Not sure what protein to choose? Here’s some tips on how to choose the best protein, plus a giveaway from Orgain!
With the New Year here, many people are revamping their diets and opting for healthier food choices so they can get in shape and lose weight. If weight loss and fitness are on your mind, making sure you get plenty of protein is important. But it’s okay to get picky with your protein!
It’s always best to opt for whole-food sources of protein to make up the majority of your diet (we shouldn’t subsist on shakes and bars alone!), but sometimes we need a little help getting our protein when we’re busy and on the move.
If you’re planning on drinking or eating a protein supplement every day, it’s worth it to really do some research and buy the highest quality so you’re enhancing your health, not hurting it. If you’re in the market for protein, here are some things to look for:
Avoid artificial ingredients
Get picky about what’s in your protein! Cut out the artificial ingredients (colors, sweeteners, flavorings, and preservatives) and opt for natural products. These artificial ingredients are chemicals that we really don’t want in our bodies. Really read the protein label and look for mystery ingredients and anything artificial.
What you’re putting in your body makes a difference. If you’re drinking a protein shake or eating a protein bar every day, then get picky! Choose high quality and natural powders and bars to reduce the chemicals you are consuming.
Avoid proteins with fillers and those that are “amino spiked“. Some companies will fill protein powders with cheap free form amino acid powders and count that toward the protein content, when in reality there is actually up to half the amount of protein that it says on the label.
This one is tough since most companies aren’t going to tell you that there are fillers, and if they do it’s probably nothing that would raise red flags, like creatine or amino acids. For that reason, it’s best to choose reputable protein companies that have simple ingredient labels.
Watch for added sugars and fats
Unless you are looking for a meal replacement, opt for a protein powder that has no added sugars. If you want to round out your protein with some healthy carbs and fats, you can add these yourself in a smoothie or shake. That lets you choose how much and what kind of carbohydrates and fats you consumer to meet your macronutrient goals.
If you’re looking for a protein bar, look for bars low in fat and sugar and higher in protein and fiber. The Orgain Plant Based Protein Bars have 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of sugar or less, and they are only 150 calories so they are perfect for snacks.
Pick proteins from quality protein sources, organic when possible
If you’re using dairy-based proteins or collagens, aim for protein that’s sourced from grass-fed beef or pastured animals. Look for companies and products that practice chemical-free protein processing.
Plant based? Look for plant proteins that are for fermented and/or sprouted before processing into protein powder. This increases the bioavailability and digestibility of the protein and amino acids in the powder or bars.
If you struggle with food allergies and intolerances, here’s another protein tip: rotate your proteins. If you can tolerate many different types of protein powders, I highly recommend rotating between several different kinds over the course of 4 days to avoid developing a sensitivity to them. Aim to rotate your foods and get plenty of variety!
While you’re looking for a good quality protein, check out Orgain! Founded by doctor and cancer survivor Andrew Abraham, MD, Orgain creates nutritional shakes, protein powders, and protein bars that are certified organic, and contain no artificial ingredients, GMOs, or soy.
Here’s what you will find (and won’t find!) in Orgain:
- Certified organic
- No corn syrup
- No artificial ingredients (colors, preservatives, flavors, etc.)
- Whey protein does not contain hormones or antibiotics
- Lower in sugar
- Offers both whey protein and vegan protein
- Gluten free
- Non GMO
Orgain is kicking off the New Year with a fun way to stick with your resolutions and get support! You can sign up to receive daily emails about health, nutrition, and fitness to meet your New Year’s goals, plus by signing up for the emails you can enter to win awesome prizes as well. Check out the Orgain Resolutions page for more details and to get started