Is the Added Protein in Packaged Foods Really Healthier?

Of the three macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fat – protein has the best reputation and deserves it. We need a significant amount of protein in our diet, and nothing particularly bad will happen if we get too much of it. Diet protein helps build muscle, and if you’re trying to lose weight, it prevents you from losing too much muscle along with fat. It also helps to make the food satisfying. Great! But.

Once the general public realizes that something is good for you, packaged food companies start investing in everything. Or they produce products on the label of which a useful thing is clearly visible, regardless of whether there is a lot of it inside or not.

So, many packaged foods can now contain protein on their labels. Here’s what you should ask yourself about these products:

How much protein is actually in it?

Take a closer look – sometimes a food boasts a certain amount of food in a package, but there are two or three servings in a package. (This was the case, for example, with protein cookies .)

It’s good to know how much protein you need in your diet. If you’re not gaining or losing weight and exercising little, a 150-pound person only needs about 54 grams of protein per day. (We have a breakdown for different body weights.) If you exercise a lot or try to gain or lose weight (yes, anyway), the same 150 pound person will need more, say 81 kg. up to 95 grams of protein per day. More is normal, but not necessary.

So if you’re trying to get 90 grams a day, 30 grams per meal is a reasonable amount. Coincidentally, 30 grams is the amount of protein that makes the meal satisfying . You can calculate whether a protein supplemented product will be useful in your daily diet.

What would you be eating if you weren’t eating this?

I think this is the most important question about protein supplemented foods. Getting protein from food is easy; meats, dairy products, tofu, beans, and grains tend to be high. So what is this protein-added food item that you are considering and are you eating it instead of your traditional meal?

Here’s an example. If I’m walking straight out of the gym to do something and need something to replace my meal – yes, that’s not good planning, but sometimes it happens – a protein bar with 20 grams of protein is a step forward. right direction. Better than a chocolate bar, anyway.

Or take this “protein bag” of jerky, nuts and sunflower seeds. That’s 250 calories and 13 grams of protein. It’s not much, but it has more protein than many other things you can eat when your options are limited.

On the other hand, there are chips that my child cannot stop eating. He loves Doritos and the like; on a whim, bought him some protein chips (yes, they’re real ). Are they better for him than an equivalent amount of Doritos? Perhaps, yes. But then he began to argue that because they contain protein, he should be able to eat them instead of lunch. We rejected it, but we admit: do you have the same dispute with yourself? Are you better off grabbing a snack because it contains extra protein? If so, marketing is working: you feel good even if you just eat a bag of chips.


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