved process. So why are we, as a society, demonizing processed carbs like pasta and processed fats like vegetable oils, but not caring about how processed our protein is? I, personally, take a whole foods approach before resorting to any type of supplement and protein powders/bars/shakes are just that, supplements. And supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so who knows what is actually in your scoop of whey.
Please note, that I am not demonizing processed protein, I think it can be very helpful and useful in certain situations. But for the majority of people, I don’t think it is the best choice of protein. And honestly, who would want to drink a sad protein shake when you could have a meal with actual foods? Just look at how pretty and colorful protein can be!
Just wanted to supply you with some food for thought. Let me know what you think!
Happy Nourishing! ~Katy